Stinging nettles can be found almost everywhere. They are mostly seen as a weed and you probably hated them when you were a kid, especially if you had to go through them to catch a ball or lost toy or your brother simply pushed you into them. However, nettles have significant health benefits that are scientifically proven. Let’s have a look at some of them:
- It is used in the treatment of arthritis.
- It supports the function of the kidneys.
- It is effectively used to treat gout.
- It is effectively used to prevent and treat the early stages of enlarged prostate.
- It is effectively used to prevent and treat urinary tract infections.
- It is effectively used to reduce hay fever symptoms, but needs to be taken even before hay fever season starts.
- Preliminary animal studies suggest that it lowers blood pressure, but that still needs to be proved for humans.
- It helps reduce eczema and manage other skin irritations.
- It helps stop external bleeding.
- It might make hair look glossier when drank or used as a conditioner.
- It can prevent anemia, as they are rich in iron.
- It is also rich in fiber, phosphorus, chlorophyll, lecithin, potassium, sulfur, sodium and tannic acid, among other nutrients.
- It promotes the production of milk for breastfeeding mothers.
- It is an excellent digestive aid.
- It supports the functions of thyroid gland, spleen and pancreas.
- It is rich in calcium and magnesium, promoting bone health.
- It is rich in vitamin K, thus a pregnant woman drinking a cup of two of nettle tea can prevent the vitamin K shot for her newborn child.
As nettle can interact with prescription drugs, always ask your doctor about safety precautions.
You can enjoy nettle as a salad, by steaming the leaves for a few minutes and adding lemon juice and olive oil. You can also use nettle leaves as fillings in pies. And of course, the simplest way to consume it is to prepare an infusion from dry nettle leaves. You can find nettle tea in many health food stores. The taste takes some getting used to for some, but some agave or maple syrup or honey (if you are not vegan) makes it more enjoyable.
Have you used stinging nettle yourself? What is your experience with it? Would you suggest it to others? Why? Why not?
P.S.: If you want to research a bit more into nettle health benefits, just click here. Google Scholar has tons of links to research about this amazing plant.