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Nettle is fast becoming the new health craze but what exactly are the health benefits of stinging nettle? Most of us actively avoid nettles because of their sting, but you might be surprised to hear that they are fast becoming as popular as turmeric and CBD as a health and beauty go-to. Although the nettle-craze is new, it’s worth remembering that nettles have actually been used for centuries as a cure-all for all kinds of ailments and are widely prescribed by herbalists and practitioners of alternative medicine across the globe.
Nettles are natural anti-inflammatories
So, what’s so special about the humble nettle? One of the most popular uses of nettle is as a natural anti-inflammatory. Inflammation often occurs in our bodies when we become too ‘acidic’. This can be down to a wide variety of reasons including the food we eat, certain medications, or poor lifestyle choices. Experts believe that when we become more acidic, we are more susceptible to develop certain diseases including gout (commonly caused by too much uric acid), increased heart rate, high cholesterol, arthritis, diabetes, brain fog, lack of concentration, and even specific forms of cancer. Along with making other lifestyle and dietary changes, introducing a daily dose of nettle – a cup of nettle tea or a few drops of nettle tincture – can help us to excrete excess acid and to rebalance our body’s pH level.
How to reduce Acidity
If you are experiencing symptoms that are related to acidity, one of the first tweaks to make is to overhaul our diet. When we are eating large amounts of sugar, meat, grains, processed foods, and dairy produce or drinking too much caffeine or alcohol, our bodies are likely to be in the acidic category. Check out this handy alkalising food chart.
For this reason, I try to ensure that 75% of my diet is in the form of alkaline foods. An easy way to up your intake of alkaline foods is to eat a generous amount of green veg and herbs, including cucumber, kale, spinach, parsley, coriander, and broccoli. Then I also add spirulina – a blue-green algae that’s rich in vitamins and minerals – to my breakfast most days too. And now that nettle is recognised as one of the most alkaline foods which may even dissolve acidic waste to help flush it out and cleanse the blood, it’s worth investing in a daily dose of nettle!
The Antioxidant Benefits of Nettles
Along with the anti-inflammatory effects of nettle, this plant is also high in anti-aging antioxidants. Whether taken orally in the form of nettle tea or applied directly to skin or hair, nettles contain a stack of beneficial and protective antioxidants that help reduce free radical damage to the skin, making it the perfect age-defying ingredient. And because it calms and soothes inflammation, nettle is perfect for helping to reduce redness and skin irritation. It’s also an excellent tonic for the scalp, helping to treat dandruff and as a shine-booster for lacklustre hair.
I’ve picked my favourite nettle-rich health and beauty remedies. Why not give them a try and feel some stinging nettle benefits!
Sip some nettle tea
The easiest way to introduce nettle into your diet is to drink a cup or two of nettle tea. Nettles have a reputation for detoxifying and purifying the system while also acting as a gentle diuretic. This helps the body to flush away toxins and to reduce levels of acidity. Heath & Heather Nettle Tea is not only incredibly therapeutic, but it’s also delicious! Not what you expect nettles to taste like at all! As nettles are also high in Vitamin B, magnesium, and iron, it’s highly recommended by herbalists as a treatment for premenstrual symptoms including bloating and mood swings. Definitely worth a try. It’s also a perfect alternative to peppermint tea as it helps to ease digestion.
Make your own Nettle Tea!
As nettles are easy to find growing wild (and in most gardens!), it’s simple to make your own nettle tea.
- Pick some nettles (use gloves!) and make sure you rinse them well in warm water
- Add a generous handful to a pan of water
- Bring to the boil
- Let it stew for around 5 minutes
- Strain through a sieve
- Add honey for sweetness
Try some Nettle Tincture
Another way to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of nettle is to take a tincture. Tinctures are concentrated herbal extracts made by soaking plant bark, berries, leaves (dried or fresh), or roots in vinegar or alcohol. The vinegar or alcohol draws out the active ingredients in the plant to create a liquid concentrate. If you don’t love the taste of nettle, then a tincture is perfect. Just add the recommended number of drops of G Baldwin & Co Nettle Root Tincture to water or juice and sip. Both the root and the leaf of nettle are especially good for some prostate conditions, as well as acting as a natural diuretic to aid bladder function. Stinging nettle has also been used for hundreds of years to treat painful muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis, and anemia.
How to use tincture
Add 2-3 ml of Nettle Root Tincture to water or fruit juice and sip 2 to 3 times a day.
Brush your teeth with nettle paste
Don’t worry! Nettle toothpaste doesn’t sting! And because it’s a natural anti-inflammatory with soothing properties, nettle is great for gum health and oral care while helping to strengthen teeth, thanks to its high calcium content. Get brushing with Dental Bio Vital Toothpaste with Pomegranate and Nettle Extract which contains vitamin and mineral-rich nettle combined with pomegranate extract, well-known for its antibacterial and antioxidant properties. Certified vegan, all the packaging is biodegradable too – and most importantly – the paste tastes great too! All the benefits of stinging nettle in a tube!
Treat your skin to some Nettle
Along with its soothing and antioxidant properties, nettle extract can also help to stimulate the skin. And that’s exactly why beauty therapist and creator of Heaven Skincare, Deborah Mitchell, has created her latest skin cream using nettle extract. I came across Deborah’s Heaven Skincare a few years ago when she launched her best-selling anti-aging Bee Venom skincare range created using organic and natural ingredients.
With a huge celebrity following including Dannii Minogue, Emilia Fox, Michelle Pfeiffer, and even Kate Middleton, Bee Venom has become a must-have for the skincare savvy. Plus, it really works! When I heard that Deborah was launching a Nettle Venom skincare range, I knew it was time to take this nettle craze seriously!
Containing her powerful NETTATOXIN®, Deborah has created a range using the carefully extracted sting of the common British nettle. She has kept this newly patented ingredient a carefully guarded secret, working tirelessly to create the most impressive anti-aging vegan product on the market. Luckily, I was sent a selection of Heaven’s Nettle Venom skincare products to try – and let me tell you, they didn’t disappoint!
Beautifully packaged in sustainable packaging, the quality of this range shines through immediately. I road-tested Nettle Venom Eyes which helps to reduce puffiness and dark circles and to erase fine lines and wrinkles; Nettle Venom Serum and Nettle Venom a rich moisturising cream that helps to heal blemishes, reduce redness and boost radiance. I absolutely love this range of high-end skincare with stinging nettle benefits that really works. You can’t ask for more than that!
Nourish your hands with nettle
Yard etc are a Swedish lifestyle brand specialising in all-thing-gorgeous for gardening, which includes aprons, gloves, tools, cleaning products, and hand and body care for your post-gardening skincare needs! The products are made using the highest quality botanical ingredients, with the overall aim to use organics whenever possible. Give your hands a real treat with Yard etc Lemon Nettle Hand Balm a deliciously aromatic nourishing hand balm which has really helped to soothe my hands after all the washing and sanitizing recently! The nettle, almond oil, and shea butter combination is really moisturising, leaving the skin soft and supple. Just what your hands need during these COVID times!
Smooth on a soothing nettle mask
Free from parabens, sulphates, propylene glycol, and mineral oil, Kaeso’s unique plant-based formulations are made with the finest, natural ingredients to ensure the highest quality of skincare. If you have sensitive or easily irritated skin, Kaeso White Nettle and Chamomile Calming Facial Mask is a really affordable soothing solution. With calming pomegranate, chamomile, and nettle extract to reduce redness and irritation, this mask also smoothes fine lines and improves suppleness too! Stinging nettle benefits your skin too!
Get some nettles on your roots
Big hair, don’t care! Need some root lift and a bit of oomph? Then Noah Volumizing Spray with Lavender and Nettle is just the ticket! A lightweight spritz packed with volume-boosting lavender essential oil and nettle extract, it won’t weigh your hair down – and gives you lift and volume to be proud of! Yes, you’re definitely worth it!
A nettle quick-fix for limp hair
Dry shampoo is so handy when your hair needs a mid-week boost, but choosing the right one is a bit of a minefield! I hate getting white powder everywhere when you use some of the brands, but that’s not the case with Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle.
This lightweight spray gives you lift and a boost without leaving hair sticky, matted, or unworkable. Plus, there’s no trace of white residue and the formulation is free from any harmful chemicals. It’s also good for most hair types including greasy and fine, limp hair. One of the best dry shampoos I’ve ever tried – and as a hairstylist, I’ve tried more than a few!
Banish dandruff with Nettle
Nettle in conditioner? Yes, nettle is getting around! It’s also one of the botanical ingredients favoured by Urtekram, a beautiful vegan, cruelty-free, and organic Danish brand, founded in 1972 in a small shop in Copenhagen. Find nettle in Urtekram’s best-selling Nettle Anti-Dandruff Organic Conditioner which helps to fight dandruff and re-establish a healthy scalp. Massage this creamy conditioner into your hair and scalp, leave for 2-3 minutes to work its magic, then rinse well with warm water – and say good-bye to flakes!
Soak away the day in a Nettle Bath
And to finish off, if you’re in need of some self-care, why not take a dip in a nettle bubble bath! The Highland Soap Company Nettle Bubble Bath is a super-soothing blend of nettle, lavender, aloe vera, and chamomile, deliciously scented with Highland heather. Made with over 70% pure organic ingredients, what better way to enjoy the feel-good benefits of stinging nettle. And no stinging was involved!
Do you have a favourite nettle product? I’d love to hear your recommendations.
|Natalie Shirlaw is passionate about healthy living and writes posts about wellbeing. If you enjoyed this article, be sure to pin it or share it!|