Stinging Nettle health benefits.
You’ll know if you’ve come in contact with stinging nettle because the plant will leave you with a rash and a stinging pain.
Although stinging nettle will bring you temporary discomfort, the plant actually helps relieve several conditions. Like dandelions, stinging nettle deserves to be recognized for the many health benefits it provides.
Stinging nettle has been used as a medicinal plant dating back hundreds of years. The plant has heart-shaped leaves, grows between 2’ to 4’ high and from June to September it produces yellow or pink flowers. Tiny hairs containing a number of different chemicals cover the plant. When touched, the hairs break off like tiny needles, sending the chemicals into the skin. Reactions can cause pain, redness, swelling, itching and numbness.
If you have been stung by a stinging nettle, do not touch or scratch the area as this can push the fine hairs further into the skin and delay the healing process. As soon as possible, remove the irritants by washing with soap and water. Duct tape can also help remove any additional hairs. Aloe Vera or calamine lotion may also be used to help relieve any itching.
Even though stinging nettle is known for causing pain, it is also used to treat a number of different health problems including painful muscles and joints, allergies, eczema, and arthritis.
Using Stinging Nettle
When used correctly, stinging nettle is harmless. However, there are a few safety measures to follow when harvesting and preparing stinging nettle.
First, when harvesting stinging nettle, remember to wear thick gardening gloves to protect your skin from the tiny, stinging hairs. Second, to remove the hairs, stinging nettle must be dried or soaked or cooked in water. Third, the best time to harvest stinging nettle is in the spring when the plants are young. After the plants produce flowers they become bitter tasting.
Before using nettle, check with your doctor since nettle can interfere with certain medicines.
Common uses include:
The most common use is to make an allergy relief tea from the dried or fresh leaves and flowers. The tea is also proven to benefit skin, bones, and more.
Just like spinach, stinging nettles leaves can be stemmed and cooked to be added to soups or stews. A puree of stemmed and cooked leaves can also be used in green smoothies, salads, and pesto.
The cooked nettle flavor is similar to a combination of spinach and cucumber. Once nettle is cooked, it becomes a rich source of vitamins A and C, protein and iron.
Apply plant extracts, nettle creams or root tinctures directly to painful areas of the body, including joints and muscles. Stinging nettle products can be found at health food stores.
Now you do not be afraid of this plant, but receive a lot of health benefits from it.
Claims on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA. Information on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Thai Yoga Touch writers do not replace doctors and do not always cite studies, so do your research, as is wise. Seek the advice of a medical professional before making any changes to your lifestyle or diet.
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