Wednesday, 10 November 2010

From Nettle Sting, to Nettle String....

Merry Meet Everyone!

Yesterday I was in the garden, tidying up and was just looking at the plants and herbs that are growing there. In the UK we are now solidly in Autumn (or fall) and before long, the perennial plants will be returning back to the Earth to sleep before next Spring.

On of these herbs that grow in my garden - or pretty much anywhere else for that matter - is The Stinging Nettle, and today I thought I would should you how you can utilise this plant :)


The Stinging Nettle's proper name is Urtica Dioica, but I like to call it by it's folk name, Beggar's Lice. Generally, we can use the fresh NEW leaves that grow on the plant for medicinal purposes - these taste the best!! BUT at this time of year, we can utilise what remains of the plant before it dissappears under the ground for winter!

  • Nettle is rich in Vitamin A and C, and is HIGHLY nutritious.
  • Will protect the gut from infection and irritation
  • Will relieve Diarrhoea and Flatulence
  • Works as an antihystmanie
  • Relieves Fluid Retention and Cystitis
  • Is an anti-inflammatory
  • Can also be used externally for stings and bites (INCLUDING Nettle stings!!!)
  • Beggar's Lice relates to Fire
  • Used in Protection, Healing, Lust, Spell Breaking and Confidence spells.
  • Also used to send spells back to their source!
As I said before, Medicinally, Beggar's Lice is best used in the spring and summer months because generally we use the new leaves, however, at the moment, we can still use the plant! At some point in my craft I will make Protection amulets, and so today I thought I would show you how to make string, yes STRING, from Nettles :)


OK, So first, you need to wear gloves for this craft!! As the name implies, The nettle will sting you and it's uncomfortable and itchy!!
Pluck some good sized nettle stalks from the ground. If you use short sharp upward motions, the root will snap in the ground, which means that the nettle will come back next year! YEY!

The absolute first thing that you should do is remove the 'sting' in the nettle. This can be done 3 different ways... firstly, you can cook it.. next you could dry it... or finally you can soak it in water. And that Is what I did. Just remove all of the leaves and youngest shoots (so you only have the thickest stems!) and then leave them to soak in water overnight!

In regards to the leaves, save them... although they arent really food grade because they are old, you can still dry them and use them externally..... i'll make a post soon :)

OK, overnight, the nettles SHOULD have lost most of their sting.. although as this picture shows (its not a great picture!) some stinging hairs do manage to survive! However, if you have any Lavender oil knocking about, and you do get stung, just rub a bit in, and hey presto! sting's gone!

Firstly, you need to lightly crush the stems with something hard, this loosens the fibers from the Woody 'pith' of the stem.

Next, split the stem in half, so effectively, one stem becomes two!

Now, keep snapping the woody part of the stem, and then peel the 'skin' away from the wood. The skin is the bit that you want because it contains the fibers which will make your string. I'm a big believer in giving back what you don't use, so make sure that you bury the woody part back in the garden, to return it to the Earth.

When you have your skin, twist it clockwise from both ends, keep twisting and eventually, you will end up with a piece of twine that looks like this!! When you have done this to all of your pieces, all you need to do now, is tie them all together and hang them up to dry!

Once again, I hope that I have made this as simple as possible for you! Tomorrow I will be looking at making new videos for ways in which you can use the Nettle Leaves so you dont waste any part!!

Until Next time though, Blessed Be x


  1. Excellent! I myself use the leaves in a very nourishing infusion, but I hope I'm not giving away your plans for a followup post. :)

  2. I recently got a batch of dried organic stinging nettle when I bought out an herbalist's stock. I've never worked with it before, so this post couldn't have come at a better time!

    Thank you so much!

    Oh, and I'm adding your button on to my blog list. What a great place it is!

  3. Hey guys!

    Maebius - I LOVE nettle Infusions, although the best leaves are the new shoots.... thankfully I thought ahead and stored LOTS for this year :)
    Oh, and the follow-up post is not tea related, so you're good :)

    MrsB - Stinging Nettle has soooo many uses you'll be spoilt for choice, I adore using it in external creams.... now THAT may be giving away follow up post plans! ;) Oh, and thanks for the kind words, means a lot :)

    Have a great day guys :)


  4. I shall be looking forward to those video's I really look forward to your posts. Hugs Sara

  5. You make things very easy to follow, Moon. I don't think we have this herb here, but i'll google and see what I can find. Loved how they must be twisted to dry.