There are many myths about this plant, and the most famous is that nettle can protect you from the lightning. In case you find yourself in a desperate and frightening situation, nettle can also be very handy; it can make you brave and courageous. From myths, the nettle gained its popularity in literature, as well. Hans Christian Andersen used nettle as a spell-breaking plant. In his fairy tale, The Wild Swans, the princes had to make coats from nettle in order to break the spells on her brothers.
The great Tibetan ascetic Milarepa lived a long and healthy life due to the healing benefits of nettle. For centuries, nettle was respected among men because of its ability to enhance fertility. Moreover, for years, even today, nettle leaves are famous vegetable and popular in many cuisines.
Sometimes those be-aware-of plants are the most lucrative for our body and organism, and one of those is certainly nettle. Although known as a plant that can leave pale red, itchy, raised bumps on your skin, nettle is in fact very popular around the world for its healing properties.
In ancient Greece, for instance, nettle was used as laxative, while in medieval Europe, stinging nettle was used as diuretic and to treat joint pain. These healing properties are responsible for frequent medical usage of this plant around the world.
What Exactly Is a Nettle?
One can find thirty-nine species of the genus Urtica in the family Urticaceae, but the most famous is Urtica dioica, known as stinging nettle. The Latin word Urtica is derived from the root Uro, that means “I Burn”.
These species are annual or perennial herbaceous plants and they can reach up to 300 cm. The leaves can have different shapes and one can find circular, elliptic, ovate and lanceolate leaves, while the leaf blades have up to seven veins.
Most of the species from the family Urticaceae have stinging hairs on their leaves and stems. Nettle is native to Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America.
Why Should You Treasure Stinging Nettle?
Although this plant mostly contains sugar and lecithin, it also contains prostaglandins that are crucial support to the resistance of the inflammation. Nettle leaves are rich with calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, proteins, and beta-carotene. As for the vitamins, nettle contains vitamins A, C, D, K and B complex.