Nettle Urtica dioica, also known as stinging nettle, or common nettle, is a hairy-leaved plant from the Urticaceae family. Between 50cm and 1m in length, it is very common in Europe and is used in various forms.
While gardeners often make a nettle slurry to apply as an insect repellent, many people are unaware that it is also used for its medicinal properties.
At some point in our lives, we’ve all fallen foul of nettles, and the memories are painful: burning sensations, itching, blisters. Our grandmas would apply vinegar to the affected area to soothe the pain but the unpleasant feeling would still last for hours.
Nettle’s infamous stinging hairs are actually cone-like outgrowths called trichomes, the points of which break on contact with the skin, releasing formic acid and histamine. To pick nettle without being stung, you simply need to pinch the stem at its base and pull upwards. This way, the trichomes cannot get stuck in the skin.
Since the dawn of time, nettle has been used by herbalists and phytotherapists who have recognised its benefits for health.
Nettle is full of good things:
Adding nettle to your diet increases your intake of these elements, all of which help the body function properly, without adding calories. Indeed, this plant has only 82 kcal per 100 grams of fresh leaves.
Nettle has many excellent health benefits. It supports:
Nettle also contains substances that promote diuretic function (increased urine production), which is excellent for supporting urine flow in men suffering from an enlarged prostate (8).
Every part of the plant can be consumed: the leaves, stems and roots. But you still need to know how to prepare them to enjoy their benefits. Here are four different ways in which to consume nettle in order to benefit from its properties:
Dietary supplements containing nettle are useful for a number of reasons:
You can obtain the benefits of nettle by taking a selected synergistic formulation rich in plant extracts (such as the supplement Inflarelief, which combines extracts of nettle, cat’s claw for immunity, ginger for vitality, rosemary, bromelain, etc.)
As mentioned, nettle is also a valuable aid for men suffering from prostate problems. If that includes you (it normally develops after the age of 40), a nettle supplement such as Nettle Root Extract will help to facilitate micturition meaning you have to get up less often in the night to urinate.
For prostate problems, we’d also recommend saw palmetto which also supports healthy urinary function (9), and African plum tree or pygeum, the bark of which is rich in beta-sitosterol and supports the health of the prostate, bladder and lower urinary tract (10). Common nettle, saw palmetto and African plum are actually combined, along with other compounds, in specific formulations (such as ProstaNatural Formula).
Though somewhat overshadowed by Chinese medicine, traditional Japanese or Kampo medicine has much to teach us. Here we explore its key principles and the plants that make up its pharmacopoeia.
The roots of modern medicine can be traced back to the pioneering practices of our classical forebears. Let’s take a step back in time and explore the remedies and procedures used at that time.
What should you eat to meet the criteria of a holistic diet? Discover the key principles and benefits of this trend … one that’s made to last.
Numbering eight in total, the B group vitamins play an essential role in maintaining our vital functions. Get up to speed with their benefits with this comprehensive guide.
Infusions, powders, capsules … If you’ve always wanted to master the subtle art of phytotherapy, then take our quick tour of the main ways of using medicinal plants to support your health naturally.
Would you like to know how supplements are produced? SuperSmart shares with you the different stages of production of a dietary supplement.