Plant Focus: Nettle
AKA: stinging nettle, sting weed
Scientific name: Urtica dioica
Planetary correspondence: Mars
Corresponding element: Fire
Description: A perennial plant with lance-shaped leaves. It produces green flowers with yellow stamens and can grow to a height of 5 feet.
Parts used: Leaves, root
Habitat: Found in temperate regions throughout the northern hemisphere, southern Africa, the Andes, and Australia. It is an extremely common plant in much of the US.
History & folklore: Well known for its painful sting, references for nettle have been recorded as far back as the 1st century AD when Dioscorides listed a number of uses for this common plant.
Medicinal uses: Nettle is most often employed as a cleansing and detoxifying herb. It works as a diuretic to increase urine production and eliminate waste and toxins from the body. The root is often used as a treatment for enlarge prostate and heavy menstruation. Due to their high iron content, the leaves can be used to improve anemia and can also help stimulate breast-milk production. The leaves also contain high levels of other nutrients making nettle an excellent tonic herb. Utilize nettle to clear the skin, improve eczema, slow or stop bleeding from nosebleeds and wounds, sooth insects bites, and assist with hay fever and asthma.
Magical & energetic uses: Nettle is used extensively for energetic protection. When suffering from illness whether physical or emotional, place the dried herb nearby to assist in recovery. Use nettle in rituals to clear away unproductive or negative energy and to clear the aura.