Stinging Nettle Leaf Urtica dioica
Nettles Leaf. Urtica dioica. Also known as Stinging Nettle. Uses include tonic; highly nutritive; for anemia, skin disorders and allergies; restores health; expectorant; stops bleeding; removes spells/curses; protection; exorcism. Widely known for its sting, the leaves of nettles, or Urtica dioica, are covered with dozens of hairs. While most of the hairs don't' sting, some cling to the skin and inject chemicals that cause an itching, burning sensation that can last anywhere from minutes to weeks. Despite this, nettles have long been held to be a potent, curative, and indeed it finds mention as one of the plants evoked in the 10th century "Nine Charm" which is said to protect from poison and illness. Within such mystical lore, it was also said that nettles were able to remove curses and spells, and otherwise protect from magic. Some also used nettles during exorcism rituals. They were also sometimes applied directly to the skin to intentionally induce the sting as a method of temporarily easing the pain of rheumatism, and it was also used of old in Germany for the treatment of Arthritis. In more modern use, it has been found in dandruff control shampoos, and is sometimes given to cattle with their feed to give them a glossier coat. Some people also use nettles in culinary practices, where it soaked to remove the stinging chemicals. It is said that when prepared in this way, it provides a taste similar to spinach.
Among herbal lore it was also known as a remedy for stopping bleeding. Modern herbalists also use it in treating arthritis, anemia and hay fever. Some herbalists say that nettles can be of aid in treating kidney problems and pain. Some also put it to use in treating skin disorders, as well as coughs as it has demonstrated some expectorant qualities. Studies have shown as well that the extract from nettles being can be used in the treatment of prostate enlargement.