Herb: Himalayan Nettle


Latin name: Girardiana diversifolia


Synonyms: Girardiana heterophylla, Girardiana palmata, Girardiana platyphylla, Urtica heterophylla


Family: Urticaceae (Nettle Family)



Medicinal use of Himalayan Nettle:

A decoction of the roots and basal stems is mixed with wine and drunk as a cure for malignant boils. A decoction of the roots, mixed with Centella asiatica, is used to treat gastric troubles. The juice of the root is used to treat constipation. The fresh juice of the leaves is applied externally in the treatment of headaches and swollen joints. A decoction of the plant is used to treat fevers. The ashes of the plant are applied externally in the treatment of ringworm and eczema.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
3 m
(9 3/4 foot)

Habitat of the herb:

Waste ground and shrubberies, 800 - 2700 metres in the Himalayas. Moist, shady, forested areas at elevations of 1200 - 3000 metres in Nepal.

Edible parts of Himalayan Nettle:

Young leaves and inflorescences - cooked as a green vegetable. Care should be exercised when harvesting the leaves because they have stinging hairs. However, these hairs are neutralized by heat and so the cooked leaves are perfectly safe to eat.

Other uses of the herb:

A fibre is obtained from the stem. It is fine and silky and is used for making coarse cloth, ropes and twine. Yields of fibre are around 600kg per hectare.

Propagation of Himalayan Nettle:

Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in May. If you have sufficient seed it might be worthwhile trying a sowing outdoors in situ in the middle of spring. Division of roots.

Cultivation of the herb:

Waste ground and shrubberies, 800 - 2700 metres in the Himalayas. Moist, shady, forested areas at elevations of 1200 - 3000 metres in Nepal.

Known hazards of Girardiana diversifolia:

This plant has very virulent stinging hairs.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.