Although it may sounds odd at first, the nettle has first attracted the attention of the doctor due to the irritating effect on the skin. Nettle leaves have thin, hollow hairs – sharp like needles – which poke and ”burn” the skin. It was believed that ”burning” help with joint pain (used in folk medicine for the treatment of arthritis), and for centuries warm compresses were used to extract poison from the skin.
The leaves are very nutritious, and the taste is similar to the spinach. They contain a lot of iron and other minerals, as well as carotenoids and vitamin C. (For eating, you can pick young leaves that have no thorns/hairs.) Nettle grows in some parts of Europe, USA and Canada and grows up to 150 cm.
How does it work?
Nettle has a beneficial effect on cleansing and removing toxins and boosts urination; these effects are probably due to large amounts of flavonoids and potassium. It can help alleviate a number of skin disorders including dermatitis and eczema in kids and arthritis in older people. A pain in the joints and inflammation (especially in gout) can be alleviated with compresses made from nettle tea or dietary supplements that are taken on the mouth.
MAIN USEFUL EFFECTS: since it stimulates urination, the nettle helps to remove excess fluid from the body and can help with many problems. In people who suffer from urinary tract infections, nettle will increase the amount of urine and thus help relieve the body of bacteria. Dietary supplements can help women who feel bloated before menstruation.
One of the well-proven uses of nettle is to relieve the symptoms of hay fever. The body’s response to contact with pollen and other allergens is the inflammation and the creation of histamine, which is responsible for clogged nose and tearing eyes. Nettle is a good source of quercetin, one of the flavonoids, and it stops producing histamine. In one study, more than 50% of people who uffer from allergies reported that they consider nettle (compared to placebo) moderately to highly effective in alleviating allergy symptoms.
ADDITIONAL USEFUL EFFECTS: when taken by mouth, nettle leaves have an adstriction effect, i.e. they stop bleeding. This plant is used in cases of nasal or abundant menstrual bleeding.
When the cause of prostate enlargement is not cancer, the root of nettle can help. This condition is called benign prostatic hyperplasia, which is the narrowing of the urethra that passes through the enlarged prostate, which then makes urination more difficult. This diagnosis can only be set up by a doctor! Nettle root can slow the growth of the prostate.
How to take it?
DOSAGE: if you have allergies, eczema, abundant bleeding and gout: drink a cup of nettle tea three times a day, which is prepared by pouring 250 ml of hot water over a teaspoon of dried nettle. You can also take 250 mg of nettle leaves or teaspoonfuls of tincture three times a day. You can put tea compresses on your sore joints.
To slow the growth of the prostate in hyperplasia: take 250 mg of root (not leaf!) extract twice a day, along with 160 mg of serenoa repens.
USE GUIDELINES: leaves, extracts or tincture are taken with food to make the stomach irritation as small as possible. If you want to eat a fresh plant, remember that you can eat young leaves raw, while older leaves should be cooked.
Possible side effects
nettle is mostly safe for use, but sometimes it causes allergic reactions. According to some reports, stomach irritation, indigestion or diarrhea are possible.
IMPORTANT: if you have any illness, consult your doctor before taking any supplements.