Stinging Nettle: What is it and what are its benefits?

Posted on Wed, Nov 17, 2021 by Amit Bambral

Urtica dioica, popularly known as stinging nettle, has been used as a staple in herbal medicine since ancient times. Various evidence suggests that ancient Egyptians used this herb to treat arthritis and lower back pain whereas the Roman troops used to rub stinging nettle on themselves to stay warm. Its scientific name is derived from the Latin word ‘uro’, which means ‘to burn’. The name was given because its leaves can impart a temporary burning sensation on the skin upon contact. If you look closely, the leaves have hair-like structures that not only sting but also result in itching, redness, and swelling. However, it still has a range of uses as people are finding it to be an effective remedy for various ailments. The herb can be used safely, but it may cause side effects for some people. You can supplement it into your daily diet by drying, freeze-drying, or cooking it. Many studies have linked this medicinal herb with a plethora of benefits, some of which are listed below:

One Herb, Many Nutrients

If you wish to reach your daily nutrient requirements, you may want to include stinging nettle into your diet. The herb contains many nutrients such as vitamin A, C, and K, along with several B vitamins. Minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium are also found in it. Linoleic acid, linolenic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, and oleic acid, all of the essential amino acids, Kaempferol, quercetin, caffeic acid, coumarins, and other flavonoids, beta-carotene, lutein, luteoxanthin, and carotenoids are also available in this herb. As you can see, the list of nutrients in this herb is endless! Even more amazing is that many of these nutrients act as antioxidants inside your body. 

Reduces Inflammation

When your body is healing itself or fighting infections, it leads to inflammation, and chronic inflammation is harmful to the body. Stinging nettle is known to harbor a variety of compounds that may help this. Consuming stinging nettle or applying stinging nettle topically can help relieve inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.

Reduces Seasonal Allergies

A large number of people have seasonal allergies that cause a lot of discomfort. A popular treatment for this problem is stinging nettle. There is not a clear scientific explanation behind how this happens but some research has suggested that the nettle can reduce allergy-related inflammation in the body that eventually reduces seasonal allergies. 

Managing Diabetes

Diabetes is a growing concern among young and old people. There is some early evidence that suggests stinging nettle could help to treat diabetes. Studies conducted on type-2 diabetes patients show that the stinging nettle extract had a positive effect on blood glucose levels. This finding is certainly promising but it still requires a little more research to get conclusive results. 

Treatment For Hay Fever

Inflammation in the lining of your nose is an allergic reaction that occurs as a result of hay fever. Stinging nettle is being seen as a promising treatment for this problem. When stinging nettle herb is consumed, it blocks histamine receptors, stopping immune cells from releasing chemicals that trigger allergy symptoms.

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