by Michael Fournier, CH
As an herbalist, I think there are many amazing herbs. In fact, I think all herbs are amazing, but one herb stands out to me and has personally helped me. That herb would be nettles, also known as stinging nettles (Urtica dioica). Nettles are known widely throughout the world and have native cousins in the woods of North America. It grows around septic systems, outhouses, and manure piles demonstrating its utility in dealing with protein waste products. It is one of those plants highest in protein and helps all protein pathways in the body. As an Herbalist I remember hearing “When in doubt, give them nettles.”
Practical Use of Nettles
I was recently listening to Susun Weed (author, self taught Herbalist) talking about taking one herb at a time to see what it is doing in the body. She spoke about three herbs in particular: nettles, oat straw and red clover. Nettles are packed with vitamins, minerals, and proteins like polyphenols and phytoestrogens. Her routine for years has been to drink these three herbs individually during the week. Susun’s routine was to put one ounce, or about 3-4 tablespoons of nettles, into a canning jar. Then she would boil one quart of water in a pan and pour the water into the canning jar, then refrigerate over night to drink the next day. She would do the same thing with the other two herbs through out the week.
In a case study from herbalist Mathew Wood, he described a case study involving restored muscle function. A fifty-seven year old woman had fallen from some stairs where she had severely broken her leg so badly that it had ripped of her knee cap. She had surgery and her tendons were reconstructed and she was given an artificial kneecap. Six weeks post-surgery surgery, atrophy had begun. Mathew stated she had come to him and asked him for help. Mathew started putting drops of nettles tincture on her leg and within a short period of time she was hobbling around again and returned to the path of walking and healing.
Another case study from Mathew Wood stated a woman in her mid fifties was suffering for severely swollen ankles and was eating a high protein diet. Shortly after, her urine turned pale and smelled fishy. He recommended taking Nettles tea, tincture or whatever she would be willing to take. She took one dose of Urtica 30c(homeopathic nettles) from her homeopathic kit and followed with nettles tincture. A few days later she began drinking nettles tea. Within a few days her urine was no longer pale and the fishy smell was gone and the swelling of her ankles was going down.
Inexpensive and Effective
Herbal infusions such as these are able to absorb easily in our bodies making them an effective way to use herbs as a daily tonic. Herbs are fairly inexpensive. For example, 1 pound of nettles leaf would cost approximately $20.00. If you were to drink it everyday it would last you a full month. Most people spend and average of about $80.00-$90.00 a month on supplements that often are not even absorbed well in the body. This makes herbal infusions such as nettles a very cost effective way of boosting your nutrition.
“When in doubt, give Nettles.”
Michael Fournier is a Certified Herbalist and Instructor at Herbal Wisdom Institute. Michael studied at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts and graduated in 2010 with his Degree in Western Herbalism and certification as a Holistic Nutrition Specialist. His passion is making herbal medicine and medicinal products and is knick-named by his wife as the “Medicine Man.” Learn more about Michael HERE.