There are many ways to use nettle at home. Yes, nettle will sting the skin if touched, but processed nettle by drying or cooking poses no challenge to the human body; so, I am going to share with you top health benefits of stinging nettle.
Stinging nettle or nettle is a very popular plant grown in most of the continents. It’s leaves and roots offer various medicinal properties and it can be consumed in many forms such as tea, extract, soup, tablet, capsule, tincture, or pill to benefit our health.
Here are 18 health benefits of Stinging nettle:
Because nettle contains many nutrients, it’s a great addition to a meal. You can use it dried or cook it and add it to a recipe you would add other greens to (don’t eat it raw). I like to add it to smoothies or meatloaf for added nutrients.
Some people even consider nettle tea a form of a daily vitamin. Add nettle to another tea blend or brew it on its own for a daily infusion of nutrients.
3. Cold and Flu Support
I will drink nettle tea for its nutrients during an illness since eating can be difficult.
4. First Aid
Dried nettle can be used as a poultice for small wounds to help fight infection.
5. Hair Care
You can infuse water or vinegar with nettle to use as a hair rinse. I include nettle in my homemade herbal hair rinse and it’s also in my brand new line of hair care products.
6. Allergies and Allergic Reactions
Consume nettle tea or tincture daily for 2-3 months before allergy season to avoid allergies. I also use capsules for acute relief of allergy symptoms. Nettle is also helpful for poison ivy since nettle acts as an antihistamine.
7. Overall Health
If you want to use nettle for women’s health, prostate health or some of its other uses, start with a nettle tea or tincture. You can also take capsules or make dried nettle into electuaries (like cough drops).
It offers the great detoxifying property to cleanse our body by acting as a natural diuretic, stimulating the lymphatic system, and helping in the elimination of toxins from the kidneys.
It also helps in improving the nutrient uptake, improves the efficiency of the gut, maintains digestive processes, and thus prevents the accumulation of harmful toxins in our body.
9. Good For women
Stinging nettle can be consumed in the tea form by pregnant women who are about to undergo labor to prevent excessive bleeding as it helps to coagulate the blood. It also helps to stimulate milk production in lactating women.
It is beneficial to provide relief from painful cramps and bloating during menstruation as it offers astringent properties. For menopausal women, stinging nettle helps to maintain the hormonal shift without many complications.
11. Improves blood circulation
It has a high vitamin C and iron content that improves iron absorption in the gut, increases RBC count, improves wound recovery, improves oxygenation level of the body, improves blood circulation, and thus boosts energy level.
12. Prevents kidney stones
Stinging nettle is beneficial for kidneys as it offers diuretic benefits and it can also help to breakdown the stones in both kidney and gall bladder. It also protects against bladder infections, edema, and thus benefits our health.
13. Anti-inflammatory property
Stinging nettle acts as a stimulant and also offers anti-inflammatory benefits that are beneficial against rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and chronic muscular pain.
For issues like arthritis and joint pain, herbalists recommend using fresh stinging nettle on the skin near the pain.
The stinging is thought to help relieve the pain of arthritis. This may not sound like fun to most of us, but it seems to work!
14. Good For Bone Health
It contains a good quantity of boron that is beneficial to maintain calcium content in our bones and prevent osteoporosis.
15. For respiratory health
This plant is beneficial to both prevent and treat asthma, hay fever, and seasonal allergies.
16. Protects the heart
Consuming stinging nettle tea helps to decrease the systolic blood pressure, relieves stress, and thus improve heart health.
17. For prostate health
Stinging nettle root is beneficial to prevent prostate enlargement.
18. Nourishes skin
Extract of stinging nettle can be applied on the skin to prevent and reduce acne, prevent bacterial infection, enhance healing of acne, reduce blemishes and wrinkles, and promotes anti-aging benefits.
Stinging Nettle Safety and Side Effects
Stinging nettle is generally considered safe for use. But as mentioned earlier, a few herbalists disagree with nettle use during pregnancy. Herbalist Michael Moore in his book Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West notes that fresh nettle should be avoided by pregnant women as it may cause “uterine excitation.” It’s unclear if dried would be safe.
I’ve used it in all of my pregnancies and have been happy with it, but you must do your own research. It’s always a good idea to check with your midwife or doctor to see if nettle is safe for you.
If you are on medications, other supplements, or have a medical condition, it’s best to check with your health care practitioner before using stinging nettle. There may be some interactions for those on medications for heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, or if you’re taking blood thinners.
Where to Get Stinging Nettle
Nettle is available in both root and leaf form, and even a powdered version of the leaf which I add to my veggie smoothies. Here are some of my favorite preparations of nettle:
If you’re brave enough to handle the sting, you can also try to harvest it yourself (just make sure you are 100% sure of any herb before eating).