Several species of hemp nettle grow in Europe and America. All of them have bilobulated flowers that resemble the mouth of a weasel (Greek gale). In the 19th century, when tuberculosis killed many people in urban centers, the hemp nettle became known as an antitubercular plant. At present, we know that hemp nettle is helpful as a pectoral plant; however, it lacks healing properties for tuberculosis.
Healing Properties and Indications
The whole plant is rich in silicon, and it contains saponins and tannin, too. It has the following properties:
- Mucolytic and expectorant: It eases the dissolution and expulsion of bronchial mucus. Its use is recommended for bronchial catarrh to reduce the congestion of the bronchi and alleviate coughs.
- Antianemic: The hemp nettle has been successfully used to increase the production of red blood corpuscles since it is likely to increase the absorption and assimilation of iron.
- Antidegenerative: Because of its silicon content, it is recommended for use against wrinkles and stretch marks, as well as arthrosis, osteoporosis, and arteriosclerosis, and in general, all processes in which there is a degeneration of the connective tissue fibers.
Hemp Nettle Scientific Facts
- Other names: Bastard hemp, bee-nettle, dog-nettle, hemp dead nettle.
- French: Ortie royale, Galeopsis.
- Spanish: Galeopsis, ortiga real.
- Environment: Silicon soils close to grain fields in central and southern Europe. Naturalized in America.
- Description: Annual plant of the Labiatae family, growing from 15 to 70 cm high, with hairy stem and leaves, and yellow or pink bilobulated flowers.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: The whole dried plant.
How to use Hemp Nettle
- Infusion with 20-30 g of dry plant per liter of water. Drink one or two cups a day.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. Vols. 1 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 306. Print.