View Full Version : Stinging Nettles

29-05-07, 01:12 AM
Someone told me stinging nettles were good to give a horse a shiny coat. Has anyone used this before. I think you boil the nettles and use the water? Does anyone know? My neighbour has heaps of the stuff so would be good if it was useful for something.


29-05-07, 01:44 AM
I use 1 cup of Nettle leaf (Urtica dioica) daily bought off ebay, I let it cool over half an hour before pouring water and leaves over the feed and mix it in, never had a horse refuse it at dinner time.

Nettle helps fight inflammation, act as an antihistamine, and has a diuretic effect:

Nettle can be used in salt-reduced diets, as it contains a salt which is not a burden to the system. Used traditionally for treating high blood pressure, gout, PMS, rheumatism, ending diarrhea, liver and prostrate problems. Externally can use as a compress for neuralgia and arthritis. Is a very high source of iron.

Is used for fatigue, edema, eczema, hay fever and allergies, fluid retention.

The leaves and other aboveground parts of stinging nettle are collected while the plant is flowering. They contain several mineral salts, particularly those of calcium and potassium, as well as silicic acid (1% - 4 %), some volatile oils and a mixture of flavonoids (up to 1.8%).

Vitamins C and K and several B vitamins are present, with tenderfresh shoots being especially rich in vitamin C and carotene. The stinging hairs deliver histamine, formic acid (also found in ant stings), serotonin, and acetylcholine.

In Europe, stinging nettle leaves and aboveground parts are used to treat problems of the urinary tract. These parts of the plant act as a mild diuretic and are taken with ample amounts of liquid to flush out an inflamed bladder or urinary tract. They are sometimes used to prevent the formation of kidney stones.

A tea or extract of aboveground parts may also be taken as supportive therapy for arthritis pain (rheumatism).

In addition, a spirit extract may be applied topically to aching joints as a liniment.

Traditionally, stinging nettle was used to treat asthma and cough, speed wound healing, encourage gastric juice secretion, and relieve spasms of the digestive tract. When applied to the scalp, it was expected to reduce oiliness and remedy dandruff

The best way to quickly obtain maximum goodness from a dried herb is by infusion tea.

Side effects are uncommon for both the aboveground herb and the root. Mild digestive upset has been reported. If urine flow is decreased, hives, swelling or diarrhea and stomach irritation occur cease drinking the nettle tea immediately and drink lots of water and in need, seek advice from your Medical Advisor.

Some horses develop allergic reactions such as rash after taking stinging nettle leaf. If such a reaction occurs, the herb should be discontinued.

Contact with the stinging hairs of the plant can cause pain for twelve hours or more, occasionally some of these hairs are still active on your dried nettle.

29-05-07, 06:49 AM
nettles have long been used as a tonic for horses, as far as making a tea, their is no need to do that, don't see many horses with a kettle now do you, if your using dried chopped nettles just put them straight into the feed, fresh ones allow them to whilt for a couple of hours in the sun takes the sting out of them but you need 4 times the amount of fresh to dried. If you get stung by fresh nettle, rub a dock leaf onto the area, it is a natural antidote to the stinging nettles, hence why they usually grow side by side, well in Europe and England they do.
Making a tea of nettles and rosemary and pouring over the coat can give you a great shine, its an old trick used even for people, but it needs to be weak solution.
Nettles are high in vitamin C and iron, so good for helping with anemia too, and they really bring out the dapples in greys and bays!

29-05-07, 07:04 AM
A lot of the things herbal one can dose a horse with I have never ever seen a horse select for themselves,infact they avoid them-eg nettles;horehound ;garlic etc.We had grown lots throughout the years and they never did even nibble them when allowed access?Puzzling .

30-05-07, 02:07 AM
when I lived in the UK, my horses would love to munch on the wild forgae gowing along the bridleways, the nettles they would avoid until they had finished their bloom and had begun to die down, must have been when the sting was less, a lot of 'herbs' are no longer available growing in paddocks, our modern faming methods seem to dictate that they need pure green lawns in preference to mixed pasture, so no you probably wouldn't notice horse 'naturally' grazing what they don't have access too. Plus they usually only seek what they need instictively. If you ever get the chance , read a book called 'Wild Health' by Cindy Engel, its a fasinating read, highly recommend it to anyone interested in Natural feeding.