Recognize this herb?
The stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant, native to Europe, Asia, northern Africa, and western North America, but has since been imported around the globe. It grows to 1.2m (4ft) and it has serrated green leaves and flowers that grow in clusters.
The most notable external feature of the nettle is its fine hairs, called trichomes which function like hypodermic needles, injecting histamine and other chemicals that induce a stinging unpleasant sensation when touched. Despite its somewhat hostile nature, the plant has a very long history of being used as a source of holistic medicine and nutrition.
How it works in the Body;
The nettle plant loses its unwanted stinging effect when subjected to heat, which can be induced through cooking. Once it has been disarmed, so to speak, it actually becomes a nurturing plant; in the sense that it can be used (ironically) to treat burns and other skin problems, such as eczema.
This, however, is just the tip of the iceberg. The nettle plant has been used for more than a thousand years for its medicinal properties (it was mentioned in an Old English charm recorded in the 10th-century for example, called the Nine Herbs). It has been used to treat allergies, hair loss, arthritis, fibromyalgia, kidney problems, asthma, low libido, menorrhagia, osteoporosis, PMS and prostate issues, among other things. Iron and vitamin C, in the nettle, also make for an excellent natural tonic for treating anaemia and a lack of iron.
Infusion: Take 200 ml (8 fl oz) daily.
Decoction of the roots: 200 ml (8 fl oz) daily.
Tincture: Take 3 ml (60 drops) three times a day.
Soup: Use the young tops of the leaves and take them as a daily tonic.
A small minority of people do find that irritation occurs when ingesting the nettle plant. If this does happen, simply discontinue use and consult your doctor.
Below you can check out a video to learn more about this incredible ancient super plant;