Most of us grow up hating stinging nettle. I’m sure, thinking back to our childhood, we have all experienced the pain it can inflict, when playing happily in the yard, our skin brushed against this plant, and whatever game we were playing came to an abrupt end, as we rushed to our mother’s arms for comfort, tears in our eyes from the sting.
It is a plant that, for this reason, my mother spent years trying to kill off in our backyard.
However, decades later, after learning of its numerous benefits, she is actually now delighted when they spring up!
Stinging nettle can help our health in countless ways, so much so that people have been known to cultivate them, steam them to remove their sting, then eat them, like a green vegetable!
It has a wonderful nutritional content, including high levels of calcium, silicon, chlorophyll, iron, vitamin C, magnesium and fibre. The fresh leaves contain formic acid, which gives the plant its antisceptic properties.
The Pantothenic acid found in the plant’s leaves gives it its ability to treat arthritis.
Additionally, nettle contains potassium phosphate, potassium chloride, linoleic acid, nitrogen, oleic acid, palmitic acid, phosphorous, protein and sulphur.
Below is just a few ways it can be used to heal our ailments.
1. Whip it good…
One of the things nettle is renowned for is its ability to relieve the pain of arthritis…but the way this is done may not be what you had in mind.
Rather than eating the herb, arthritis sufferers can ease their pain by using a gloved hand to hold a bunch of nettle, and whipping it against their affected joints. The joints swell up due to the sting, and when the swelling subsides, the arthritis pain is gone, or much improved.
While this may seem like something that should earn you a place in a padded cell, it actually dates back to around 2,000 years! This tells us that it is effective or else the practice would have died out YEARS AGO! (after all, why would ANYONE inflict such pain on themselves unless some good came out of it?) It is still around precisely BECAUSE IT WORKS!
One thing that has changed between the biblical times when this practice first emerged, and now, however, is that we all want scientific explanations for every remedy.
So how does this practice, known as urtication, work?
It is thought that when the plant is whipped against the skin, its tiny stingers actually microinject us with several chemicals, which is what gives us the stinging sensation.
These same chemicals also begin an anti-inflammatory action which can help to relieve arthritis’s symptoms.
2. Breathe easy with nettle roots
Nettle has been used for helping asthma sufferers, as it is effective in opening up the lungs and wind pipe. In fact, an old Australian recipe of the juice of nettle roots and leaves combined with honey, has been used to relieve bronchial problems. A recent American study has shown that nettle does indeed have strong antihistamine properties, and as a result, it is often used for hay fever as well as asthma.
3. Nettle may prevent balding
Nettle tincture has been used to prevent balding in those who are experiencing thinning of their hair. So if you are one of the millions of men worldwide whose lovely locks aren’t quite as luscious as they were in days of yore, perhaps this herb could be your answer!
But wait! There’s more! Women can be helped in the hair department by nettle too! The wonderful nutritional content of nettle doesn’t stop at internal consumption—women’s hair can benefit from it too, through making a nettle hair rinse from the fresh leaves.
Wearing gloves, gather handfuls of the plant’s leaves. After thoroughly washing them, place them in a saucepan with enough cold water to completely cover them.
Bring saucepan to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain the liquid into a container and allow to cool. After washing your hair, do a final rinse with this mixture, which should be stored in a bottle in the fridge.
Read the rest of the article on Stinging Nettle Here