The most important health benefits of stinging nettle include its ability to detoxify the body, improve metabolic efficiency, boost immunity, increase , improve energy levels, manage , minimize menopausal symptoms, and aid in skin care. It has the power to protect the kidney and health, lower inflammation, increase muscle mass, regulate hormonal activity, prevent diabetes, lower , soothe , and improve conditions.
What is Stinging Nettle?
Stinging nettle plant, scientifically known as Urtica dioica, is one of the six subspecies within the Urtica genus. The native range of stinging nettle, also known as common nettle in some places, is extensive, including Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America. Stinging nettle root and leaves have different medicinal properties. Stinging roots can be taken as a tablet, tea, tincture, extract, capsule or pill.
Some cultures even make nettle soup or include it in cheese-making to add some healthy boost to their meals. The leaves are most commonly brewed as tea, which captures many of the essential health benefits, but the plant can also be applied topically in the form of an oil extract. However, be sure to combine this natural oil with carrier oils, as it can be extremely potent.
The plant itself is relatively small, rarely growing past five feet in height. The leaves and stems in some of the subspecies have long stinging hairs that inject an array of chemicals when touched, including histamine, formic acid, serotonin, and acetylcholine. This produces an irritating, uncomfortable sensation in the skin, which is why other common names for stinging nettle are burn weed and burn nettle. However, once you boil these stems and leaves or extract the powerful oils, the stinging substances are neutralized and the real benefits of the plant can be enjoyed.
This herbaceous flowering plant may be considered as an annoyance to many when they brush against its sharp, stinging leaves, but for thousands of years, people around the world have used stinging nettle to treat a variety of health conditions.
Serving Size : Nutrient Value Water [g] 87.67 Energy [kcal] 42 Protein [g] 2.71 Total lipid (fat) [g] 0.11 Carbohydrate, by difference [g] 7.49 Fiber, total dietary [g] 6.9 Sugars, total [g] 0.25 Calcium, Ca [mg] 481 Iron, Fe [mg] 1.64 Magnesium, Mg [mg] 57 Phosphorus, P [mg] 71 Potassium, K [mg] 334 Sodium, Na [mg] 4 Zinc, Zn [mg] 0.34 Thiamin [mg] 0.01 Riboflavin [mg] 0.16 Niacin [mg] 0.39 Vitamin B-6 [mg] 0.1 Folate, DFE [µg] 14 Vitamin A, RAE [µg] 101 Vitamin A, IU [IU] 2011 Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg] 498.6 Sources include : USDA
Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of stinging nettle.
Detoxifies the Body
The wide range of beneficial nutrients found in stinging nettle makes it an ideal detoxifier for the body and it has been known to gently cleanse the body of toxins. As a diuretic, it can also ensure that those toxins being neutralized in the body are then eliminated quickly, says the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. It helps improve the nutrient uptake efficiency of the gut and ensures that the digestive processes run smoothly, thereby preventing the accumulation of dangerous toxins. It also stimulates the lymphatic system, helping rid the body of excess toxins in the kidneys as well.
Aids in Pregnancy
Stinging nettle tea is often suggested for women who are undergoing excessively painful labor, and it helps to protect against excessive bleeding, as it can act as a coagulant. Furthermore, it will help stimulate the production of milk and make lactation easier. A study by Dr. Rachel Emma Westfall, Centre for Environmental Health Department of Biology, University of Victoria, Canada, has listed stinging nettle as one of the herbal medicines in pregnancy and childbirth.
Promotes Feminine Health
Stinging nettle has a number of active components that affect feminine health. For painful undergoing menopause, stinging nettle can smooth the transition and act as a restorative, so the hormonal shift isn’t as dramatic in the body.symptoms, it can give relief from cramping and bloating, while also minimizing blood flow during menstruation due to its astringent capabilities. For women
The combination of high vitamin C and iron content in stinging nettle makes it ideal for stimulating red blood cell production. Vitamin C optimizes iron uptake in the gut, while the iron is a crucial component of hemoglobin. By increasing the RBC count and the blood circulation, as well as speeding up wound recovery, the body’s extremities receive essential oxygenation to boost energy levels. For the same reason, stinging nettle is often recommended to relieve fatigue or anemia, which is characterized by general muscle weakness, exhaustion, cognitive difficulties, and headache.
Prevents Kidney Stones
Stinging nettle has long been known as a diuretic, but it also affects the kidneys in a different way. It has nephritic qualities, meaning that it can help break down stones in the kidney and gallbladder. This prevents those painful conditions from worsening or requiring those stones to be either passed or surgically removed. Also, as a diuretic, stinging nettle helps eliminate toxins quickly, thereby protecting against bladder infections and excess fluid retention (edema). Furthermore, it also aids in preventing urinary tract infection, according to a study published in Elsevier’s Phytomedicine journal.
Stinging nettle is a stimulant and rubefacient substance, making it very effective against various Researchers from Germany in their study have revealed that the herb can treat rheumatic arthritis and chronic muscle pain. Furthermore, stinging nettle tea or herbal supplementation can also effectively treat gout.conditions.
Although we don’t hear much about boron, it is still an important mineral found in stinging nettle. Boron has been linked to maintaining calcium content in our bones, which means that stinging nettle can help to slow the onset of osteoporosis. When you combine that effect with the hormone-regulating impact that stinging nettle has, which helps to regulate and monitor bone health as well, it seems like this herb truly can do it all.
Treats Respiratory Issues
Stinging nettle has also been connected to the treatment of a variety of respiratory conditions, including hay fever, asthma, and other seasonal allergies. Also, certain extract combinations from stinging nettle can significantly reduce allergic reactions. This is confirmed in a study conducted by Dr. Randall Alberte, et al., Chief Scientific Officer of HerbalScience Group LLC, US. Regular consumption of its tea has been associated with curing asthma in Australia for generations.
Protects Heart Health
It only makes sense that this amazing cure-all herb would also be able to positively affect the heart. Research has revealed that regular consumption of stinging nettle tea can help to lower systolic blood pressure and relieve tension and stress on the system.
Improves Prostate Health
Prostate enlargement and cancer are both serious factors to consider as men age and stinging nettle has proven to be an effective means of preventing prostate growth. However, due to the chemical pathways that this treatment takes, stinging nettle root can only prevent the prostate enlargement, not reverse or reduce it. Palmetto along with nettle root can also reduce the urge of frequent urination.
When the extracts are applied to the skin, stinging nettle has been proven to reduce the severity of acne and can even prevent bacterial infections. Due to its properties, it can also speed healing, reduce the appearance of scars and blemishes, and promote anti-aging effects to reduce wrinkles and age spots.
Word of Caution: While many of these benefits seem miraculous, it is important to remember that some of these remedies for high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and menstruation can also have a flip-side. Before adding such a potent and comprehensive herbal remedy to your diet, be sure to consult a physician and ensure that you won’t be complicating any ongoing treatments.