The common nettle plant has been valued for centuries as extremely dense in energizing substances that are nourishing to the blood as well as cleansing to the body. Today it is regarded as a super food with its leaves, roots and stalks containing antioxidants and many essential vitamins and minerals.
Nettles are famous for being able to relieve almost all symptoms caused by allergies including itchy, watery eyes; sneezing, running nose and nasal inflammation.
Research tells us that Western medical practitioners are increasingly using nettle as a decongestant, as an antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, or diuretic. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, nettle has been long known for its capacity to treat skin eczema, congested lungs, gout, edema, and generally enriching kidney and liver Yin. Throughout history nettles were also believed to help break curses and spells!
Nettle strengthens the entire body. In TCM terms, it is a Yin tonic, meaning that it strengthens the Yin aspects of the self. It helps the body cool itself down more effectively as well as strengthening all the vital organs, especially the immune system, kidneys, and liver.
While nettles can be quite invasive, similar to dandelion they are one of the most common wild herbal foods.
Today nettle is commonly used among modern day herbal practitioners for the treatment of urinary disorders, hay fever and is shown to be helpful for prostate gland enlargement as well as reducing the symptoms associated with menopause.
Nettle is also used in certain TCM formulas to help transition a difficult situation into a nurturing one since the leaves can be burned to drive out negative energies.
By strengthening the lungs, both boosting and training the immune system, and decreasing inflammation throughout the body, nettle helps in all respiratory illnesses, including asthma and bronchitis.
According to Chinese medicine, a simple infusion of the dried nettle herb from the fresh plant or juice of the fresh herb can also treat anemia, poor circulation, and an enlarged spleen. Nettle helps stimulate circulation but it can also stop bleeding. It contains both Vitamin K, which allows for blood clotting, and coumarin – a blood thinner. Because it helps the circulation and is full of antioxidants, it is also a useful remedy for arteriosclerosis. At the same time nettle helps the digestive system become more effective and makes it useful for IBS, IBD, and practically specific for Crohn’s disease. It may also be useful to lower both blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Similarly, because of its high antioxidant value, it’s anti-inflammatory qualities, and its ability to improve circulation it is also good for the heart.