After a lengthy hiatus I am finally back to the Pagan Blog Project and this week I am writing about Nettle. An amazing herb full of power and potential, Nettle can be eaten, brewed into a tea (or wine or beer!), used for protection and so much more!
Common Folk Names: Stinging Nettle, Common Stinging Nettle, Ortiga Ancha, Devil’s Apron, Devil’s Leaf
Botanical Name: Urtica dioica
Powers: Exorcism, Protection, Healing, Lust
Gemstone: Ruby or Fire Opal
Some Associated Deities: Thor, Pluto, Hades, Horus, Osiris, Vulcan, Yama
Habitat: Nettle grows all over the world in moist, shady places as well as in gardens, along fences, walls and roadsides. It is a bristly plant growing from 2 to 7 feet high with pointed leaves and small greenish flowers which bloom from July to September.
While you can easily grow nettle yourself it will quickly take over an area so it is probably easier to purchase it from a local herbal store or if you must grow your own, grow it in a large pot to keep it from invading the entire yard!
Medicinal Properties: Histamine, astringent and diuretic. Nettle has been used to treat gout, painful joints, anemia, urinary tract problems, hay fever, insect bites, as an expectorant, a laxative and more.
Nettle is high in iron, vitamins A and C and also rich in protein which is one of the reason they are used to treat anemia. Nettle can be used to make wine or beer as well as many different food items.
Nettle can be used to make a hair rinse which will leave hair super shiny and strong without stripping the natural oils from the hair. It restores color as well as the health if the scalp.
Before flax, Nettle was used to make thread, yarn and cloth; Nettle is supposed to be stronger than flax and resemble hemp in appearance.
Magically Nettle is used to ward of ghosts and spirits, keep evil out of the home and facilitate a quick recovery. Brooms made of Nettles are used to sweep evil out of an area. To keep evil out of the home, sprinkle Nettle around the house and to ward off ghosts, carry nettle in your hand. To help a sick person’s recovery place a bowl of freshly cut nettle under their bed. To keep negativity away wear Nettle in an amulet and to remove a curse and send it back stuff a poppet with nettle or carry nettle in a sachet. To consecrate an Athame, heat the blade and then put it into an herbal bath made of nettles.
According to Scott Cunningham, Mexican spiritualists recommend Nettle in purification baths because it is “more carnivorous” that other herbs and will work more efficiently.
Interesting Nettle Lore: According to Maurice Zigmond in his book Kawaiisu Ethnobotany, children of the Kawaiisu tribe of Southern California who wanted to study witchcraft had to walk through nettles in preparation for the practice (of witchcraft). (The first areas of study that I was passionate about, which I explored in depth while attending Arizona State, were Archaeology and Native American studies so the above lore was one more reason for me to write about Nettle).
Scott Cunningham: Encyclopedia of magical Herbs
Maurice Zigmond: Kawaiisu Ethnobotany
http://www.merciangathering.com/nettle.htm (recipes for Nettle Wine and Beer are here)