I recently traveled out of the country and spent time in a remote area of an island in Greece. When I packed for my trip I brought my minerals and my food based multiple vitamins, some arnica and grape fruit seed extract. I thought I was covered because basically I am a healthy woman. My naïveté was faced with a reality check when I failed to consider much of the bacteria in that part of the world was not on friendly terms with my flora. This was blatantly revealed after I moved to an even more remote area the second week I was there.
I woke up with those undeniable symptoms and I knew I had the beginnings of a urinary tract infection. I am pretty sure it was from bathing with the local water. My first tip off should have been the smell of the water coming out of the shower.
I took the long bus ride into town to look for some natural remedies. There was no such place, but I did discover a vegetarian deli and restaurant run by a German woman who along with her partner had an organic farm and she sold a few jars of dried herbs and among them was a jar of nettles. Somewhere in my mind’s recesses was the information that nettles had been used successfully to treat urinary tract infection. I brought the nettles back to my studio and put them in a jar with some bottled water and set it in the lovely Mediterranean sun. Voila, in a few hours I had nettle tea. I drank this tea every day throughout the day and it worked to abate the symptoms for the duration of my trip. I kept taking my immune support but soon ran out of that so I relied totally on the nettle tea.
I did not bring my computer and besides there was no internet where I stayed so I could not have known for sure all the amazing properties of nettles. I do know that the nettle tea was a life saver when I needed it and I will continue drinking nettle tea for the myriad health benefits.
This lovely plant grows near water in both sun and shade. The nettle or ‘stinging nettle has tiny hairs on the underside of the leaf that have minute saw-like teeth or prickly hairs that produce an irritating substance containing histamine and formic acid and the sting can be felt acutely. You need gloves to gather it fresh.
Nettles (Urticaria dioica) are a dark, rich green color revealing its extremely high iron and chlorophyll content. It is also very high in the minerals calcium, magnesium, silicon, sulphur, copper, chromium, zinc, cobalt, potassium and phosphorus. Nettles also contain high amounts of vitamins A, C, D, E, and K as well as riboflavin and thiamine. The common stinging nettle is one of the most valuable medicinal plants in the entire plant kingdom. The Europeans have used this plant for its medicinal properties for centuries.
This wonderful inexpensive gift of nature is a remedy for many ailments and according to Jethro Klauss, it will even restore color to your hair. Think nettle next time you want to expel phlegm from your lungs, clean out your urinary canal, purify your blood or quell nerve pain. In fact it is a great everyday tonic for us all.
Read: Back to Eden by Jethro Kloss, 2nd Edition, 1988 printing.