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Nettle

The stinging nettle, of the Urticaceae family, is indigenous to natural lands of the
populated world. This self-protective herb is covered with small stinging hairs that emit
formic acid, which causes extreme itchiness and sometimes results in hives on the skin. The Romans took nettle blankets with them when they invaded Europe and Britain because the irritating stinging sensation warmed the skin. Although difficult to harvest (gloves and long sleeves must be worn), nettle is a most beneficial medicinal herb. It is an astringent, tonic, diuretic, expectorant, and hemostatic (controls bleeding). Nettle is helpful in relieving the symptoms of hayfever and allergies in general, is very effective in treatment of gout and other rheumatic conditions, and may be used to help combat candida (yeast).

Externally, nettle relieves skin disorders, burns, hemorrhoids, insect bites, and scalp and hair problems. While nettle has no known side effects other than itchiness when being harvested, it may interefere with the effectiveness of blood-thinning medications because of its vitamin K content.


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Copyright 2010 - Lyn Hopkins