Stinging Nettle Leaf Can Relieve Prostate Problems And More

Jan 29 10:51 2010 Thelma Oliver Print This Article

Nettle is the herb for masochists! In the past the sharp leaves were beat against the skin, a process called urtication. This painful practice drove the beneficial chemicals of the leaf into the skin for the treatment of arthritis and skin disease. Nettle contains natural antihistamines and anti-inflammatories and these were driven into the skin with this self-flagellation. Fortunately, today you get nettle's gain without pain.

Nettle has been called the masochist's herb. This is because,Guest Posting in the past the sharp leaves were used in urtication, a self-flagellation, driving the beneficial chemicals in the leaf into the skin painfully! It was a treatment for arthritis and skin disease. Apparently it worked because of the antihistamines and anti-inflammatories in the leaf that were beaten into the body. Aren't you glad you can gain the benefits of nettle without beating yourself with it?

Stinging nettle is a perennial plant. The stem grows from 2 to 7 feet high and bears serrated, pointed leaves. The small, greenish flowers grow in clusters from July to September.

There are many helpful chemicals in nettle: vitamin C and vitamin A, abundant chlorophyll, bio-available minerals, including silicon, calcium, and potassium chloride, dietary fiber and protein.

Nettle is effective in treating hay fever because of the antihistamines in the leaf. Nettle is sometimes used to open the bronchial airways and loosen congestion in people with asthma or allergies. And Nettle is indeed effective in treating inflammatory skin conditions.

Nettle helps people with arthritis by reducing the dosage of drugs and thus their side effects. Nettle also contains large amounts of silicon and boron that ease symptoms of bursitis, arthritis, and tendonitis. Nettle is able to treat urinary tract infections and increase the production of urine. It is a mild laxative, and can increase the efficiency of kidney and liver function. As a bitter herb, nettle purifies the blood and is thus used to treat ulcers, asthma, bronchitis, hemorrhoids, jaundice, nephritis, and spasmodic dysmenorrhea.

Nettle's use makes quite an impressive list: dysentery, diarrhea, hemorrhages, gravel, febrile affections, chronic diseases of the colon, nephritic complaints, eczematous affections, eczema of the face, neck and ears, and chronic cystitis. Externally it has been effective in treating burns, scalds, bleeding wounds, nettle rash (yes, you can use nettle to treat nettle pain), nosebleed, and urticaria.

Nettle is a key ingredient in herbal treatment of BPH, a urination discomfort in men in which the prostate enlarges and hinders this function. It does this by keeping the body from converting testosterone into 5-alpha-reductase, an enzyme that causes the prostate gland to begin growing again after 40. It does not decrease enlargement of the prostate but increases the flow through the urethra. Taking nettle in combination with either saw palmetto or pygeum bark extract is, in some men, as effective as the drug finasteride. Nettle is also used in hair tonics because of its purported ability to stimulate hair growth.

Nettle is also a natural diuretic. It helps the body eliminate uric acid and bacteria that cause urinary tract infections and kidney stones. The diuretic action of nettle may also help lower blood pressure and relieve premenstrual bloating. Much controversy surrounds the advice that pregnant or nursing women should not take nettle. The one side says it might cause uterine contractions. The other says this is not a danger when taken moderately. Perhaps it is related to when the nettle is harvested. If it is harvested before flowers appear, it seems to be safer.

Nettle can be grown yourself, or purchased as a dried leaf to make into tea, or as capsules, tablets, and tinctures. Dried root products, often combined with saw palmetto, are also available for prostate treatment. Some just like to sprinkle the powder on their food. If you store the leaves, do so in a dark, dry, and cool place.

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Thelma Oliver
Thelma Oliver

Due to its diuretic action, prolonged use of nettle can cause an electrolyte imbalance. Also, people who take nettle on a regular basis should make sure they get enough potassium in their diet. For more on nettle leaf benefits, visit More Than Alive, a website dedicated to promoting bulk herbs and their benefits to human health.

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