Veterinarian Reviewed on January 10, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Nettle Root is the root of the Nettle, a leafy plant known as Urtica Dioica in Botany. Nettle is a perennial herb that grows mostly in temperate regions. This plant is also called Stinging Nettle because of the tiny stinging hairs on its leaves that are like phytohypodermic needles, which can cause an irritating sting on the skin. The Nettle Leafis a deep green and the plant can grow up to three feet tall.
Nettle Root was used to make tinctures and decoctions in folk medicine, while the shoots and tops are eaten and commonly added to salads, soups, or cooked as greens.
History and Origin
Stinging Nettle, where Nettle Root comes from, was considered a nuisance because of the tiny hairs on its leaves that causes a burning sensation. However, way back during 3000 to 2000 BC, this plant was discovered to be the source of a fabric used for burial shrouds. During the time of ancient Greece, Nettle Root and leaves have been widely used for herbal medicines. Nettle was used as remedies for arthritis, hair loss, tuberculosis, and coughs.
In ancient Egypt, Nettle Root infusions were used to remedy pains that were caused by lumbago and arthritis. A decoction of the Nettle has been useful in the production of green dye for fabric for centuries.
For thousands of years, the Nettle Root and plant were used for urtification for the treatment of lethargy, coma, chronic rheumatism, paralysis, cholera and typhus. Anecdotes and documentation on urtification have been found within the Canadian and American native tribes, Ecuador Indians, and ancient Romans. Through the centuries, Nettle Root has been highly recognized for its nutritional and tonic importance. It was also used in conditioning the soil and speeding decomposition in composts and it also helps in the improvement of other plants.
The modern uses of Nettle Root are mostly similar to how it was used in the ancient times. Today, people still use Nettle Root for the treatment of rheumatism, eczema, allergic rhinitis, internal and external bleeding, anemia, and acute arthritis. Nettle Root is also very in demand for the treatment of high blood pressure, benign prostate hyperplasia or BPH, and urinary tract infections. Treatment of allergies and hay fever are also among the modern uses of Nettle Root.
Since it was very effective in the production of dye for clothes and a good source of fabric, Nettle Root and leaves are again being promoted as textile products.
Nettle Root almost has no side effects. The only side effects are contact urticaria, which is frequent exposure of the skin to the Nettle; sweating, gastrointestinal upset, and skin irritations. Contact urticaria is commonly accompanied with a stinging sensation that lasts longer than twelve hours. There is also a possibility that certain substances may be present in the Nettle Root liquid, which can directly affect the nerves or initiate the release of other secondary mediators. There are no reported cases of Nettle Root having interacted with some medications such as sedatives, anti-inflammatory medicines, antihypertensive drugs and anti-diabetes medicines.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan