The Nettle – A right of passage


Growing up in the countryside, it was almost a right of passage to be able to take a sting from a nettle and not complain. They were your enemy and your flailing cattle stick was useful to slice them down. 

Common Name: Common Nettle
Scientific Name: Urtica dioica
Irish Name: Neantóg
Family Group: Urticaceae

The spicules of the nettle not only irritate the skin but they also attack by the use of chemical warfare sending histamine, serotonin, and choline, among other chemicals, towards us mere humans. It has little toothed leaves and small flowers which appear between June and September – these are pollinated by the wind.  

Nettles are supposed to have medicinal benefits which considering the chemicals that they store might be believable. Though they themselves require the existence of a natural medicine to fix the pain them bring themselves. As kids we used dock leaves by rubbing them against the area of irritation. 



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