Nettle: benefits and harms

Stinging nettle is a perennial herbaceous plant, known for its healing properties. Externally, it is a tall stalk with heart-shaped leaves. The flowers of nettle are small, green in color, they are gathered in hanging inflorescences. Rhizome creeping and branched.

A distinctive feature of the nettle are “stinging” hairs that cover its leaves and stem. It is a kind of natural protection of plants against herbivores.

Interesting! What is so stingy nettles? The hairs on the plant contain a mixture of formic acid, choline and histamine. This liquid causes skin reactions such as burning, itching, redness and local swelling at points of contact.

Nettle grows in thickets and clearings where the penetration of sunlight remains available throughout the spring and fall. Often the plant is found near private houses on plots of soil with high humidity.

In Ancient Russia, the nettle has never been considered a weed and not cut down from the yard. It was believed that it is able to protect the house from evil spirits, from the dry branches of a nettle trailed charms and brooms.

Nettle is widely used not only in medicine and cooking, she is also raw material for manufacturing natural fabrics. In ancient times, when the cotton was not so well known, from the dry stalks of nettles was spun thread and wove cloth.

The chemical composition of nettles

Stinging nettle is a valuable source of vitamins and minerals needed by the human body.

The table of nutrients of this plant can be summarized as follows:

  • Vitamins – A, b, C, K, b;
  • Macro – and microelements – calcium, potassium, iodine, phosphorus, sodium, iron, chromium, manganese, copper, molybdenum, sulfur, barium, boron, titanium, Nickel;
  • Glycosides, chlorophyll, flavonoids, tannins;
  • Gallusova and formic acid.

Important! Ascorbic acid in the nettles about 2 times more than in the currants and 10 times more than in apples. Carotene and 3 times more than in carrots.

The caloric value of 100 grams of fresh leaves and stems of the nettle is of 24.8 kcal.

Nutritional value:

  • proteins – 1,6;
  • carbohydrates – 5,0;
  • fats – 0.
The use of nettle

Nettle is a real natural healer. Its rich vitamin complex helps to strengthen your immunity and to avoid complications during exacerbation of viral infections.

Chlorophyll has a toning properties, it stimulates blood circulation and digestion, improves metabolism and strengthens the cardiovascular system. After eating meals with the content of nettle, increases hemoglobin, increases the rate of red blood cells.

Nettle juice is used as an effective diuretic and cholagogue. Also the decoction from the fresh leaves of this plant is an excellent antiseptic. It promotes rapid healing of open wounds and burns, prevents the formation of pathogenic microflora of the affected areas of the skin.

In folk medicine, a decoction of nettle is used to strengthen the follicles and prevent dandruff, itching and hair loss.

Nettle tea helps to avoid depression, invigorates, raises vitality. It is recommended to use every morning before a busy labor day to replenish energy reserves.

The damage from the nettles

People with higher blood clotting should refrain from the use and applications of nettle in any form. It can cause blood clots that can lead to tragic consequences.

You should also be extremely careful with stinging nettles pregnant women. This plant can cause premature birth, as it improves the tone of the uterus.

It is not recommended to abuse the plant in disease of the kidneys and liver, as well as people suffering from chronic hypertension.

Recipes for home-made medicine and cosmetology nettle
An infusion of nettle to strengthen the hair

Fresh young shoots of nettles are finely chopped, pour 100 ml of boiling water and infuse for 6 hours. After this infusion should strain and store in containers made of opaque glass. After each shampooing this tool is rubbed into the scalp while massaging. Does not require rinsing.

A decoction of nettle from acne

5 tablespoons finely chopped nettle leaves pour 1 liter of cold water and bring to boil on a slow fire. The resulting broth to drain and then wash them every morning.

Nettle osteochondrosis

1 kg of roots of nettles you should wash, peel and grind in a blender. Then, the resulting mass is poured 50 ml of 40 proof alcohol and insist in a dark place for 2 weeks, occasionally shaking the container. The infusion should be taken every evening before going to bed 1 tablespoon.

Therapeutic herbal bath with nettle

In diseases of the joints, as well as to relieve symptoms of stress are great a warm bath with the addition of infusion of gathering herbs. For its preparation you will need equal proportions of dry leaves: nettle, black currant, horsetail, succession, and rosemary. To brew the infusion is needed just before taking a bath. For one treatment is enough for 1 tablespoon of all components pour 1 liter of boiling water.

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