It is often thought of as a weed that causes an unpleasant burning sensation when touched. However, it is treated with respect by many for its nutritional value and medicinal properties. This is because it contains many vitamins, minerals, and other organic compounds that can be a source of deficiencies in the human body.
Stinging nettle gets its name from the fine hairs on its leaves and stems, which contain chemicals such as histamine and formic acid. These hairs can cause stinging, itching, and a mild rash when they come in contact with the skin. However, this unpleasant aspect can be avoided by wearing gloves or using heat to neutralize the stinging hairs.
It grows in areas whose character has been largely shaped by humans, such as farmland, but it also grows in forests, meadows, on the banks of lakes and rivers, in parks, gardens, roadsides, near human settlements, buildings, garbage dumps and severely degraded areas.
The entire plant is covered with short, bristly hairs and longer hairs that end in a bubble containing formic acid. When the nettle is touched, the hairs break, the bubble bursts, and the acid flows onto the skin, scalding it. The discomfort can be relieved by rubbing the burned areas with crushed ribleaf.
They are harvested between August and October. They contain vitamins A, B, C, potassium, iron, calcium, carotenoids and chlorophyll. They generally give energy and put you in a good mood.
Juice squeezed from fresh nettle stalks is also often used, and folk medicine recommends drinking it daily to strengthen during spring fatigue.
It causes flushing of the kidneys and lower urinary tract. It is used for kidney stones and bladder infections. Because it cleanses the body of uric acid deposits, it is helpful in the treatment of gout.
It stimulates the production of pancreatic enzymes, drains bile from the bile ducts, improves liver function, and strengthens the stomach.
It is used in the production of creams, masks and tonics.
Nettle extract causes an increase in the total number of antioxidants, which inhibit the formation of free radicals that cause cancer.
It is used as an adjunct in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Researchers at the University of Plymouth studied a group of 18 people suffering from joint and bone inflammation, disc pain, and pain caused by injuries such as sprains and tendinopathy, including "tennis elbow". The studies conducted showed the analgesic effect of nettle with no serious side effects other than a transient rash.
You can add it to scrambled eggs, omelets, soups, stuffing for pancakes. You can make a salad from it by adding cream or yogurt.
Fabrics made with nettle were said to protect against disease and ward off evil forces. In Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale "The Wild Swans," the main character had to sew nettle shirts for her 11 brothers to break a spell.
According to a Danish legend, stinging nettles grow in places where elves are buried.
Stinging nettles don't just grow in Antarctica.