• Julie Figgins

Urtica dioica ~ Stinging Nettle

I've been enjoying getting out into the beautiful trails around Ramsey lately. It's been fun to see that there are some similarities between the medicinal plants in the Isle of Man and the Pacific Northwest of the USA where I studied. Stinging nettles can sure be pesky if you run into them in the woods. My five-year-old just had a rude introduction when he fell into a pile of them on the hill behind Mooragh Park! Luckily, the welts were gone in just a day. Nettles are in the plant genus Urtica. Taken from this, the term urticaria was first used by Scottish physician William Cullen in 1769 to describe hives based on the classical presentation that follows the contact with stinging nettles. Urticaria is now the official medical diagnosis for hives from any source!

In spite of all of this, nettles are an excellent medicinal plant. They are classified as a nutritive as they are full of minerals. Additionally, I've seen great results for seasonal allergies with using a combination of nettles and quercetin. Finally, nettles have even shown some promise with chronic kidney disease, though more research is needed.

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