Last weekend I went to the farmers market and the nice man who gathers all sorts of goodies had bags full of nettles! Nice fresh nettles. So wonderful, so delicious, and so medicinally chock full of goodness! I bought a whole gallon bag full of the fresh stingy little things for $3 and brought it home. Can’t beat that!
I dehydrated some for tea for the year; as nettles are only medicinally useful before they flower so there is a very short season. Once the plant flowers it is linked to stomach upset and a lot of other fun stuff. I made spanakopita with nettles instead of spinach, and made an oil infusion of nettles in olive oil.
What am I going to do with my oil infusion? My daughter has eczema on her eyebrow that is very dry and scaly and it bleeds easily when she rubs her eyes. I have been looking for a treatment that has not involved harsh chemicals, preservatives, or petroleum products and have found very few treatments. After I got home with my bag-full-o-nettles I looked in my herbal guide and read that nettles used in a salve is an effective treatment for eczema.
So tomorrow I am going to the farmers market and getting some local bees wax. I am also going to have to get about 2-3 cups of chamomile so I can do an oil infusion with that. I will take the beeswax, coconut oil, nettle and chamomile oil infusions and combine them to make a salve to put on little miss’ eyebrow and see how it works!
What are nettles good for you ask? The whole herb is used to nourish the body. Externally it can act as an astringent and can stop bleeding, cleanse and heal wounds. As a tea or tincture it can help improve circulation, increase red blood cell count, promote milk production in nursing mothers and can be used to stop internal hemorrhage. It works well to heal UTI’s and bladder infections. It can help hamper the inflammatory effects related to allergies. “It is a specific for treating infantile eczema, especially in combination with chickweed.” (Natural Health by Nerys Purchon) For more detailed information check here: http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_nettle.htm
All in all this is an herb every mother (especially one with little nurslings) should have around the house! Tis the season! Go out and get some this weekend before it gets too hot and they are not harvestable!
I will post a follow up in about a week.
Until then happy herbing!