"The sting of the nettle is but nothing compared to the pains it heals. " That is a phrase that has reverberated for ages in the annals of historical herbal literature. And why not? The Europeans have been utilizing the nettle for its medicinal properties for several centuries. Now a new generation is poised to re-discover what their ancestors have known all along.
The stems, leaves, flowers and roots of the nettle plant have powerful medicinal properties. Nettle possesses a rich green color that reveals its high iron and chlorophyll content. The minerals calcium, magnesium, silicon, sulphur, copper, chromium, zinc, cobalt, potassium and phosphorus abound in the nettle plant. The nettle also contains vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, as well as riboflavin and thiamine.
In Europe, the nettle was used as both a spring tonic and in the treatment of scurvy. The Germans used it during the war as fodder and discovered that horses that had become thin due to digestive problems benefited when nettles were added to their rations.
Meanwhile in Russia, it is used as an antiseptic and astringent. The dried, powdered nettle herb is sniffed to stop nose bleeding. Nettle tea is used to improve heart action, to ease headaches, and to alleviate internal bleeding, especially after childbirth.
Nettle is said to be extremely beneficial for the kidneys, being useful in expelling gravel from the bladder and dissolving kidney stones. It is a powerful blood purifier that drives out toxins and metabolic wastes by stimulating the kidneys to excrete more water. Nettle tea is said to clean out the entire intestinal tract while activating the body's natural defense mechanisms.
The nettle tea also kills and expels intestinal parasites like worms. It is helpful in the treatment of dysentery, diarrhea, hemorrhoids and inflammation of the kidneys. It is also useful in the treatment of asthma since it helps expel phlegm from the lungs.
Nettle is also used to increase fertility in both men and women. Due to its high calcium content, nettle tea is specific for easing leg cramps and other muscles spasms, and also diminishes pain during and after birth.
In the book, “The Family Herbal, " authors Barbara and Peter Theiss recommend nettle tea as a long-term stimulation therapy for allergies, for people with poor complexions and as an additional discharging therapy in connection with all types of rheumatism and gout.
So the next time you see a nettle plant, be reminded that it is one of the more formidable herbs around and that it possesses properties that are likely to ease or alleviate anything that ails you.
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