Nelson, Lancashire, UK class="st0" cx="4.4" cy="3.4" r="0.8"/>

Autumn | Nettle seed


Meet nettle seed. Most of us are familiar with the sting of the nettle which grows throughout the UK and is available most of the year.

You might know some of her other names such as common nettle, burn nettle, stinging nettle, bichchhu or Urtica dioica



This video at the bottom of this page is also available to watch on YouTube and Vimeo.

Under the ancient system of astrological medicine, 

nettles were said to be ruled by the god of war, Mars, 

and indeed, the spear-like stalks,

the pointed leaves and sharp, stinging hairs so well-known to all of us,

suggest a plant with excellent defences.

Nettles are still standing tall in early autumn

and now bear strands of seeds where, during the summer,

hung strands of unremarkable flowers.

It's the bright green, triangular-shaped seedpods that we want to collect - often towards the top of the plant, not the brown and dying ones

Rub the seed pods between finger and thumb to get the tiny, brown/black seeds.

The god of war, Mars, is a good metaphor for the action of nettles as a whole

-  the leaves of nettles, collected in spring,

can help fortify our blood with iron;

the seeds, collected in autumn,

can supply us with a burst of hot energy during the cold months

and the root can be used in problems of the prostate.

All of these uses speak to the qualities attributed to Mars

as the enabler of action, desire and will.

Modern research has shown that the seeds are high in omega fatty acids,

vitamins and minerals.

The seeds were traditionally fed to horses before they were sold to market

to make sure they displayed high spirits and shiny coats.

They are often prescribed now by herbalists 

to people suffering from burnout and adrenal stress, people who wish to do more but simply don't have the energy.

As well as giving a burst of energy, nettle seeds can improve the condition and lustre of hair and skin.

Nettle seeds are highly stimulating - one or two tablespoons a day is more than enough for most people.

You can eat them fresh from the plant;

to dry them you could spread them over parchment sheet laid on baking trays

And let them in a dry room for 24 - 48 hours

 If you don't have the space or time however,

you could place the seeds on baking trays

and put in the oven on the lowest temperature for a couple of hours.

You can use nettle seeds sprinkled on salads,

soups, pasta, added to smoothies, yogurt, cakes and biscuits.