Name: Dog’s kropiva zvichayna – motherwort heart
Common nettle (Leonurus cardiaca, synonym — L. campestris); common primrose, five-lobed primrose; Lamiaceae (Labiatae) family; Fatherland is hearty
Very often, in the pursuit of expensive imported cardiac and sedative drugs, we forget that there is a common plant in our country, the infusions and tinctures of which are sometimes more effective than the newfangled products of Western production. This is common dog nettle, known not only in folk medicine, but also in scientific medicine. People have known and used its healing properties for a long time.
Dog nettle is a perennial herbaceous plant up to 100-150 cm tall. The stem is erect, four-sided, pubescent with sparse hairs. The lower leaves are large, five-lobed (hence one of the species names), dark green above, light green below; the upper leaves are three-lobed or three-lobed. The flowers are irregular, sessile, in multi-flowered rings, hugging the stem, lilac-pink. They bloom in the second year of life in June-July. The fruit is a cluster of four one-seeded nuts. Dog nettle grows in many areas of the European part of Russia, in the Caucasus, in Western Siberia and Central Asia, in Ukraine (scattered in forest-steppe and steppe zones). It is usually found in curtains on wastelands (hence one of the names of the genus) and littered places. Due to its excellent pharmacological properties, ordinary dog nettle has been introduced into culture.
For the preparation of medicines, the aerial part is used, which is harvested at the beginning of the flowering of the plant. Cut off the tops of stems approximately 40 cm long and no more than 5 mm thick. The collected grass is dried in the shade, spreading it in a thin layer and turning it over often. It is impossible to allow blackening of raw materials. Final drying is carried out in special dryers at a temperature of 50-60 °C. Raw materials are stored in dry rooms, the shelf life is 3 years. Briquettes of common nettle grass are sold in specialized pharmacies.
The aerial part of the plant contains alkaloids, organic acids (malic, tartaric, citric, ursolic, vanilla and others), flavonoids, saponins, tannins, glycosides, sugary substances, vitamins A, C, E. The grass is also rich in micro- and macroelements.
Stinging nettle preparations have an effect similar to the effect of lily of the valley and medicinal valerian products, but they are much more effective in terms of their effectiveness, especially in the treatment of cardiovascular neuroses and other heart diseases. Infusion and tincture of the plant normalize the heart rhythm, increase the force of heart contractions, have a sedative, hypotensive (lower blood pressure), antispasmodic and mild diuretic effect. In addition, they regulate the menstrual cycle, improve digestion. Dog nettle preparations are indispensable for cardiosclerosis, increased nervous excitability, climacteric neuroses in women, neurasthenia, insomnia, tension and vegetative-vascular dystonia. The plant is also used for such serious diseases as epilepsy, thyroid diseases, it is also prescribed for scanty menstruation and gastrointestinal disorders, in particular, with chronic inflammation of the large intestine. Stinging nettle herb is part of a soothing tea that is used for nervous excitement and insomnia.
The plant is also used in homeopathy.
Externally, dog nettle products are prescribed to accelerate wound healing, as they have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Dog nettle is a very valuable honey plant. The plant releases nectar especially well in warm, humid weather. Each individual has 1.5-2.5 thousand flowers, and bees collect nectar from one flower containing up to 0.6 mg of sugar. Honey productivity of dog nettle reaches 200 kg from 1 hectare. Fresh honey is straw-yellow in color, with a specific but not sharp smell and high taste qualities. Beside the plant plantations, it is advisable to place apiaries, especially with the nomadic method of beekeeping.
Herbal infusion. 15 g of raw material per 200 ml of boiling water. Infuse for 15 minutes, filter, squeeze. Take 1 tablespoon 3-4 times a day before meals.
Herbal tincture. The raw material is poured with 70% alcohol in a ratio of 1:5. Take 30-50 drops 3-4 times a day.
Soothing tea. 1.5 tablespoons of a mixture of common nettle, yarrow and St. John’s wort, peppermint and walnut leaves and chamomile flowers (taken in a ratio of 2:2:1:1:1:1) are poured into 200 ml of boiling water. Infuse for 15 minutes, filter, squeeze. Take 1/2-3/4 cup 2-3 times a day half an hour before meals for vegetative-vascular dystonia.
Do not use dog nettle products with low blood pressure (hypotension) and slow heart rate (bradycardia)!