Stinging Nettle Facts

Stinging Nettle facts…………………..

Stinging nettle may be best known for the painful rash its tiny hairs are capable of producing. The plant is native to Europe but now grows in Canada and the United States as well.

Stinging nettle has many uses in folk medicine, particularly in Europe, where the roots and leaves of the plant are used in many herbal preparations.

Stinging Nettle Facts

The leaves of stinging nettle are used in Europe to treat the urinary tract. Taken with a substantial amount of liquid, the herb acts as a mild diuretic that can be used to flush out inflammation of the bladder and prevent kidney stones.

Taken as a tea or extract, stinging nettle is also used to treat the aches and pains of arthritis. Some scientific evidence supports the use of stinging nettle to relieve allergic symptoms like sneezing, watery eyes and runny nose.

It has also been used in folk medicine to treat asthma, cough, wounds, and digestive spasms, though clinical evidence to support these uses is scarce.

There are some stinging nettle facts that appear to be supported by research. In Europe, stinging nettle has been found effective in the treatment of BPH (benign prostate hypertrophy). It is believed that the herb works in this regard in part because the anti-inflammatory properties of stinging nettle may inhibit the growth of prostate cells.

Studies also support the ability of stinging nettle root extract to help improve urine flow and decrease the frequency of urination in men with prostate problems.

Stinging nettle can be steeped in boiling water to make an infusion. It can also be used in dried form or in an alcohol-based extract. Dried root extract is taken in amounts of about 600 to 1200 mg per day, and about 5 ml per day of liquid extract is the usual dose.

Stinging Nettle Side Effects

In certain cases, precautions should be taken with the use of stinging nettle. The herb should not be used as a diuretic for water retention associated with congestive heart failure or kidney disease.

Since stinging nettle may raise blood sugar levels, diabetics should use it with caution that includes continued monitoring of blood sugar. Stinging nettle should not be used for self-diagnosed prostate problems. Men with symptoms of BPH should always consult a physician.

Though side effects are rare, sometimes digestive upset or an allergic reaction may occur with the use of stinging nettle, and contact with the hairs of the plant can cause the “stinging” for which the herb is named.

more than stinging nettle facts on our Nutritional Supplements Guide home page

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