Stinging nettle is a leafy herbaceous plant that grows as a wild green all over the world in mild to temperate climate zones. One of nature’s top nutritive herbs and vitamin mineral-rich plant-based supplements, nettles are diverse and vitamin mineral-rich plant-based supplements metals are available free for the taking. In many forests foothills and coastal locations worldwide.
The common nettle plant has been valued for centuries as a nutritious tonic tea, extremely dense in energizing substances and unique plant constituents that are nourishing to the blood, as well as cleansing to the body.
Containing antioxidant activity and a number of phenolic compounds research studies analyzing the leaves roots and stalks have discovered many phytonutrients nutrients including quercetin and Rutten flavonoids in addition to chlorophyll lecithin, beta carotene, and lutein content.
Utilized as a food source and medicinal herb taken as a folk remedy for a number of health issues such as anemia, gout, eczema, and arthritis.
The Wild stinging nettle plant has a rich history of US and European herbalism today is commonly used to modern-day herbal practitioners, the treatment of urinary disorders, hay fever, and it’s shown to be helpful for prostate gland enlargement and reducing the symptoms associated with menopause. Acting as both a diuretic and Lymphagogue, stinging nettle is stimulating to the lymph system and helpful for alleviating conditions like hyperuricemia and metabolic acidosis.
The stinging nettles can be quite invasive similar to dandelions, they are one of the most common wild herbal foods used around the world for their health-enhancing qualities.
Although they can grow like weeds, they’re also widely cultivated and sold commercially as a dried herb freeze-dried powder encapsulated supplement or tincture extract.
In the words of herbalists Rosemary glad star “Nettle may be one of the wonders of the plant kingdom, its usefulness can be traced to antiquity, and its popularity as a medicine and as a food has hardly waned. True if you’ve never been introduced to the virtues of herbs, you probably never even heard the positive side of Nettle.
As a matter of fact, the very word probably conjures up visions of painful welts and dermatitis.”
The Nettle is beloved in the herbal community and is one of our personal favorites.
What are Nettles?
Common stinging nettle is a perennial plant native to parts of Europe, Asia, North America, and Africa. There are several subspecies with some stingless varieties that actually do not have stinging hairs present on the leaves and stems.
Most do however have tiny nearly invisible hairs referred to as trichomes or needle-like tips that when touched by the skin can inject a fluid containing certain substances like formic acid, the same chemical that causes ant and bee stings.
Several other compounds present in the trichomes may also include histamine Acetylcholine and serotonin.
Generally, when rubbed up against the skin, stinging Nettle causes a prickling or burning sensation that usually lasts for several hours, and may cause swelling or a red rash depending on one’s level of sensitivity.
Here are some stinging Nettle rash pictures :
The hairs on the nettle plant naturally designed to help protect the plant from insects and predators are deactivated when the plant is Steeped steamed dried, or prepared in alcohol or vinegar solution.
What is Stinging Nettle used for
The Juice of Nettles can be applied topically as a remedy for the sting to relieve the itchiness.
Although the roots stocks, stems, and seeds can all be used therapeutically, the leaves are the primary part consumed as a prepared food source. Infused juice or tincture of all stinging nettle species have similar nutritional properties, the large and robust varieties are believed by some to be of greater nutritional value.
Nettle with its tough fibrous stocks have also been used by cultures around the world for industrial purposes and utilized for centuries as a fiber source for making textiles, twine and rope, much like that if the linseed or hemp plant.
Wild Nettle identification
Nettle leaves are oblong and pointed with a sawtooth edging. They produce tiny green white flower clusters which develop on the leaf axis in the summer season. The plant often grows in partially shaded soils next to other wild edible species like mallow, dandelion, and Chickweed.
Once located, you can typically expect patches of nettle to propagate in the same place every year. Reaching heights up between two to four feet, they tend to grow well in nitrogen-rich garden soils and even disturbed urban habitats. They are also very common in wild woodland regions, meadows, coastal locations, as well as all riverbanks and creek beds. If you are considering gathering the nettle plant, be sure to read about how to pick stinging nettles first.
Health Benefits of Stinging Nettle
There is a high level of Stinging Nettle nutritional benefits from every part of the plant. Nettle is a nourishing and energizing tea and herb food source and a natural plant-based multivitamin. There are high concentrations of nutrients that are easily assimilated as a tea infusion providing a wealth of liquid nourishment, that have energizing effects on the body systems.
Likewise, the fresh leaves and young nettle shoots can be prepared as a lightly steamed leafy green vegetable or used as an ingredient in green juicing recipes.
Dark brown-green nettle teas are full of highly digestible vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin C and vitamin K.
Nettle leaves are also found to contain many phenolic compounds and flavonoids.
Silicic acid, Folic and
Read this article if you are interested in the Health Benefits of stinging Nettle leaf.
Concentrated tea infusions are a rejuvenating restorative tonic for malnourished depleted anemic or excessively weak individuals.
Containing free amino acids juiced or lightly steamed nettle leaves are also a protein-rich vegetable source and very beneficial for post-traumatic healing from wounds or surgery.
Appropriately prepared raw nettle shoots or the pressed juices are often known to boost energy levels and uplift ones mood. This is thought to be in part due to its alkaloid content, and nutritive value, as well as some of the transferred vital chemical compounds like histamine and other neurotransmitters, like acetylcholine and serotonin.
Nettle tea for menopause and pregnancy
Iron and calcium-rich nettle teas are very beneficial to menopausal women and when consumed on a daily basis are useful for diminishing hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, and help to provide nutrients that may prevent bone loss.
Read this article to learn more about [ the benefits of stinging Nettle leaf tea. ]
Nettle can also be a valuable herbal supplement used throughout pregnancy as a nourishing energy tonic and natural diuretic.
It is a long us remedy for emerging during childbirth and for increasing the flow of breast milk in lactating mothers.
Beneficial for the Urinary System
Consuming Nettle leaf teas, juices and extracts and concentrated doses on a regular basis are cleansing to the body, especially therapeutic for the urinary system and related health conditions involving the kidneys and bladder.
For more information, you can read this article on [ Stinging Nettle leaf extract benefits. ]
According to rosemary glad star: “because of the importance of the kidneys nature is generous in her proportion of herbs beneficial to their functioning.”
Prolifically growing wild nettles are one of these herbs that are particularly respected for such purposes.
Herbal diuretics like nettle leaf, specifically increase the flow of urine and are helpful in removing excess fluid, encouraging greater elimination of waste material from the tissues and joints.
Nettle helps to stimulate and maintain normal kidney functioning, soothe irritation of the urinary tract and provides antiseptic qualities.
Dried or fresh nettle tea infusions are very alkalizing to the body and urinary systems, assisting in the reduction of acidic conditions and the removal of uric acid buildup. Especially beneficial to those with hyperuricemia, gout and metabolic acidosis.
Stinging Nettle Root Benefits for Men
The roots of the nettle plant have also been shown beneficial in some research, for their effects on the male genitourinary system, which includes both the urinary and reproductive organ systems.
Nettle Root extracts have been proven valuable for men with acute bladder infections caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia or enlargement of the prostate gland, the prostate gland. When the prostate gland is enlarged it presses on the urethra, the tube that releases urine from the bladder.
Be sure to read this article on stinging nettle root extract side effects before applying it to discover an antidote to stinging Nettle.
In a study published in the world Journal of Urology elderly male patients suffering from lower urinary tract symptoms, were tested in a double-blind study, using a combination of sabal fruit extract and nettle extract.
Results indicated that the extracts were advantageous and obstructive, and irritated urinary symptoms and in patients with moderate and severe symptoms the tolerability of the herbal extract was excellent.
According to the 2015 study, it was concluded that prostatic hyperplasia could be reduced by oral administration of nettle root extract and that it has protective effects on prostatic hyperplasia with similar effects to that a finasteride a drug used to treat the condition.
This influence is still under investigation but it’s currently believed to be due to its properties as an anti-inflammatory agent, as well as its ability to inhibit the aromatize enzyme.
According to the 2014 Journal of molecular and cellular medicine, a specific lectin from stinging nettle root is widely used in prostate cancer treatment.
Nettle root is often used in herbal formulations along with testosterone boosting herbs like ginseng and pine pollen for its actions as a natural aromatase inhibitor, promoting the circulation of free testosterone in the body, so it can be utilized as an androgenic molecule, rather than as an estrogen.
If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of stinging Nettle root extract read this article.
Cleansing Effects and Allergy Relief
Nettle leaves contain specific substances like histamine, which reduces the amount of histamine produced by the body in response to types of pollen in the atmosphere.
While it might seem counterintuitive to use an extract or tea containing histamine for hay fever. Studies show that nettle inhibits the pro-inflammatory pathways related to allergic rhinitis antagonizing histamine one receptor, inhibiting prostate gland information and preventing degranulation.
Nettles are additionally a blood and lymph cleanser when your liver is overburdened with toxins seasonal allergy symptoms are less likely to be a problem. Freeze-dried powders are often recommended as the preferred choice for treating asthmatic and allergic conditions. But many find that tea concentrates consumed several weeks before allergy season, also provides benefits.
As an expectorant, nettle leads are helpful for expelling mucus and can be an effective ingredient in herbal tea’s specific for coughs, flus, colds, bronchitis, and pneumonia.
Soothe’s inflammation, arthritis, and joint pain.
The cleansing effects of nettle leaves are additionally helpful for their cooling effects that soothe the inflamed conditions and have been long used as a folk remedy for arthritic disorders.
Stinging nettle for rheumatoid arthritis traditionally is used by applying it directly on the skin as a poultice or by soaking in strong nettle infused bathwater.
Nettles have been known throughout the ages for offering relief for painful joints and sore muscles.
Good for The Skin and Hair
The cleansing antiseptic and nutritive properties nettles have on the body are also very health-enhancing to the skin and hair. For this reason, nettle is usually a top ingredient used in natural skin and hair care products.
Nettle s can be used as a tea or poultice incorporated into paste creams and salves good for treating various skin conditions.
Strong nettle tea infusions also make a nourishing scalp and hair wash.
Stinging Nettle for Permaculture Design
It is very easy to grow your own nettle either from wild seeds, nettle cuttings or purchased nettle starts.
Rudolf Steiner who promoted the use of nettle tea consumption also recommended it for use as a biodynamic spray to increase vegetative growth as a useful insect repellent.
Nettles make a great companion plant in permaculture design known to benefit the growth of other herbs and vegetables and encourages the proliferation of beneficial insects.
Types of Nettle products
1. Fresh Nettle Leaf: Harvested Nettle can be prepared appropriately to remove stinging components and used as a leafy green vegetable or in herbal teas or tinctures.
2. Dry Leaf or Powders: Fresh dried herbs and ground powders can be infused in hot water, encapsulated and tinctured in alcohol or vinegar.
3. Freese-Dried Leaf Powder
Freeze-Dried Nettle leaves ground into a powder.
4. Nettle Leaf Extract: An alcohol-based tincture of the fresh or dried nettle leaves and/stems.
5. Fresh or dried Nettle roots: Nettle roots can be simmered as a tea decoction or tinctured.
6. Nettle Root Extract: Nettle roots prepared in an alcohol menstruum or commonly sold commercially, as a powdered hot water extract.
How to Use
Stinging Nettle needs to be appropriately prepared by hot water infusion, laceration, drying, or tinctured methods. This allows for their safe consumption and deactivates the formic acid content on the stinging hairs.
Some people eat Nettle leaves in salads, after skillfully rubbing off the hairs. But eating stinging Nettle raw is not something we recommend attempting.
Fresh or dried nettle leaves make a great vitamin mineral-rich tea and are an easy way to assimilate the benefits of this energizing plant. Nettle tea has a mild to strong flavor depending on the amount used and tastes similar to vegetable broth.
Concentrated tea infusions can be used as soup stocks or as a liquid base in drinks, green smoothies, or as a nutritive replacement for water in most recipes. The leaves and shoots can also be prepared as a lightly steamed or blanched leafy green vegetable or used to make fresh nettle juice.
Cooked nettles have a similar flavor and texture to that of spinach and can be used in many dishes, as a spinach alternative. Raw nettles make an excellent ingredient processed into pesto sauces or blended into salad dressings and dips.
Nettle root can be taken as a liquid or powdered extract or used dried in tea decoctions.
Excessive nettle tea or juice consumption may cause a skin rash for some individuals. Although it is very rare, there have been reported reactions when ingesting raw pureed, blended or juiced fresh nettle leaves.
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner before using natural products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing or taking prescribed medications.