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What are stinging nettles?
Stinging nettle is the name given to two types of round,
green bushes found throughout the world. Fully grown, stinging
nettle bushes can reach a height of three feet. The plant
gets its name from the small hair-like projections that cover
it, especially the leaves and stem. The hairs contain chemicals
inside them that irritate a persons skin and can be
quite painful to the touch.
Why do we need stinging nettles?
What are they used for?
Traditionally, stinging nettles have been used to stimulate
circulation. Many cultures have used nettle branches as part
of a whipping technique called flagellation, which allegedly
activates paralyzed muscles and stimulates organs. In previous
centuries, it has also been used to treat a variety of conditions,
ranging from rheumatism and eczema to arthritis, gout and
Today, stinging nettles are most commonly used to treat urinary
problems associated with the early stages of an enlarged prostate
gland. It is also used as a remedy for kidney stones, rheumatism
and some cases of inflammation, and has diuretic effects if
taken with enough fluid. Stinging nettles leaves have sometimes
been employed as a topical compress or cream for gout, sprains,
sciatica, tendonitis, burns, hemorrhoids and insect bites.
How many stinging nettles should
For lower urinary tract inflammation and kidney stones, many
practitioners recommened between 8-12 grams of tea made from
stinging nettle leaves, along with at least two liters of
liquid a day. For enlarged prostate conditions, 4-6 grams
of root tincture (1:10 ratio) daily is recommended. Remember
to always consult with your health care provider first before
taking nettle root for prostate or urinary problems.
What forms of stinging nettles are
Stinging nettles are available in the form of dried leaves,
which can be crushed and used in teas or capsules. Tinctures
containing stinging nettle root are also available (a tincture
is a solution of the herb in alcohol).
What can happen if I take too many
stinging nettles? Are there any interactions I should be aware
of? What precautions should I take?
Stinging nettle is safe when used as directed; however, excessive
use may interfere with the actions of hypoglycemic, hyperglycemic,
antidiabetic and depressive drugs. If your skin touches the
plant, you may feel a stinging sensation or contract hives.
In addition, stinging nettle may alter a womans menstrual
cycle. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not take stinging
nettle products and should contact their health care provider
with any questions or concerns.
Other Resources :
More You Know About Nutrition
Belaiche P, Lievoux O. Clinical studies
on the palliative treatment of prostatic adenoma with extract
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Chrubasik S, Enderlein W, Bauer
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Krzeski T, Kazon M, Borkowski
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and pygeum africanum in the treatment of benign prostatic
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