The Stinging nettle plant has many traditional uses, mainly in the anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular and urogenital departments. The usefulness of nettle leaves as an anti-inflammatory in rheumatic pain is confirmed by a number of clinical studies. Studies have also convincingly confirmed its traditional use for allergies.

The plant

Nettle originates from Eurasia, but is now distributed in most of the colder, moist climates. This perennial herb grows to about a metre tall. Other than the strongly serrated leaves, the most striking feature is the fine, brittle hairs covering the leaves and stems.

Uses Other uses include blood pressure lowering and heart rate-lowering. The use of nettle root extract in benign prostate hyperplasia is also being studied intensely and offers amazing promise for older men. Nettle also helps prevent hair loss.

To make your own, use about 80g of either leaf or cleaned root to a litre of boiling water. In the case of leaves this amounts to about 4 cups. Allow to cool, strain off the leaves and drink the watery tea. Note that roots and leaves have different effects. According to folklore, half a cup of this infusion should be drunk 2 to 3 times per week for preventative purposes, or the same amount daily for treatment purposes. Long term use is not recommended.

Growing your own

Stinging nettle grows like a weed and will not be confined to a particular spot. It is recommended that it be grown in pots to prevent unwanted expansion. Seeds are not easy to obtain, but it grows well from rootstock. It grows best in moist shady areas.

Glossary

Anti-inflammatory: opposing the pain, heat, redness and swelling produced by the body’s immune reaction to injury or foreign objects.

Cardiovascular: of or pertaining to the heart and blood vessels.
Urogenital: of, or pertaining to the body system responsible for urine excretion, including the kidneys, bladder and genitalia.

Leave a Reply

Back to top