Stinging nettle is what we would call a super plant. Used for thousands of years across the world in many ways in cosmetics, as a source of fiber for clothing, as a fertilizer, to keeping insects away from veggies in a garden and for us more specifically; as food source with tremendous therapeutic value.
But be careful! Do not handle this plant with bare hands and be careful not to allow the fresh plant to rub against your skin. Use gloves or you will get a bad sting!
The leaves are exceptionally rich in nutrients and fantastic for strengthening the body in convalescence or to help boost energy to support the body's systems with a plethora of what it needs to build and maintain health. The plant is eaten cooked or consumed as a tea or tincture.
Although this plant is found all over the world and has been used for thousands of years, it was at the turn of the century in which the plant was finally well analyzed in several large studies and its chemically active structures finally understood proving its value in many many health related indications. The young leaves are highly nutritive cooked from fresh or dried as a tea. As a tincture , nettle is well known for its anti allergy effect relieving nasal congestion as well as for treating skin conditions such as acne.
Specifically for women, nettle can relieve the uncomfortable cramping and bloating associated with menstruation and ease the transition into menopause as it is thought to reduce the intensity of the hormonal shift. This seems to mainly be a result of its astringent properties.
Additional therapeutic usages include the following:
- treating urinary tract infections
- improving bone health as a result of its high vitamin K content
- improving circulation and heart health
- assisting in blood sugar control
- improving the health of the gut
- immune system boost
- reducing inflammation and helping manage chronic inflammatory conditions such as arthritis
- detox support through its action in neutralizing and elimination of toxins
- regular consumption of nettle tea can also help lower blood pressure and relieve stress to the cardiovascular system
The seeds have a slightly different nutritional profile containing vitamins A, B, C, E and K and minerals iron, silicon, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium. And as a bonus, beta-carotene, folic acid and essential fatty acids. Predominant usage of the seeds is as a kidney tonic.