Nettle is one of the top home remedies out there, known for being an astringent, a diuretic, and more. For hundreds of years it has been used to treat a variety of medical problems, and it can easily be found in your local health food store. Nettles are also known for their immune stimulation, which is why it’s such an excellent herb to have on hand.
Nettle is part of the Urticaceae family and the scientific name for it is Urtica dioica. It’s Gaelic name is Neantog. Here are a few of the other folk or common names you may hear it referred to by:
- Common Stinging Nettle
- Common Nettle
- Stinging Nettle
Nettles are perennial plants that usually grow in gardens, along roads, walls, and fences. They grow to be about 2 to 7 ft tall and have pointed leaves that are downy on the bottom. The stems are bristly and they bear the leaves and flowers. Between July and September they grow small flowers that are a greenish hue.
There are several types of preparations you can use when it comes to taking nettle. It can be consumed as a tea, using about a tablespoon of dried nettle for each cup of hot water. You can also take it as a tincture, one to two teaspoons each day. Nettle juice is available, and you can drink 1-2 ounces every day as the juice. Fresh nettles can also be eaten in a similar way that greens are cooked and eaten as well.
Common Uses of Nettle
Nettle tea has been used throughout Europe to treat problems like malnutrition, diarrhea, and weak intestines. It is often used to treat bladder infections and kidney problems because it acts as a diuretic as well.
Due to the nourishing substances that are found in nettle, it is used to treat anemia and malnutrition and can be used to help repair broken bones and wounds as well.
Other common uses include the following:
- hemorrhoid treatment
- hair loss treatment
- treatment for excessive menstrual bleeding
- promotion of milk for nursing mothers
- pain relief
- lower blood pressure
- lower blood sugar
Older nettles can be irritating to the kidneys and should not be eaten raw. Eating older nettles can lead to urine retention and swelling of urinary organs. The fresh plant can also cause a stinging rash, so it should be handled very carefully. In some cases, tingling of the mouth can occur after taking nettle. Rarely allergic reactions can occur, which can include fainting and dizziness. Nettle should not be used while you are pregnant, since it is known to stimulate contractions.
Today more studies are being done on Nettle in the United States as well as in Germany and other European countries. Studies are showing that nettle can treat a variety of ailments effectively and newer studies are even showing that it may be an effective treatment for men with enlarged prostates.