Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a perennial herb. The heart-shaped green leaves of this flowering plant are edged in small hairs called trichomes, that release histamine and other chemicals when touched. The benefits of stinging nettle have been written about in many ancient medicinal texts and the many uses described are still applicable today.
It grows wild throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, and many other regions of the world but is more commonly found in colder climates where rain is highest.
They grow as tall as seven feet in the summer and disappear in the winter months. The ideal soil for stinging nettle to flourish is soil rich in phosphate and nitrogen. They grow in clusters of several plants and even though you won’t see them in winter, they’ll return to the same spot year after year.
Throughout history, stinging nettle benefits have been used to treat pain, to ease allergies, and to improve respiratory issues. Some of the earliest practitioners of medicine in Ancient Greece wrote extensively about the positive aspects of this simple plant.
Stinging nettle is naturally…
Stinging Nettle Benefits in Your Backyard!
In the past few years, products made from stinging nettle have cropped up in the health marketplace made of the leaves and stems, sometimes the roots as well.
If at all possible, harvest your own stinging nettle. You get the unprocessed leaves to use without worrying about quality.
However, it is critical that you use caution when harvesting by wearing gloves, long sleeves, and full pants to gather them. I always recommend that you leave the root system if possible to keep the plants blooming every year.
The easiest way to partake of stinging nettle benefits is in the form of tea. It’s quick to make, can be sweetened to taste with honey or another natural sweetener, and works quickly.
Easy Stinging Nettle Tea
- 1 cup fresh stinging nettle leaves (or ½ cup dried)
- 2 cups water
- Rinse leaves (if using fresh).
- Bring water to a boil.
- Add leaves to water and boil 1 minute.
- Lower heat.
- Simmer 2 minutes.
- Strain liquid only into a cup, discarding leaves.
- Sweeten if desired with honey, maple sugar, or another natural option.
Caution Regarding Stinging Nettle
Women who are pregnant or nursing should not consume stinging nettle tea since there has been no research to confirm safety to mother and child. There are many articles online about the ability of stinging nettle to improve milk production but there have been no studies in this regard.
If you are taking medications for any serious condition such as high blood pressure, blood thinners, or diabetes, make sure you consult with your physician before using this natural remedy. While stinging nettle benefits are now scientifically proven, it also has the ability to counteract the effectiveness of some medications while enhancing others.
Stinging Nettle Benefits for Prostate Conditions
There is new research that suggests stinging nettle may be a successful treatment for those dealing with the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH, doctors in Europe have already embraced this simple remedy to help their male patients.
Men suffering from this condition may have difficulty urinating completely, may feel the need to urinate more often than normal, or never feel as if their bladder is completely empty. This is due to the swollen prostate gland pressing against the urethra. The benefit of stinging nettle tea might be something to consider if you suffer from BPH.
Get Your Bowels Moving and Purify Your Body with the Benefits of Stinging Nettle
My main focus on stinging nettle is in its’ ability to perform as a natural detoxifier.
For thousands of years, this humble plant has been used as a diuretic to rid the body of excess fluid retention, flush the kidneys, and help improve the digestive system.
It contains fiber so it definitely gets your bowels moving. A new craze is sautéing stinging nettle much like spinach and eating it as a side dish to help cleanse the colon. Using a bit of olive oil or butter, simply place the clean leaves in a pan over medium heat and stir constantly until they decrease. Adding garlic, onions, or spices makes this a simple, versatile, and delicious dish.
A natural diuretic, stinging nettle is an excellent alternative to over-the-counter drugs intended to flush excess fluid from your system. Drinking two cups of nettle tea and increasing your water intake for a single day will make you a fan.
If you’ve been sick with a nasty cold or flu, utilizing this plant will help to break up and flush mucus and ease symptoms such as diarrhea, body aches, and fever.
It stimulates the lymph system (along with deep breathing and stretching) to help flush toxins and helps to release buildup of uric acid from the joints, which lessens the pain of arthritis.
Stinging nettle is usually considered a “weed” but the way this plant helps to protect digestive system has been well-documented. From breaking down kidney stones to helping rid the intestinal tract of bad bacteria and parasites, this plant is your gastrointestinal system’s new best friend. It’s a natural and effective method to bring your body back in balance.
See if you can find this spectacular little plant in your area and if you can’t, check your local health food store for the dried leaves.
If you suffer from rampant inflammation, flu-like symptoms, or urinary distress, the benefits of stinging nettle could be the solution you didn’t realize you were looking for!