I love this herb. It is found ALL over the area of Germany I frequent, and has many medicinal uses.
If you have access to it, put on some gloves, harvest a few bags. You'll be making teas for many uses, among them:
Diuretic; Prostate/Urinary tract issues
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) symptoms are caused by an enlarged prostate gland pressing on the urethra. BPH sufferers experience varying levels of increased urges to urinate, incomplete emptying of the bladder, painful urination, post urination dripping and reduced urinary flow.
Doctors are still not entirely sure why stinging nettle alleviates some of these symptoms, but many clinical studies infer that it contains chemicals that affect the hormones that cause BPH. When taken, it also directly affects prostate cells. Stinging nettle root extract has also been shown to slow or stop the spread of prostate cancer cells. (4) It’s usually used in combination with saw palmetto and other herbs. The root of the plant is primarily used in connection with urinary issues.
Stinging nettle is used as a successful general diuretic and can help urine flow as well. It’s also used in home remedies for bladder infections.
Osteoarthritis and Joint Pain
Applying nettle leaf topically at the site of pain decreases joint pain and can treat arthritis.
Nettle can also provide relief when taken orally. Another study published in the Journal of Rheumatology shows stinging nettle’s anti-inflammatory power against other autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
Allergies / Hay Fever
As confirmed by the community (see IAF Mentions below), Nettle has anti-histamine properties.
Histamine production in the body creates the adverse reactions related to allergies. Allergies cause uncomfortable congestion, sneezing, itching and more.
Stinging nettle’s anti-inflammatory qualities affect a number of key receptors and enzymes in allergic reactions, preventing hay fever symptoms if taken when they first appear. The leaves of the plant contain histamine, which may seem counterproductive in allergy treatment, but there is history of using histamines to treat severe allergic reactions.
Certain products containing stinging nettle have shown, when applied to the skin, can reduce bleeding during surgery. The product, called Ankaferd blood stopper, is made up of alpinia, licorice, thyme, common grape vine and stinging nettle, and has also shown evidence of reducing bleeding after dental surgery.
Interestingly, Eczema sufferers can use a combination of nettle taken orally to tackle the eczema internally, as well as a cream to provide relief from the rash’s itch and redness.
Nettle was mentioned in IAF Podcast Episode 15, confirming its use as a topical antihistamine:
I keep stinging nettle tincture on hand for my severe fire ant allergy. I have found that if I use it fairly quick it works better than over the counter antihistamines. Then I put a compress of moistened yarrow on the bite. With this combination I have no need for an epipen!