5 Health benefits of stinging nettle
Have you ever walked by a seemingly harmless plant and accidentally brushed up against it, only to feel a slight stinging or prickly pain? Chances are you have … and you very well may have come in contact with a stinging nettle plant.
While you may curse the plant for the temporary discomfort, stinging nettle is actually a beneficial perennial that treats several conditions. Perhaps its most popular use is turning the leaves into stinging nettle tea, which is a common natural allergy relief remedy. It’s also proven to benefit skin, bone and urinary health as well.
So how can this plant that seems like something to stay away from at first contact actually become a medicinal go-to? Let’s find out.
What Is Stinging Nettle?
Stinging nettle, or urtica dioica, is a perennial flowering plant that has been used medicinally for ages, dating back as far as Ancient Greece.
Today, stinging nettle can be found all over the world, but its origins are in the colder regions of Europe and Asia. The plant usually grows between two to four feet high and blooms from June to September. It grows best in nitrogen-rich soil, has heart-shaped leaves, and produces yellow or pink flowers.
While best known for the stinging reaction that occurs when the skin comes into contact with the fine hairs located on its leaves and stems, when processed and used medicinally, stinging nettle has a number of helpful health benefits, according to the Department of Dermatology at the Penn State University College of Medicine.
Most stinging nettle products are made from the stem and leaves, but the roots also have pharmacological qualities. The herb has anti-inflammatory qualities that can affect treatment of many health issues. The aboveground parts have typically aided in allergy relief and other breathing-related problems. The roots are able to provide relief for urinary disorders and enlarged prostate as well.
Benefits of Stinging Nettle
1. Helps with Arthritis and Other Joint Pain
Stinging nettle is beneficial for people who have arthritis or any kind of joint pain. Its function is very similar to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen.
This herb is rich in anti-inflammatory properties, along with minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium, that all help ease joint pain as well as strengthen bones.