Veterinarian Reviewed on June 7, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Most commonly referred to as ‘Stinging Nettles’, this plant is perceived by many people to be one that should be avoided at all costs. This is mostly due to the fact that this plant can give a person a very nasty sting when it touches their skin. However, all of these concerns are mostly centered around the Nettle plant. The Nettle Leaf is an herb that is derived from the Nettle plant.
History of the Nettle Leaf
The word Nettle, or Urtica dioica, is derived from the Latin root-word, “uro,” which literally means “I burn.” This is the first warning sign that this plant carries a powerful sting that is caused by all of the tiny little hairs found on its leaves. This plant naturally grows in temperate regions and is actually a native of England.
Ancient Uses of Nettle
For centuries, both the root and the leaves of this plant have been utilized as a type of vegetable, to make clothing with and as well as for medicinal purposes. In fact, the Ancient Greeks were the first to be noted to have used the Nettle plant to treat a variety of ailments like Arthritis, tuberculosis, coughing fits and even as a tonic for Baldness and to help hair grow. Other ancient cultures drank Nettle tea as an energy tonic.
Modern Uses of Nettle
There are many different uses for the Nettle plant in today’s modern world. A few of the more well-documented uses are:
• Female issues. Nettle leaf can be safely used by menopausal women and other women that are dealing with PMS and menorrhagia.
• Stimulates the production of Mother’s milk.
• Increases vitality in men by boosting testosterone levels.
• Natural diuretic that actually increases the body’s uric acid secretion, and also reduces nighttime bathroom visits. Nettle Leaf is great for bed-wetting in children and urinary issues in adults.
• Works as a natural anti-asthmatic and helps to clear up nasal and bronchial passages that are constricted.
• Contains anti-inflammatory agents that help with arthritic symptoms; as well as a treatment for osteoarthritis, tendinitis, bursitis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
• Nettle Leaf also contains natural antihistamines too.
• It is also a wonderful tonic for proper kidney and adrenal gland function.
• It can also be used as part of a detoxification plan.
• Nettle Leaf is also used to improve the strength and length of hair, as well as the shine too. It also helps to stimulate [Hair Growth].
Nettle Leaf can be prepared either as a tea or as a tincture. It can even be bought in capsule form. It can also be cooked and eaten much like a vegetable. It can be cooked in similar ways to other dark leafy green herbs and vegetables.
Side Effects and Contraindications of Nettle Leaf
As with any herbal use, always consult with a doctor or herbalist first, especially if you are currently taking any type of prescription medication as some medications may not interact well with the Nettle Leaf. People who have sensitive gastrointestinal systems may have stomach upset as a result of the detoxification properties of the Nettle Leaf. Pregnant and nursing women are fine to consume Nettle Leaf.
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