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Nettle has been used worldwide for centuries in a variety of countries and cultures. It has been eaten as a wild food plant, applied topically to the skin, and drunk as a mineral rich tea for its diuretic and soothing effects on the urinary tract. It was used extensively for its fibers, similar to flax and hemp, and was woven into cloth. Nettle fibers were considered to be high quality and comparable to flax or hemp in Northern Europe.