The deaf nettle is white – the white nettle

This plant is well disguised as nettles – rarely anyone dares to walk through its thickets with bare feet. The leaves are so similar to nettles that it seems you are about to regret it. But no, we take it in our hands – it does not sting, and the stem is not rounded, like a nettle, but four-sided, and the pubescence is soft. This is a white blind nettle, a perennial rhizomatous plant. Its stem is 20-50 cm tall, the leaves are opposite, egg-shaped, serrated at the edges (which is why they look like a nettle sting). The flowers are irregular, two-lipped, white or yellowish, sessile. Stinging nettle blooms in early May. The fruit consists of four nuts. It grows everywhere in Ukraine, but unevenly, more often on the Right Bank among bushes and littered places, near houses, in parks and gardens.

For medical purposes, plant flowers are used, much less often – grass. The flowers are collected during the flowering period – the corollas are pulled from the calyxes. The collected raw materials are quickly dried, spread out in a thin layer, in a warm, ventilated place, making sure that the flowers do not turn brown and retain their original color. The grass is harvested during the flowering of the plant. Stinging nettle raw material is used only in folk medicine.

Flowers contain tannins (up to 10%), mucilage, saponins, glycosides, lamnin alkaloid, essential oil, sugars and vitamin C. Leaves – ascorbic acid (vitamin C) (up to 121 mg%) and carotene (provitamin A).

People’s doctors have been treating the sick with an infusion of plant flowers since time immemorial. It has the ability to stop various bleedings, increase and stabilize urination, has an expectorant effect – helps with diseases of the respiratory organs. In diseases of the liver, gall bladder, urinary tract and kidneys, the infusion of nettle flowers alleviates the condition of the patients. In addition, it regulates the menstrual cycle, it works especially well with painful and scanty menstruation. Externally, the infusion is used for various skin diseases: eczema, furunculosis, allergic dermatitis. Patients with angina can appreciate its anti-inflammatory effect when gargling.

Young shoots and leaves of the plant are tasty and nutritious due to the high content of vitamins and aroma. They taste like spinach. Salads are prepared from them, they are added to soups and stews.

Children and bees know how sweet the tip of a stinging nettle flower is, because there is a lot of nectar in its very depths. Stinging nettle is one of the earliest and best honey bearers. The honey yield of the plant is almost 100 kg from 1 hectare, and bees also collect a lot of pollen.

The white deaf nettle has a close relative – the purple deaf nettle. In the European part of Russia, it occurs less often, but it has the same useful properties – medicinal and honey-bearing. The honey productivity of this plant exceeds 120 kg per hectare. Such is the useful double of the stinging nettle.

Infusion of flowers. 1 tablespoon of flowers per 200 ml of boiling water, infuse until cool. Take 1/2 cup 3-4 times a day.

Infusion of flowers (external). 4-5 teaspoons of flowers per 200 ml of boiling water, infuse until cool. For rinsing, washing, baths and compresses.

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