There are many species of Nettles growing in temperate regions throughout the world. The most popular used-Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)- is a perennial that grows up to 3′ tall found in moist, shaded areas. The stinging hairs found on it’s stems are activated by touch, causing the sting and ironically, the juice of the nettle plant is it’s own remedy.
Nettles have many nutritional and medicianal uses. The young leaves can be eaten as a salad green or cooked as a vegetable. They are rich in vital nutrients including vitamins A, C and D, calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. Medicinally, the leaves and root are used for different ailments.
Nettle Leaf has been shown to reduce blood pressure, blood sugar and inflammation in muscles & joints and purifies the blood, lymph & urine. It also treats allergies, fevers, headaches, dysentery, eczema, gout and anemia. Nettle can boost the immune system, and has expectorant , diuretic and sedative properties.
The Root is astringent treating internal bleeding of the lungs, stomach, bladder and uterus. It has been recently shown effective for reducing the symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplaysia (BPH) in men and Osteoarthritis in women. Nettle root is also used for reducing heavy menstrual flow and eases whooping cough.
Nettles is generally a very safe herb, although there are a few precautions for its use. If you are taking blood thinning, blood pressure, diuretics or diabetes medications, nettles may amplify their effects.