Learning Herbs - Stinging Nettle
Scientific Name: Urtica Dioica
Where is Stinging Nettle found? Originally native to Europe, North Africa and parts of Asia but now you can find it world wide
What parts are used? Dried Roots and upper parts: Leaf & Stem
Stinging Nettle gets it name because the plant has many hollow stinging hairs called “trichomes” on its steam and leaves. It injects histamine, formic acid and other chemical that produce a stinging sensation, itching and swelling. Nettle has a high nutrient content
What are the benefits of Stinging Nettle:
1.Nettle contains many nutrients: Vitamin A, C, K and several B vitamins.
2.Nettle contains: calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium
3. Contains all of the essential amino acids, beta carotene.
4. Many of these nutrients act as antioxidants.
Ok so now you're asking well what are antioxidants. lol. Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals in your body. Free radicals are compounds that can cause harm if their level is too high in your body. These free radicals are linked to many illnesses including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Free radicals are constantly being formed in your body. Antioxidants play a crucial role in food production by increasing shelf life.
5. Reduces inflammation – normally inflammation is your bodies way of healing itself and fighting infection but too much inflammation can cause harm. Using nettle as a cream or consuming nettle helps to relieve inflammation such as arthritis
6. Treat enlarged prostate symptoms. An enlarged penis can cause a lot of pain especially during urination.
7. Lowers blood pressure. Nettle may help lower blood pressure by allowing your blood vessels to relax and reducing the force of your hearts contraction.
8. Blood Sugar control; nettle plant contains compounds that mimic the effects of insulin
9. Nettle helps to support wound and burn healing when used in a cream form.
10. Allergies - using the leave, nettle helps to reduce the symptom of hay fever by acting and and anti-inflammatory. It helps to relief sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes
Possible Side Effects:
Be careful when handling fresh stinging nettle. You should not eat fresh nettle. It can cause rashes, bumps hives and itchiness
Contradictions: Pregnant women should not use stinging nettle, it may cause uterine contractions which can raise the risk of a miscarriage. Always speaks to your doctor before using a herb
How can it be used? It can be steamed and eaten like spinach. You can steep nettle to make a herbal tea. It can be cooked and added to your stews, soup, smoothies and stir fried foods. Dried and cooked stinging nettle is generally safe to use.
Recommended dosage: There is no recommended dose for nettle.
Happy steeping! Go make some nettle tea!