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Nettle Leaf - Urtica dioicaNettle (Urtica dioica) has been used to promote upper respiratory Health for thousands of years dating back to Ancient Greece. Helps to balance natural histamine levels and maintain open nasal passages.
Stinging nettle (Urtica diocia) has been a staple of herbal practitioners for centuries. At one time nettles were among the most commonly eaten late winter or early spring greens, due to their high content of vitamins, Minerals and amino acids. They are also a rich source of flavonoids and chlorophyll. The leaf of the Nettle plant is a veritable storehouse of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, trace minerals, flavonoids and a host of other nutrients. It’s rich in chlorophyll, beta-carotene, magnesium, potassium, calcium, plant-based iron, and more!
Nettles have traditionally been used as a tonic and for respiratory support. According to the noted 16th century herbalist Nicholas Culpeper, "when juiced, the [nettle] leaves are used to open the lungs." Maude Grieves, the author of A Modern Herbal - one of the most popular sources among herbalists - reported on the traditional practice of inhaling the smoke of burning nettle for respiratory support.
In addition to alleviating pollen-related concerns, the mineral-rich tonic is hailed as a remarkable blood cleanser and builder, as well as a rejuvenative spring tonic. Nettle Leaf also supports healthy kidney function, and even promotes joint comfort and flexibility.
Nettle's purported anti-inflammatory effects have been repeatedly confirmed by modern research over the past ten years. It is particularly effective in treating allergic rhinitis, relieving nearly all the symptoms of itchy, watery eyes, sneezing and runny nose. It also has performed better than the prescription drug furosemide in reducing blood pressure, increasing urine output as a diuretic and increasing salt excretion.
Nettle is used in hair shampoos to control dandruff and is said to make hair more glossy, which is why some farmers include a handful of nettles with cattle feed. It is also thought nettles can ease eczema.
Stinging nettle is a dioecious herbaceous perennial, 1 to 2 m (3 to 7 ft) tall in the summer and dying down to the ground in winter. It has widely spreading rhizomes and stolons, which are bright yellow as are the roots. The soft green leaves are 3 to 15 cm (1 to 6 in) long and are borne oppositely on an erect wiry green stem. The leaves have a strongly serrated margin, a cordate base and an acuminate tip with a terminal leaf tooth longer than adjacent laterals. It bears small greenish or brownish numerous flowers in dense axillary inflorescences. The leaves and stems are very hairy with non-stinging hairs and also bear many stinging hairs (trichomes), whose tips come off when touched, transforming the hair into a needle that will inject several chemicals: acetylcholine, histamine, 5-HT or serotonin, and possibly formic acid. This mixture of chemical compounds cause a painful sting or paresthesia from which the species derives its common name, as well as the colloquial names burn nettle, burn weed, burn hazel.
A detailed description of this familiar plant is hardly necessary; its heart-shaped, finelytoothed leaves tapering to a point, and its green flowers in long, branched clusters springing from the axils of the leaves are known to everyone. The flowers are incomplete: the male or barren flowers have stamens only, and the female or fertile flowers have only pistil or seed-producing organs. Sometimes these different kinds of flowers are to be found on one plant; but usually a plant will bear either male or female flowers throughout, hence the specific name of the plant, dioica, which means 'two houses.'
|Because of its diuretic and hypotensive actions, nettle leaf may lower blood pressure. If you are taking diuretics or other drugs meant to lower blood pressure, consult your doctor before using nettle leaf. Its long term, extended use is not recommended.|