What is stinging nettle?
The stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a herbaceous flowering plant native to Europe, Asia, northern Africa, and North America, and is the best known member of the nettle genus Urtica. It is an herbaceous perennial, growing to 1-2 m tall in the summer and dying down to the ground in winter. It has very distinctively yellow, widely spreading roots.
The soft green leaves are 3-15 cm long, with a strongly serrated margin, a cordate base and an acuminate tip. Both the leaves and the stems are covered with brittle, hollow, silky hairs that were thought to contain formic acid as a defence against grazing animals; but recent research has revealed the cause of the sting to be from three chemicals - a histamine to irritate the skin, acetylcholine to bring on a burning sensation and 5-hydroxytryptamine to encourage the other two chemicals.
What is the effective dosage of sting nettle supplementation?
Sting nettle is available in many forms; following are the effective dosages for different forms.
- Tea: prepare a cup by pouring 2/3 cup of boiling water over 3 to 4 tsp of dried leaves or dried root and steeping for 3 to 5 minutes. Drink three to four of these cups a day. An infusion can also be made with fresh nettle leaves. Always drink additional water along with the tea (at least 2 quarts per day).
- Dried leaf: 2 to 4 grams, three times a day.
- Fluid extract (root, 1:1): 1.5 ml, three to four times daily .
- Fluid extracts (leaf, 1:1): 2 to 5 ml three times daily
- Tincture (root, 1:5): 5 to 7.5 ml three to four times daily
What are the benefits of sting nettle supplementation?
- Stinging nettle today is used in connection with rheumatism, eczema, arthritis, gout, and anemia.
- It is also used in connection with kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and urinary problems during the early stages of enlarged prostate
- In folk medicine, the dried herb and fresh plant juice have been used as diuretics, astringents and blood builders,
What are the side effects of sting nettle supplementation?
Stinging nettle is generally considered safe when used as directed. A mild side effect of sting nettle includes gastrointestinal irritation, excess fluid, or decreased urine flow. Discontinue the use if you experience any adverse effect and consult your doctor.
- You may get hives or a rash with skin contact while handling.
- Do not take if you are pregnant or nursing.
- It is not for children.