The use of nettle has been known for several thousand years: even in the works of Hippocrates, Dioscorides and Galen, the healing properties and use for medical, cosmetic and nutritional purposes were mentioned. It is a versatile herb for promoting health, maintaining tone and improving mood. The herb is also used to nourish and enrich the body not only with vitamins, but also proteins and carbohydrates. Nettle has found application in medicine, cooking and cosmetology.
There are contraindications, specialist advice is needed
Last Updated: October 3, 2022 (A few hours ago…)
Useful properties of nettle
So what is the use of this herb? The infusion of this burning plant improves the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, has a choleretic effect. Due to the large amount of vegetable protein, lectin, the herb has a strong anti-toxic effect, and the chlorophyll in its composition helps in healing wounds and strengthening the hair structure.
- normalization of lipid metabolism due to the presence of iron salts and vitamins;
- weight loss and acceleration of metabolism and, as a result, help in losing weight;
- pronounced hemostatic effect;
- choleretic and anti-inflammatory action;
- improving lactation in lactating women;
- increased metabolism due to the content of a large amount of chlorophyll;
- normalization of cardiac and respiratory activity;
- maintenance of vision due to the presence of vitamin A in the composition;
- the role of an antioxidant, as it contains a lot of vitamin C;
- protection and maintenance of immunity;
- lowering sugar levels and, consequently, helping people with diabetes;
- hemostatic, wound healing, anti-inflammatory;
- treatment of anemia, as it increases hemoglobin;
- fight against various skin inflammations;
- hair care in the form of masks and lotions.
If you put the question “what is the use of nettle for humans?”, Then the first place will be the answer – the chemical composition, because it contains a huge amount of trace elements.
Nutritional value per 100 grams:
- proteins – 4 grams,
- fat – 0 grams,
- carbohydrates – 5 grams,
- calorie content – 24.8.
What are the vitamins in nettle?
Since this herb is a multivitamin plant, its leaves have twice as much ascorbic acid than black currant, lemon or apple, and the carotene value is higher than in carrots. The plant contains vitamins A, C, group B (B1, B2, B3), E and K, macro- and microelements. The presence of vitamin K is responsible for the hemostatic action of the stinging herb.
- glycoside urticin, ergosterol, carotenoids, phytosterols;
- chlorophyll, violaxanthin;
- pantothenic, formic, silicic, gallic acids.
In what form is it used?
The benefits of nettle for humans have long been known, therefore it is often used in the treatment of boils, acne, and also as a remedy for rheumatism and gout. To do this, it is recommended to use it in the form:
- water infusion,
- briquettes with chopped leaves,
- liquid extract.
This herb grows everywhere in the north-west and in central Russia, so it will not be difficult for many residents of the country to collect it on their own. Therefore, in times of famine, the healing properties of dioecious nettle saved many people from vitamin deficiency. The main thing is to choose, collect or buy a plant from ecologically clean regions of Russia.
Important information! If you decide to collect the grass with your own hands, then know: it is best to use the leaves for treatment, which are collected from May to June. The collection must be dried in a uniform layer up to 5 cm thick.
You can use modern dryers in which it is necessary to set the temperature up to 50 °. The shelf life of such a blank is two years. You can also dry out the roots that have beneficial properties. The roots are harvested and harvested from late autumn to the first days of spring, the flowers of the plant – in the summer, and the seeds – from late summer to early autumn. To make juice from nettles, only young shoots and stems are needed before inflorescences form.
In scientific research
- Studies in rats have shown the anti-inflammatory effect of stinging nettle extract in a model of Alzheimer’s disease. In a study, Golam Hossein Riazi (Laboratory of Neuroorganic Chemistry, Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Tehran University in Iran) confirmed the antiproliferative effect in small cell lung cancer characterized by high mortality.
- Vafa Siuda (Faculty of Biology of Natural Sciences of the University of Badji Mokhtar-Annaba) asked the question “why is nettle useful?” and conducted a study on “Can stinging nettle supplementation reduce mercury toxicity in rats?” The results of his work clearly demonstrated the antitoxic effect.
- In 2013, V. Hajashemi and Vahid Klushani wrote an article in a medical journal on the antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of stinging nettle leaf extract on animals. Thanks to their work, it has become more often used as a traditional remedy for musculoskeletal pain and rheumatism.
- In 2016, Rahila Qayyum (Faculty of Pharmacy, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Pakistan) conducted a study on the mechanisms underlying the antihypertensive properties of dioecious nettle.
- The extract is effective as an antioxidant in the adjuvant therapy of type II diabetes mellitus and minimizes the risk of cardiovascular diseases and other complications in patients with diabetes mellitus. This was published by Alidad Amiri Behzadi of the Young Researchers and Elite Club of the Islamic Azad University of Iran, “Effects of stinging nettle supplementation on blood lipids, liver enzymes and nitric oxide levels in patients with type II diabetes mellitus: a double randomized clinical trial.”
- In 2017, Karama Zuari Buasida wrote an article on the topic “Study of the hemostatic and wound healing potential of dioecious nettle leaves.”
- The antibacterial activity of dioecious nettle in 2014 was studied by Professor of the Faculty of Biology Hossein Motamedi from the Shahid Chamran Ahvaz University.
- Traditionally used to treat cardiovascular disease, especially hypertension. As a result of animal studies, antihypertensive action was confirmed due to blockade of calcium channels and NO-mediated vasorelaxation. Rohit Bisht of the Department of Pharmacology at the ISF College of Pharmacy in Punjab, India has released a study on this topic.
In official medicine
It has been known as a medicine since the 17th century, its benefits have been proven by modern medical research, therefore it is actively used:
- in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases (ulcers, gastritis, colitis);
- with anemia;
- as an antihemorrhagic agent;
- against pulmonary, uterine and other bleeding.
Among the medicinal properties are increased blood clotting and hemoglobin, stimulation of erythropoiesis and an increase in the number of platelets in the blood. The herb increases the level of prothrombin with excessive administration of anticoagulants and produces a vasoconstrictor effect. Nettle-based drugs sold in the pharmacy have choleretic, anthelmintic, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant effects. They are also used in diabetes mellitus.
For women’s health
For women, this plant can bring both benefits and harm, therefore, the fair sex should be careful. If it helps nursing mothers in improving milk flow for the baby, then it can be dangerous for pregnant women, as it greatly increases the tone of the muscles of the uterus and can lead to miscarriage.
But during childbirth, it can help women in labor with blood clotting disorders and blood loss, promote a quick and painless uterine contraction after childbirth. Therefore, the question “is nettle good for pregnant women?” while still open, be sure to consult a physician prior to use.
In general, the plant is widely used for an analgesic effect and as a hemostatic agent, therefore it will be effective for various gynecological ailments: uterine bleeding and for normalizing monthly cycles.
For men’s health
Why nettle is useful for men: to strengthen potency. The herb has a beneficial effect on the reproductive system and helps in the treatment of prostate adenoma. The herb is used as a fortifying and prophylactic agent; you can use all the components of the plant – seeds, roots, leaves. Traditionally, the duration of the course of treatment is four weeks. Also, grass can be supplemented with the main course of treatment with medications, but this is allowed only in agreement with the doctor. Independent actions can lead to adverse effects on the part of other body systems.
In folk medicine
- as a diuretic herb in the treatment of edema syndrome;
- with diseases of the kidneys, liver and biliary tract (with constipation, cholecystitis, nephritis, pyelonephritis);
- in the treatment of gout, iron deficiency anemia and polyarthritis;
- with atherosclerosis, bronchial asthma, whooping cough;
- during hypertension and even in cancer treatment.
The seeds can help women with infertility and men with impotence. For this, nettle seeds must be mixed with softened banana and eaten every day. Freshly squeezed juice from the leaves is recommended for the treatment of osteomyelitis and for problems with food digestion, as well as with a large amount of salts in the joints. The leaves are brewed and used to strengthen the immune system during colds and flu.
It is useful for poor appetite, gastritis, enterocolitis, pathology of the cardiovascular system, in particular with heart failure of I and II degrees, tachycardia. Plus, it helps restore the sense of smell when it is lost or desensitized. Sun-dried leaf powder is used to treat ulcers and ulcers.
Why is nettle infusion useful?
A strong infusion of leaves is an excellent remedy for ulcers, burns and small wounds. It is actively used to strengthen hair when it is dry and brittle, as well as to treat dandruff. Cooking recipe: fill the chopped herb with warm water, be sure to leave some room for fermentation. Cover the container with a lid, plank or wrap with burlap and place in a warm place for 7-14 days.
Why is nettle decoction useful?
Taking a decoction a few days before the start of the menstrual cycle helps to reduce the volume of blood loss in women. The decoction is also useful for patients with diabetes mellitus, but for a healing effect you need to know how to brew fresh herb correctly. We propose the following option. Cooking recipe: mix 2 tbsp. tablespoons of dried nettle and mint leaves, add 3 liters of water and cook for 3 minutes. Insist for about half an hour and filter. You can add honey to the broth.
In cooking and dietetics
In cooking, nettle leaves, seeds and roots are popular in salads and first courses (pickles, borscht), they are also added to sauces, fillings for pies, plus they are salted and fermented for the winter. To reduce the pungency, the leaves are treated with boiling water. Young, delicate inflorescences are added to tea and dried for the winter. In hot dishes, add a couple of minutes before cooking, in cold ones, first rinse, put in boiling water and cook for two minutes, rinse with cold water, and only then you can cut – then you will not burn yourself. Often adding recipes with nettle to the menu, you can reduce weight, because in 100 grams of this herb there are only 24.8 calories.
Important information! If there are often and a lot of untreated leaves, then flatulence will occur.
For a simple and vitamin-rich tea recipe, take:
- nettle leaves,
- dog-rose fruit,
Pour one tablespoon of each ingredient into a container for two cups of hot water. Let the ready-made product stand for two hours, after which it can be consumed like regular tea. Another advantage of this tea is that there is no need to waste time preparing a decoction.
Dangerous properties and contraindications
It is not recommended for people diagnosed with varicose veins or thrombophlebitis, as this plant strongly thickens the blood. In no case should it be used by pregnant women, as it can cause contractions and premature birth.
For hair growth and scalp care
In cosmetology, it is widely known as the best helper in hair loss. The author of the medieval medico-pharmacological treatise in verse in Latin “On the powers of herbs” mentioned it as an effective means for the growth and strengthening of hair. There are many cosmetic recipes using a decoction of nettle, modern manufacturers make products based on this burning plant, but we still offer recipes so that you can independently make home cosmetic procedures for the health and beauty of your hair.
- To stimulate growth and shine: Take 100 grams of leaves, finely chop, add 0.5 cups of vinegar, 0.5 cups of water. The mass must be boiled for half an hour, then cooled and rubbed into the scalp 2-3 times a week.
- Growth mask: add pharmacy vitamin E capsules to nettle juice. Such a mask will help well for the growth and strengthening of curls. It is recommended to rub it into the roots for best results once a week.
- Mask for oily hair: take a fresh herb and grind it in a blender. Add a teaspoon of salt to the mixture. The resulting gruel should be applied to the hair and rubbed in gently. Then the head must be wrapped in plastic and wrapped in a towel. Rinse off after 20 minutes. This mask can be applied no more than twice a week.
- For a tonic effect: take 1 tsp. dried nettle leaves, 1 tsp. sage, 1 tbsp. l. dry chamomile flowers and 2 glasses of water. Boil the water, place the herbs in a mug or jar, and fill it all with hot water. Cover and let it brew until the broth cools. Then strain the infusion through cheesecloth and use during or after showering.
- To combat early gray hair or seborrheic disease: Take 100 grams of leaves, chop and boil in one glass of water. You can rinse your head with this infusion 3-4 times a week.
- For lightening hair. Suitable for blondes. To obtain a brightening effect, brew nettle leaves and chamomile flowers mixed in equal proportions. Then strain the infusion and rinse your head with it. Next, wrap the wet curls in a bag or plastic wrap and a towel for 60 minutes. After that, rinse the hair again with the remnants of the cooled infusion.
- Scrub for the scalp. It is required to grind rye bran and nettle in a blender. Pour finely ground salt (extra) to the mass. Then use the mass to cleanse the skin from sebaceous secretions, dandruff once a week.
- Revitalizing mask. Take 1 cup chopped leaves, 50 g yeast, 3 tbsp each. l. honey and vegetable oil. Mix everything and stir for a long time until smooth. The mask is designed for only 30 minutes, then rinse the hair thoroughly with water and be sure to use shampoo.