Extract Ratio:5:1, 10:1
Also known as "stinging nettle" because the prickly hollow
needles on its dark green leaves sting and burn upon contact, nettle (Urtica dioica) is an ancient herbal remedy for snakebites, asthma, arthritis, urinary tract inflammation, and excessive menstrual flow. While the above-ground parts of the plant--the leaf and the stem--are generally still used for these purposes, the roots are now popular for treating the discomforts of an enlarged prostate.
This flowering perennial can be found growing wild in the wastelands of the United States, Canada, and Europe. It's even used as a kitchen herb in many parts of world. Luckily, drying or boiling the plant dissolves the painful bristles. Many people like to steam the leaves to eat like spinach, or simmer them in soup. The young shoots are actually quite rich in vitamin C.
The herb and leaf have several known therapeutic qualities: They fight inflammation, act as an antihistamine, and have a diuretic effect, meaning they increase the flow of urine. The herb has also been explored as a treatment for the premenstrual bloating (fluid retention) that many women develop before their periods.
Arthritis sufferers may benefit from nettle's anti-inflammatory actions. In fact, nettle leaf extract is a Native American folk remedy for rheumatic pains. Topical formulations of nettle herb juice have been used to treat joint pain, too, as well as acne, hemorrhoids, and other skin problems. There is now evidence that taking the herb along with a prescription arthritis drug (diclofenac was used in one study) enables arthritis sufferers to reduce their dosage of prescription medication. (Don't undertake such a change without consulting your doctor, however.)
Rich in silica and other minerals important for nail growth, a cup of nettle leaf tea a day may help to nourish and strengthen nails.
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