Stinging Nettle Overview
Stinging Nettle, scientific name Urtica dioica, is relatively small, rarely growing past five feet in height. The leaves and stems in some of the subspecies have long stinging hairs that inject an array of chemicals when touched, including histamine, formic acid, serotonin, and acetylcholine. This produces an irritating, uncomfortable sensation in the skin, which is why other common names for stinging nettle are burn weed and burn nettle.The native range of stinging nettle, also known as common nettle in some places, is extensive, including Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America.
Stinging Nettle has many health benefits which include its ability to detoxify the body, improve metabolic efficiency, boost immunity, increase circulation, improve energy levels, manage menstruation, minimize menopausal symptoms, and aid in skin care. Stinging nettle has the power to protect the kidney and gallbladder health, lower inflammation, increase muscle mass, regulate hormonal activity, prevent diabetes, lower blood pressure, soothe hemorrhoids, and improve respiratory conditions.
Nutrition Value of Stinging Nettle
Amount Per 100 grams
- Calories 42
- Total Fat 0.1 g
- Sodium 4 mg
- Potassium 334 mg – 9% RDA
- Total Carbohydrate 7 g – 2% RDA
- Dietary fiber 7 g – 28% RDA
- Sugar 0.3 g
- Protein 2.7 g – 5% RDA
- Vitamin A 40% RDA
- Calcium 48% RDA
- Iron 8% RDA
- Vitamin B-6 5% RDA
- Magnesium 14% RDA
10 Nutrition Health Benefits of Stinging Nettle
1. Strengthens Bones
Stinging nettle has boron which has been linked to maintaining calcium content in the bones, this can help slow the onset of osteoporosis.
Nutrition Health Benefits of Stinging Nettle
2. Acts as a Detox
The wide range of beneficial nutrients found in stinging nettle make it an ideal detoxifier for the body and it has been known to gently cleanse the body of toxins. As a diuretic, stinging nettle can also ensure that those toxins being neutralized in the body are then eliminated quickly. It is known as an alternative, meaning that it can improve the nutrient uptake efficiency of the gut and ensure that the digestive processes run smoothly, thereby preventing the accumulation of dangerous toxins. It also stimulates the lymphatic system, helping rid the body of excess toxins in the kidneys as well.
3. Aids in Pregnancy
Stinging nettle tea is often suggested for women who are undergoing excessively painful labor, and it helps to protect against excessive bleeding, as it can act as a coagulant. Furthermore, it will help stimulate the production of milk and make lactation easier.
4. Improves Prostate Health
Prostate enlargement and cancer are both serious factors to consider as men age and stinging nettle has proven to be an effective means of preventing prostate growth. However, due to the chemical pathways that this treatment takes, stinging nettle can only prevent the growth, not reverse it once the growth factor and testosterone-stimulation have occurred.
5. Skin Care
Stinging nettle has antioxidant properties which help speed healing, reduce the appearance of scars and blemishes, and promote anti-aging effects to reduce wrinkles and age spots.
6. Heart Health
Research has revealed that regular consumption of stinging nettle tea can help to lower systolic blood pressure and relieve tension and stress on the cardiovascular system.
7. Treats Respiratory Issues
Stinging nettle has also been connected to the treatment of a variety of respiratory conditions, including hay fever, asthma, and other seasonal allergies. Studies have shown that certain extract combinations from stinging nettle can significantly reduce allergic reactions. Regular consumption of its tea has been associated with curing asthma in Australia for generations.
8. Treats Inflammation
Stinging nettle is a stimulant and rubefacient substance, making it very effective against various inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis or chronic muscle pain. Research has shown that stinging nettle tea or herbal supplementation can effectively treat gout, soothe muscle pain, and reduce symptoms of arthritis.
9. Prevents Kidney Stones
Stinging nettle is a diuretic and has nephritic qualities , meaning that it can help break down stones in the kidney and gallbladder, preventing those painful conditions from worsening or requiring those stones to be either passed or surgically removed. Also, as a diuretic, stinging nettle helps eliminate toxins quickly, thereby protecting against bladder infections and excess fluid retention (edema).
10. Improves Circulation
The combination of high vitamin C and iron content in stinging nettle makes it ideal for stimulating red blood cell production. Vitamin C optimizes iron uptake in the gut, while the iron is a crucial component of hemoglobin. By increasing the RBC count in the body, blood circulation increases, wound healing speeds up, and the body’s extremities receive essential oxygenation to boost energy levels. For the same reason, stinging nettle is often recommended to relieve fatigue or anemia, which is characterized by general muscle weakness, exhaustion, cognitive difficulties, and headache.
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