Stinging Nettle is one of my favorite herbs to use when healing the body and creating life-long health and well being.
Stinging Nettle (Uritica diotica) has been used for centuries as an herbal medicine to heal and promote health throughout the life cycle. A surprisingly nutrient dense infusion, nettles provides an excellent source of calcium and magnesium, iron, chlorophyll, beta carotene, phosphorous, zinc, chromium, B vitamins, chlorophyll and other trace minerals including selenium, silicon and manganese.
A truly interesting fact about stinging nettle is the “electrifying” effect caused by the tiny hairs located on the leaves and stems of the plant. The fine hairs are laden with histamine, aceylcholine, and formic acid. These components create an intense stinging sensation on the skin. The sting is used in herbal lore to treat aches and pain within the body including joint pain caused by excess build up of calcium in the joints (aka arthritis). The treatment is referred to as uritication which causes intense stimulation to the circulatory system, nerves, muscles fibers, lymphatic system and cells. The stinging stimulates the circulation and breaks up the energy stagnating in aching joints and muscles.
Nettles is a wonderfully relaxing and nourishing herb. The nutrients in the nettle plant are highly bio-active and support the nourishment of the blood, lymph, hormones and neurotransmitters.
The concentration of B vitamins provide support for relaxation and balancing stress chemicals in the body. High levels of bio-available calcium and magnesium help to balance the body and maintain the proper pH level in the blood as well as support bone growth.
According to the herbalist Susun Weed:
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) builds energy, strengthens the adrenals, and is said to restore youthful flexibility to blood vessels. A cup of nettle infusion contains 500 milligrams of calcium plus generous amounts of bone-building magnesium, potassium, silicon, boron, and zinc. It is also an excellent source of vitamins A, D, E, and K. For flexible bones, a healthy heart, thick hair, beautiful skin, and lots of energy, make friends with sister stinging nettle. It may make you feel so good you’ll jump up and exercise. Mothers in the childbearing years can’t find a better herb to support you and your baby. Keep taking it after baby arrives to help your body repair and heal from the hard work of mothering.
As a nourishing herbal infusion, stinging nettle provides many benefits.
Great for all ages
There are many benefits to daily use of nettle infusion across the age spectrum. The high concentration of minerals supports children in building strong bones, muscles, teeth and nervous system. The effect on the nervous system, throughout the lifecycle, induces a calming affect leading to increased focus, awareness and concentration. This is ideal for children who tend to be overwhelmed or high energy. It’s nickname is “Green Milk”, which is a great way to get your kids started early on this wonderful healing herb.
As girls move into puberty stinging nettle helps with excessive bleeding during menstruation. Nettles has a hemostatic affect, meaning it is used to stop excessive bleeding. It slows the heavy bleeding and supports young women through the emotional ups and downs of menstruation.
Expectant and new mothers can use nettles to nourish their unborn child, increase their own energy levels, and reduce hemorrhage after delivery. Many mothers see a significant increase in breast milk by consuming 1-2 cups of nettle infusion daily. The nutrients in the nettles will then be passed onto the newborn as well.
Nettles helps women to heal during the post childbearing years. It restores the body’s nutrient reserves and helps to tonify the reproductive system.
Once women move past the age of childbearing, stinging nettle balances the hormones and improves the brain function often noted with the onset of menopause.
Boys and men also benefit from the high nutrient content of stinging nettle. They are supported in balancing their emotions, creating more clarity and nourishing the entire body.
Support for the Kidney and Adrenals
In our society, our adrenal system is often on overload. We live in a constant state of stress and overwork. This causes the adrenals to be continually pumping out a variety of hormones to maintain the heightened state of awareness caused by stress and the continual busyness of our lives. Adrenal overload, aka adrenal fatigue, is characterized by fatigue, irritability, depression, anxiety, and weakened immunity. The high mineral content of nettles, especially zinc, supports the adrenals in providing the necessary hormones to support the overworked nervous system. Zinc is a key nutrient in the production of all proteins within the body.
The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys and work in concert with them. The scientific name for stinging nettle (Uritica diatica) comes from the greek word uro, meaning urine because it strengthens the kidneys. According to Susun Weed it “re-establishes the chi/energy flow in urinary, nervous and subtle energy systems”. Because the two organs work so closely it is no surprise stinging nettle will help with kidney stones, kidney and gallbladder stones, chronic urinary tract infections, diabetic water retention and kidney stress from insulin, dialysis and kidney surgery or blood in urine as well as chronic adrenal fatigue.
Other Curative uses for Stinging Nettle
Respiratory illness is one of the most debilitating forms of disease because it limits the amount of oxygen to the cells. Without oxygen every cell in the body becomes stressed, unable to function and will ultimately shut down. Old wives stories report the regular and consistent use of nettles with healing severe lung disease without irritating the delicate lining within the lung. It is helpful with bleeding from the lungs.
A great simple curative for congestion during a cold is to sip nettles throughout the day. It will help with the mucus build up, relax and tonify the body and promote healing.
As a daily tonic and supplement to a healthy diet, nettles nourishes the blood leading to the subsequent nourishment of skin, hair, and nails. Especially helpful for reducing over-oily skin and scalp nettles helps with many forms of skin eruptions including acne and chronic eczema. It is a great facial and hair rinse and can be used in bath water as well as a treatment for dental disease.
Stinging nettle (Uritica dioica) is nutrient packed to provide many supportive and healing benefits to the body. If you are uncertain about the nutrient content of your food, this is an inexpensive and simple way to increase the nutrients in your diet and promote the healthy lifestyle you are seeking.