Stinging nettle health benefits go beyond prostate disorders and skin diseases.
Stinging Nettle a Health Panacea
From rheumatism to anemia – Stinging Nettle is a virtual panacea
Paracelsus recommended nettle juice for jaundice. Hildegard of Bingen praised fresh burning nettles for stomach disorders.
“The nettle is very warm in its type. It is not good eaten raw, because of its harshness. But when it sprouts fresh from the earth, it is useful cooked as food for people, because it purges and cleans the stomach and removes the mucus from it. “
– Hildegard of Bingen
During the Middle Ages, nettle’s reputation for vitalizing effects were so great among practitioners of monastic medicine that monks and nuns were forbidden from taking it for their own benefit.
How Stinging Nettle Nutrition Works
Nettle contains a hormone-like substance, beta-sitosterol. Together with vitamin E, this stimulates body functions which can alleviate chronic fatigue and performance weakness. The hormone-like sitosterol can also help encourage milk formation in breastfeeding mothers, and in males semen production may also be stimulated and reducing prostate size in those with enlarged prostates.
The nettle leaf and seeds contain healthy amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A, mineral salts (mainly potassium and calcium), chlorophyll, carotenoids and organic acids. Nettles also contain caffeoyl-china acids, which have a pain relieving, astringent, and anti-inflammatory effect, making nettle a powerful natural remedy for minor symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
The nettle has a detoxifying astringent effect on blood and skin conditions. It also stimulates digestive glands in the stomach, intestines, pancreas, and liver, contributing to lower blood glucose-levels and improved metabolism. In addition, nettle is a mainstay in traditional German medicine for hair loss, allergies, the symptoms related to osteoporosis and menopause, as well as anemia and fatigue.
The Value of a Cleanse
Hildegard medicine often addresses the importance of detoxifying agents to clean up our bodies and lives. In a broader sense we often benefit from detaching from old habits to create space for new practices. This applies to all matters, including conscious dealings with ourselves and others. Nettles can be a powerful natural detoxifying agent to include in your natural health regimen to help you move toward a more balanced and vibrant life.
For harvesting, uses, and recipes see our post on stinging nettle recipes.