Nettle Seeds as Adrenal Adaptogen: An Update

For my last two moon cycles, I’ve been daily indulging in a pinch or three of dried Nettle seeds. And I’m a bit incredulous of the results. Today is a good example of how it’s effected me. I woke up a 5:30 am yesterday to hike out of the canyon, did eight+ hours of driving, managed to get lost in Albuquerque, had some serious bill paying stress, did massive shopping for supplies and got back to the canyon about midnight. I then carried about 75 lbs of supplies down a mountain on my back in the dark and then climbed up a small cliff to get to the kitchen to deposit said supplies. I went to bed about three am and woke up about nine thirty for breakfast and work. If I’d done this a few months ago, I’d be crashed, sick, unable to eat and totally NOT writing this blog post today. Instead, today I am a bit sleepy but I’m feeling fine and it a perfectly lovely mood despite it being PMS time. Joy!

I’m not going to use this newfound energy as a way to further burn myself out though, I know what road that leads down. I’m going to be very grateful for the additional energy I have in times of need (like yesterday) and work to rest and slowly build my adrenals and strength up instead of always running on my reserves.

Now, I can’t give the Nettle seeds all the credit, I’ve had personal shifts this Summer, and I’ve also been partaking of some lovely Burdock root and Nettle leaves on a regular basis, and some Milky Oats more recently. However, the biggest physical shift happened when I began taking the Nettle seeds and was quite measurable from when I was taking them and not taking them. I have significantly more energy, much less digestive stress (probably a result of more energy to distribute throughout my body), much less hormonal lability and almost no brain fog or chronic pain these days. And the results seem to have a definite building effect, so that I need less and less instead of more and more. In fact, I haven’t even had my Nettle seeds this morning and I’m doing well.

 Henriette talks about this tonic effect on a Nettle seed thread in the Herbwifery forum. It is of primary importance in any treatment for burnout, that the treatment actually restore the health of the body in a long term way rather than just giving a quick, hard boost.

These seeds must be one of the quickest acting adaptogens I’ve ever tried, at least for me. I definitely feel like this was exactly what my body was screaming for. The important thing for myself and other people who use this is to not use the extra energy as an excuse to wear themselves out (did I say that already? I can’t emphasize it enough). I’m working with another woman right now with adrenal issues and Nettle seed and I’ll let you know how that works out too.

I’m still planning on tincturing the seed to try too but I’ve been a bit low on alcohol lately so that will have to wait a bit, and I also want to try that honey paste, I’m hoping to do so sometime this week.

In case you don’t have your own Nettle seeds or don’t want to gather them yourself (thought they’re quite quick to harvest) I know that Elk Mountain Herbs, Ryan Drum and Pacific Botanicals all carry dried seed. I requested Mountain Rose also carry them, but they said they had no plans to do so. I prefer my hand gathered seeds best, but all of the above suppliers have excellent reputations for high quality herbs. I like my seeds with the nutritional calyx included rather than removed.

A note on dosage: I take a small pinch of the seeds 1-3x/day but others recommend 1 tsp. – 1tb. and I’ve noticed that most other people don’t feel much at my dosage. So perhaps start with a tsp. and go from there.

And if you have any notable experiences please let me know, I’d love to hear about it!

30 Comments

  1. jim mcdonald
    Sep 6, 2007

    richo at horizon herbs offers the seeds with calyx, as do andrea and matthias reisen at healing spirits herb farm… both offer impeccable quality herbs, and both put beautiful energy into what they do.

  2. Kiva Rose
    Sep 6, 2007

    Thanks for that jim, I need to add andrea and matthias to my links too…

  3. Mis
    Sep 6, 2007

    Thanks for the update and links Kiva. I was going to just buy a packet of Horizon’s Nettle seeds from Mountain Rose herbs. Are these NOT OK?

  4. Kiva Rose
    Sep 7, 2007

    Well, they probably are Ok, but they won’t have the calyx intact (you have to buy them by the lb for that from Horizon) and you’ll only get a small amount, enough for one or two doses I would think.

  5. Mis
    Sep 7, 2007

    Alright, thanks Kiva. I’ll think I’ll go through Horizon then. There’s some other seeds I wanted to get anyhow.

  6. Jennifer
    Apr 27, 2008

    I’m new to using nettle, but um…do I need to clean them somehow? Do you literally just take an amount (pinch, tbsp, etc) and eat it? I guess I can’t get past the “I’m eating something that tastes like grass and dirt” and so it seems like i”m doing it wrong.

  7. Kiva Rose
    Apr 28, 2008

    Hi Jennifer,

    My nettle seeds are green and fluffy, so not too hard to eat, they taste nice IMO. If they’re harvested straight from the plant, I haven’t had any need to clean them. Where’d you get your nettle seeds?

    Yeah, I just take a pinch, chew them thoroughly and swallow. You can put them in food if you like, but you probably don’t want them to get cooked so keep that in mind.

    It’s also possible to tincture them effectively if you prefer that, but you won’t get as much of the micronutrients that way.

  8. ken winston caine
    May 10, 2008

    Hello Medicine Woman:

    Are you aware of any source for nettles seeds in the greater Albuquerque – Santa Fe areas?

    Thanks,
    kwc

  9. Kiva Rose
    May 10, 2008

    Well, there’s all those Nettle plants up there…. but if you mean commercially, then no, I don’t know of any local sources, it’s not a commonly used medicine at this point. Ryan Drum, Elk Mountain Herbs and Healing Spirits herb farm will all work nicely for online sources though.

  10. ken winston caine
    Jun 2, 2008

    Thanks!

    I didn’t get notice that you had replied. You might want to add a plug-in that allows that. (Subscribe to comments, or subscribe to this post type of plug-in.)

    Damn. I didn’t even think of wildcrafting. I can do it on my land. I just need to familiarize myself with what stinging nettles looks like in New Mexico. I last was gathering it on the East Coast.

    Best,
    kwc

  11. Kiva Rose
    Jun 3, 2008

    Hi Ken, there is a plugin for that, you can just click on the Comments RSS in any post and subscribe to that post’s comments.

    In most parts of NM, we have U. gracilenta, an annual who seeds prolifically come July/August. If you have a patch of any size you should be able to collect lots.

  12. Hairy Spider
    Nov 9, 2008

    Can you explain what the seeds are like, I am confused cause I thought they grew at the top of the plant but just yesterday I found a patch of nettle with the seeds growing along the stem at the axils. I was surprised also because it is November in Upstate NY and i thought the seeds would have dropped already and yes i am certain it is stinging nettle. Thanks

  13. Kiva Rose
    Nov 9, 2008

    They’re little green fuzzy balls (they turn brown eventually, but get them while they’re green), that dangle downwards when ripe, looking a tiny bit like a catkin. I don’t know about other spp but our Mountain Nettles have seeds emerging all the way down the stalks, not just the tops. Take a look over at henrittesherbal.com where she has some nice pictures of the seeds on and off the plant…

  14. Kratom
    Nov 10, 2008

    Thanks for the info! I can only seem to find Wood Nettles around here. Do you think these should work similarly? The seeds are much bigger..

  15. Kiva Rose
    Nov 11, 2008

    What’s the spp of your wood nettles?

  16. Hairy Spider
    Nov 13, 2008

    thanks for your help, i guess i have found nettle seed. Day 1 of harvest was fun, but day 2 yielded blisters. Ingesting them made me sort of spacey and i slept real well, am i the opposite- it is cause my thyroid is a bit under the weather (Hypothyroid). I heard nettle seeds were good for that. I took a tablespoon, is it possible that is too high a quantity. enjoy

  17. Kiva Rose
    Nov 13, 2008

    Were you using the fresh nettle seeds? And yes, I would think that 1 TBS is definitely a rather large dose for your first try. Try drying them for a few days and starting with a pinch.

  18. Hairy Spider
    Nov 14, 2008

    yes, they were fresh. What happens in the seeds when they dry that they have a diff effect?
    I will use a smaller dose. I have not found a whole lot of info on nettle seeds, but i did just read about a book, “A Natural History of Nettles” and it mentions use of the seeds and the nutritional value. Thanks

  19. Kratom
    Nov 22, 2008

    I believe they are Laportea canadensis. Thanks for your help.

  20. Kiva Rose
    Nov 22, 2008

    Hi Kratom, I don’t have any experience at all with that spp. but Granny Sam over at the Poke Patch has written about them and may be able to tell you more http://grannysams.blogspot.com/2008/02/herbal-allies-nettle.html

  21. Ruthie
    Jan 14, 2009

    So I’m thinking of growing my own nettles (I’ve used a tincture of half seeds, half leaves and I had to take a lot to get the benefit I was hoping for, so I’m thinking I should try the fresh version), but I live in the city, (and the only place I’ve seen them growing is somewhere I’ve also seen my city officials spraying herbicides…) But I have no idea how to contain them. I do NOT have a big enough lot to just let them grow, and I’m concerned about letting them grow just anywhere because we have lots of friends with curious kids that up until now have been told by me “everything in my garden is safe for kids.” Which would still be true b/c nettle stings won’t kill you…. you see my point. Can I keep them contained in a large pot? If they drop seeds, am I doomed to a life of fighting nettle where I don’t want it?

    Thanks.

  22. Manal
    May 1, 2009

    I’m wondering the same thing as Ruthie. Could I grow nettles along with the other herbs I’m planning to plant? Where would I even get it?

    I’ll be planting in a makeshift flower bed, fwiw.

    thanks

  23. Kiva Rose
    May 1, 2009

    The thing is, I don’t really do gardening, I pretty much specialize in wild plants. I have friends who grow Nettles in containers though, so I assume it works ok, you probably need a big container though. It also depends on the kind of Nettle you have, and whether it’s an annual or perennial, as to how much and how it spreads. Depending on where you are, Nettle does tend to be very enthusiastic, here in the SW it’s not anywhere near pushy because it needs lots of water to live and there’s a shortage of that here.

    Yeah, you can grow Nettles among your other herbs, but you’ll have to not mind getting stung once in a while (I don’t mind at all, but some people do). You can buy the seeds from Horizon Herbs or Mountain Rose herbs or Richters, among other places. You can probably also get the living plant from Horizon or Richters too, I would guess… or you could just transplant it from a wild area.

  24. Kate
    Jun 15, 2009

    Hi there,
    Do you think Nettle will grow in Az?

  25. Kiva Rose
    Jun 15, 2009

    Welll, AZ is a rather large state and I’m not sure what part you’re referring to, but Nettle already grows there as a wild plant in the mountains. If you are referring to gardening though, I know that Darcey Blue of Tucson (http://desertmedicinewoman.blogspot.com) grows it in her garden and also in a container…

  26. Kim
    Jul 19, 2009

    What is the best way to take the seeds? In a tea? With yogurt?

    Thanks -

  27. Kiva Rose
    Jul 19, 2009

    Kim, I eat them plain and do not suggest heating them as in tea, should work fine in yogurt though I’d think.

  28. Julea
    Jul 27, 2009

    Thank you for the great information! I’ve enjoyed wildcrafting and eating nettles for years. Lately, the seeds have been calling to me. They look so energetic and well, burgeoning, there waving at the tops of the plants this time of year. I live in the pacific nw. I plan to harvest and eat them fresh (I think on a salad would be lovely!), but can I dry them for later in the year when they’re not available, as well?

  29. Kiva Rose
    Jul 27, 2009

    I do NOT recommend eating them raw, they are very very stimulating for most people that way. I strongly suggest drying them before using.

  30. Julea
    Jul 28, 2009

    OK, thank you! Would a day of drying to take the sting away do it?

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>