Understanding The Many Benefits of Stinging Nettle

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Nettle is one of my favorite herbs. Also called “stinging nettle,” it is packed with nutrients and is even one of the ingredients in my homemade pregnancy tea. Stinging nettle benefits go far beyond pregnancy though.

What Is Nettle?

Nettle (Urtica dioica) is also known as stinging nettle, common nettle, and garden nettle. It is originally from northern Europe and northern Asia.

The nettle plant is herbaceous with fine hairs on the leaves and stems that contain a chemical. This chemical causes skin irritation and pain when it comes into contact with the skin — thus the name “stinging nettle.”

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If you’ve ever been out weeding the yard or searching for wildflowers, you’ve probably discovered this on your own!

When cooked or otherwise processed, nettle no longer causes this rash. (Good news… you can also just buy it and skip the stinging all together!)

Nettle has been used in traditional medicine to support:

  • wounds
  • hair and scalp
  • mental health
  • women’s health
  • men’s health
  • pain relief
  • seasonal allergies
  • aches and pains
  • elimination and detoxification (liver, digestion, urinary)

Not all of these traditional uses have been studied, but there is a wealth of long-standing anecdotal evidence.

Health Benefits of Stinging Nettle

I love to keep stinging nettle leaves on hand since it has so many health benefits to the body:

Nutrient-Packed

Nettle contains antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that support the body, such as:

Vitamin A

B vitamins

Vitamin C

Vitamin K

Calcium

Iron

Magnesium

Phosphorus

Potassium

Sodium

Polyphenols

Beta-Carotene

What I find most interesting is that nettle contains fats and amino acids (almost unheard of in a plant)! This makes it a revered survival food. It’s a great tea for camping or backpacking trips, especially if you forage it yourself. Continue Reading