Nettles – Urticaceae.

Parts Used: Herb, seeds and rhizome. Pharmacy name: nettle herb – Urticae heiba (formerly: Herba Urticae), nettle seed – Urticae semen (formerly: Semen Urticae), nettle root – Urticae radix (formerly: Radix Urticae).

Botanical description. I cannot imagine that there are people who would never get burned by nettles. Therefore, there is also no one who does not know what she looks like. Two types of nettle find medicinal use – stinging and dioecious. Stinging nettle is smaller and more tender, although more aggressive, and stinging nettle is more often used in medicine. Two other rarer nettle species are Urtica pilulifera L. (ball-bearing nettle) and Urtica kioviensis Rogow. (Kyiv nettle) – are not used for medicinal purposes. Nettle blooms from May to July (flowers are small, green, located in drooping ears; plants are dioecious). Both types are very common. They grow mainly near human habitation: in gardens, kitchen gardens, along the edges of ditches, in garbage heaps and wastelands.

Collection and preparation. In May, June and July (August), wild nettle leaves are collected, which are carefully (with gloves) torn from the stem, and then dried in the air. The whole herb is used to make nettle juice. The rhizome is dug up in spring or autumn, freed from the earth adhering to it and dried in air or under artificial heating (up to 40 ° C).

Active ingredients: flavonoids, chlorophyll, carotenoids, vitamins, mineral salts, beta-sitosterol, vegetable acids; in burning hairs – amine (histamine). Worthy of mention are the sterols and steryl glycosides found in the rhizomes, as well as lignans and tannins. Whether nettles contain substances that lower blood sugar, glucokinins, is debatable.

Healing action and application.Perhaps because nettle is such a common weed, it has been used for a very long time, long before the advent of scientific medicine. Currently, nettle leaves are used to increase overall metabolism. They are a traditional component of the tea collection prescribed for rheumatism, gout, diseases of the gallbladder and liver; are part of the tea collections of the spring and autumn health-improving courses. Nettle leaves can also be used to make a decoction that increases urine output and is effective for prostatitis. The German National Health Service recognizes nettle leaf tea as an auxiliary diuretic in diseases with urinary retention and also tea from nettle rhizomes for urinary retention in prostate adenoma in stages I and II. It is not necessary to use tea and nettle juice, as well as fees, which includes a lot of nettles, with stagnation and accumulation of water due to acute heart and kidney failure; in fact, this also applies to other diuretic teas.

  • Tea from nettle leaves and rhizomes: 2 teaspoons topped with nettle leaves or rhizomes pour */4 l of boiling water, boil for 5 minutes, filter. Tea is traditionally drunk warm, in small sips, 1 cup in the morning and in the evening for 4-8 weeks.

Tea collection, which includes nettle leaves, can also be recommended to people suffering from rheumatism, diseases that cause joint degeneration, cholelithiasis and urolithiasis.

  • Tea collection: Nettle leaves 20.0 Dandelion (root with grass) 20.0 Horsetail 10.0 Birch leaves 5.0 Rosehip (fruits) 5.0

For 1/4 liter of tea, 2 teaspoons with the top of the mixture are needed. Pour boiling water, insist 15 minutes, filter. You need to drink 3 times every day for 1 cup, the course is 6 weeks. Before treatment with nettle leaf tea, be sure to consult your doctor! Nettle shampoo or nettle tinctures are very useful in caring for hair roots.

Use in homeopathy. In homeopathy, only stinging nettle is used. The homeopathic remedy Urtica urens is prepared from leaves, stems and rhizomes collected at the time of flowering. It is used in D 1 -De dilutions against urticaria and other skin diseases accompanied by burning and itching, also for the treatment of burns (including sunburns) at a dosage of 5 to 10 drops several times every day. The same remedy is also used for rheumatism, gout, also to accelerate the release of uric acid; in the latter case, the original tincture is used.

Application in folk medicine.Everything that has been said so far about the use of nettle has long been known in folk medicine. Moreover, such a Spartan method is also recommended: for rheumatism, gout and paralysis, for pleurisy, measles and scarlet fever, the skin is cut with fresh nettles. It is believed to bring relief and healing. Nettle juice is very much loved in folk medicine, and this is undoubtedly correct. You can buy it at the pharmacy, but you can also prepare it yourself. To do this, plants in full bloom are cut, soaked in a small amount of water and, after a 12-hour extraction, squeezed out with a press. A spring salad of nettle leaves with dandelion and birch leaves is very good. At the same time, it no longer burns, because it slightly fades during cooking. No less traditional is the use in folk medicine of “nettle seed” – one-seeded fruit-nuts, which contain protein, mucus, fatty oil, carotenoids and chlorophyll. Their scope is very extensive, although today the external one prevails. Nettle is good as a “strengthening agent for the elderly”, since it supposedly “activates all vital organs and increases the body’s own defenses.” In pharmacies you will find suitable products: powders, wine, oil. Side effects are not to be feared.

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