The stinging nettle (scientific name Urtica dioica), also called nettle leaf, or just nettle, is a fairly common plant. It is believed to have originated in Europe and Asia and then spread to other countries in the world.
It is usually found growing wildly in Jamaica and has been used for centuries to treat a number of ailments and conditions. The plant has been touted by herbalists, especially for its fertility-boosting properties, ability to lower blood pressure, regulate blood sugar (diabetes), treat hay fever (allergies), and relieve joint pain (arthritis).
Both human and animal studies link stinging nettle to lower blood sugar levels (study - trusted source).
In fact, this plant contains compounds that may mimic the effects of insulin (Trusted Source).
In a three-month study in 46 people, taking 500 mg of stinging nettle extract three times daily significantly lowered blood sugar levels compared to a placebo (Trusted Source).
Despite promising findings, there are still far too few human studies on stinging nettle and blood sugar control. More research is necessary.
Nettle’s leaves and root provide a wide variety of nutrients, including:
- Vitamins: Vitamins A, C and K, as well as several B vitamins
- Minerals: Calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium
- Fats: Linoleic acid, linolenic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, and oleic acid
- Amino acids: All of the essential amino acids
- Polyphenols: Kaempferol, quercetin, caffeic acid, coumarins, and other flavonoids
- Pigments: Beta-carotene, lutein, luteoxanthin and other carotenoids
Many of these nutrients act as antioxidants inside your body.
Antioxidants are molecules that help defend your cells against damage from free radicals. Damage caused by free radicals is linked to aging, as well as cancer and other harmful diseases.
Nutritionist Donovan Grant explains that while there are no robust studies to show a direct link between the stinging nettle and improved fertility, it has been known to tone and nourish the uterus and prepare the body for pregnancy.
A number of the plant's benefits are derived from its high chlorophyll and iron composition, Grant says.
“Chlorophyll is a detox agent, so when consumed regularly it helps to clean the body, which improves the chance of an egg being fertilized and sustained to maturity. The plant is also rich in iron, calcium, and vitamins A, C, D and K, so it's used as a general tonic by many. From medieval times, people have been using the stinging nettle to treat muscle pain, joint pain, arthritis, and anemia.”
Stinging nettle may help suppress inflammation, which in turn could aid inflammatory conditions, including arthritis, but more research is needed.
Stinging nettle may help reduce prostate size and treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland in men with BPH.
Like other herbs, there can be side effects when using the stinging nettle, but once it is used in moderation, Grant says these should be minimal.
“There can be allergic reactions, the symptoms of which are usually nausea, tightness in the chest, stomach pains, diarrhea, and vomiting,” he cautions. “It is advised to use the plant in moderation. About a quarter to a half of an ounce in a cup of water should suffice. This can be had once or twice per day.”
While there are many benefits to be derived from using the stinging nettle, it can interfere with some other conditions and medications.
“The nettle plant has been known to lower the blood pressure, so it should be used with caution if you are taking blood pressure medication. You wouldn't want it to heighten the effect of the medication and cause your pressure to become too low,” he said.
“It can also interact with blood thinners such as Warfarin because the plant has blood thinning properties. This might prevent the blood from being able to clot.”
For users after the fertility-boosting properties of the nettle, Grant says it is also important to ensure that the body is very well nourished and energized.
“Detox is important when planning for pregnancy. If the conditions are too acidic, it reduces the chance of fertilization occurring. It is also important to make sure that your body weight is in check when trying to become pregnant” he said.
What our customers are saying about Butcher Allan Nettle
J. Sarinham: "My experience with the tea is good ...it help to make my blood pressure normal"
S. Anmari: "...we love the taste..my blood sugar is normal now"
E. Ramos: "...we drink in the morning and evening...I like the taste my bp is normal"
Patrick M: "...after 8 weeks of drinking the tea i no longer need blood pressure pills, my doctor is shock."
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