You are probably familiar with the all too common negative effects of stinging nettle – a sudden, intense pain that feels like hundreds or thousands of invisible needles are pricking into your skin…With that kind of defense mechanism, stinging nettles often get a “bad rap,” but the truth is these feisty plants are also beneficial to our health. Among other things, stinging nettles are good for internal and external bleeding, blood purification, congestion, and skin irritation.
What Are Stinging Nettles? (Won’t They Hurt Me?)
When you think of stinging nettles, you probably only think of them in the negative. Contrary to the commonly held belief that nettles are just a pesky weed, this plant is actually an important component of health remedies and even pharmaceuticals and has been for ages.
Nettles are typically bright green to gray in color and are typically found in the United States and Canada. The plant spreads by seed and creeping roots and may even grow as tall as seven feet. The root as well as the above-ground plant parts are used in making medicine and herbal treatments.
What Are the Major Health Benefits of Nettles?
The stinging nettle has a history that dates back to ancient Greek times – a period during which nettles were used primarily as a diuretic and laxative. While these usage options still hold true today, the application of nettles has grown to encompass an even greater amount of remedies.
Stinging nettles contain important compounds that help decrease inflammation. The herb is also helpful for increasing urine output, relieving muscle pain, curing urinary tract infections, suppressing allergic reactions, and calming itching and irritation from insect bites. The herb also seems to have a positive effect on hormonal production.
What Health Conditions Can Nettles Treat?
The body of research for all kinds of medicines is increasing but especially for natural medicine. Common applications for nettles include such conditions as urinary tract infection, enlarged prostate, diabetes, eczema, and osteoarthritis. This herbal remedy may even be an effective component of cancer treatment.
1. Urinary Tract Infection
The active compounds in stinging nettle function as a mild diuretic. As such, the herb helps stimulate urine flow and can relieve symptoms of urinary tract infections. Nettles also help relieve inflammation and treat infection. It not only effectively relieves pain, but it also helps treat the underlying condition.
2. Enlarged Prostate
According to research presented by the University of Maryland Medical Center, stinging nettle is a root that is used throughout Europe for treating enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Stinging nettle is effective for slowing the growth of prostate cells as well as relieving symptoms such as reduced urinary flow, incomplete emptying of the bladder, post urination dripping, and the constant need to urinate.
Another application for stinging nettle is as a treatment for diabetes. The chemical compounds in stinging nettle may help reduce blood sugar and control insulin spikes. It is important to not, though, that this remedy may cause your blood sugar to drop too low if used in conjunction with other diabetes medication.
While it may seem counterintuitive to use a reaction-causing agent to treat an issue that involves skin irritation, stinging nettle is an effective remedy for eczema as well. The plant helps relive inflammation and can even reverse the manifestation of this condition.
Stinging nettle has been used historically as an arthritis treatment as well as a remedy for sore muscles. Stinging nettle is functions in much the same manner as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and often allows individuals to reduce their typical treatment doses.
How Do I Take Stinging Nettles?
Stinging nettles can be used in a variety of different forms. The most common treatments include teas, tinctures, extracts, creams, and freeze dried capsules. You can typically find stinging nettles at any health food store.
Keep reading to discover more ways to use stinging nettles to your advantage.
The Many Stinging Nettle Benefits – http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/stinging-nettle-benefits-zmaz81mazkin.aspx#axzz36tPD8e1L
Stinging Nettle – http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-664-STINGING NETTLE.aspx?activeIngredientId=664&activeIngredientName=STINGING NETTLE
Stinging Nettle – http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/stinging-nettle