Stinging Nettle – Anti-Allergy Herb


If you suffer from seasonal allergies every spring or fall, fear not! Mother Nature offers a number of herbal remedies to help ease our sniffles and sneezes. I will be writing about some of these options this month.

When I think about anti-allergy herbs, Stinging Nettle (Urtica Dioica) immediately comes to mind. A delicious infusion… or tisane, Nettle tea is a mainstay of traditional herbalism. I did a personal survey once, 8 or 9 years ago, at a huge herbal conference in New England, asking 20-30 herbalists, “what is your favourite herb?”. It was unanimous ~ Stinging Nettle!

Why ?
Well, all of the reasons would create a very long post.

Here are some of the highlights of the story of our dear missy Nettle, one of nature’s greatest gifts:
Actions:
Astringent
anti-allergy
anti-anemic
anti-inflammatory
diuretic, laxative
expectorant
kidney tonic
general tonic
nutritive

Nettle is an excellent source of minerals, Vitamins A, C, E, as well as Iron and Calcium.
We use Nettle as a kidney supportive herb and with kidney disease.
It is a powerful remedy in cases of arthritis or anemia, or in cases of rheumatic diseases.

It’s easy. It’s a centuries-old remedy for people who want to reduce or clear allergic reactions. Nettle is not a ‘cure all’ but I will say that I have lost count of the number of clients, friends and family members who have enjoyed improved health from drinking a gentle herbal tea made with dried nettle herb ‘solo’ or in a nourishing herbal blend.It is a safe diuretic; does not disturb electrolyte balance as it relieves edema.
Personally, the first thing I think of for Nettle, in addition to the highly nutritive qualities, is the ability to soothe and heal allergic conditions. The ‘therapeutic dose’ (suggested dose to create a good result) is 3 cups of Nettle infusion/tea per day. It’s a pleasant, green taste on its own, but I sometimes mix it with milky oat tops, lemon balm or lemon verbena or spearmint to create a more aromatic drink.

I generally recommend that people purchase the best quality herbs that they can find  and teach them to make this ‘daily’ amount every morning in a litre or quart Mason jar with lid or a “French Press” (picture below, e.g. made by Bodum). Exact measurements are not necessary when using supportive, nutritive herbs but a guideline can be helpful, I realize.
For ONE litre/quart of therapeutic herbal tea, use 4-6 tablespoons of dried herb (or 8-10 tablespoons of fresh herb)

Nettle Tea aka Nettle tisane or Nettle Infusion

Place herbs in the jar.
Fill the jar to the top with boiling water.
Immediately cover with lid.
Allow to steep for at least 10-15 minutes.
Strain and enjoy.

Some herbalists use a ‘long infusion’ method when wanting to extract maximum ‘goodness’ from
Nettle. In this case, we allow the infusion to steep for a minimum of 4 hours ~ or even overnight.
It is believed that with ‘long infusing’, Nettle releases the highest concentration of  minerals.

This is a “French Press” as it’s commonly called, containing Stinging Nettle leaves, Milky oat seeds, Hibiscus flowers.
This nutritious, anti-allergy tisane tastes great. My 10 year old niece, has experienced notably reduce allergy symptoms since enjoying this tea daily. It’s best taken just before the allergy season begins but we didn’t! After only a week, she noticed a substantial improvement.

 

*This is not medical advice,
of course. This is one example many —
re Nettles’ ability to heal or improve; nourish us.

The story of Stinging Nettle is long & rich; a winding road of centuries of healing. We use this beloved green ally for such a wide variety of imbalances. Noted anti-allergy herb as you know, but She is an amazing kidney and adrenal support, respiratory and digestive restorative. ANYONE living in the ‘western world’ can benefit from her gifts.

We cook with Nettle; soups, stews, saute, quiches, smoothies!
We can make nourishing hair tonics; rinses. Skin tonics.
We use the leaves, stems, seeds and roots.

Early SPRING is THE time for nettles but ANYTIME is a great time for her healing gifts.
ADD more Stinging Nettle herb to YOUR life ~ Your body will thank you!

 

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2 Comments

  • if you have been tested for allergens, and nettle is one you are sensitive to, is stinging nettle the same, or a different plant altogether? My allergist says different plant. So I could take a product with stinging nettle to help relieve sinus symptoms. I’m not so sure about this. Your article doesn’t say anything about this.

    • Hello Gail.
      I cannot assume to know but nettle is nettle/stinging nettle, in my opinion and the same plant.
      Ask the allergist for the latin names of the plants you are allergic to.

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