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I could have named this article Heavy Nettle but I don't want to step on any toes. I recently received some very good information that I just had to pass on to you about Nettle. The video is named "Extreme Nettle" and is done by an Herbalist who has a website: LearningHerbs.com The video depicts John eating nettle. Now for those of you who have had nettle growing amongst your strawberries and have been "bitten" by it, you may be wondering how you can pick it and not have the chemical burn you. Apparently it is the underside of the leaf that has the chemical on it. So, the method to picking nettle is you fold it over with the undersides touching and then you pick it.
Why would anyone want to pick nettle? Well, nettles - better known as "Stinging Nettle" has been used for centuries as a tonic for the debilitated. Many of the benefits are due to the plant's very high levels of minerals, especially, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, silica, iodine, silicon, sodium, and sulfur. They also provide chlorophyll and tannin, and they're a good source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and B complex vitamins. Nettles also have high levels of easily absorbable amino acids. They're ten percent protein, more than any other vegetable.
Nettles sting you because the hairs are filled with formic acid, histamine, acetylcholine, serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine), plus unknown compounds. Some of these substances are destroyed by cooking, steeping, or drying, but not by freeze-drying or juicing. Unfortunately, you need a vacuum chamber to freeze-dry herbs. However, you can purchase freeze-dried nettles in capsules for hay fever such as Histablock. The primary ingredient is Stinging nettles. This amazing product can block the histamine response.
Histamines are the body's response to irritation. The beautiful difference between Histablock and over the counter medications is that there are virtually no known side effects! I've had clients tell me that they can take two every 15 minutes and within an hour all the symptoms are gone: runny nose, watery and itchy eyes, sneezing and coughing. It is not recommended for children under 2 yrs. old or pregnant and nursing moms because it has diuretic and stimulating components. I've had people successfully use it for bee-sting allergies by opening a capsule and putting the contents on the tongue, tasting then swallowing it. Some have reported that it works better than Benadryl and they don't end up sleepy or drowsy.
Other uses for Nettle include treating gout, glandular diseases, poor circulation, enlarged spleen, diarrhea, and dysentery, worms, intestinal and colon disorders, and hemorrhoids. Nettles are usually used along with other herbs that target the affected organs. In the Men's Formula it is used along with Zinc, Pygeum, Saw Palmetto and pumpkin seeds to strengthen the Prostate glands and reduce symptoms of prostatitis. Lycopene is also included in this formula and it, along with zinc, have been associated with a reduced risk for prostate cancer which is the number one cancer killer of men. (According to a peer-reviewed article by L. C. Costello in Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases 2004-July issue.)
If you have massive amounts of this herb growing you may be interested in the book: "101 Uses for Stinging Nettle" Everything you ever wanted to know about nettle and more! Since I love to pick my herbs as well as take them in capsule form, I add nettles to my "gifts from God" variety of herbs some people call weeds. Some other herbs are: dandelion, violet flowers, Purslane, chickweed and plantain. Instead of killing these friends with toxins, we need to eat them!