Nettle
  Urtica dioica AKA Stinging Nettle

Nettle, high vitamin K, prevents bleeding. Improves kidney function neutralizes uric acid, aiding elimination from system, relieving gout and arthritis. High in minerals, iron, calcium, sulfur.

Stinging Nettle has a long history of use.  The tough fibers from the plant stem have been used to make cloth, and cooked Nettle leaves were eaten as vegetables.  From ancient Greece to the present, Stinging Nettle has been documented for its use in treating coughs, tuberculosis and arthritis, as well as stimulating hair growth.  Medieval monks would flagellate themselves with Stinging Nettles for penance, and this same action had been employed by Roman soldiers to warm themselves and to help them better adapt to the cold, damp, English climate during their occupation.  During World War II, Stinging Nettles were used in green camouflage paint.

Called Stinging Nettle because of the needle like hairs on the leaves that inject a mixture of histamine and formic acid.  This same mix is an aid to treat the pain of arthritis and rheumatism.

Nettle is an herb very high in vitamin K, which guards against excessive bleeding.  Nettle improves kidney function neutralizes uric acid, preventing its crystallization, aiding in its elimination from the system, thus relieving gout and arthritis.    Nettle is useful as a tea for anemic children, due to its nutritive value.  Nettle is also high in minerals such as iron, calcium, sulfur, sodium, copper, manganese, chromium, and silicon.   Nettle is also used as an astringent to help stop bleeding and to reduce menses flow.  Nettle is also a blood purifier and assists in lowering blood pressure.

Nettle can be used in tincture form for hypothyroid conditions to increase thyroid function thus reducing obesity.

For arthritic and rheumatic problems nettle can be used internally and externally.  As a tea, nettle reduces inflammation in the joints.  Externally, fresh nettles brushed over painful areas are effective in reducing pain.   A tea of nettles also helps relieve the symptoms of asthma, diarrhea, dysentery, hemorrhoids, hemorrhages; a diuretic for mucous conditions of the lungs and scorbutic affections (scurvy).

There has been a great deal of controversy regarding the identity of Nettle's active constituents, but primary chemical constituents found in Stinging Nettle are said to include formic acid, betaine, histamine, acetylcholine, glucoquinone, chlorogenic acid, mucilage, tannin, silica, beta carotene, calcium, iron, chlorophyll and choline.   Currently, it is believed that polysaccharides (complex sugars) and lectins (large protein-sugar molecules) are probably the most active constituents.

Stinging nettle root is attracting new research interest. German health authorities allow root preparations of stinging nettle to be used for symptomatic relief of urinary difficulties associated with early stages of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), although they don't decrease enlargement of the prostate. The root preparation increases urinary output and decreases the urge to urinate at night. Studies suggest that the root extract may inhibit interaction between a growth factor and its receptor in the prostate. Patients must consult a physician regularly for proper monitoring of the treatment.

Sources:
Little Herb Encyclopedia, by Jack Ritchason; N.D., Woodland Publishing Incorporated, 1995
Nutritional Herbology, by Mark Pedersen, Wendell W. Whitman Company, 1998
Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, Rodale Press, Emmaus, Pennsylvania 1987
Planetary Herbology, Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., Lotus Press, 1988

 

 

 

 

Important Note:
The information presented herein by The Natural Path Botanicals is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

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