Nettle Meaning, Healing, and Magical Uses

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Welcome to the Masters’ Grimoire of Magical Herbs page for Nettle. Here you will learn everything you've ever wanted to know about this herb including Nettle's magical uses, Nettle physical healing, and emotional healing properties, plus its use in meditation, Nettle lore and legends, and much more!

Introduction to Nettle

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When you graze against the brush while on a hike or foraging in the woods, feeling an instant and painful prick on your bare skin, it is probably nettle- infamously defined by its microscopic stinging hairs. Although this plant can be painful to the touch, it is one of the most popular healing plants used in folk medicine. Once those meddlesome hairs are removed, nettle can be used in food recipes, salves, balms, oils, and teas for treating inflamed muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis, gout, and anemia as well as helping with urinary tract infections. 

Stinging Nettle, scientifically known as Urtica dioica, has some lookalikes, so be aware of this when foraging for this medicinal healing herb. Three of the most common are wood nettle (Laportea canadensis), slender nettle (Uritica gracilis), and dwarf nettle (Urtica urens). Wood nettle differs from stinging nettle in that it has alternate leaves, slender nettle is defined by the fact that it has less stinging hairs, and dwarf nettle is smaller and more compact than the common nettle varieties. 

Also, when foraging for stinging nettle, remember to wear thick gardening gloves and use scissors to harvest. This will help you avoid the painful prick of the stinging nettle plant. When preparing nettle for medicinal use, hang leaves and stems to dry the herb. Once dried, nettle will no longer have its penetrating sting.

Nettles should not be eaten once they have flowered, but they can be cut back to produce young flowerless nettles. Remember to harvest before flowering. 

Can you believe that stinging nettle is often considered an invasive weed in many yards and gardens? Take advantage of its astounding healing abilities the next time you see it pop up in your yard or if you see it on the side of a roadway!

The Sacred Number of Nettle is 121.

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Nettle Magical Uses and Purposes

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Key Uses: Nettle is an herb of contemplation and mindful calculation. It encourages one to utilize empathy and gentleness to win the hearts and minds of others. Nettle warns one against trying to exert control over others in order to get what you want. Instead, focus on aligning your values with your actions so that you can earn the respect and validation from others. Speak your own truth with the idea in your mind that there is no right or wrong and that everyone has a valid opinion. You will only cause chaos by ordering others to think or feel a certain way.

Nettle is ruled by the planet, Mars, and is commonly associated with fire energy due to its flaming sting. It is often used in spells and rituals for purification and protection. It is considered an herb of transformation, helping the user find nurturing and self-worth through difficult and chaotic times. 

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Healing with Nettle

Nettle Physical Health Benefits

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Nettle is believed to help ease Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), which is a disorder that enlarges the prostate, encouraging increased urges to urinate, painful urination, and reduced urinary flow. It is believed that nettle contains chemicals that affect the hormones that cause BPH. (1)

Stinging nettle is used as a successful general diuretic and can help urine flow as well. It’s also used in home remedies for bladder infections.

May help with osteoartchritis and joint pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties. (2)

May relieve symptoms of allergies including hay fever caused by allergies due to its anti-inflammatory qualities.  (3)

The leaves contain histamine, which actually cause allergies, but can be used to treat severe allergic reactions. (4)

May help to reduce bleeding. Certain products containing stinging nettle have shown that, when applied to the skin, it can reduce bleeding during dental surgery. (5)

Stinging nettle’s antihistamine and anti-inflammatory qualities, when used topically or as a cream, can be a natural treatment for eczema. (6)

Spiritual Healing with Nettle

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This magick herb  has been associated with death and burial customs.

Nettle is male in action and associated with the sign of Scorpio (some say Aries) and the planet Mars and element of Fire.

Nettle can be burned to drive out negativity or unwanted spirits. It can also be used in protection bags, our ground into a powder and used in spells to break curses.

Nettle can be used in spells for protection, exorcisms, and dispelling evil.

Is used in spells and rituals for body cleansing and purification.

It can be carried in a sachet or poppet to remove curses, worn as an amulet to keep negativity away, or even held in the hand to ward off ghosts.

Throw nettle into a fire in order to avert any imminent danger you might feel is threatening you. This will also keep any malevolent spirits away.

Make an amulet with nettle and yarrow to keep fear at bay, this is great if you have a presentation or public speaking something up.

Used in healing magic. Keeping freshly cut nettles in the home will keep sickness out.

Nettle will help you release any lingering doubts and stresses while giving you nurturing energy if you are beginning a new project. It helps to give you courage and to show you your own worth.

Emotional Healing with Nettle

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Nettle is a nurturing herb, despite its popular associations with masculine astrological energies. It reminds us of our power to shift our thoughts and deeds into a place of nurturing, encouraging personal and environmental growth.

It is also a powerful fertility herb, invoking mothering energies of protection and feminine power. It will extinguish negative feelings of self-doubt and anxieties brought on by negative self-talk and toxic influences from others. It encourages one to reach within, finding the inner strength and courage to banish negative, toxic influences, energies, and feelings.

Nettle for Chakra Healing

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Nettle is prescribed for treating imbalances of the Root Chakra and the Heart Chakra. 

The Root Chakra is the first chakra also sometimes known as the Base Chakra, the red chakra, or Muladhara. It is located at the base of the spine and controls the kinesthetic energy for feeling and movement. It is the foundation of physical energy and spiritual energy for the body. 

When the Root Chakra is physically out of balance the symptoms will manifest themselves as lethargy, feeling down, low levels of activity, low enthusiasm, and a need for constant stimulation. 

When the spiritual energies of the Root Chakra are out of balance, you will feel flighty, disconnected from reality, and distant. You may begin to doubt your beliefs, stop being loyal to those around you, or find yourself deriving little joy from physical pleasures. You will also likely have a lack of motivation and drive.

 

The Heart Chakra is located near the center of the breastbone. It regulates our interaction with the external world. It controls what we embrace and what we resist. It gives us the balancing ability to keep neither too aloof nor too involved in the world around us. The heart chakra location balances our inner being – our “self” with our environment. 

When it is in balance we are relaxed accepting, and interact easily with others and with the demands of the world. We also know when our needs are being compromised and we easily find a balance between external and internal needs. We can deal with the ebbs and flows of emotional relationships, understand their cyclic nature, and accept the changes.

When the heart chakra is out of balance, you may find your are tense in your upper torso. You will find yourself sitting with folded arms a lot. You will not enjoy handshakes or hugs from others. When your heart chakra is out of balance you may feel either controlling or controlled in a relationship. You may become critical of the little foibles of others. You may well find yourself having inappropriately strong emotional responses to everyday external stimuli.

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Color Energy of Nettle

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The color ray for Nettle is green. The green color ray is one of growth, beginnings, life, and renewal. It is also connected with good fortune, wealth, profit, safety, and survival. The green color ray embodies all of these healing traits across the various hues they come in. For example, Dark green should be used for financial gain while light green works better for gentle growth.

Like their counterparts in the plant kingdom, green gems and minerals are the growth crystals. They are powerful conduits of the earth’s Life Force of birth, development, and creation, and of the power of nature’s constant renewal. Use green crystals with nettle to enhance energies of fertility, growth, nurturing, productivity and renewal. (7)

 

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Angels Associated with Nettle

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Nettle is associated with Caliel, Protector and Ruler of the dates June 16-21 and the astrological sign of Gemini. This herb is also associated with Lelahel, Protector and Ruler of the dates April 15-20 and the astrological sign of Aries, and Zuriel, Master of the 11th Tarot Card "Justice."

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Nettle and the Goddess

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Nettle is sacred to several gods including Thor, God of Thunder, and Agni, the fire god in Hinduism. The Goddesses that govern nettle include Soteria, Greek goddess of protection, Pele, Hawaiian goddess of fire and volcanoes, and Isis, Egyptian goddess of motherhood and fertility. 

Soteria is the Greek goddess safety and salvation, deliverance, and preservation from harm. She is often depicted as a woman wearing a laurel wreath crown on her head, a symbol of victory. Soteria had a temple and a statue at Patrae in Greece. Although her mother is unknown, it is believed that either Zeus or Dionysos could have been her father due to them both being referred to as Soter (the male name for Soteria) in ancient texts. 

Pele is the Hawaiian Goddess of volcanoes and fire. She is also credited with being the creator of the Hawaiian islands. According to tradition, she is embodied by the lava and natural forces associated with volcanic eruptions. Pele represents the duality of creation and destruction. Without life there is no death, without death no life. She creates new land, but also destroys what was once there. From destruction comes new life, a birth from the chaos. This paradox of life and death, the cyclical nature of all beings, makes Pele a transformative goddess as well. 

Fire goddesses like Pele also represent purity, enlightenment, cleansing, passion, and creative power. Pele governs the volcano of Kīlauea,  located along the southeastern shore of the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. The volcano is between 210,000 and 280,000 years old. Pele is revered in native Hawaiian culture and it is believed that you must show respect to her when visiting her home at Kīlauea or she may unleash her volatile, volcanic nature. 

Isis is the Egyptian goddess of fertility, motherhood, magic, death, healing, and rebirth. Isis was the first daughter of Geb, the god of earth, and Nut, goddess of the sky. Isis was the sister of Osiris who later on became her husband as well. Isis was also touted as the mother and protector of the Pharaohs.

Isis was usually represented as a woman donning a long sheath dress and an empty throne as her headdress. The empty headdress represented the death of her husband and her role as the seat of the power of the pharaoh. In some depictions, she dawns a headdress with solar disc and horn. Sometimes, she is portrayed as a scorpion, a bird, a sow, or a cow.  

Isis is also considered as the goddess of the wind as a woman with outstretched wings. Sometimes, she is depicted with her son, Horus, god of war and the sky. She often wears a crown or is placed with a vulture or lotus flower, both of which she held sacred. In the heavens, her symbol is the star Sept (Sirius). In addition to cows, snakes, vultures, and scorpions, she is also the patron of hawks, swallows, and doves.

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Nettle Birth Herb

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Nettle is one of the birth herbs for those born on January 2, February 28, July 12, September 3, September 16, and September 21, October 18, and November 16. Those with birthdays on these dates will find they have special attraction to Nettle and the magickal energies of Nettle may be dominate in their personality traits.

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Nettle I Ching Hexagram

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Nettle is governed by Hexagram 57, Exerting Subtle Influence.  Key energies are: “Nuance, subtleness, refinement, hints, insinuations, subliminals, innuendos, and gradual change.” (8). 

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Nettle Astrological Sign

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Nettle is associated with the zodiac signs of Scorpio and  Aries (9, 10)

 

In Moon Astrology Nettle is associated with the  11th Mansion of the Moon, the Mansion of the Alchemist and the Second Mansion of the Moon, the Mansion of the Hearth. 

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Uses of Nettle in Feng Shui

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Nettle brings in the energy of the Metal element in Feng Shui. 

The leaves of Nettle bring us metal energy. With unyielding persistence, the leaves of plants seek the sunlight with determination that is absolute. These attributes of persistence, determination and strength of desire and total focus are the energy of the metal element. Use Nettle’s metal energy when you need strength, a total focus, to strengthen desire, to stretch towards your goals and to maintain a clear path to what you seek.

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Uses of Nettle in Talismans and Amulets

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Nettle is used to make talismans and amulet for needs including: Ability- Intellectual, Balancing Relationships, Base Chakra, Success, Development, Dexterity, Discipline, Dealing with Disillusionment, Genius, Gold, Industriousness, Innovation, INtelligence, Knowledge, Learning, Logic, Avoiding Mistakes, Objectivity, Open-mindedness, Order, Organization, Patience, Perception, Planning, Precision, Sticking to Principles, Quest, Reason, Intellect, Diligence, Tenacity, Dealing with Abandonment, Belonging, Comfort, Communication, Companionship, Compatibility, Overcoming COnflict, COntentment, Dealing with Detachment, Emotional Calm, Emotional Strength, Emotional Support, Engagement, Enhanced Listening Skills, FAmily, Fire Energy, Group Working Together, Health, Home, Dealing with Homesickness, Hospitality, Listening, Material Comfort, Mothering, Praise, Reconciliation, Recreation, Redemption, Relaxation, Renewal, Rest, Establish Roots, Safe Place, Security, Sense of Belonging. Dealing with Separation, Sharing, Spouse, Thinking Critically, Clear Thinking, Togetherness, Understanding, Unity, Warmth, Community, Dedication, Nurturing, Diversity, Domestic Bliss, Empathy, Family Life, Forgiveness, Friendship, Manners, Marriage, Abundance, Enjoyment, Merriment, Better Life, and Harmony.

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Using Nettle in Divination

Use Nettle in Divinations for encouraging empathy and open-mindedness when speaking your truth. Be subtle and gentle when translating your beliefs to others and you may be able to change their minds.

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Meditation with Nettle

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Like the wind blowing over vast periods of time against a mountain, the smallest influence when applied with a steadfast attitude can break down any barrier. (11)

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Lore and Legends of Nettle

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In Ireland, nettles marked the places where the Elves lived and could protect a person from sorcery.

If cows were fed wilted nettles, witches and trolls could not hex them to stop producing milk, so this is quite a protective herb, despite its association with death and burial.

Indeed, according to contemporary belief, nettle carried on the person protects from lightning - and draws money.

On the other hand, the Iroquois said that nettles mixed with the dried blood of a snake were witchcraft medicine.

Perhaps in keeping with its Mars rulership, nettle is sometimes incorporated into rituals of ordeal. For instance, children who wished to study witchcraft in the Kawaiisu tribe had to walk through nettles as practice.

In some traditions, nettles are added to the water in which a new athame is consecrated.

Roman invaders of Britain brought nettle to rub on their joints, hoping to cure rheumatism and protect their joints from the cold weather. 

The Roman writer, Caius Petronius, said that a man’s virility was improved if he was whipped with nettle below the kidneys.

Nettle also plays a role in fishing magick, probably because it was once spun into string for fishing nets. It would make a great tool for knot magic.

Nettle is one of the herbs in the Nine Herbs Charm, and it is a candidate for the herb olieribos mentioned in the Necronomicon.

In ancient Germany, nettles were associated with the Norse god, Thor, the God of thunder. During thunderstorms or tumultuous weather, travelers would throw bundles of nettle into their fires as an offering to Thor, praying for protection against lightning.

Bronze Age burial cloths have been found that were woven of its fibers.

In the highlands and on the islands of Ireland, people believed that nettles grew from the bodies of the dead.

In Denmark, people thought that nettles grew from the blood of innocent victims.

Welsh folk believed that if fresh nettles put under the pillow of a sick person stayed green, the person would live, and if they turned yellow, that person would die.

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Nicole Farmer

Nicole is a Certified Crystal Master, Crystal Herb Master, and Master of the Tarot. She has been working with crystals, herbs, and the tarot for over 10 years.  She is the co-author and teacher of the Crystal Master Herbalist Course offered by the Crystal Guild. Nicole is a Florida native and has been with Crystal Vaults for over 7 years.

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References

1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21806658/

2  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10606356/

3 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19140159/

4 https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/194401

5 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20098971/

6 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4298861/

7 https://www.crystalvaults.com/green-explained/

8 Mark McElroy. I Ching for Beginners: A Modern Interpretation of the Ancient Oracle (For Beginners (Llewellyn's)) (Kindle Locations 914-916). Kindle Edition. 

9 https://www.chironsapothecary.com/blog/2019/4/16/nettles-fire-mars-amp-aries

10 https://www.tarot.com/astrology/plants-herbs-zodiac-sign

11 https://www.cafeausoul.com/oracles/iching/xun-penetration

Sacred numbers of herbs are revealed in the “Ritual of the Sacred Number”  ceremony performed monthly by Crystal Master Herbalist when the Moon is transiting the Mansion of the Herbalist.  

(Please note: Information on this website is no substitute for consulting a health care professional. All information contained on this website, including information relating to medical and health conditions, products, and treatments, is for informational purposes only. Please see your doctor or health care professional before starting any alternative treatments, diets, supplements, or exercise programs.)