Nettle is magical, edible, and medicinal, with a long history of treating allergies, especially hay fever, boosting the immune system and metabolic functions, and helping to flush the kidneys and bladder. It is native to Africa and West Asia.
And despite their long and respected history as a food, medicine, and even fabric making (In China, there is an ancient art of using nettle to make hand-woven fabrics that date back as far as the fifteenth dynasty.), they sting…
One variety found in India can irritate and burn the skin for days! Days?!!
Nettle’s sting is an evolutionary response to deter herbivores from eating it. It contains long, thin, hollow hairs that cover the majority of the stem and the undersides of the leaves.
These hairs are prickly and contain formic acid, histamine, and other chemicals that can irritate the skin. If the hairs are not removed from the skin upon contact they can continue to cause severe irritation and burning for very long periods of time.
Cooking, drying, and crushing the leaves will disable the stinging.
You can always effectively cure and ease the sting by rubbing the afflicted area with rosemary, mint, or sage leaves.
Find out more about Nettle (Xun Ma) magic as well as how to use it as a medicine or food.