Are you interested in doctoring yourself?
Many of us who take an active role in our own health often desire to build our own natural medicine chest for minor and even advanced ailments, like taking elderberry tincture to stop a cold or flu, catnip and fennel tea for a colicy baby, or turmeric in place of Prozac or Ibuprofen. You can do any of these in the form of an herbal medicinal tincture.
It is an amazing herb and one of my favorites!
Nettles for Allergies & Hay Fever
Stinging nettles block histamine production by inactivating the H1 receptor. The same study also showed nettles modulate the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and prostaglandins. They can also block proinflammatory COX-1 and COX-2 production.
The ancient Greeks knew nettles relieved symptoms of hay fever and allergies such as runny nose and congestion.
Nettles also decrease Arthritis Inflammation & Pain
One recent study looked at pain relief in individuals with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee and found significant reduction in NSAID use. In other research, stinging nettle reduced levels of multiple inflammatory hormones (1)(2). Early Egyptians used nettle infusions for arthritis pain.
Unlike OTC antihistamines, stinging nettles do not cross the blood brain barrier, so there is no drowsiness or other nasty side effects.
Nettles are also know to work well for (source):
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and urinary Issues
If you can’t forage nettles locally, this is a good source of organic dried nettles.
What you’ll need to make Stinging Nettle Tincture
- Stinging Nettle, fresh or dried herb
- High-proof vodka (at least 80 proof) or brandy
- Gloves powder-free
- A canning jar with a tight-fitting lid
- A fine strainer, fine cheesecloth, or large coffee filter
- A bowl or glass measuring cup with a spout
- A small funnel
- Amber tincture bottles (with a glass dropper) for storing the tinctures
Making Stinging Nettles Tincture
- First step to creating this tincture is to gather your herbs. You can harvest nettles with gloves or purchase them dried.
- Nettles are often found growing abundantly in the wild throughout North America, but make sure to ID what you are harvesting first. Make sure it’s a no-spray area.
- Pick before the little flowers appear in midsummer.
- If you are working with fresh nettles, I recommend wearing gloves and clothing to cover your skin to prevent the sting that itches and tingles for 4-6 hours.
- Rinse well with cool water to remove dust, but do not use any soap
- Chop/cut the fresh nettle tops and leaves small to increase surface area during the vodka extraction process
- For fresh nettles, fill your Mason jar 3/4 full and cover to 1″ from the top with alcohol
- When using dried nettles, fill your jar 1/2 way and then cover to 1″ from the top
- Cap tightly. Label your jar.
- Shake the jar every day out of the sunlight and store in a cool dark cabinet. As the mixtures sits, it macerates (extracts) the nettles’ medicinal properties.
Bottling your Tincture & Storage
- After ~6 weeks, you can bottle your tincture. Don’t worry too much about the time —it’s ready as early as 4 weeks, but if you want a stronger product wait a little longer.
- Pour off the tincture liquid into the large coffee filter or cheesecloth set over a strainer on the top of the large measuring cup.
- Drain out the tincture while separating the spent herb. Squeeze out any remaining tincture from the herb.
- Using a small funnel, fill your amber tincture bottles and cap with the glass medicine dropper.
- Label and date.
- Store in a cool dark place.
- Vodka (80 proof/40%) tincture has an unlimited shelf life.
Dosage for Stinging Nettle Tincture:
Put 20-25 drops in a small amount of water and take 2 times daily of the herb. (source)
No worries if you can’t forage local nettles. This is a good source of organic dried nettles. Pure Synergy and Lucidia are antihistamine capsules specifically for seasonal allergies. Both are safe in pregnancy and while breastfeeding!
Using Dried Nettles as an Infusion (tea):
Pour one cup near-boiling water over 1-2 tablespoons dried herb and steep for 10-20 minutes or until desired temperature. Drink 1-3 cups daily. (source)
If I’m in a hurry, I just slowly chew a pinch of dried nettles to extract its properties 2-3 times a day when I’m heading outside to work in the yard or pollen is high. I also find relief when I go on a car trip where I’ve regularly suffered congestion.
“Native American women thought nettle tea during pregnancy strengthened the unborn child and eased delivery. “ ~Herb Lore