I remember walking in my parents garden once when I was little when I felt something sting my leg as I brushed up against it.
At first, I could not tell what It was until I was told that it was a Stinging Nettle plant. I could not understand why anyone would grow such a plant that could actually sting you.
Well, as much as I hated the plant for the pain I had after encountering it then (as well as a few times after), I found out that it had several benefits that warrant its existent in any kitchen garden.
Stinging nettle is a perennial plant that grows between two to four feet blooming from June to September with yellow or pink flowers.
Its leaves, stems are used to make several products but the root also has several pharmacological properties that make it very beneficial.
Benefits of Stinging Nettle
Despite the pain it is well known for causing, Stinging nettle roots are used to treat a number of ailments.
Studies show that it has several antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-ulcer, analgesic and astringent capabilities. Throughout history, it has been used to mainly as a diuretic and in the treatment of painful muscles and joints, arthritis, gout eczema and anemia.
Today, however, it is commonly used to treat urinary problems, allergies, and joint pain.
- Treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). People suffering from BPH experience increased urges to urinate, painful urination, incomplete bladder emptying, post urination dripping and reduced urinary flow. Doctors still do not know exactly how stinging nettle root helps alleviate these symptoms but studies have shown positive results. Stinging nettle root is commonly used as a diuretic and it can also help with the flow of urine. Stinging Nettle boosts testosterone in rats according to recent studies too!
- Joint Pain and Osteoarthritis. The anti-inflammatory properties found in stinging nettle make it ideal for treatment of those suffering from joint pain, typically in the knees, hands, hips, and spine.This is a natural addition to fight inflammation in the body and decrease patients’ use of anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which can cause several side effects when taken for prolonged periods of time.
- Hay Fever. The production of Histamine in the body causes the adverse reactions that are related to allergies. These include coughing, sneezing, uncomfortable congestion and more.
- Controlling bleeding. Products containing stinging nettle have been found effective in reducing bleeding during surgical procedures, These work by being applied topically on the skin.
- Eczema. Stinging nettle has antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties making it a perfect natural remedy for that dry, itchy rash known as Eczema.
Stinging nettle can be used in a variety of ways. Nettle tea is often made from dried flowers and leaves of the plant.
The roots, stems, and leaves of the plant are all edible and can be used directly in food. You can even make a nettle soup.
Stinging Nettle can also be applied topically as extracts from the roots. It can also be found in capsules and tablets in pharmacies.