nettles and its use
The stinging nettle is one of our most important herbal remedies, yet it is better known as a common and sometimes irritating countryside weed that can be found growing wherever the land has been disturbed. Nettles are found widely around the world including Europe as well as Japan, Asia, South Africa and as far away as the Andes Mountains in South America.
Easily recognisable, it's finely-toothed leaves taper to a point and the small flowers, which appear from June to September, hang down from the leaves. Nettles can grow to a height of around 3 feet. Its roots creep underground so that eradication is very difficult. The most familiar aspect of the plant though, is its sting, which can be antidoted by applying the juice of the common Dock. The two plants are often found growing in close proximity, although the juice of the nettle will also relieve the discomfort of the plant's sting.
Nettles are very versatile and have in the past been put to many uses, including the manufacture of cloth, puddings and beer. Nettle beer was once taken by country folk to relieve gout and rheumatism, an early indication of its potential as a herbal remedy. Flogging with nettles was also reputed to help relieve rheumatism and increase the strength of the limbs. Young nettles were often traditionally picked in the spring as the basis of a tonic for "spring cleaning" after the long dark days of winter. Hence, the remedy gained a reputation as an excellent purifier for the blood, an attribute we would now recognise as detoxification.
How nettles can help
Nettles have a mild diuretic effect and can increase the output of urine through the kidneys. This action has a cleansing effect on the body, helping to remove toxins, unwanted chemicals and poisons. Removal of these undesirable substances accounts for some of the benefits of the remedy, as seen in the treatment of dermatitis, eczema, arthritis and rheumatism. Nettles can also be used in the prevention and treatment of bladder stones, gravel and urolithiasis, (including Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease, FLUTD). Flushing out waste products can also help where there is kidney disease or impairment.
Due to their cleansing nature and high vitamin and mineral content, nettles are considered a good general tonic to help strengthen the body. Used over a period of time, nettles can improve the quality and appearance of both the hair and coat.
Due to the high iron content of nettles, they can be used to help treat cases of anaemia, including where kidney disease is present.
Nettles have anti-histamine like action and can help reduce itching and scratching, as well as other minor skin irritations. Due to this action, Greenleaf Tablets are commonly used to help with skin allergies and other common skin problems.
In combination with other herbs, such as garlic, nettles can sometimes be used to help lower blood sugar in cases of diabetes.
Nettles have astringent properties, helping to tone and strengthen tissues. This can sometimes be used to help reduce the risk of haemorrhage.
Indications for using Nettles
Arthritis and rheumatism
Eczema and dermatitis, poor coat and skin
-Bladder stones and gravel (urolithiasis)
I've been trying to find Nettle tea after reading about the benefits in Eating For Beauty by David Wolfe. But I can't find it in the local health food stores or on-line. Any ideas?
amazon.com sells nettle tea.
Does anybody know if they can be added to green smoothies and if it is possible to overdose on them.
There is sufficient in the world for man's need, but not for his greed.
Yes, you can blend it. I tried this and stinging disappeared after blending.
I found enormous nettles in the forest nearby my place. I make a cup of juice a day. I am feeling the healing of kidney and urine tract. That is just what I am looking for for so long. I do not know how much we should consume but one cup of juice is fine to me.
You can dry it and make tea for later use..
wish this help,
I find that plants that are nourishing can be consumed in any quantity (use some sort of reason here .. you wouldn't juice 35 pounds of carrots and drink it all in one sitting .. but consuming whatever you're called to consume will be just fine).
Plants that are a stimulant or relaxant are ones that you should use 'medicinally' and not on a regular basis as food. Nettles are a nourishing plant, so go ahead and blend or dehydrate away!!
silly question.....Are nettles also called burdock or is that a seperate herb/plant?
Originally Posted by Diantha
They are a completely seperate plant, with different properties.
Regarding overconsuming nettles, yes, you should take it easy (as, indeed, you should with ANY food. ALL foods are a bundle of tradeoffs, depending on their chemical makeup. This is why there is almost always a 'bad' side to even the healthiest of foods, if they aren't consumed carefully). In the case of nettles, they are high in oxalates and any of you who are familiar with the warnings about overconsumption of spinach (particularly mature spinach) will know that oxalic acid can lead to kidney problems if consumed excessively. I consume nettles, but I prefer to juice them. That's just a personal thing. I have blended them, too, with no ill effects. However, I do not consume them continually - once or twice a week is ample, IMHO. Although I have never seen it formally discussed in raw food circles, one should be mindful that stinging nettles are also very high in formic acid. Although this is neutralized during juicing, blending, or in contact with human saliva, I find it difficult to believe that it exerts absolutely no influence on proceedings whatsoever.
I have seen it discussed that nettles can become irritating to the kidneys and urinary tract if consumed after the nettles have come into bloom, however I have also seen many sources that make no mention of this whatsoever and I know from personal experience that flowering nettles have never caused me any irritation as yet. If I were to consume larger quantities of nettles, I would personally feel more comfortable consuming these in juiced, rather than blended, fashion, since the silicon-rich 'spikes' of stinging nettles might, conceivably, make it through to the urinary tract relatively intact and cause irritation in a physical, rather than just chemical, manner. I don't know this to be the case, it's simply conjecture on my part.
Lastly, nettles are very high in iron and overdoing it on iron consumption is not a particularly good idea, either, particularly for children.
The above is not intended to sound at all negative - I love nettles, it's just that I believe ALL foods have their individual drawbacks and consequently, should not be consumed to excess.