Nettle is a perennial plant - it grows in all seasons - whose height varies from fifty to one hundred and fifty centimeters. It is found all over the world, mainly in moist soil, and belongs to the Urticaceae family. From the nettle comes the name of a widespread pathology, hives, precisely because this plant, as its name indicates, has remarkable stinging properties due to the hairs that cover both the leaves and the stem, properties that nevertheless end in within twelve hours of harvesting the plant. Nettle has been known since ancient times and is not rarely found in epic legends or ancient books; for example it is said that Nebuchadnezzar, one of the greatest kings of Babylon, ate industrial quantities in order to become wise. The beneficial properties of nettle, in fact, are numerous and recognized, to the point that if in the past it was frequently used in medicinal remedies, today it is often found synthesized in creams, ointments and other types of phytotherapeutic preparations, which is to treat take advantage of the properties of flowers, herbs and plants. Despite the science of recent decades has confirmed the benefits brought to the human organism by nettle, this plant is still today better known for its stinging power than for its curative properties.
The properties of the nettle
The properties of the nettle are numerous and unsuspected. It is in fact a plant that is even used in the kitchen: in fact, you can make a delicious cream with nettles that can be consumed with appetizers or spread on canapes. Rich in mineral salts, the nettle contains a great deal of iron, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, as well as vitamins of the A and C group, carotene, creatine histamine: these substances are contained above all in the leaves and constitute an excellent natural supplement in the low-calorie diet that develop deficiencies of different types. An excellent tonic, therefore, also suitable for sportsmen. Precisely the extraordinary amounts of iron contained in the nettle make this plant a powerful anti-anemic to be taken in the form of infusions or tablets. The nettle in fact stimulates the production of red blood cells and at the same time gives immediate energy. Not only: the nettle has remarkable depurative properties that help the body to regenerate itself by purifying the intestine and urinary tract. This plant, in fact, thanks to the creatine it contains in small quantities is able to help and promote digestion, making sure that even the most indigestible foods are assimilated thanks to the pancreatic juice, whose secretion is determined by creatine.
Nettle is also used to treat diarrhea, alopecia (excessive hair loss in certain areas), intestinal inflammation and even rheumatism and arthritis, since it helps the body eliminate all that harmful accumulates (acids, cholesterol, etc.). Finally, in the aesthetic field, it is widely used in anti-dandruff products: if you have this problem, it is very effective to dab the scalp with absorbent cotton soaked in a nettle decoction.
The nettle decoction is prepared with boiling water and a quantity of dried nettle leaves (they can be bought in any herbal medicine). First boil water in a saucepan, then, once the boiling temperature is reached, pour the nettle, put a lid and let it brew for about ten minutes. Then filter the decoction using a small sieve and pour it into a mug: add honey or sugar just enough to remove the vaguely bitter scent of the nettle, then drink at least twice a day. In summer, when it is hot, the cold decoction is also excellent as a refreshing one.Why use decoction or herbal tea
The decoction lends itself to a multitude of purposes among the most diverse: for example, if you are on a diet because you want to get back in shape, you can drink this decoction to purify the body, to obtain a draining and diuretic effect even - if not even better - to that of many drugs or beauty products: nettle in fact fights water retention and helps eradicate cellulite. Not only: the vitamins, proteins and mineral salts help to reintegrate into the body what an unbalanced diet can remove. In addition to being excellent from a nutritional point of view, nettle is a natural purifying substance that is very useful in cases of cystitis or kidney stones; not only is it able to cure milder infections, but it is also able to prevent them. In addition to the decoction that can be prepared at home, in herbal medicine there are many nettle-based herbal teas for the most varied purposes, given that the rather important diuretic effect of this plant should never be underestimated. In fact, it could be contraindicated if you have problems with kidney failure or if you suffer from hypertension or edema of different types; a doctor will be able to evaluate the individual case, since sometimes even those with heart problems could not tolerate nettle and generally all diuretics, even natural ones. As in any cure, it is very important to be constant: the decoction or herbal teas should be taken for several days up to twice a day to obtain appreciable results.