Spring has finally arrived, which means we can expect hormonal weather, leaves back on the trees, flowers blooming, and of course the one aspect we all dread: allergies. This time of year we are plagued with airborne allergies! Pollen is falling from the trees, grasses, flowers, and every other plant and covering everything in yellow. This can put a real damper on your health during days where the sun pops out to show its pretty face. Lucky for us, nature provides just what we need in order to combat the elements around us that are making us sick, nettles!
Let me tell you a little story about my own health issues with pollen. I remember being 4 years old and playing in the grass during one of my brothers’ baseball games. I was rolling around in the buttercups when all of a sudden my eyes started to itch really badly. Naturally I itched them. But then I couldn’t stop itching them, and next thing I knew, my eyes were so swollen I couldn’t see. My mom ended up rushing me to the hospital where they determined I had an allergic reaction to the pollen, and that it was probably just a seasonal ordeal. After that, every year around Spring time I would start loading up on Claritin to keep my symptoms down. As the older I got, the less these allergy medicines worked on me, and I found myself taking stronger and stronger doses. Soon, Spring became my least favorite season of the year.
About three years ago, someone had mentioned to me the healing powers of a local “weed”: Nettles. They had heard that nettles supposedly helped with allergies, and pushed me to try them. So I went out and collected some fresh nettles, and created an infusion out of what I picked. The next day, when my allergy symptoms started to kick in, I took a shot of the infusion. Within minutes, my symptoms were gone! At first I was in disbelief, and waited around for the “placebo effect” to wear off. It never did. I went an entire day in the heart of pollen season with absolutely no symptoms! The next day when I woke up, I took another shot, and once again had no symptoms. After 2 full weeks, all my allergy reactions stopped happening, and I no longer needed the nettles!
Ever since, whenever Spring comes around, I will make my infusion as a “just in case I get symptoms”, however with having a clean diet and making sure my gut health is optimal, I haven’t had any issues. It is amazing how the correct diet and supplement/herbal plan can erase 18 years of illness! Now let’s dig into some interesting info about nettles!
Stinging Nettles are overall one of my favorite herbs because of its many properties. Hundreds of years ago, some cultures actually used nettles as a fabric, rope, and fishing nets. Other cultures used it to help stop internal and external bleeding. It is also a great blood purifier, helps to remove toxins, mucus congestion, and skin irritations (even though it can cause irritation when still alive). Some doctors in history even used nettles as an anesthesia before surgery due to its ability to sting and numb an area.
From a nutritional standpoint, nettles are a powerhouse source of vitamins and minerals. The herb contains Vitamins A, C, E, F, K, and P. It also contains many of the B vitamins including high levels of B1, B2, B3, and B6. If you are looking for a plant that has lots of zinc, iron, magnesium, copper, or selenium, this is the plant for you! Finally, this plant contains 16 different amino acids. You can definitely consider this plant natures “Multivitamin”!
With all of these amazing properties, it is no wonder that nettles has been used to help alleviate symptoms of many different illnesses! I have been using nettles with quite a few clients to help with their pollen allergies, and we have seen it help tremendously with grass, flower, and some tree pollen allergies. If your symptoms arise strictly from tree pollen, this may not be the only herb to help alleviate your allergies.
You can check out our own wildcrafted Nettle Tinctures!