People have been using stinging nettle as a medicine for thousands of years. It is a herbaceous plant. It is one of six subspecies in the genus Urtica, so it is also called Urtica dioica. The stinging nettle plant is native to North America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Different parts of this flowering plant with leaves and stems can be used to treat different illnesses. Its roots can be made into tablets, tinctures, capsules, pills, tea, or an extract. At the same time, the leaves are used to make tea because Stinging Nettle has many health benefits.
Fine hairs on the leaves and stems of stinging nettle contain chemicals that are irritating to the skin. These chemicals are released when the plant comes in contact with the skin. Stinging nettle hairs, or spines, are usually very painful to touch. When they touch a painful part of the body, though, they can actually make the pain feel better. Scientists think that nettle does this by lowering the amount of chemicals in the body that cause inflammation and by getting in the way of how the body sends pain signals.
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About Stinging Nettle:
Stinging nettle is the name given to common nettle, garden nettle, and hybrids of these two plants. This herbaceous shrub came from the colder parts of northern Europe and Asia, but now it grows all over the world. Stinging nettle grows well in soil with a lot of nitrogen, blooms from June to September, and is usually 2 to 4 feet tall.
Stems stand straight up. The flowers are either yellow or pink, and the leaves are in the shape of a heart with small teeth and tapered ends. The whole plant is covered with tiny, stiff hairs that release chemicals when touched. Most of these hairs are on the undersides of the leaves and stem.
Types of Stinging Nettle:
- Urtica afghanica: This type of stinging nettle plant is mostly found in central and southwestern Asia, with or without stinging hairs.
- Urtica galeopsifolia: This type of stinging nettle doesn't have any hairs that can hurt you. Because of this, it is sometimes called "stinging nettle."
- Urtica gansuensis: This kind of nettle plant is found in eastern Asia. It has hairs that can hurt you.
- The American stinging nettle is another name for Urtica gracilis, which is a type of stinging nettle.
Nutritional value of Stinging Nettle:
- Vitamins: A, C, and K, plus a number of B vitamins
- Minerals: Calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium
- Fats: Linoleic acid, linolenic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and oleic acid
- All important amino acids
- Polyphenols: Kaempferol, quercetin, caffeic acid, coumarins, and other flavonoids
- Pigments: Beta-carotene, lutein, lutein xanthin, and other carotenoids
Health Benefits of Stinging Nettle:
- Detoxifies the body
Stinging nettle has a lot of good supplements or nutrients, which makes it a great detoxifier for the body. It helps the body get rid of toxins in a gentle way. As a diuretic, stinging weed can also help get rid of toxins quickly after they have been neutralised in the body. It is called "another option," which means that it can improve the stomach's ability to absorb nutrients and make sure that the stomach's processes run smoothly, preventing the buildup of dangerous toxins. It also gets the lymphatic system moving, which helps get rid of the extra toxins in the kidneys.
- Makes the blood flow better
Stinging nettle is great for making more red blood cells because it is high in both vitamin C and iron. Vitamin C makes it easier for the stomach to take in iron, which is important for making haemoglobin. By increasing the number of RBCs in the body, blood circulation speeds up wound healing and gives the body's limits the oxygen they need to keep energy levels up. Stinging bramble is often used to treat fatigue or anaemia, which is characterised by general muscle weakness, fatigue, mental difficulties, and headaches.
- Reduces inflammation
Stinging nettle is a stimulant and a rubefacient, which means that it is very good at treating inflammatory conditions like arthritis or chronic muscle pain. Research has shown that stinging nettle tea or natural supplements can help treat gout, ease muscle pain, and lessen the side effects of arthritis.
- Treats problems with the lungs
People have also used stinging nettle to treat hay fever, asthma, and other allergies that happen during certain times of the year. Studies have shown that certain mixes of stinging nettle concentrate can reduce allergic reactions.
- Work on the health of the prostate
Stinging nettle has been shown to be an effective way to stop prostate growth. Despite this, the chemical pathways of this treatment mean that stinging nettle can only stop the growth, not reverse it, once the growth factor and testosterone have been stimulated.
- Keeps the heart healthy.
Research has shown that drinking stinging nettle tea on a regular basis can help lower systolic blood pressure and relieve stress and tension in the cardiovascular system.
- Healthy skin
When the extracts of stinging nettle are put on the skin, they have been shown to reduce the severity of acne and even stop bacterial diseases. Because it has antioxidant properties, it can also speed up healing, make scars and flaws less noticeable, and boost anti-aging effects to make wrinkles and age spots go away.
- Keeps kidney stones from forming
It has nephritic properties, which means it can help break down stones in the kidney and gallbladder. This keeps painful conditions from getting worse or makes it easier to pass or carefully get rid of the stones. As a diuretic, stinging weed quickly gets rid of poisons, preventing bladder infections and keeping too much fluid in the body.
- Helps in pregnancy
Tea made from stinging nettles is often given to women in labour who are in a lot of pain. It helps keep people from bleeding too much because it can stop bleeding. It will also help stimulate milk production and make it easier to breastfeed.
- It's good for women's health
There are many different parts of stinging nettle that affect the health of women. Because it is astringent, it can relieve painful premenstrual symptoms like cramps and bloating while slowing down the flow of blood during the female cycle. Stinging nettle can help women going through menopause by slowing down the process and acting as a treatment. This way, the body's hormonal changes won't be as dramatic.
- Bone health and osteoporosis
Boron is a mineral that is found in stinging nettle. Even though we don't hear much about it, it is still an important mineral. Scientists have found that boron helps keep the calcium levels in our bones stable, which means that stinging nettle can help slow down the start of osteoporosis. When you add that to the fact that stinging nettle helps regulate hormones, which helps control and monitor bone health, it seems like this herb can really do everything.
How can stinging nettle be used?
- Some people use the leaves to make stinging nettle tea.
- Extract from stinging nettles is used in capsules, tablets, and cream.
- Nettle leaves that have been wet are used as a natural solution to put on the skin.
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