Urtica dioica (Stinging Nettle)
If you look past the prickly exterior, stinging nettle is a wonderful plant with nearly endless uses!
Common Name: Stinging nettle
Scientific Name: Urtica dioica
Plant Family: Urticaceae (Nettle Family)
Edible Parts: Nettle can be steeped into a delicious and nutritious tea, brewed into beer, cooked and eaten, added to soups and even turned into a pesto! The older leaves become gritty, so only eat the young leaves.
Medicinal Uses: Nettles helps with allergies and hay fever, as well as reproductive systems (PMS, menopause, fertility, prostate issues). It also can help increase energy with gout, rheumatism, anemia, exhaustion, menstrual difficulties, skin problems. One traditional method, which is still used, is to induce a nettle rash to relieve arthritis and swelling
Other Uses: Nettle can be made into fabric, paper or used as a compost activator.
**Nettle is safe to handle when dried, heated, or mashed, but be careful!!**
Meaning of Scientific Name: Urtica: stinging, dioica: male and female flowers are on separate plants
Designing with this Plant
USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-10
Forest garden layer: Herbaceous
Nettle can be propagated with its runners or as seeds, prefers semi-shade, and moist environments
Gladstar, Rosemary. (2012). Medicinal Herbs. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing.