The stinging nettle is an herb native to North America, Europe, Asia and northern parts of Africa. Its most prominent feature is the presence of tiny hairs on its leaves and stems called trichomes, which much like tiny hypodermic needles, inject histamines, acetylcholine, and serotonin into the skin of those unfortunate enough to come into contact with it. This leads to an unpleasant stinging sensation in humans and other animals, lending the plant its common name.
Stinging nettle has been used for several centuries for its healing properties. Some of its more common uses over the years have been:
Easing Urinary Discomfort in Males
Studies have shown that stinging nettle slows the growth of prostate cells, thereby easing the symptoms of incomplete emptying of the bladder, reduced urine flow, post-urination drip, and strong urges to urinate.
Those with constant pain due to rheumatism, arthritis, osteoarthritis, or muscle pain have found significant relief with the help of nettle leaves.
Allergies and Hay Fever
Preliminary studies show that those with chronic allergies and hay fever sufferers can find relief from their symptoms by using stinging nettle. It is thought that the herb has antihistamine properties, and therefore stops the body’s production of histimine.
Many other uses have been found for nettle, including promoting milk production in lactating women, the treatment of hereditary hair loss, and relief of dandruff symptoms. It can also be used as a diuretic, as a folk remedy to stop bleeding, and as a treatment for kidney disorders and anemia.