stinging nettle

kitteh(6 ohio)February 27, 2014

My baby nettle is big enough to sting me.

How many stings does one implement for sciatica and such ?

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nettles can be used with good effect as a counter irritant on the surface of the skin...this increases blood flow there which usually improves conditions in the area. just brushing or slapping the area with the nettles a few times will often give good results.

not sure this technique would be useful for sciatica, it's a deep to the body disharmony, you could certainly try it and see. if you try it let us know what you find out!

and be extra nice to your liver, sciatica is ultimately a liver issue. daily dandelion root tea would be a nice thing to do for sciatica

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 12:37PM
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kitteh(6 ohio)

My sciatica is from herniated discs, I read that nettles poison is what helps with sciatica / arthritis - I'm guessing kinda like bee stings. I know a lot of people with arthritis too that doesn't get relief from pills. It'd be great if a few slaps of nettle could help. For sciatica there is therapy with electricity that messes up the pain signals or something, I was curious if this works kinda that way. Most of the info in books is about eating the nettles. Can't find if it really helps with more than pain to heal the problems, I'll mess around with it though.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 5:09PM
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Stinging nettle traditionally has been used for pain - and it looks like the mechanism of action has to do with anti-inflammatory compounds in the herb.

Sciatica is a more complicated situation, since pain is not generally related to inflammation, but is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve (commonly from degenerative disc disease, skeletal problem, pressure from another source or in some cases diabetes (sciatica has nothing to do with the liver).

It probably wouldn't hurt (well, not a lot anyway) to try applications of nettle, but heat/cold treatments and stretching exercises would likely be more effective non-drug remedies than nettle.

Nettle is a healthy pot-herb when prepared right.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 5:29PM
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kitteh(6 ohio)

The link is basically saying to eat it. But the poison is what I read helps when it is put over the skin. It loses the poison if it is dried or cooked.

For my sciatica pills that help reduce inflammation just about were all that ever worked decently even though it doesn't cure it, prescription pain relief drugs never did it alone, heat / cold only helps for a few hours. licorice root was a good remedy for moderate pain that responded to steroids but it took a few days to work and missing more than one day it stopped.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 8:35PM
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i say the liver is the root issue because the liver controls the health of connective tissue...bones (including disks), cartilage, ligaments, tendons and fasciam, even blood, are all considered to be connective tissue. when liver function is compromised long term the connective tissue weakens. herniated disks are a sure sign your connective tissue is in trouble.

emphasize heavy mineralization and anti inflammatory actions (two of the main benefits of nettle herb) and use bone broth daily, a cup or more per day would not be too much. the use of bone broth corresponds to the traditional wisdom that 'like supports like'.

muscular tightness in the pelvic girdle and legs should be considered too...appropriate bodywork from an experienced practitioner can help a lot.

magnesium supplementation can also be useful (avoid the oxide form and use higher doses than rda's which are recommendations that prevent gross deficiency only).

a couple cups daily of golden milk can be super helpful as well for nourishing connective tissues and quelling inflammation. good luck!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 2:14PM
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The liver does a lot of things (filters blood/removes waste products, produces clotting factors, makes bile for digestion etc.) but controlling the health of connective tissue is not among them.

Some strains of herbalism ascribe just about every bodily function/malfunction to the liver (Charlie the "herb doctor" was convinced of this). Maybe these misapprehensions arise because of the liver's sheer size (it's the biggest solid organ in the body).

Such views become problematic when people overlook the true causes of disease (the major cause of sciatica is lower back herniated/prolapsed discs caused by wear and tear, which cause pressure on the sciatic nerve) and attempt to treat the liver instead. While it is good at eliminating toxins from the body, the liver is also susceptible to damage from many herbs and prescription drugs (the best thing you can do for it is to lay off unnecessary drugs/herbs/supplements and excess alcohol).

It should also be mentioned that commonly sciatica eases or goes away on its own* (whatever treatment was given gets the credit); however physical therapy and proper back exercises have been shown to be genuinely helpful.

*my own experience.

Here is a link that might be useful: causes/treatment of sciatica

This post was edited by eric_oh on Mon, Mar 3, 14 at 9:02

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 9:00AM
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thank you eric for perfectly demonstrating the reductionist thinking of the american medical profession. what a handicap to be so limited in one's understanding! reading his words above (and knowing there are many more like him out there) it's easy to see why we have the most expensive healthcare on the planet and yet one of the sickest populations on the planet. very sad cuz it doesn't have to be this way. many medical docs are open to other ways of knowing, find one of those if you need a doc. took me awhile to find him but i personally love the approach my doctor takes.

i have nothing personal against eric or any medical doctor, its their poor training, overbearing arrogance and resistance to thinking outside the box that concern me.

i've treated connective tissue disorders via the liver for years with great success. it's not magic or a trade secret....ask any TCM trained herbalist or doctor and they will relate the same experience. just because a person is clueless about a thing doesn't mean it isn't real. i don't know much about outer space but know thru the experience and teachings of others + empirical proof that it exists and something about how it works.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 10:36AM
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There is nothing "reductionist" about understanding human anatomy and physiology. In fact, it's essential for any practitioner (physician, herbalist etc.) who wants to have a rational basis for their practice.

Mystical "other ways of knowing" are part of the colorful history of medicine, along with the doctrine of signatures, the four humors as the cause of all disease, harsh purging regimens et cetera. Evidence-based herbalists have advanced way beyond those mistaken beliefs, and are happy to work with mainstream medical practitioners (complementary medicine) instead of denouncing them.

And even if one buys into how awful the medical system supposedly is in the U.S. (despite life spans much higher than in places which depend on "other ways of knowing"), it still doesn't make sense to attempt to treat the liver for a pain in your leg.

This post was edited by eric_oh on Tue, Mar 4, 14 at 11:00

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 10:46AM
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Natures_Nature(5 OH)


Sorry, i've been busy.. I also been worried about you.. How you doing? When i was leaving my buddies house, jumping on the highway, the factory bordering the highway let off a big plum of pollution, my car was almost ate by it.. I didn't notice it during daytime, it's the dark sky that contrasts with the white smoke.

My mother has artifical hips, knees, and shoulders. She was the first person to have a cement-less hip! The doctors kept her sedated on drugs, she also got sick on them(the new pills have harmful dyes in them, just like the carcinogenic food coloring they use now a days in every processed product).. Anyways, long story short, we were walking through a park, and found stinging nettle(this was when i first started foraging, didn't know too much). So i went and picked some nettle, instantly as soon as i touched it, it stung me, i jumped back like a pansy in shock.. My hand was tingling/numb the whole walk back, it was a strange feeling driving, almost like needles, fiberglass in the hands(it goes away in a few hours, you get used to it, the pain wont last long if you do it regularly). I got home and my hands felt so loose and, well, they just felt good. So the next walk, I took a few inches of top growth, cut that off, hold the stem, and rub softly on my moms neck/back(like Kalia said, you just need a few up and down motions, that will stong you a good dozen times). Ever since then, she swears by it, she says it does better than her pain pill. I was amazed, i thought it would do something(even just numb it temporarily like a bee sting), but the stinging nettle did much more. My mom would much rather take the stinging nettle than get sick on the harmful dyes in our "medicine", or the tylenol in it. Why the hell put fillers in medicine? That's a red flag right there.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 12:38PM
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kitteh(6 ohio)

My nettle I think is too little, I got three little stings that only kinda hurt / itched, then the plant started to droop. I'll need to let it grow more.

I might know of a wild plant, I was crawling around under a maze-like bush in the woods last summer (I'm weird like that I guess) - thought I got bitten / stung but no injury there, so maybe it was a nettle. Would they be too dormant to find now?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 7:22PM
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nettles emerge in early spring, the date varies with your latitude obviously. you in ohio? regardless of location keep a close eye out, it won't be long now!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 4:49PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

My nettle in Western NY State are all sleeping and will be so for another month at least. I can't imagine Ohio will be that much different.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 6:53AM
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Natures_Nature(5 OH)

Right, I just checked my one nettle patch, it was flooded.

As far as the prickers, the plant naturally droops when you cut it, the prickers are still active-.I frequently cut a few foot pieces of nettles,keep the leaves and everything on the plant, and use it hours later. The prickers are on the underside of the leafs and along the stem.

As far as harvesting and usinf. Cut the plant at a node(where the next leaf juntion is at), take the stem and roll it back and forth in your fingers while gentrly rubbing your skin with it. I find the prickers really stick good when you go gently, dont push the prickers in the skin, let is ride your skin and let it prick naturally.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 11:34PM
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I have a large cluster of volunteers in my bees balm bed. After some research I had my husband cut a clump and then lightly hit it against my shoulders where I frequently experience pain (as a RN I usually come home sore!). The sensation was stingy at first and then it became more hot and tingly. The tingly part lasted for almost 24 hours but the end result was the tightness was gone and I was pain free for about 5 days. My husband has used the nettle successfully on his arthritic thumb as well. I have purchased nettle tea in the past to help relieve my allergy symptoms but this year I think I will brew my own and try it.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 9:35AM
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I fell down a bluff in the early spring 2 years ago and landed hard on my butt. I thought I was ok but about 6 months later I had sciatic problems and went to a chiropractor he told me it was from the fall he couldn't do anything for it and I love to forage for wild edibles so I dug up a burdock root sliced it up with potatos and dandylion leaves and fried it In ghee . well a couple weeks later I went to a herbal seminar and she talked about how burdock was good for sciatica my pain had been gone for about 2 weeks so I think it was the burdock root .

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 8:33AM
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Natures_Nature(5 OH)

"The tingly part lasted for almost 24 hours but the end result was the tightness was gone"

That sounds just like my first experience. After you keep stinging yourself, your body gets used to it, the tingling starts dissipating the more you do it. Each spring, I have this huge smile, anticipating what the first sting is going to feel like, you lose tolerance all winter..

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 11:56AM
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kitteh(6 ohio)

I'll look for burdocks too.

Did pain come back in winter?

I only felt tingly for a few minutes - did I not get enough injected? I kept getting myself on the hand though and eventually it caused pain that lasted about 24 hours and felt like what I guess hand arthritis would feel like. Also I heard nettle juice is the cure for the pain, I'm curious if it just helps the stinging or counters the poison?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 9:57AM
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Natures_Nature(5 OH)

There's not much to look for with burdock, it stick out like a sore thumb, it has them huge leaves, reddish stems, little like rhubarb you could say.

"I only felt tingly for a few minutes - did I not get enough injected?"

The first year i was stung with nettle, every time i would sting myself, it would last at least an hour. It most likely lasted several hours, maybe even to the next day. When I'm out foraging and i sting myself, i quickly get sidetracked by other wild herbs, so I don't feel the stings too much, I'm to busy looking for edibles!

"caused pain that lasted about 24 hours and felt like what I guess hand arthritis would feel like. "

Most likely you are just overreacting is it feels nothing like arthritis. But if you are correct, you might want to use some caution with it. Just because me and other people use it no problem, that doesn't mean everyone should do it blindly. You have to be very careful with a lot of herbs, if you are seeing negative effects, like crippling of you hand, maybe i wouldn't prick my hand for a while and see if it gets better.

Nothing is a cure for pain. I believe most chronic pain is from inflammation from within, if you start consuming more anti inflammatory foods, like fruits, vegetables and herbs, You will have very little pain. Of course, if you didn't fall off a ladder or something, that pain is different, of course.

I noticed this first hand. When i would go out and eat crap, I would wake up really stiff and locked up, most people would know it is sore. But any day i eat healthy, I wake up earlier, happier, less stiff, less tired,etc. I couldn't believe the difference food can make!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 11:07AM
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