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Sunday, 27 April 2014

The wonderful Stinging Nettle

A year ago, I wrecked my shoulder metal detecting. In the beginning, my husband worked the machine and did heavy digging. I could work the probe! But then he had, first, a mini stroke and then a heart attack, So we put ourselves out to pasture!

The first month of my wrecked shoulder, I SUFFERED! Then I went to the doctor. His prescription of Inflammation Reducing Pills (NSAIDs), were so savage on peoples' stomachs, that he also had to prescribe more pills to protect my stomach from destruction. It frightened me. I am not a pill person.

But serendipity intervened, On the Internet, I happened to find this article. Dr Christopher's Herbal Legacy

The bit that jumped out at me was quote "The leaves of the fresh nettle plant are stimulating, thus making it a powerful rubefacient. Arthritis, bursitis, rheumatism, gout, and tendonitis have all been treated successfully with urtification. In a group of eighteen patients with joint pain treated with the topical use of the nettle sting, all except one respondent were sure that the therapy had been very helpful, and several considered themselves cured"

I had never heard of a Rubefacient or urtification - quote - from History of Stinging Nettles A standard practice of flogging oneself with the fresh nettle plant, called urtification, was prescribed to treat such illnesses as chronic rheumatism, lethargy, coma, paralysis, and even typhus, and cholera. This practice of urtification is known to many cultures and has been used for thousands of years. The Roman soldiers are said to have brought their own nettle to the British Isles to treat their tired, painful legs on long marches in the cold and wet climate by urtification, thus stimulating the circulation. Documentation or anecdotal reports of its use in this way have been found among the Ecuador Indians, ancient Romans, and Canadian and American native tribes."

I went out and collected some stinging nettles and used the on my shoulder and arm. The result was astonishing. They sorted my shoulder more efficiently than the doctor's pills.

I used them twice a day for about five days I think. But just in case the pain might return through the winter when nettles are not available, I potted a beauty and it grew all winter in the sunlight on the bathroom windowsill. I simply had to warn our guests of its presence.

As my nettle plant and me became friends, I used it even if I felt a faint twinge in my arm or shoulder, and also I found other uses for it. For cuts, bruises or under skin bleeds on my hands from bumping them as happens to older people, sticking it into my friendly nettle, accelerated healing.

The scientific explanation is that the body responds to the sting by rushing naturally produced hormones and anti inflammatory chemicals to the site. The site happens to be your wound, or pain which gets sorted out as well. Simples! And it works!

But there is more!

I am a peripheral diabetic - Type11 threatening but not actually. For a year I have controlled my blood sugar with diet. The Paleolithic Diet actually. The Diabetic nurse is quite impressed! But I now also have another secret - Stinging Nettle Tea.

I discovered Nettle Tea reduces blood sugar - and it does. I am going for my 6 monthly HBA1c soon. Cant wait! It's going to be good. I will feel proud that I have done it without their horrid pills!

Warning! If you ARE on medication -

Nettle Tea can decrease blood sugar levels. It might increase the chance of low blood sugar in people being treated for diabetes. Monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use stinging nettle.

Don’t confuse stinging nettle (Uritica dioica) with white dead nettle (Lamium album).

Currently, I am picking and drying nettles. They crumble easily into a sort of tea leaf consistency (use gloves to crumble) and in a caddy, they will last me till next year. They are much stronger than a single fresh leaf in a cup of boiling water that I usually have. And I put half a teaspoonful of dried in a tiny muslin bag which does several concoctions over a few days, drying again in between. And like all things, I don't overdo drinking it. It's powerful stuff.

Drying nettles in the fan oven at about 100 deg - not ready yet!

And made into tea in my Caddy with little muslin bag to serve.

Nettle Tea Benefits
Nettle stimulates the lymph system to boost immunity
Nettle relieves arthritis symptoms
Nettle promotes a release from uric acid from joints
Helps to support the adrenals
It helps with diabetes mellitus
Strengthens the fetus in pregnant women
Promotes milk production in lactating women
Relieves menopausal symptoms
Helps with menstrual cramps and bloating
Helps break down kidney stones
Reduces hypertension
Helps with respiratory tract disease
Supports the kidneys
Helps asthma sufferers
Stops bleeding
Reduces inflammation
Reduces incident of prostate cancer
Minimizes skin problems
Eliminates allergic rhinitis
Lessens nausea
Cures the common cold
Helps with osteoarthritis
Alleviates diarrhea
Helps with gastrointestinal disease, IBS, and constipation
Reduces gingivitis and prevents plaque when used as a mouth wash.
Has been shown to be helpful to in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease
Relieves neurological disorders like MS, ALS and sciatica
Destroys intestinal worms or parasites
Supports the endocrine health by helping the thyroid, spleen and pancreas

Stinging Nettle