Stinging nettles have diuretic, laxative, anti-inflammatory, and antihistamine properties. Furthermore, this herb is a great source of iron, vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Other nutrients in it include silica, carotene, calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and chromium.
Stinging nettles are available as dried leaves, extract, juice or tea, or root tincture. You can also get it in the form of an ointment or cream that can be applied to the skin or as capsules and tablets.
Below are the top 8 health benefits of stinging nettles.
1. Helps with Arthritis and Other Joint Pain
Stinging nettles are beneficial for people who suffer from arthritis or any other kind of joint pain. Its function is very similar to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen. This herb is rich in anti-inflammatory properties, along with minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium, that all help ease joint pain as well as increase bone strength.
• Drink stinging nettle tea once or twice a day.
• Apply nettle leaf juice directly to the painful joints once a day.
• Take nettle supplements (consult your doctor first).
2. Treat an Enlarged Prostate
Stinging nettles can be beneficial to men who are suffering from an enlarged prostate, as the essential bioactive phytochemicals present in it help to shrink prostate tissue. Being a diuretic as well, it also encourages the elimination of inflammatory wastes through urination.
• Take a 300 mg stinging nettle supplement once a day. For the correct dosage to treat the condition, you should consult your doctor first.
3. Treats Urinary Tract Infections
Nettles can also relieve the symptoms of urinary tract infections. The active compounds in nettles function as a mild diuretic, which will make you urinate more and help flush any harmful bacteria out of your body. Furthermore, it helps to relieve any inflammation.
• Drink 2-3 cups of nettle tea each day. This will make you urinate more often, which is essential when dealing with this type of infection.
Stinging nettles help to clean your kidneys. As a natural detoxifier, diuretic, and blood purifier, nettles aid in the removal of impurities such as bacteria, calcium crystal deposits, and stones from your kidneys.
• To promote kidney health, you can take this herb in its many different forms – dried leaves, extracts, tinctures, pills, tea. It’s best to consult your doctor so you can find out which form will suit you the best.
5. Treats Eczema
Stinging nettles are also useful for treating eczema, a chronic skin disorder that causes dry skin, swelling, redness, flaking, cracking, blisters, crusted sores and itching. Due to their anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties, nettles work as a natural treatment for eczema as they help to reduce inflammation and itching.
• Extract the juice from a few nettle leaves and apply it to the affected area. Repeat once or twice a day to alleviate itching and pain.
• Drink stinging nettle tea 2-3 times a day.
6. Aids Detoxification
Toxin accumulation in the body can severely damage vital organs and systems, causing chronic illness. Stinging nettles are very effective at removing these toxins. As nettles act as a diuretic and are high in nutrients, they are the perfect tool for a detox. They detoxify the blood and encourage the elimination of inflammatory wastes from the body. Furthermore, they stimulate the lymphatic system, helping the kidneys and liver to eliminate waste.
• Drink a cup of nettle tea a few times a day, or add some leaves to a green smoothie.
Stinging nettles are highly effective at treating hay fever as well as allergic rhinitis or season allergies. As a natural antihistamine, nettles can reduce inflammation of the upper respiratory tract and provide some comfort from symptoms such as coughing, nasal congestion, sneezing, and itching.
• If you’re prone to seasonal allergies, talk to your doctor about taking nettle supplements for one month prior to the allergy season.
• Furthermore, drinking nettle tea twice a day at the first sign of hay fever symptoms will help provide some relief.
8. Soothes Asthma
Nettles, due to their antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties, are great when it comes down to treating asthma. They help to open up constricted nasal and bronchial passages to relieve asthma symptoms. Furthermore, the vitamin C and butyric acid helps to maintain a healthy immune system and metabolism to help prevent asthma attacks.
• Drink a few cups of nettle tea a day to reduce the severity of your asthma symptoms and to promote a quick recovery.
Additional Tips and Cautionary Notes
• Always wear gloves when handling nettles, as the leaves are covered with fine hairs that will irritate your bare skin.
• This herb is not suitable for pregnant women or small children.
• May interfere with blood thinners and heart medications, so consult your doctor first.
• Don’t drink too much nettle tea as it’s a diuretic. More than 3 cups a day is too much.