Wise Woman Ezine with herbalist Susun Weed
June 2006
Volume 6 Number 6


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Grandmother Speaks...
Nettles (Urtica dioica) -
classic spring tonic 
by Ellen Evert Hopman

Nettles (Urtica dioica) - classic spring tonic
by Ellen Evert Hopman

Nettles are perennial plants found all over the world. They have opposite, heart shaped leaves with saw toothed edges. The leaves have tiny hairs covered with an irritating acid that produces a stinging rash when handled.The acid washes off easily in cold water and is harmless to the skin, even if painful.The leaves are gathered just before the plant begins to flower. You will definitely want to wear gloves when gathering this plant.

Ancient people used Urtica dioica,the Latin name for nettles, in the making of cloth.They also used it to slap a paralyzed limb because the stinging hairs of the plant increase blood circulation on the parts that are struck.Anglo-Saxon herbalists of the tenth centuryused it to counteract poisons and the bites of dogs and of bats. The seeds and flowers were taken in wine for fever and chill.

Nettle leaf tea is a classic spring tonic. It stimulates the kidneys, cures diarrhea, stops internal bleeding, cleans the blood, and is an important source of iron, calcium, and vitamin C making it valuable in anemia.Nettle tea has been used to treat asthma,wheezing, and shortness of breath.The tea is also diuretic and has been used for cystitis and high blood pressure. To make the tea steep two teaspoons of nettle leaves in a cup of boiled water for about ten minutes. The dose is 1/4 cup four times a day, not with meals.

The decoction of the root is useful for diarrhea and dysentery and can also be used as a scalp wash to stimulate hair growth. It is used as an external wash for old wounds, itching conditions and for gangrene. To prepare the root, chop it and simmer about two teaspoons per cup of water for twenty minutes in a non aluminum pot with a tight fitting lid. Take about 1/4 four times a day.

The fresh juice of nettles can be taken toPaintings by Wendy L. Wilkerson improve digestion and to increase milk flow in nursing mothers.The dose is one teaspoon in a glass of water, three times a day. It can also be rubbed into the scalp to stimulate hair growth.

Nettles can be added to soups and quiches, the older plants must be cooked thoroughly but the young plants gathered in spring can be eaten fresh in salads. Add nettles to winter time teas to increase circulation and to warm the body.

Recent studies have shown that nettles are an effective antihistamine when taken for seasonal allergies and that they are also anti-inflamatory for arthritis.

Ellen Evert Hopman
Email: Saille333@mindspring.com
Website: http://www.elleneverthopman.com/
Snailmail: PO Box 219, Amherst, MA 01004 U.S.A.

This webpage is copyright © 1999 c.e., Ellen Evert Hopman
All articles on this web page are copyrighted material.
None of my words or ideas may be reproduced in electronic,
printed or other format with out my written permission.


Healing Wise

by Susun S. Weed
Introduction by Jean Houston.
Superb herbal in the feminine-intuitive mode. Complete instructions for using common plants for food, beauty, medicine, and longevity. Seven herbs -- burdock, chickweed, dandelion, nettle, oatstraw, seaweed, and violet -- are explored in depth.
A Special Tenth Anniversary edition of this classic herbal, profusely illustrated. 312 pages.


Retails for $17.95
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I just started reading your book, Healing Wise. Your humor and approach to life seem so "down-to-earth", just like your favorite powerful weeds. Thank you for sharing and nourishing! ~ Diane


Healing Magic: A Green Witch Guidebook

by Robin Rose Bennett
Follow the path to physical and spiritual health with this how-to manual filled with ancient lore and wisdom. Using stories, songs, rituals, recipes, meditations, and trance journeys, it suggests more than 100 ways to practice the art of magical healing. Find out how to reconnect with the earth and draw on its energy, interact with the power of the seven chakras, make use of moon magic and women's wisdom, prepare herbal infusions and baths, work with the medicine wheel, and cast spells for love and wealth. No matter what your beliefs, this guidebook will open your heart and mind to the joys of everyday life.

Price: $14.95 plus shipping

Other articles by Robin Rose Bennett
An Herbalists Notebook part 1
An Herbalists Notebook part 2

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Robin has been practicing Earth Spirit healing, herbalism and Wise Woman ways for twenty years and is an incredibly gifted spiritual teacher, healer and ceremonialist. Robin's powerful teachings come to the reader through a personal writing style that is immediately engaging, sharing practical wisdom through anecdote and example.”
Jen Prosser, Sunstone Herbs


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