Nettle originates from Eurasia, but is now distributed in most of the colder, moist climates. This perennial herb grows to about a metre tall. Other than the strongly serrated leaves, the most striking feature is the fine, brittle hairs covering the leaves and stems.
To make your own, use about 80g of either leaf or cleaned root to a litre of boiling water. In the case of leaves this amounts to about 4 cups. Allow to cool, strain off the leaves and drink the watery tea. Note that roots and leaves have different effects. According to folklore, half a cup of this infusion should be drunk 2 to 3 times per week for preventative purposes, or the same amount daily for treatment purposes. Long term use is not recommended.
Growing your own
Stinging nettle grows like a weed and will not be confined to a particular spot. It is recommended that it be grown in pots to prevent unwanted expansion. Seeds are not easy to obtain, but it grows well from rootstock. It grows best in moist shady areas.
Anti-inflammatory: opposing the pain, heat, redness and swelling produced by the body’s immune reaction to injury or foreign objects.