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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We’ve all heard of antioxidants being good for us but what exactly are they, how much do we need, and what are the best sources to get these magical substances.
Firstly, oxidative stress causes free radicals that we are exposed to daily. Free radicals can cause damage to proteins, DNA, and cells that if not fought off can lead to disease. This is where antioxidants come in, the naturally found substance protects our cells from damage. Cells can be damaged naturally through aging which is also reduced by antioxidants like vitamin C that is a common ingredient in anti-aging serums.
Research suggests that on average we need 8-11,000 antioxidants per day in order to not experience damage from oxidative stress. You may be wondering, how and where am I going to get that many! Lucky for you, I have compiled 10 easy ways to get your antioxidant units daily even on those busy work days.
Red beans, Kidney Beans, Pinto beans
Beans are an easy food to add into your meals if you're already making some pasta or salad add in a cup of beans or even into soups and stews!
2. Dark Chocolate
Yes CHOCOLATE - I repeat dark CHOCOLATE
What else is there to say there is nothing easier than just grabbing a few pieces of dark chocolate to get those extra antioxidants in for the day and a nice rich flavour.
Pecans can be added into salads for an extra crunch and extra antioxidants.
Namely Blueberries, Goji Berries, Elderberries and Strawberries ( all of which you can find in The Amazing Company Teas)
Skip the banana you usually grab and have a bowl of berries instead or buy frozen berries and toss them in a smoothie to amp up your antioxidants.
5. Matcha Green Tea
You can add matcha into smoothies, drink it as a latte, or just a regular tea that can get you those antioxidants.
6. Black Tea
There are a lot of black tea lovers out there so keep having your morning tea to aid in your antioxidant units.
You can roast them on the BBQ, chop them up and add them to sauces, or even just cook them as a nice side dish for your dinner.
8. Spices & Herbs - Sumac, Cloves, Nutmeg, Cinnamon
-Oregano, Thyme, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage
Spices are an easy way to get in antioxidants you can add them into your food or drinking them in teas and smoothies!
Adding herbs to your meals for extra flavour will also give you extra antioxidants so a two for one deal on a delicious meal!
9. Kale & Spinach
Add these two leafy greens to anything! A sandwich, skip the lettuce and make a kale salad, blend them in a smoothie and you can't even taste them.. the list goes on of the ways to use these to take your antioxidant game up.
We’ve already talked about turmeric in these blogs but this holy grail spice can be added into food, smoothies, and tea in order to pump up the antioxidants.
Hopefully, now that you’ve got a few easy add on ideas you’ll go out and get your antioxidants in to maintain a healthy functioning immune system whilst also keeping yourself young!
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