Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle is a perennial herb of the nettle family. Most used parts of this herb are its leaves and roots, but sometimes even stem of very young plants are used. Hair on the leaves of this plant instigates stinging sensation to human beings and animals. Since ages this herb has been widely used as a very effective medicine and a nutritious food.

Stinging Nettle Description

  • Plant : This plant stands tall up to 3ft to 7ft.
  • Stem : The stem is upright and stiff.
  • Leaves : Leaves of this plant are green, soft in texture. Each leaf is about 1 to 6 inches long. The leaves are heart shaped and have spiky edges. These plants have tiny but stiff hair all over them.
  • Flower : These plants bear yellowish, greenish, pinkish and even brownish flowers.
  • Flavor : It has a fresh sour flavor, which is not pungent.

Stinging Nettle Subspecies

There are more than five sub-species accepted by the experts. Previously these species were regarded as different species but are now classifies as Stinging nettle’s sub-species.

  • U. dioica subsp. dioica
  • U. dioica subsp. afghanica
  • U. dioica subsp. gracilis
  • U. dioica subsp. holosericea
  • U. dioica subsp. gansuensis
  • U. dioica subsp. galeopsifoli

Stinging Nettle Picture
Picture 1 – Stinging Nettle

Stinging Nettle Distribution

This herb is found in abundance in Asia and northern Europe. It is also found in northern Africa and southern Europe but not much. The herb is available in vogue in United Sates and Canada. It is also found in some parts of Pacific Northwest.

Best of this herb, in terms of quality, is found in United Kingdom in Europe. The European species was introduced to the soil of North and South America.

Stinging Nettle Growing

Growing Stinging nettle herbs indoors are fun. It is very much educative with added advantage of having a medicinal herb at home.

Sowing & Germinating

  1. Seeds need to be mixed with dry sand in a baking dish.
  2. Put some water n the baking dish and stir the sand-seed mixture well.
  3. Spread the soil-seed mixture evenly in the baking dish.
  4. Cover that dish with a plastic sheet to keep the moisture intact.
  5. Place the dish in partial sun.
  6. Water the seeds everyday and re-cover the plastic sheet.

Growing : After the seedlings germinate and grow up to about 4inches in lenght replant the them in the garden or in a big pot. They should be kept in partial sun, just like the seed stage.

Watering : Water the small plants regularly.

Caring : Stinging nettles need real good care. These are hearty plants. They need to be groomed and dressed regularly else they grow in hay-wire direction.

Stinging Nettle Chemical Properties

Stinging nettle contains the following natural chemical agents in it :

  • Bitters matter
  • Tannins
  • Ethereal oil
  • Mucus matter
  • Acetylcholine
  • Chlorophyll
  • Beta carotene
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Iron
  • Sulphur
  • Calcium
  • Silicon
  • Manganese
  • Dietary fibre

Stinging Nettle Health Benefits

Stinging nettle is a very nutritious herb and has a number of healthy benefits if consumed in various forms.

  • The herb is used as a very effective diuretic.
  • It is very used to treat rheumatism and arthritis.
  • Due to its high iron content the herb is used in treating anemia.
  • It is consumed to deal with asthmatic problems.
  • Consumption of this leafy vegetable reduces chances of skin problems.
  • It helps keep from respiratory and urinary problems.
  • Consumption of this leafy vegetable prevents hair fall and hair loss.
  • It treats rhinitis and sinusitis.
  • Consumption of this herb treats benign prostate.

Stinging Nettle Side Effects

Though this vegetable is highly beneficial for health still there are also some side effects of eating it.

Images of Stinging Nettle
Picture 2 – Stinging Nettle Image

  • Consumption of the parts of this vegetable that grow above the ground can raise blood sugar levels.
  • Eating the above-ground parts of this herb decreases blood pressure randomly. Someone having low blood pressure or blood pressure level fluctuating tendency should avoid eating Stinging nettle.
  • Above-ground parts of this herb raise urine flow frequency. Consult experts’ suggestions before consuming this herb.

Stinging Nettle Tea

Stinging nettle tea used to be drunk in vogue in traditional culture to ensure proper blood circulation.

Stinging Nettle Use

This herb has many uses apart from serving a nutritious edible herb.

Edible Usage

  1. This herb is cooked in various ways and eaten.
  2. Many kinds of drinks are also prepared with this herb and consumed as natural refresher.

Medical Usage

This herb is effective in helping aid the following ailments:

  1. Hay fever
  2. Water retention
  3. Anemia
  4. Internal bleeding
  5. Diabetes
  6. Poor blood circulation
  7. Asthma
  8. Diarrhea
  9. Wound healing
  10. Cancer
  11. Osteoarthritis
  12. Benign prostatic hyperplasia

Other Usages

  1. Stinging nettles are great larval plants. They are widely used in butterfly rearing farms as their host plants.
  1. This herb is also used to produce linen like fabrics.
  2. Color is obtained from roots and leaves of these herbs. Those colors are used for dying purposes in textile industry.
  3. This herb is used for vegetable gardening purpose also. This herb suggests fertility of the soil of the area it is grow in.
  4. It is sometimes used as a companion plant.

Stinging Nettle Edibility

There are reports of harmful effects of eating above-ground parts of Stinging nettle but in many traditions and cultures products from these parts are ate and drank in vogue. Mainly its leaves are eaten. Sometimes young plants are cooked as a whole and eaten. Roots of this herb are also consumed but mostly as herbal medicine or even eaten to cure some ailment.

Stinging Nettle Availability

This herb grows mostly in hilly areas. The dry and cold weather is preferable for cultivation of this herb.

Stinging Nettle Storage

Fresh leaves of this herbs are used as well as dried ones, roots of fully grown and matured ones are used as well as immature plants are uprooted and cooked as a whole. Thus there is no grammar on the storage of Stinging nettles herbs.

Stinging Nettle During Pregnancy

Health experts advise not to eat Stinging nettle during pregnancy. Mothers nursing their new born children with their own milk should also avoid eating this leafy vegetable.

Stinging Nettle Recipes

  1. Tea is made from leaves of this herb.
  2. Since it has a little citric flavor thus its extract is used as a tart flavor.
  3. The entire plant, in a smaller stage, even with softer stem is cooked like spinach and eaten.
  4. Stinging nettle soup is a very common delicacy in many parts of the world where temperature is a bit to the lower level.

Stinging Nettles Interesting Facts

Get a quick view of some very interesting facts about this herb.

  1. This herb commands its position many figure of speeches in Great Britain.
  2. This herb is taken both as fresh and dried.
  3. This plant grows as a wild plant but makes one of the best delicacies in many traditions and cultures.

Stinging Nettle Pictures

Check out below the pictures of Stinging nettle. Identify the plant next time passing by it on a drive.

Pictures of Stinging Nettle
Picture 3 – Stinging Nettle Picture

Photos of Stinging Nettle
Picture 4 – Stinging Nettle Photo

Reference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stinging_nettle

http://www.natuurlijkerwijs.com/english/Stinging_nettle.htm#chemische_eigenschappen

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-664-STINGING%20NETTLE.aspx?activeIngredientId=664&activeIngredientName=STINGING%20NETTLE

http://healthmad.com/alternative/eight-health-benefits-of-stinging-nettle/

http://www.allnatural.net/herbpages/stinging-nettle.shtml

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