This ancient herb, that is almost everywhere, has managed to survive, by stinging. The discomfort provides when you brush against it makes this green plant unlikable. But do you know the real nettle benefits?
What is stinging nettle?
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) has many plant cousins that don’t sting. However, have in mind that burning plant has been used for thousand years for treating a different kind of health conditions. Its stings contain formic acid, histamine and other chemicals that cause the stinging. When you touch nettle these chemicals release on to your sting and produce an irritating and discomfortable sensation that goes away within 24 hours.
Boil the stems and leaves, that will neutralize the stinging chemicals and then you can enjoy the benefits of the plant. Some cultures have a tradition of making nettle soup or include it in meals. The leaves are usually used as a tea, which possesses many of the essential substances, but as an oil extract, it can also be applied to the skin.
Health Benefits Of Nettle Benefits
The popularity of stinging nettle has risen since scientist has done more research and many proven medicinal effects have come to light. Let’s go through some of them:
The diversity of nettles composition makes this plant powerful detoxifier of the body. It is rich in vitamin A and C, manganese, iron and calcium. As a diuretic, it cleanses the body toxic by excreting them into the urine. It can also improve the uptake of the nutrients in the gut and improves the digestion process, so it prevents the accumulation of dangerous toxins in the body. It also helps the body to get rid of excess toxins in the kidneys as well.
For the pregnant women
Stinging nettle tea is recommended for pregnant women to protect against excessive bleeding, and it replaces the iron that is lost while labor. In addition, it can help stimulate the production of milk and make lactation easier.
For ALL the women
A wide range of components of stinging nettle has a positive influence on women health. It is very suitable for painful periods, it can reduce discomfort in cramps and bloats, and reduce bleeding during menstruation owing to its astringent capabilities. In women going through menopause stinging nettle makes the transition tranquil and smoother for the body.
Nettle for men’s health
Stinging nettle is good for the opposite sex too. Medical experts have proven nettle to be effective in preventing prostate growth. So aging men should drink nettle tea. Nevertheless, stinging nettle can only prevent the prostate growth but not to reverse it once the process has started.
Natural remedy for perfect skin
Topical use of stinging nettle extracts it is proven to reduce the graveness of acne and protect from bacterial infections too. The protective properties speed the recovery from blemishes and scar healing, and furthermore reduce wrinkles and skin spots.
Circulatory system benefits
Due to high vitamin C and iron content, the nettle stimulates the production of red blood cells. Vitamin C improves iron uptake in the gut, and the iron is a crucial component of hemoglobin, a molecule contained in the red blood cell. Increasing the RBC count in the body, blood flow increases, and the extremities receive extra oxygen and more energy. This is why stinging nettle is usually recommended to treat fatigue or anemia, signalized by muscle weakness, exhaustion, cognitive difficulties, and headache.
Arthritis and gout
As mentioned above, stinging nettle has circulation promoting properties and improves local blood flow. Therefore nettle benefits in the treatment of different inflammatory diseases like arthritis, gout, muscle pain or similar issues. For these health conditions, medical experts recommended it as tea or herbal supplementation.
Allergy and respiratory issues
Stinging nettle benefits perfect in the treatment of various respiratory conditions, such as asthma and seasonal allergies. Regular consumption of common nettle tea has shown great results in allergy treatment.
Protecting the heart
Yes, nettle benefits in protecting the heart too. However there are some studies that show that regular intake of nettle tea helps in lowering blood pressure and relieves tension and stress on the cardiovascular system.
How to Use Stinging Nettle
You can harvest stinging nettle, using gloves or you can buy it from health food store. Before purchasing a product you should identify your needs: do you need the root or the aboveground parts, because they have different pharmacological qualities.
People use stinging nettle as:
- Nettle Tea
Pour 1 cup of hot water over 1 tablespoon of dried nettle, wait 15 minutes and drain it out. Drink without sugar.
- Cooked Nettle
Stinging nettle leaves are steamed or cooked similar to spinach. Ad your cooked nettle to soup or stew. Use in recipes like polenta, green smoothies, and pesto.
Cooked nettle is a great source of vitamins A, C, protein, and iron.
- Stinging Nettle Capsules and Tablets
Stinging nettle capsules and tablets are intended to be taken via your mouth. Lastly Nettle Capsules are only used for allergy treatment.