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Nettle

Botanical Name
Urtica dioica  (Common perennial Nettle;  Stinging Nettle).
Urtica urens  (Annual Nettle;  Dog Nettle;  Small Nettle)
Urtica gracilis, Urtica californica, and Urtica holosericea, which are used interchangeably with Urtica dioica. 

nettle for allround well being

nettle for mettle

Click on thumbnail to see pictures for identification.

Name
Nettle

Botanical Name
Urtica dioica  (Common perennial Nettle;  Stinging Nettle).
Urtica urens  (Annual Nettle;  Dog Nettle;  Small Nettle)
Urtica gracilis, Urtica californica, and Urtica holosericea, which are used interchangeably with Urtica dioica.

Other Names

Stinging Nettle, Net Plant, Hidgy Pidgy, Devils Leaf

Family
Urticaceae

Parts Used 
Above ground, roots and seed.

Description
Stinging nettle is a perennial herb, found growing wild throughout the temperate zones of both hemispheres worldwide (The material of commerce comes mostly from wild plants collected in Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Germany, the former U.S.S.R., and the former Yugoslavia.

Overview
  and Mythology.
 Urtica comes from the Latin verb urere, meaning "to burn," because of its urticate (stinging) hairs. The species name dioica means "two houses" because the plant usually has either male or female flowers During World War II, Nettles were used as green camouflage paint.  Medieval monks would flagellate themselves with Nettle for penance.  This was also done by Roman soldiers to warm themselves and help them better adapt to the cold, damp, English climate.

  Urtica is also a medieval term for 'hive'.  Nettle is a great companion plant, strngthening other plants in the area as does a tea of nettle Plants growing close to Nettle tend to be stronger in their volatile oils.  When added to the compost pile, it hastens breakdown.   When lactating animals are fed Nettles they produce more milk, and chickens produce more eggs.

Rudolph Steiner called the Nettle plant 'Heart of the world' because it radiated healing energy to people and the plants around it. Lelord Kordel said about Nettles 'The sting of Nettles is but nothing compared to the pain that it heals'.  The sting of Urtica urentissima is said to last a year.  Fortunately, this claim is untrue. 

Constituents.

Carbohydrates:         Polysaccharides
Carotenoids:              Beta-Carotene            Lycopene
Enzymes:                   Choline, Acetylase       
Lecithins:                   Urtica dioica agglutinin  [a Lectin which inhibits some types of Viruses including Human Immunodeficiency Virus (which is the cause of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)]      
Lignans:                  -3,4-Divanillyltetrahydrofuran       
 Sterols:                       Campesterol, Beta-Sitosterol, Stigmasterol, Stigma-4-en-3-one *
Tannins          
Leukotrienes
Minerals:                     Iron, Potassium, Calcium, Silicon, Nitrates
Neurotransmitters:            Acetylcholine, Histamine, Choline, Serotonin, Betaine
Organic Acids:  Caffeic Acid, Caffeoylmalic Acid, Chlorogenic Acid, Citric Acid,  Fumaric Acid                
Lipids:              Acetic acid, Formic, Butyric Acid   
Pigments:                     a and b Chlorophyll    
Polyphenols:                Flavonoids Quercetin, Isoquercitrin, Rutin, Kaempferol and Isorhamnetin;  
Quinones:                     Glucoquinone 
Vitamins:                       Folic Acid      

Dosage Recommendations
1 teaspoon (5gms) to 1 cup of boiling water 3x a day is often recommended.

Applications.
Tea, Tincture, Capsules, Juice.

Medicinal Actions
Adrenal Tonic, Alterative, Astringent, Cholagogue, Circulatory Stimulant, Diuretic, Expectorant, Galactagogue, Hemostatic, Hypoglycemic, Kidney Tonic, Mucolytic, Nutritive, Parturient, Respiratory Tonic, Rubefacient, Styptic, Thyroid Tonic, Tonic, Vermifuge.

Used in the following internal illnesses
Acne, Allergies, Anemia, Arthritis, Asthma, Bronchitis, Cellulite, Colds, Convalescence, Cough, Cystitis, Diarrhea, Dysentery, Eczema, Edema, Fatigue, Food Allergies, Gout, Hay Fever, Headache, Heart Failure, Hemorrhage, Hemorrhoids, Hypotension, Infertility, Jaundice, Kidney Infection, Kidney Inflammation, Kidney Stones, Neuralgia, Night Sweats, Obesity, Postpartum Hemorrhage, Premenstrual Syndrome, Prostatitis, Psoriasis, Rheumatism, Rickets, Sinusitis, Tuberculosis, Urinary Infections, Varicose Veins

Only the seeds are a thyroid tonic.  The plant is a good tonic for pregnant and nursing mothers.  Nettle helps reduce food sensitivities by binding immunoglobulin.  

Health Benefits of Nettle
Cardiovascular System
Nettle (tea) alleviates Anemia.
Nettle (tea) stimulates Blood Circulation.
Nettle (tea) alleviates Hypotension (by increasing Blood Pressure).

Digestive System
Nettle (tea) may alleviate Constipation 
Nettle (tea) may facilitate the elimination of Intestinal Parasites 

Excretory System
Nettle (tea) mildly increases the production of Urine (i.e. functions as a mild diuretic).

Immune System
Nettle leaf (400 - 800 mg every four hours) alleviates Allergies:
Nettle leaf helps to reverse itching eyes, itching ears and itching throat in Allergy sufferers.
Nettle (tea) may alleviate some types of Cancer (according to folklore)--Nettle (root) helps to prevent Prostate Cancer and is an effective treatment for existing Prostate Cancer. Nettle inhibits the transformation of the benign Cells involved in Enlarged Prostate to the malignant Cells involved in Prostate Cancer.
Nettle inhibits the binding of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) to Prostate cells.
Nettle stimulates the activity of T-Lymphocytes.
The Urtica dioica Agglutinin (a Lectin) content of Nettle inhibits some types of Viruses including: 
-            Cytomegalovirus  research
-           Human Immunodeficiency Virus (which is the cause of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS))  
-            Influenza Virus Type A  
-            Respiratory Syncytial Virus  

Musculoskeletal System
Nettle (leaf) is useful for the treatment of Osteoarthritis (it reduces levels of Interleukin 1 and Tumor Necrosis Factor, which are strongly implicated in the development and progression of Osteoarthritis when produced in excess).  
Nettle (leaf) is useful for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis (it reduces levels of Interleukin 1 and Tumor Necrosis Factor, which are strongly implicated in the development and progression of Rheumatoid Arthritis when produced in excess).  

Respiratory System
Nettle (400 - 800 mg of Nettle leaf every four hours or 2 - 4 ml of Nettle leaf tincture three times per day) alleviates Hay Fever. 
Nettle (400 - 800 mg of Nettle leaf every four hours) alleviates (allergic) Rhinitis (i.e. Rhinitis caused by Hay Fever).  
Nettle (400 - 800 mg of Nettle leaf every four hours) alleviates Sinusitis.  

Sexual System
Prostrate:
Nettle (root) is an effective adjunct to Saw Palmetto for the treatment of Enlarged Prostate
In one human study, a daily dosage of 240 mg of Nettle root combined with 320 mg of Saw Palmetto (for 12 weeks) caused a 26% increase in maximum urinary flow, a 29% increase in mean urinary flow, a 45% reduction in residual urine, a 50% reduction in Nocturia, a 62% reduction in Dysuria and a 53% decrease in post-void dribbling in Enlarged Prostate patients.
-           Nettle inhibits the Aromatase and 5-Alpha Reductase enzymes that have been implicated in the development of Enlarged Prostate.
-           Nettle inhibits the transformation of the benign Cells involved in Enlarged Prostate to the malignant Cells involved in Prostate Cancer.
-           Nettle inhibits the binding of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) to Prostate cells (thereby preventing DHT from stimulating the proliferation of Prostate cells that leads to Enlarged Prostate).
-           The Urtica dioica Agglutinin content of Nettle inhibits the ability of Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) to bind to its Receptors in the Prostate and to subsequently stimulate the growth of Prostate tissue (a key underlying factor in the progression of Enlarged Prostate).
-           A constituent of Nettle ((10-E, 12-Z)-9-hydroxy-10, 12-octadecadienic acid) inhibits the Aromatase Enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of Testosterone to Estradiol (a key underlying factor in the progression of Enlarged Prostate).

Nettle improves Lactation.  

Nettle Enhances the Function of these Substances
Hormones
Nettle inhibits the binding of Testosterone to Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), resulting in lower levels of “bound” Testosterone and higher levels of “free” Testosterone (this effect occurs as a result of Nettle binding to SHBG in place of Testosterone).  

Nettle Inhibits these Potentially Toxic Substances
Enzymes
Nettle inhibits the activity of 5-Alpha Reductase.  
Nettle inhibits the activity of Aromatase. 

Immune System Chemicals
Nettle (leaf) inhibits the production of Interleukin 1 (Interleukin 1 beta) by inhibiting Nuclear Factor-Kappa B, the transcriptional factor that generates Interleukin 1 beta).  
Nettle (leaf) reduces elevated Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) levels by inhibiting Nuclear Factor-Kappa B, the transcriptional factor that generates Tumor Necrosis Factor. 

Proteins
Nettle (leaf) inhibits Nuclear Factor-Kappa B (NF-Kappa B).  

External Medicinal Use
Arthritis, Asthma, Balding, Dandruff, Gout, Hemorrhoids, Irrigation therapy in inflammatory conditions of the lower urinary tract Oily Skin, Palsy, Paralysis, Sciatica, Sunburn, Ulcers, Vaginitis, Wounds, 

Applications.
Shampoo, conditioner and hair rinse for dandruff, stimulation of hair growth and prevention hair loss. Cleanser for oily skin.  
Astringent facial steam.  
Sitz bath for hemorrhoids
Bath herb for arthritis.
Douche for vaginitis. 
Wash for sunburn.  
Dried herb has been smoked for asthma.
Getting stung by fresh Nettle plants can be therapeutic and is helpful in treatment for arthritis, gout, palsy, paralysis and sciatica. Direct the sting to the area needed. The sting may last all day.

Energetics.
Bitter, Salty, Cool, Dry

Contra indications and side effect
None known
Stings occur from the fresh leaves due to  Formic Acid and Histamine in Nettle.
Due to cystolitins, older leaves tend to irritate the kidneys more than young leaves. 
Note: No irrigation therapy if edema exists due to impaired heart or kidney function. 
Hypertension (high Blood Pressure) patients should not consume Nettle as it further raises Blood Pressure.
Rarely,
people who drink Nettle tea have reported upset Stomachs.

Use During Pregnancy And Lactation.
No restrictions known

Interactions with Other Drugs.
None known

Doctrine of signatures
Hairs on leaves impart sting and structurally resemble respiratory system also the pins and needles of types of arthritis.
Lots of hairs on the plant indicate use as hair-restorer.

Astrology.
Scorpio influence.
Nettle is ruled by Mars, Moon, Saturn

Chakra
Affects 2nd, 3rd and 4th

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