In the past, herbs were treated with great respect (they were attributed magic and healing powers) and used in folk medicine as a remedy for many diseases of the body. Nowadays, the level of interest in herbal medicine and natural medicine is gradually increasing. Plants with medicinal properties are treated as alternatives to medicines or as adjuvants for therapy. It is also common to use herbs in cosmetics and body care. One of such prized plants is nettle.
Application throughout history
For centuries, the popularity of nettles has been falling in the increasing – sometimes appreciated for versatile action, sometimes forgotten and treated as a component of dishes for poor people. In fact, this plant was already popular in antiquity, he wrote about it, among others Hippocrates or Pliny the Old. At that time, it was recommended for the treatment of hemorrhages, burns, poisoning or rheumatism. In folk medicine, it was recommended to whip nettles in order to prevent rheumatism, and its decay was used in skin problems, asthma, cough or dandruff
Herbal raw materials are leaves (folium), herb (herba), root (radix) and seeds (semen), which differ slightly in composition and effect. Nettle leaves, especially fresh ones, contain the most biologically active compounds, including beta-carotene, tannins, flavonoids, tannins, vitamin C, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, silicon, manganese, vit. K, wit. B2, pantothenic acid and also some volatile organic acids. The roots include polysaccharides, sterols, lectins, organic acids, lecithin, waxes and mucilages, ligates, tannins, ceramides and mineral salts. Nettle herb also provides certain amounts of vitamins, minerals, organic acids and fatty acids. Plant seeds can be a good source of vitamins and minerals, but not as abundant as leaves. Considering the rich composition of this plant,inclusion of nettles in the daily diet of the whole family, can be a natural and cheap supplement to many valuable ingredients.
Properties and application
Nettle is used in really many ailments! It stimulates the immune system, reduces cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, reduces inflammation and soothes pain. It has been proven to be a diuretic, so it is recommended for kidney stones, inflammation of the kidneys, edema, but also diseases of the musculoskeletal system – increases the amount of uric acid excreted, which can, for example, accumulate in the tissues of the body. Nettle can be used as an alternative in the course of type II diabetes (reduces blood glucose), also works antihememorphic, increases the level of hemoglobin and has a positive effect on the number of erythrocytes (red blood cells). Recommended for stomach problems, spring weakness or reduced symptoms of rhinitis. It is worth remembering that the nettle is not only used as a medicinal plant,but also as a natural dye (E140) – a rennet substitute in the production of cheeses or a source of natural fibers.
How to use?
There are many different preparations on the market, containing nettle in the composition of tea, tablets, juices, oils, honey and ready-made herbal mixtures. Each of them has a dosage method given by the manufacturer that should be followed or consult a physician. If, on the other hand, we prepare home decoction of nettle leaves, we should pour about 2 spoons of boiling water into boiling water and boil for 5 minutes on a small gas. Then leave it for 10 minutes and strain. Such homemade herbal tea is recommended to drink 2-3 times a day after about ½ cup (or more) after eating. Nettle should not be used in the presence of haemorrhage caused by, for example, polyps or some cancers.
Nettle infusions can be a tasty and valuable variety to your daily diet. Due to the delicate taste and sweet aroma, such a herbal drink will also taste for smaller children! Not everyone is aware that nettle can also be a great hero of dry and sweet dishes. In the next article, we will reveal to you a few such delicious recipes with this plant!