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The Health Benefits of Nettles

Found on most continents, nettles are upright perennial herbs covered with stinging hairs and spreading from creeping underground stems. The plants have round-toothed leaves and sprays of nondescript flowers. Nettle leaf and rhizomes are both available in powder or extract form in capsules and tablets and in bulk for making tea.

Nettle has diuretic, cleansing, antihistamine, and anti-inflammatory properties. Consider using nettle herb for hay fever, arthritis and rheumatism, anemia and weak blood, cystitis and water-retention, and gout. The rhizomes are increasingly used to reduce prostate inflammation and improve symptoms like painful urination that occur with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Nettles are also considered a specific for asthma when taken over a prolonged period, providing an expectorant and antispasmodic. The tea will expel phlegm from the lungs. Combine it with equal parts of comfrey, mullein, and a pinch of lobelia. Make a tea from this formula; and, using an ounce of herbs steeped in a pint of boiled water, take 4 times a day. The seeds are used in cough medicines. The leaves can be pounded and used as a poultice for rheumatic pains. The tea made from the root will help cure dropsy.

Nettle tea is good for kidney problems, diarrhea, dysentery, hemorrhoids, goiter, and mucous conditions of the lungs. To stop intestinal bleeding, extract the fresh juice and take 1 tsp. every hour.

Externally, a poultice of nettles and slippery elm will stop bleeding when applied to the skin. Use fresh leaves. It stimulates hair follicle growth, and reduces a build up of scalp oils. Use it as a hair rinse, to restore natural color.

Note: An antidote to poisoning from nettle sting is fresh bruised yellow dock that is rubbed over the affected area.

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