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Benefits of the Nettle Plant

It can be said about nettle, that it is one of the wonder plants that nature has gifted us. It is renowned because of its astringent, expectorant, tonic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic properties, and as an important source of beta-carotene, vitamin A,C and E, iron, calcium, phosphates and minerals. All these qualities recommend it as a powerful remedy against hepatic, arthritic or rheumatic conditions, and as an adjuvant in treating allergies, anemia, and kidney disease.

Description of Nettle Plant

In historical terms, it seems that nettle (Urtica Dioica) has been used since prehistoric times. In Denmark, a tissue of this plant was found in a tomb dating from the Bronze Age. There is evidence that in the Neolithic era, the nettle’s stem has been used to make strings. It is also a known fact that Caesar’s Roman troops brought nettle from England. Because of the uncommon properties of nettle fibers, it has also been used in the textile industry; for example the uniforms of the German army during the First World War were made of nettle.

Properties and Benefits of Nettles

Nettle contains a great number of amino acids, glucidic substances, amines, sterols, cetones as methyl heptenone, acetophenone, volatile oil, fatty substances, sitosterols, formic and acetic acid, panthotenic acid, folic acid, chlorophyl 0.3-0.8, protoporphyrine and coproporphymine.

It also contains vitamins C, B2, and K, beta-carotene, Ca, Mg, Fe, and Si salts, phosphates, etc. Because of these compounds, the plant has anti-anemic, anti-diabetic, haemostatic and diuretic properties.

 

Mixtures and Treatments

Perhaps the most well known property of nettle is that it stings. It is said that if it hadn’t been so, the plant would not have lasted through time. As a matter of fact, the Swiss priest, Kunzle, shows that nettle would have been destroyed by insects and animals by now, had it not defended itself by stinging. However, folk medicine has proved the usefulness of this property: fresh nettle leaves placed on the skin, and especially on the kidney area (a practice called urticaria) induces a stinging and burning sensation, with the effect of easing more profound rheumatic pains. In the present we can enjoy all benefits of this wonder plant through the various brews and recipes.