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Nettle

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Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle is a plant. People use the root and above ground parts as medicine.

Stinging nettle is used for many conditions, but so far, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not it is effective for any of them.

Stinging nettle root is used for urination problems related to an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia [BPH]). These problems include nighttime urination, too frequent urination, painful urination, inability to urinate, and irritable bladder.

Stinging nettle root is also used for joint ailments, as a diuretic, and as an astringent.

Stinging nettle above ground parts are used along with large amounts of fluids in so-called “irrigation therapy” for urinary tract infections (UTI), urinary tract inflammation, and kidney stones (nephrolithiasis). The above-ground parts are also used for allergies, hayfever, and osteoarthritis.

Some people use the above ground parts of stinging nettle for internal bleeding, including uterine bleeding, nosebleeds, and bowel bleeding. The above ground parts are also used for anemia, poor circulation, an enlarged spleen, diabetes and other endocrine disorders, stomach acid, diarrhea and dysentery, asthma, lung congestion, rash and eczema, cancer, preventing the signs of aging, “blood purification,” wound healing, and as a general tonic.

Stinging nettle above ground parts are applied to the skin for muscle aches and pains, oily scalp, oily hair, and hair loss (alopecia).

In foods, young stinging nettle leaves are eaten as a cooked vegetable.

In manufacturing, stinging nettle extract is used as an ingredient in hair and skin products.

Stinging nettle leaf has a long history of use. It was used primarily as a diuretic and laxative in ancient Greek times.

Don’t confuse stinging nettle (Uritica dioica) with white dead nettle (Lamium album).

How does it work? Stinging nettle contains ingredients that might decrease inflammation and increase urine output.

Source of information: http://www.webmd.com

Herbal Remedy Products with Stinging nettle as part of the ingredients

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  • AllergiClear-S™ for Allergy Related Issues - Herbal supplement for promotion of respiratory, skin and immune system health related to allergy symptoms
    • Formulated to soothe mucous membranes*
    • Supports long-term respiratory health and comfort*
    • Promotes skin integrity for healthy skin*
    • Provides tonic effects to support the immune system*

News about Stinging Nettle

What Are the Benefits of Nettle?

By Tracey Roizman (DC)

Nettle, Urtica dioica, is a perennial herb covered with tiny hairs that, when touched, release an irritant that causes a prolonged stinging sensation. Long recognized for its medicinal benefits, nettle was used in ancient times as a remedy for insect bites and in Europe as a tea for treating respiratory conditions, reports New York University's Langone Medical Center. Nettle offers a variety of potential health and nutritional benefits.

Pain Relief

Joint pain management is one of the traditional uses of nettle, the University of Maryland Medical Center notes. Evidence in support of nettle's pain relief benefits was reported in a tissue culture study published in the April 2002 issue of the journal "Histology and Histopathology." In the study, human cartilage cells treated with nettle extract, called Hox alpha, showed significantly less activity of an enzyme that breaks down collagen, a protein component of joint structures. Researchers concluded that Hox alpha may offer benefits in the treatment of some inflammatory joint diseases.

Urinary Health

Herbalists often recommend nettle to treat urinary tract infections and urinary symptoms associated with benign prostatic hypertrophy such as incomplete urination and continual urge to urinate. A test tube study published in the December 2012 issue of the journal "Urological Research" found that nettle effectively inhibited movement of E. coli, a bacterium that is a common cause of urinary tract infections. A study on laboratory animals with benign prostatic hypertrophy published in the May 2012 "Andrologia" found that four weeks of supplementation with nettle decreased prostate size and improved urine output.

Allergy Remedy

Nettle offers relief from seasonal allergy symptoms in several ways, according to a study published in the July 2009 issue of "Phytotherapy Research." The extract contains a natural antihistamine and inhibits production of inflammatory molecules known as prostaglandins. The herb also may work at the genetic level by switching off certain genes that promote inflammation, according to David Rakel, editor of the book "Integrative Medicine." Doses of 300 to 350 milligrams of nettle extract three times per day typically are used to treat allergies.

Culinary Uses

Nettle is highly nutritious and can be cooked and eaten as a green vegetable. It has a similar taste to spinach and is a good source of iron, calcium, folic acid, potassium, manganese, carotenoids and vitamin C, notes the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Soaking in water removes the sting from nettle, making it safe to eat. The leaves also can be brewed to make tea.


8 Health Benefits of Nettle Tea: Flush Out Toxins With This Detox Drink

(NDTV Food)

The world of herbal teas is gigantic - you can mix a range of herbs and flowers together to brew soul-soothing teas at home. Kashmiri Kahwa is a quintessential example of merging the goodness of herbs, nuts, and spices in a way that is not just palatable but also provides many health benefits. One of the recent additions to the club of herbal teas is nettle tea, derived from stinging nettle leaves. Interestingly, the leaves in their natural form can cause much pain to the person who grabs or holds them, while the same when carefully plucked can be used to make remedies for a host of ailments.

Reportedly, nettle tea leaves have been a part of ancient medieval medicine for treating and curing a range of diseases including hay fever, bone-related issues, and allergies among others. "Stinging nettle scientifically known as Urtica dioica has a long medicinal history. In medieval Europe, it was used as a diuretic as well as to treat joint pain and muscle pain. Today, it is used to treat urinary tract infections, muscle and joint sprains, insect bites as well as skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and acne," University of Maryland, Medical Centre.

Stinging nettle is available in a variety of forms in the market - from tinctures, fluid extracts to tablets, ointments and creams. However, the best and the most convenient way to consume it is in the form of tea.

Nettle tea is gradually assuming huge popularity in the West, a part of it is attributed to its excellent detox properties. The best way to consume it would be to opt for the tea-bags easily available in the market.

You can have it at least twice a day - or more - whenever you wish.

Making nettle tea a part of your daily cleanse routine sounds like a good idea, here are more reasons to do so:

1. "Nettle leaves are potent. They have properties which cleanse your body, blood, flushes out toxins and facilitate maintaining a clearer skin," noted Shilpa Arora ND, a renowned health practitioner, nutritionist and certified macrobiotic health coach.

2. Nettle tea is excellent for people who face water retention issues.

3. It also helps balance excess sodium in the body.

4. Nettle tea is excellent for boosting metabolism and immunity.

5. "Nettle tea is made by seeping nettle leaves in hot water, it is said to be great for relieving joint pains and menstrual cramps", Dr. Rupali Datta, Consultant Nutritionist.

6. "Apart from cleansing the skin, regular nettle tea consumption helps alleviate puffy eyes," shared Shilpa.

7. Nettle leaves are laced with anti-inflammatory properties, "this makes it a good option for combating allergic reactions," shared Dr. Datta.

8. Nettle leaves have also been used in blood tonics with an aim to purify blood.

"I tried nettle tea-bags when I was in London. These can be had like your regular herbal or green tea. You can even combine it with Chamomile tea and others," concluded Shilpa.

"The use of this herb is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease," University of Maryland.

Get in touch with your medical expert before consuming nettle tea or stinging nettle in any form. In rare cases it may interact with the ongoing medication or any other ingredient and result into a reaction. According to medical research, stinging nettle can lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels, therefore its interaction with associated drugs and medication should be monitored.


Health benefits take the sting out of nettles

By DÓNAL O’MATHÚNA (PhD)

DOES IT WORK?: Nettles are a good source of vitamins

IF YOU RUB UP against nettles these days, you’re likely to curse their very existence. The stinging pain and welts they cause have led to their Latin name (Urtica) being used for any similar skin irritation: urticaria.

Yet down through history, many have been thankful for the various ways in which nettles could be used. In ancient times, nettles were woven into fabric.

More recently, nettles have been used to make soups and eaten as a vegetable. They are as nutritious as spinach and other greens, being rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, carotene, potassium and calcium.

In the 19th century, a nettle tonic was believed to promote hair growth. The most likely reason for this was a belief that whatever caused the growth of the tiny hairs on nettle leaves would do likewise for human scalps.

Fresh leaves have been used on arthritic joints as a counter irritant. The idea here is that arthritic pain might be relieved by causing another irritation close to the joint. The leaves also are believed to contain anti-inflammatory agents.

While stories abound of people reporting success with such approaches, little research has been conducted in the area.

Extracts of nettle leaves and roots have had numerous medicinal uses. Probably the oldest application is as a diuretic, where nettle juice was used to increase urinary output, especially for those with symptoms of heart failure or high blood pressure.

Nettles also have been used in various parts of the world to treat asthma, allergies, coughs, kidney problems, rheumatism and prostate difficulties.

Some modern pharmaceuticals have been criticised as drugs looking for a disease to treat. They may be widely used, but their effectiveness for any one condition is questionable.

In a similar way, nettles have been used for many different conditions, but questions remain about their effectiveness in treating any particular condition. Few of the specific uses have been tested in well-controlled trials.

However, two applications have received more study than most, and point to different potential uses of the leaves and the roots.

Extracts of nettle leaves contain a number of compounds that are chemically related to caffeine. Several small studies have found diuretic effects after people used such extracts.

However, most of these studies were uncontrolled and poorly designed. The results were encouraging, although they did not demonstrate a large beneficial effect.

Extracts of nettle roots have received significantly more research, although for a different use.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a condition in men which causes difficulties with urination along with frequent urges to urinate, especially at night.

Pharmaceutical drugs are available, but have adverse effects. Saw palmetto is a herb used to treat BPH, and nettle root extract has also been recommended. Several uncontrolled studies of nettle root for BPH have been conducted, along with six randomised controlled trials.

Overall, the results have indicated some beneficial effects, although the improvements were relatively small in scale. One study of a combined nettle root and saw palmetto product showed a somewhat larger effect.

Although nettles are highly irritating when encountered in the wild, they have few side effects when taken medicinally or when cooked and eaten. Some people can be allergic to nettles, and others get gastrointestinal irritation after taking the remedies.

Nettles are a highly nutritious food and a good source of vitamins and nutrients. Although they have a long and varied history as medicinal agents, few specific benefits have been clearly demonstrated.

Another difficulty in evaluating nettle remedies arises from the many different ways in which extracts have been made.

The most promising areas deserving further research are nettle leaves as diuretics and nettle root extracts for BPH. Although neither application is strongly supported by current evidence, the results so far have been encouraging.


6 Health Benefits and Uses for Stinging Nettles

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Nettles, or stinging nettles as it is also called, is considered a nuisance weed largely due to the tiny hairs on its stem. These tiny hairs impart a stinging sensation when people make the mistake of trying to bare-handedly yank them out of the ground. And, while they may be the thorn in the sides of gardeners everywhere, they offer therapeutic properties that more than make up for their stingers. Some of the many health benefits of nettles include:

Allergy Antidote

Native Americans used the herb stinging nettles for thousands of years to treat many health conditions, including allergies. Now, science has proven what these wise people knew from experience: nettles are an effective allergy treatment. In a study published in the medical journal Phytotherapy Research, Drs. Roschek, Fink, McMichael and Alberte at HerbalScience Group LLC, found that nettles worked on multiple levels to significantly reduce inflammation linked to allergies.

Bone-Builder

Nettles are actually a nutritional powerhouse. The herb is a little-known, but excellent source of calcium. What’s more: the calcium is highly absorbable and alkaline, unlike that found in dairy products. It’s easy to drink nettles tea or take it in a tincture form, but you can also add fresh nettle leaves to soups or stews. They have a flavor and texture similar to spinach. Don’t worry, cooking the leaves for at least 30 seconds eliminates any stinging effect of the plant.

Diabetes Therapy

Exciting research in the journal Neuroscience Letters found that nettles showed tremendous capacity to assist many of the health issues linked to diabetes, including: reducing high blood sugar levels, reducing the symptom of excessive thirst, improving body weight, regulating insulin levels, reducing the pain of neuropathy and even improving memory and cognition. While the research using nettles for diabetes is still in its infancy, these impressive results suggest that the herb holds great promise for the disease.

Pain Eliminator

Some studies suggest that taking nettles extract internally can help reduce the pain of osteoarthritis and the dose of anti-inflammatory drugs used by individuals with the condition. Of course, you should not discontinue or reduce your dose of any medication without consulting your physician.

Prostate Treatment

Nettles has been found to be superior to the drug finasteride in the treatment of the prostate condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition in which the prostate becomes enlarged and presses on the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder), thereby reducing urine flow and emptying of the bladder. Researchers are unclear as to how stinging nettles works for this purpose but suspect hormonal pathways. Regardless, the researchers are clear that it does work and that it works as effectively as the common drug used in its treatment.

Sinus Solution

In another recent double-blind study, the leaves of the stinging nettle were investigated for their ability to assist with sinus problems due to allergies. Participants taking nettles had noticeably higher rates of symptom improvement from allergic rhinitis than those taking the placebo.

Nettles are best cooked or made into an alcohol extract to nullify their stinging effects. It takes only about 30 seconds of cooking time to eliminate the sting when eating this highly nutritious plant. They can be added to soups and stews or sautéed like spinach or other green leafy vegetable. However, they are also conveniently available in the dried form for making tea, liquid tinctures to take as drops, or in capsule form, if you want to skip the nettles-picking experience altogether.

Medicinally, fresh nettles are superior to dried ones so it is worth donning a pair of thick gloves to harvest this healing plant. Avoid use of nettles topically on open wounds or internally during pregnancy.