( Urtica dioica )
Nettle is one of my very favorite herbs. Nettle has a great taste, beautiful aroma and numerous health benefits. Nettle, which is also called 'Stinging Nettle', is natures multimineral & multivitamin gift to the humankind. Nettle is generously rich in mineral content, especially calcium as well other minerals such as magnesium, zinc, iron, phosphorus and potassium. This herb is also a rich source of chlorophyll, vitamin C, vitamin B, carotenoid and amino acids. As an ancient herb, nettle is also mentioned in the bible and has been used widely in Western Herbalism for treating many ailments.
For bone, nail, hair & teeth
Calcium is highly needed to build healthy tissues such as bone, teeth, nail and hair. A lack of calcium can cause weak bones, fragile teeth, hair loss and poor nail structure. Our bones, teeth, hair and nails are all made of mineral elements and especially calcium. The concentration of calcium in our hair exceeds by 200 times the concentration of calcium in the blood serum. Over 99% of calcium in our body is found in our teeth and bone. Calcium is also the key mineral to get healthy and strong nails. Without calcium the nails can become dry and break easily. Additional to this, calcium also plays a huge role in iron absorption. Without calcium the body would not be able to absorb iron from the food. Iron is also equally necessary as calcium for healthy hair and nails. Nettle is a wonderful herb to use for having healthy bones, nails, hair and teeth. Taking nettle in the form of food or tea, would supple the body with plant based calcium and other minerals in a bio available form. The natural way of taking such multi minerals cannot be compared to those man made synthetic pills, which we can buy in the store. If you suffer from hair loss, poor teeth and weak bones, you should consider drinking nettle tea everyday.
Menstrual cramp and leg cramp
Cramping in the body often happen due to lack of minerals especially calcium and magnesium. These two minerals are vital for muscle movement. Anytime when the muscle contract & expand, like when we walk, stretch and run, the muscles in our body will be in demand of calcium and magnesium. When there is deficiencies in these minerals, we can experience cramping. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a very common issues among women. The reason behind this is, that the level of calcium in a woman's body can drop about a week before the menstruation. When this happens, a woman can experience a painful menstruation from cramping in the uterus, headache, water retention, insomnia and depression. Such symptoms can occur during premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and menstruation. Increasing calcium & magnesium intake through plant base food, such as nettle, is a great way to replenish our body with vital minerals.
Excellent detox herb
Nettle has a long history in medieval Europe being used as diuretic herb. Diuretic is a term used in Herbalism to indicate the property of herbs which can increase the blood flow to the kidneys and the ability to flush out toxins from the body. Generally, nettle is used for this purpose to rid the body of excess water through urine. Nettle does this by draining the congested fluid in joints and from swollen tissues (edema) into the blood to be passed as urine. Nettle is especially beneficial to treat painful gout and arthritis. Both gout and arthritis are metabolic and inflammatory disease, which is caused by improper food intake, poor digestion and poor elimination. This causes toxic accumulation in the body such as uric acid, which causes an acute pain mostly in the big toe and joints. Traditional record shows, that fresh nettle juice is used to cleanse the blood from toxic accumulation such as uric acid as well in clearing skin condition such as hives and eczema, which resulted from toxic blood.
Nettle is a great blood tonic, not only for cleansing the blood, but also to treat anemia. According to Thomas Bartram, a medical herbalist, nettle has shown a great improvement in treating anemia when two cups of nettle tea are drunken everyday. The organic iron and copper found in nettle is believed to work in synergistic effect to treat anemia effectively.
For enlarged prostate
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), prostate enlargement is caused by kidney deficiency in men that can develop over the time as men get older. This causes poor blood circulation in the prostate which results in enlargement. A clinical study of nettle roots has shown it is effective in the treatment of enlarged prostate. Nettle roots contain high amount of sterol which stimulate the production of white blood cell to fight the infection and inflammation in the prostate.
Consideration before taking nettle
Nettle has a drying energetic. This makes it unsuitable for those who have an overly dry body constitution such as dry mouth, eyes, mucosal membrane and constipation caused by dryness. People with such dry body constitution should not consume large amounts of nettle for that could aggravate the condition. Generally a mild infusion of nettle tea or small amounts of nettle prepared in the food should be fine.
Look for nettle recipe here.