Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) Aerial
Ingredients: Wildcrafted spring tops, 1:1.5 fresh + dry, in a base of organic alcohol and spring water.
Usage: Take 10-60 drops, 1-4 times a day. (Note: Dropper included with 2 ounce size only.)
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Principles
Chinese name: Xun Ma
Principles: Tonifies LU and skin, cleans Xue, transforms phlegm, tonifies Xue, tonifies KD and LV Yin
Flavor/Energetics: bitter, astringent, cool , dry
Meridians: LU, LV, KD
The Nettle tribe, Urticaceae, is widely spread over the world and contains about 500 species, mainly tropical, though several, like our common Stinging Nettle, occur widely in temperate climates. Many of the species have stinging hairs on their stems and leaves. The flowers are incomplete: the male or barren flowers have stamens only, and the female or fertile flowers have only pistil or seed-producing organs. Sometimes these different kinds of flowers are to be found on one plant; but usually a plant will bear either male or female flowers throughout, hence the specific name of the plant, dioica, which means 'two houses.' The whole plant is downy and covered with stinging hairs. Each sting is a very sharp, polished spine, which is hollow and arises from a swollen base. In this base, which is composed of small cells, contains the venom, an acrid fluid, the active principle of which is said to be bicarbonate of ammonia. When the sting pierces the skin, the venom is instantly expressed, causing the resultant irritation and inflammation. It is a strange fact that the juice of the Nettle proves an antidote for its own sting and being applied will afford instant relief. The burning property of the sting is dissipated by heat, enabling the young shoots of the Nettle, when boiled, to be eaten as a pot-herb. (1)
Its fiber is very similar to that of Hemp or Flax, and it was used for the same purposes, from making cloth of the finest texture down to the coarsest, such as sailcloth, sacking, cordage, etc. In the sixteenth and seventeenth century Nettle fibers were still used in Scotland for weaving the coarser household napery. After the Nettles had been cut, dried and steeped, the fiber was separated with instruments like those used in dressing flax or hemp, and then spun into yarn, used in manufacturing for every sort of cloth, cordage, etc. Green (Universal Herbal, 1832) says this yarn was particularly useful for making twine for fishing nets, the fiber of the Nettle being stronger than those of flax and not so harsh as those of hemps. When Germany and Austria ran short of cotton during the War, the value of the Nettle as a substitute was at once recognized, and the two ordinary species, U. dioica and U. urens, the great and the smaller Nettle, were specially selected for textiles. Among the many fibrous plants experimented with, the Nettle alone fulfilled all the conditions of a satisfactory source of textile fiber, and it was believed that it would become an important factor in agriculture and in the development of the textile industry. (1)
1. “Nettles.” A Modern Herbal | Nettles, https://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/n/nettle03.html.
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