Most modern Westerners have not even heard of nettles, never mind eaten them! Unless you are into herbal medicine or shop from organic markets, this herb is most probably not in your shopping basket. This is one of the main problem areas of our modern diet – we don’t include these nutrient dense food sources in our daily diet! Stinging nettles are very nutritious with a long history of use as a medicinal plant, and they have the added bonus of tasting delicious and not like medicine at all. You can really use nettles anywhere you’d use spinach. It is thus much more than a pesky, stinging weed! In ancient Greek times, it was primarily used as a diuretic and laxative.
Nettle is one of nature’s best nutraceuticals, containing protein, fibre, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, boron, silica, beta-carotene, along with vitamins A,C, D, and B complex, all in a form that is easy for the body to use.
The stinging comes from the presence of histamine on the bristles that delivers a stinging burn when the hairs on the leaves and stems are touched. Stinging nettle contains natural antihistamines and anti-inflammatories (including quercetin), with endless health benefits. Their main medicinal value is as an anti-inflammatory and a diuretic. It is used for urinary tract infections and urinary inflammation, kidney stones, allergies, hay fever and osteoarthritis. Stinging nettle is an almost ideal herb for those with all types of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. It is also used to treat internal bleeding, nosebleeds, anaemia, poor circulation, diabetes, for “blood purification”, wound healing and as general tonic. The list of uses and properties is endless, from endocrine disorders, stomach acid problems, diarrhoea and dysentery, to asthma, lung congestion, rash and eczema, cancer and preventing the signs of aging.
Stinging Nettles used as a tonic of the female system goes back to the Native American women who used it throughout pregnancy and as a remedy to stop haemorrhaging during childbirth. Nettles are a good general tonic of the female reproductive system, excellent for young women just starting their monthly cycle, as well as women entering menopause. Stinging nettle helps to keep testosterone circulating freely and keep you feeling sexually vital.
Stinging nettle can be applied to the skin to treat muscle aches and pains, oily scalp, oily hair, and hair loss (alopecia). If you simmer a handful of young nettles for two hours in a litre of water — then strain and bottle the liquid — you’ll have a potion that, when used regularly as a scalp conditioner, will make hair soft and glossy. The beverage is also said to help nursing mothers produce milk and it also stimulates the digestive glands of the stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas, and gall bladder. Applied externally, nettle tea — it is claimed — relieves rheumatism in both people and animals, makes a first-class gargle for mouth and throat infections, helps to clear up acne and eczema and promotes the healing of burns. Nettle juice will even ease the stinging of the rash brought about by contact with the plant’s own bristled leaves! Furthermore, fresh leaves, when boiled in well-salted water for ten minutes, can be used (like rennet) to curdle milk for cheese-making.
For more information on Stinging Nettle for hair loss, take a look at the link below.