The nettle has Asian and European origins has heart-shaped green leaves and its ends are well defined and cut in the shape of a saw. Popular and unloved for the pain it causes to the touch, because of the hair covering its leaves that act as a needle releasing formic acid. It is simply a defense reaction and this burning sensation in contact with human skin causes itching, burning, and pain. Soap and water eliminate this stress, read other solutions in this article, but know immediately that holding your breath when you touch nettle will not cause this effect.
This plant belongs to the Urticaceae family, which has more than 45 species, divided into two large groups: common and white, the latter having no pungent character, although both have similar properties.
Many consider it a plague of the fields, but the truth is that man has been using it to his advantage since the Bronze Age. Nettle fiber, for example, is used by the textile industry for clothing and has even been a powerful competitor against flax. In Norway, Denmark and Scotland, it was customary to make costumes for sailors, praised for their strength and their fishing nets. During the First World War, uniforms of German soldiers were also made with the essence of this plant. The pulp industry has been using nettle for a long time.
But nettle applications vary from region to region. In Scotland, this plant is very popular in the kitchen and is even part of one of its traditional dishes (leek, broccoli, nettle-based rice) and in Ukraine, it is typical to make oil with this plant to illustrate Easter eggs. In the manufacture of cheese, some people use nettle instead of curd to activate the process of coagulation of milk, which gives a very pleasant taste to the cheese.
In Portugal, there are those who use nettle instead of spinach to make cream or soup (also with purslane), because the leaves lose their “pungent power” after being boiled. In horticulture, nettle is a natural pesticide. For example, a long maceration is a powerful repellent for plant lice or other fungi.
Over time, it has also been found that nettle has unique properties and benefits to human health. In Australia, Aboriginals used nettle to make a paste to treat sprains and poultices, for example, to treat fevers. Today, it is in the fields of health and nutrition that nettle relies most heavily on its characteristics: it is rich in vitamins, in particular, those of complex B, C, and K, as well as minerals such as magnesium, iron, silicon, copper, and zinc. , amino acids, trace elements, beta-carotene, calcium, salts, phosphates, and proteins.
Which are the health benefits?
The unique features offered by nettle allow us to improve health by relieving osteoarthritis, gout attacks and lowering blood glucose levels, stimulating the blood supply and even helping to treat respiratory problems.
Thanks to nettle tea or tincture, know that you can treat bleeding, liver failure, arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, a miracle for arthritis and rheumatism, because it relieves pain and decongests the joints. In the respiratory system, it helps to reduce allergies, phlegm, cough or bronchitis. Gargling with nettle tea, for example, can cure mouth infections and canker sores. It stimulates the digestive tract, liver, and pancreas and is a real benefit for diabetes, circulation disorders, diarrhea, prostate, urinary disorders, and ulcers. It is also a dietary supplement that helps boost breastfeeding, reduces the goitre, strengthens nails, regulates blood sugar and cleanses the skin in case of hives and eczema. Externally, nettle infusion can be used to treat irritations and discharge.
How to prepare un infusion?
In a liter of water pour a tablespoon of nettle and let it heat up to 90 ºC for four or five minutes. Once drained and cooled, it is ready to be served. Its consumption for health treatments must be followed by a health expert to achieve the desired result. Nettle tea strengthens the immune system and activates the thymus.
Nettle leaves’ dough
Grinding nettle leaves and making a poultice helps to recover from the sprain, removes painful alveoli or cleans the skin particularly oily. Dried nettle leaves are also used to treat acne and blemishes.
The root is also beneficial
There are experts who recommend regular consumption of nettle root infusion to stop the development of a benign prostate tumor. However, no scientific study has clearly demonstrated this benefit.
Cold infusion with nettle roots can also eliminate dandruff and the problem of fragile and brittle hair. To make an infusion, simply boil half a liter of water with 250 grams of chopped root and two cups of vinegar for half an hour. After cooling, the infusion should be rubbed on the scalp once a week until you feel the desired result.
Precautions and contraindications
Anyone who is allergic or has a tendency to have high blood pressure should avoid consuming nettle. It is also not recommended for people with cardiac, renal or blood stress. As a powerful diuretic, it should also be avoided to combine with diuretic medications because it can cause dehydration.
How to cure nettle sting
Know that when you cross this plant, if you hold your breath, you can touch its leaves without anything happening to you. It’s pure magic, but it’s true. In any case, a little soapy water helps to reduce the burning sensation caused by stinging nettles. In addition, a mint leaf or ice in the affected area helps to control the situation or use the nettle itself and apply a very cold nettle infusion to mitigate the impact of the sting.
Vinegar and Aloe vera can also be applied to remove hairs from nettles, then use only aloe for a few minutes to recover from the sting effect. Another alternative to recover from the stress of stinging is the clay where the nettles themselves are.
This text is an awareness. Depending on the season and the moment in which you are, it is up to everyone to decide whether to consume this food. The dosage and frequency depend on the nature and physical condition of each Human Being.