Nettle is widely used in the kitchen, garden and as a medicine. The use of nettle is known, where a bouquet of freshly picked herbs strikes a painful place. For example, in case of kidney pain, the lumbar part of the back is treated.
After this application, the skin starts to turn red and small blisters appear.
Why does nettle burn and how is it used to treat pain?
Nettle is a herbaceous plant of the Urticaceae family, which grows on moist, nitrified soils, ie altered by human hand and with a high content of organic matter, which already indicates the presence of fertility in the soils. It grows very easily in orchards, piles of manure, lawns, or areas that are very close to human presence. It is interesting that this was very often seen in areas where people used to defecate before the existence of toilets in their houses. The leaves are opposite and petiolate, and on the underside of the leaves and along the reddish stems there are numerous annoying hairs. They are responsible for skin irritation. The hairs on nettle leaves contain formic or methane acid, similar to that which ants would inject when they bite us or when a bee stings us. This formic acid has a rubefatic effect, ie it produces redness of the skin with a feeling of heat, effective in treating pain in the muscles and the musculoskeletal system. It is all due to the response of our immune system, which is activated to neutralize the acid that has entered the body. It is known that even bee venom is used to treat various diseases. And mallow leaves contain carbohydrates with great soothing and anti-inflammatory power of mucus, so we already have a solution for the irritation caused by nettle friction on our skin. If you are burnt by nettles, take a few pearls of marshmallow leaves, mash them a little and apply to the area inadvertently irritated by nettles. Other plants that live near nettles can alleviate irritation, as the folk saying reminds us:
The nettle burned me, and the mastranco healed. Wise farmers say that if you pick nettles decisively that they will not cause itching, others say that if you hold your breath when you collect them, you will not notice any irritation. It is best to wear gloves when picking nettles.
The truth about nettles; to him who takes it with strength and determination, he does nothing. The Romans whipped nettles with bouquets before intercourse with their concubines, and this has already been mentioned in medieval debates as a remedy for the promotion of urine. In addition to formic acid, it contains mineral salts (iron, silicon, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium), it contains vitamins, such as vitamin A , C and K, a strong antihemorrhagic, abundant chlorophyll, a protein rich in lysine, an important amino acid intervenes in the absorption of calcium, tannins. Due to its richness in active principles, the list of nettle applications is very wide. It can be used as a remineralizing, antianemic, restorative, diuretic, very useful in case of gout, uric acid, rheumatism, prostatitis, fluid retention; digestive, very interesting in case of gastritis, dyspepsia (slow and difficult digestion); galactogenic, ie helps increase milk secretion in breastfeeding women; is hypoglycemia, that is, it helps reduce it sugar levels in the blood; nettle is astringent thanks to tannin, which is why nettle is used to treat diarrhea, colitis or dysentery.
Topical application of nettle
In local application on the skin, nettle is an effective astringent, hemostatic (stops bleeding), purifying plant, and due to the content of proteins and amino acids, it also moisturizes and softens the skin. It is used in the treatment of ulcers, superficial wounds, seborrheic dermatitis, acne. In the hair, it controls dandruff and sebum. You’ve probably seen shampoos made from nettle extracts. Due to the content of chlorophyll, it has a deodorizing effect, but in this case it is better to take it internally, in the form of infusions or as an ingredient in the preparation of green smoothies.
These properties are especially attributed to Urtica dioica, a nettle that can reach a height of half a meter. However, its other relatives are used in the same way, such as Urtica urens L (smaller nettle), Urtica membranacea Poiret (long nettle), with strongly serrated leaves and Urtica pilulifera L. (balera nettle, nettle pellet).
Use nettle in moderation in case of heart or kidney problems. Nettle is harvested before flowering, because its seeds are quite irritating.
Simple recipes with which you will enjoy the virtues of nettle at home Let’s start with hair care.
Here you have a fantastic formula for strengthening hair. Traditionally, a concentrated decoction of nettle is made and it is used to rinse the hair, managing not only to fight dandruff, but also to stop hair loss, with the addition of shine and softness. Nettle preparation after each wash or at least once a week.
Nettle water to strengthen hair. It is made with:
4 handfuls of fresh nettle leaves or eight dry nettles
500 ml of water
250 ml of vinegar, better if it is cider
The water is heated in a pot until it starts to boil. Clean nettles are placed in a glass, porcelain or enamel bowl and poured over boiling water. They were left to stand for three hours, then filtered and vinegar was added. After washing the hair, they are rinsed with nettle water while massaging the scalp to reactivate the blood circulation. This rinse gives the hair a shiny color and strengthens the roots. We can keep it in the fridge for three months. And in the kitchen, it is a very healing treat. Once boiled, the annoying hairs no longer burn, allowing formic acid to dissolve in the water. When preparing food, nettle is used in omelets, in pureed cooked dishes, smoothies. in a soup of purifying soup from which we can drink. take mashed vegetables, because nettle can be combined with other wonderful vegetables such as celery, chard, onion and sometimes add cabbage. Medicinal soup is prepared to support the body in severe and mild diseases in the body.
Nettle soup for cleansing the body:
Boil for 20 minutes, about 2 liters of water with 2 large onions, 2 or 3 branches of green celery, 3 stalks of chard, 4 leeks and 5 tablespoons of dried green nettle and twice as much if it is fresh (otherwise, you should not use the roots, only the leaves and tender stems collected before flowering). And remember that nettles do not sting anything after they are cooked.
We suggest that you consume at least one plate of nettle soup half an hour before each meal, with the juice of half a lemon and cloves of crushed garlic, of course without oil or salt.
Vegetables, which are recommended to be from organic cultivation, can be chopped and mashed.
It is recommended to consume nettle soup for at least a week and at most for fifteen days. You will see how the condition of your skin changes and energy returns to the body.
If you are raising chickens, provide them with finely chopped fresh nettle leaves from time to time, and this will help them generate enough calcium to strengthen their bones and lay eggs with a hard membrane.
Nettle is useful for protecting garden plants from pests and diseases.
It is made by macerating 200 g of dry nettle or 1 kg of fresh nettle in ten liters of water, always collected before flowering. It is placed in a bucket or container protected from the sun, a stone or something that weighs so that the nettle is immersed in water is placed on it. Stir every day for a few minutes. The fermentation will start to emit bubbles, and when it stops, it is an indication that the porridge is already ready. It is very important to filter it at that time and keep it in containers away from light. When the preparation is ready, it is applied to the garden, soil or plants in various dilutions in accordance with the rules of use.
A well-prepared porridge made of nettle or any other plant smells nice. In order for the plants to be advanced and fertile, a fresh nettle leaf is placed in a dug place in the ground intended for planting.