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Infusion of nettle

Introduction

It is universally known both for its beneficial properties and for its stinging effect. We are talking about the nettle, a perennial plant belonging to the urticaceae family and widely used in herbal medicine to prepare infusions, decoctions and other remedies based on its extracted benefits. In this article we will talk about the infusion, its effects and its uses, not neglecting, as usual, some useful notes on the characteristics of this plant.

Features


Nettle is a plant that has an almost historical importance in the annals of modern phytotherapy. Its beneficial properties are innumerable and are also accompanied by its reputation as a «stinging» or irritating plant. The stinging effect of the nettle depends on the leaves and the stem, almost entirely covered with pungent and very irritating hairs in contact with the skin. Fortunately, the plant loses its stinging power just twelve hours after harvest. After this time, you will have a plant with very useful diuretic and detoxifying properties in your hands. Nettle contains, in fact, iron, calcium, silica, magnesium, phosphorus, chlorophyll vitamins A, C, K, phenols, tannins and carotene. The presence of phenols, vitamins and carotene, gives the nettle antioxidant properties, while the high content of iron and chlorophyll stimulates the production of red blood cells in the body, counteracting states of anemia. The presence of mineral salts and amino acids also gives the nettle purifying and draining effects. All these beneficial properties can also be found in the infusion of nettle, which is prepared with the dry leaves of the plant.

Preparation

The infusion of nettle is prepared by adding, in 100 cl of boiling water, the dry leaves obtained from fifty grams of the whole plant. The mixture is left to infuse for about ten minutes, filtered and then drunk twice a day. The infusion of nettle is effective to combat cases of water retention and swelling, but also to purify and to counteract the risk of hypertension. Taking nettle infusion causes a considerable increase in diuresis, which also improves kidney function, preventing the risk of developing diseases such as gout and uricaemia. The infusion of nettle can be prepared with loose dried leaves sold in herbalist’s shops or collected on their own. Harvesting the plant on one’s own is strongly discouraged, because in addition to making a mistake in the dosage of the leaves, you risk suffering the stinging effect produced by them. The leaves must also be dried in a dry and shady place. This procedure may not be facilitated by the particular climatic conditions of the area where the plant is harvested. The decision to buy dried leaves at a herbalist’s shop is, therefore, the most appropriate. As an alternative to the leaves, which, we remind you, must be obtained from 50 grams of the whole plant, you can also buy nettle filters, or tea bags similar to those of tea, which contain dried parts of leaves. There are also filters based on flowering tops of white nettle, a variety of nettle that allows you to prepare an infusion with important anti-anemic effects. To prepare the infusion based on white nettle you need about 25 grams of flowering tops, to be poured into 100 cl of boiling water. The drink should be sweetened to taste. It is also possible to sweeten it with a little honey.

Contraindications

The infusion of nettle is not recommended for those suffering from low blood pressure, heart problems, edema and kidney disorders. In all these pathologies, the diuretic effect of the infusion could worsen the clinical picture, leading to a further lowering of blood pressure, an increase in heart rate and an increase in edema due to the inability of the kidneys to dispose of urine normally. The infusion of nettle is, on the other hand, a good preventive remedy in healthy people and in those suffering from hypertension. The draining properties of the infusion improve the swelling condition and cushion the annoying signs of water retention. In any case, the intake of the nettle infusion must always be agreed with the doctor, both in case of pathologies and in case of particular conditions, such as pregnancy and breastfeeding.

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