Botanical Name: Urtica Dioica
Folk Names: Ortiga Ancha, Stinging Nettle
Nettle, is a perennial herbaceous, native to Europe, Asia, northern Africa, and North America, and is best known as a member of the genus Urtica. It has several hollow stinging hairs called trichomes on its leaves and stems, which act like needles that inject histamine and other chemicals that produce a stinging sensation when in contact with humans and animals.
Nettles have been associated with death and burial customs. During the Bronze Age, burial cloths have been found that were woven of its fibers. In the highlands and the islands of Ireland, people believed that nettle grew from the bodies of the dead. The Welsh believed, if fresh Nettles were put under the pillow of a sick person and stayed green, the person would live, if they turned yellow, that person would die. In Denmark, people thought that nettles grew from the blood of innocent victims.
Element: Fire (Courage, Exorcism, Health, Lust, Protection, Strength)
Planet: Mars (Courage, Exorcism, Hex Breaking, Lust, Protection, Sexual Potency, Strength)
Powers: Consecration, Exorcism, Healing, Lust, Protection
Medicinal Uses: Stinging Nettle have been used for hundreds of years to treat painful muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis, gout, and anemia. Today, many people use it to treat urinary problems during the early stages of an enlarged prostate (called benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH), for urinary tract infections, for hay fever (allergic rhinitis), or in compresses or creams for treating joint pain, sprains and strains, tendonitis, and insect bites.
Magical Uses: Brooms made of Nettle are used to sweep out evil and send it back. To remove a curse and send it back, stuff a poppet with Nettle or carry it in a sachet. For healing power, pluck a Nettle up by it’s roots and recite the name of the sick person and his/her parents. Place Nettle leaves into pockets to be safe from lighting. If dry leaves are placed into shoes, it will keep evil from leading one to harmful places. Sprinkle Nettle around the house to keep evil out and send it back. To avoid avoid danger sprinkle in fire, it can also be carried on one’s hand to ward off ghosts.
Ritual Uses: To consecrate an Athame, plunge heated blade into an herbal bath with nettles. In the Kawaiisu tribe, children who wished to study witchcraft had to walk through Nettles as practice. It also played a major role in fishing magick, as it was once used for fishing nets. It would be a great herb for knot magic.
Other Uses: Seeds have been known to be be soaked in water for twenty minutes, then used for a final rinse after shampooing.
Warning: Stinging Nettle should not be used by pregnant women and should never be applied to an open wound.
- Paul Beyerl: A Compendium of Herbal Magick
- Scott Cunningham: Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of magical herbs
Note: Consult with a Physician or certified herbologist if you are seeking medical remedies. The information is not intended as medical advice. PagansWorld.org is not liable for the misuse of the herb listed above.
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