|When you find one nettle you often find many others|
Stinging Nettle – A Great Gift of Nature
Discover the Many Outdoor uses of Nettle
“Gently touch a nettle and it’ll sting you for your pains
Grasp it as a lad of mettle and soft as silk remains”.
Sean O’Casey, Playwright.
The stinging nettle has a long history of usage by humankind – as far back as prehistoric times.
It’s hardly surprising there is a large body of folklore, as well as traditional uses, associated with the humble nettle.
Widely distributed, generally abundant, a source of medicine and nourishment as well as a source of natural cordage – the stinging nettle is of nature’s great gifts.
A plant well worth befriending…
“Nettle in, Dock out” – A belief that the leaves of dock plants (Rumex spp.), when crushed, will release a juice that provides relief for nettle stings.
“To Grasp the Nettle” – To force yourself to be brave and do something that is difficult or unpleasant.
To ‘Nettle’ Someone – To pique, irritate, vex or provoke.
Common name: Stinging Nettle
Identification: Upright, herbaceous plant with opposite, hairy, heart-shaped, toothed leaves. Green flowers in long, branched clusters springing from axils of leaves. Adapted for wind fertilization.
Scientific name: Urtica diocea (Genus name, Urtica, is derived from the latin, Uro, to burn)
Alternative names: Nettle, Greater Nettle, Common Nettle, Burn Weed, Burn Hazel, Burn Nettle.
Irish name: Neantog (pronounced Neean toag), (Scottish name: Deanntog).
Family group: Urticaceae (about 500 species worldwide, mostly tropical).
Distribution: Vast geographical range.
Stinging nettle is a tenacious coloniser of great swathes of the Northern Hemisphere and is abundant throughout Northern Europe, North America and much of Asia.