Everyday Herbalism: Nettles for Allergies

IMG_6185
Margi’s Nettle plants

This Spring Margi had a great harvest of Nettles and with it she made Nettles solid extract.  Two large baskets of nettle leaves gathered prior to seeding. Garble, remove leaves with gloves. Simmer slightly covered in water, turning in new leaves as they wilt. Simmer for a few hours until it has cooked down and concentrated. Chop in food processor until leaves are like a paste. Add vegetable glycerine, about half the quantity of liquid. I store in the refrigerator.

Also consume Milk Thistle seeds dry roasted and ground, about a half teaspoon a day to find relief!  This combination is the best for treating seasonal allergies.

The pollen count has been record high this year and even people who have never experienced allergies before, are now suffering through the symptoms: watery or itchy eyes, sneezing, congestion & a runny nose.

Margi has even found that other air born allergies, like pet allergies, can be helped with Nettles and Milk Thistle.  Goldenrod leaf and flower is also great in drop doses for cat allergies says (and he is right) Matthew Wood.

The Nettles solid extract is the best form in which to take for relief, it’s made with vegetable glycerine so it’s sweet, and it is super concentrated so an adult only needs to take 1/8th to 1/4th of a teaspoon 2-3 times a day.  4oz will last you the whole season with sweet relief from all your allergy woes.  Best if started a few weeks prior to allergy blooms.

IMG_6181
Margi’s giant basket

Two HUGE baskets full of Nettles were condensed down to only 3 quarts of solid extract.

Whats also great about Nettles is there are no contraindications, so anyone can take it, and in a smaller dosage it’s fine for children too.

If you go to harvest your own Nettle watch out!  There are tiny hairs on the stinging nettles that contain formic acid, which will sting you and produces a tingling sensation and usually a welt.  It’s this formic acid that we believe, stops the allergic reaction in it’s tracks. Or it is simply magic.

Plantain leaf is also great on an herb walk- just reach down, ask for a leaf and chew it- symptoms gone.

Urtica dioica from Thomé, Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885
Urtica dioica from Thomé, Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885

Here are some other thoughts on Nettles:

Ruled by the planet Mars and the zodiac sign of Aries

“Good to help get in touch with your fiery energy.”

“Drink an infusion daily to break free of stagnant emotional states and to contact the warrior within.”

“Protection against negativity.” quotes from Herbal Healers by Glennie Kindred

“Nettles have been employed as a spiritual talisman in which it was sprinkled around the house to ward off evil or carried in a sachet in order to ‘remove a curse and send it back’” – Mountain Rose Herbs

 

Everyday Herbalism: Margi’s Natural Tick Repellant

Back in May, Margi visited iFarm Boxford to lead a fun, herb walk and forage for lunch.

Below is the little write up by Nick Shrewsbury, from that class and her tips for an all natural tick repellant.

Margi will be back at iFarm Boxford teaching a class on herbal tinctures and infused oils on July 24th

for more information on that  Click Here.

MARGI FLINT’S NATURAL TICK REPELLANT

20 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil

20 drops of Atlas Cedar Essential Oil

.5 oz jojoba oil (or other carrier oil like olive oil)

1oz white vinegar

1 oz Aloe Juice

Instructions: Mix the oils together first. Then add all other ingredients. Place the solution in an atomizer to create a spray. Spray liberally on clothes or pets (cats may not like the smell).  Make sure you shake vigorously before each use.

Avoid the eyes, safe for use on children 2 and up, do not ingest.

***Almost all essential oils are too potent for direct application to the skin. They should be diluted 10-15 drops essential oil to 1 ounce carrier oils. Exceptions to this rule are Lavender, Rose and Tea Tree Essential Oils.***

 

Herbs and Health: Advice from a Master Herbalist