Why nettle is good for health

About nettle

The Latin name for nettle is Urtica dioica – nettle nettle. It grows widely throughout Estonia, but also in Europe, Asia, South Africa, Australia and South America. There are, of course, more nettle species, but the name nettle has been used the most among the people to this day.

1. Nettle contains many nutrients

Nettle contains a variety of nutrients:

  • Vitamins: Vitamins A, C and K, as well as several B vitamins
  • Minerals: calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium
  • Fats: linoleic acid, linolenic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and oleic acid
  • Amino acids: all essential amino acids
  • Polyphenols: kaempferol, quercetin, caffeic acid, coumarins and other flavonoids
  • Pigments: beta-carotene, lutein, luteoxanthin and other carotenoids
  • Even more – many of these nutrients act as antioxidants in your body.

Antioxidants are molecules that help protect your cells from free radical damage. Damage caused by free radicals is associated with aging, as well as cancer and other harmful diseases.

Studies show that nettle extract can increase blood levels of antioxidants

2. Nettle can reduce inflammation

  • Inflammation is your body’s way of healing itself and fighting infections. However, chronic inflammation can cause significant damage.
  • Stinging nettle contains a variety of compounds that can reduce inflammation.
  • In animal and tube studies, nettle reduced the levels of a number of inflammatory hormones by interfering with their production.
  • In human studies, smearing nettle cream or consuming nettle products appears to relieve inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.

3. Nettle can treat the symptoms of an enlarged prostate

Up to 50% of men aged 51 and older have an enlarged prostate. An enlarged prostate is commonly referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia. Researchers are not sure what causes hyperplasia, but it can cause significant discomfort during urination. Some studies suggest that nettle may help treat hyperplasia. Animal studies show that this powerful plant can prevent the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, a more powerful form of testosterone. Stopping this conversion will help reduce the size of your prostate. Studies in people with benign hyperplasia show that nettle extracts help treat both short- and long-term urinary problems – without side effects.

4. Nettle can treat hay fever

Hay fever is an allergy that is accompanied by inflammation of the nasal mucosa. Stinging nettle is considered a promising natural treatment for hay fever.

5. Nettle can lower blood pressure

High blood pressure is a serious health problem because it puts you at risk of heart disease and stroke, which are among the leading causes of death in the world.

Stinging nettle has traditionally been used to treat high blood pressure for a long time. First, it may stimulate the production of nitric oxide, which acts as a vasodilator. Vasodilators relax the muscles in your blood vessels, helping them to expand. In addition, nettle contains compounds that can act as calcium channel blockers that relax your heart, reducing the strength of your contractions.

In animal experiments, nettle has lowered blood pressure levels while increasing the heart’s antioxidant defenses.

Other possible benefits

Nettle can offer other potential health benefits, including:

  • Bleeding reducer: Medicines containing nettle extract have been found to reduce excessive bleeding, especially after surgery.
  • Liver Health: Nettle antioxidants can protect your liver from toxins, heavy metals and inflammation damage.
  • Natural diuretic: This plant can help your body excrete excess salt and water, which in turn can temporarily lower your blood pressure. These findings come from animal experiments.
  • Wound and burn healing: The use of nettle creams can support wound healing, including burns.

Possible side effects

Freeze-dried or cooked nettle is generally safe to consume. There are few, if any, side effects. However, pregnant women should avoid excessive consumption of urticaria, as this can cause uterine contractions, which may increase the risk of miscarriage.

Talk to your doctor before taking freeze-dried nettle if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • Blood thinners
  • Antihypertensives
  • Diuretics (water tablets)
  • Antidiabetic drugs
  • Lithium

Use of nettle

It is most convenient to use nettle nettle freeze-dried. Take a spoonful of freeze-dried nettle powder from the jar and add the right amount to your soup, pastry, curd or smoothie. There are many possibilities! Try it!

Did you know that freeze-drying preserves the good, natural taste, aroma, appearance and nutritional value of berries and fruits, including valuable vitamins and nutrients? Read more about freeze-drying here.

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