Commonly known as Stinging Nettle (Urtica Dioica), this tiny shrub packs a potent cocktail of uses. Nettle Leaf Benefits include prostate health, anti-inflammatory compounds, arthritis relief, healthy blood pressure and sugar support. In addition, Nettle Leaf is chock full of nutrients that help to relieve allergies.
In its raw form, the leaves possess hair-like structures that can sting, itch or produce swelling and rash when touched, hence the common term "Stinging Nettle.
However, after processing, freeze drying, cooking or boiling, it is safe for human consumption and can greatly benefit the body.
In this article, we'll get into a few of its most powerful therapeutic uses and explain how to use this super herb.
Nettle Leaf Benefits
In addition to its many therapeutic benefits which we get into below, Nettle Leaf is full of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Most abundant of these three is its mineral content. The leaves are packed with more Calcium and Magnesium than 90% of other medicinal herbs. It is a premier herb for bone health and blood pressure support. Each gram contains the following:
- Vitamins - A, B, C and K
- Minerals - Iron, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, Manganese, Boron, Copper and Strontium
- Phytonutrients - Beta-carotene, Lutein, Quercetin, Rutin, Chlorophyll, Zeaxanthin
1. May help to support prostate health and promote urinary tract health
Probably the most well know Nettle Leaf Benefit is prostate health. It not only helps to alleviate urinary discontinuity and frequent bathroom stops; research has shown it to help shrink and cleanse the prostate.
Other studies have gone even further to demonstrate Nettle Leaf's ability to fight and prevent prostate Cancer.
The secret to Nettle Leaf treating prostate size may lie in its ability to stop the conversion of testosterone in dihydrotestosterone. Preventing this conversion can help to shrink the prostate.
To further treat BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) or prostate cancer, combine Nettle Leaf with Guinea Hen Weed; another powerful anti-inflammatory herb. To read more about it, click here.
2. May help to support healthy blood pressure
Nettle Leaf stimulates the production of nitric oxide, which relaxes the blood vessels and increases vascularity. This widens them and decreases blood pressure altogether.
As mentioned earlier, Nettle Leaf's high magnesium content also contributes to healthy High Blood Pressure.
3. May help to support healthy blood sugar levels
Both human and animal studies have been conclusive in proving Nettle Leaf's ability to lower blood sugar levels.
It contains various compounds that mirror the effects of insulin and help to decrease the body's insulin resistance.
Regular consumption of this herb may even lower the risk of developing Diabetes and/or obesity.
4. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Nettle Leaf not only contains ingredients that reduce inflammation. It also regulates the hormones that control inflammation in the body.
Daily supplementation of Nettle Leaf can benefit those suffering with Arthritis, tendonitis or any other inflammatory condition.
Even further, new research has shown Nettle leaf to diminish the pain and swelling associated with Arthritis.
5. Natural Diuretic
Nettle Leaf's Diuretic properties help the body shed excess salt and water, which in turn leads to lower blood pressure and decreased water weight.
Be sure to stay hydrated when consuming this herb.
6. May support Liver Health
Concentrated with anti-oxidants, Nettle can help protect the liver from damage caused by heavy metals, toxins and inflammation.
Nettle's ability to reduce Oxidative stress on the body can slow aging and fight chronic diseases.
7. Supports Histamine Balance
Stinging Nettle has been known to inhibit inflammation along the nose lining that triggers seasonal allergies.
In addition, this natural anti-histamine also helps to prevent common allergy symptoms like coughing, sneezing and runny nose.
How to use Nettle Leaf
Nettle comes in a variety of forms that include capsules, tinctures, creams and loose leaf teas.
As this is likely the most effective form, we focus on the preparation of loose leaf tea.
If you're using this Tea to help shrink your prostate, I recommend 1-2 cups daily (morning and evening). You should see improvement in as little as two weeks. To speed this process, combine this herb with Guinea Hen Weed.
How to make Nettle Leaf Tea
The dried leaves, stems and flowers can be steeped for a delicious herbal tea. I recommend 1 oz of loose leaf tea to one gallon of water.
Boil for 5 minutes, turn off the heat and allow it to steep for at least an hour. The longer it steeps, a higher concentration of minerals will be drawn out of this nutrient rich herb.
Add honey and lemon if you desire a bit more flavor. Bottle and refrigerate, it can last up to a month when chilled.
Where to get Nettle Leaf
Nettle Leaf is usually available at your local health food store or farmers market. If you're blessed with a green thumb, it can easily be grown in your back yard.
Possible Side Effects of Nettle Leaf
In its raw form, Stinging Nettle can lead to rash, hives, itchiness and even life threatening allergic reactions.
However when consuming cooked, processed or dried Nettle Leaf, there are practically no side effects.
Because Nettle already has these properties, if you're taking medication for any of the following conditions, please consult a doctor before adding Nettle to your daily regimen:
- Heart Disease
- Blood pressure
Pregnant women should avoid taking Nettle as it can bring about uterine contractions and lead to miscarriage.
Nursing women should also avoid Nettle as there is no research done as yet on the effects of this herb on nursing mothers.