Stinging nettles are those pesky weeds in the back paddock, right? Most people recall getting zapped by one of these plants when they were a kid but what many people don’t realise is that the phytochemicals that cause the stinging sensation are also extremely beneficial to humans when used medicinally.
Originating from Europe, stinging nettles are found all over the world now, including in cultivation on our farm. Many people think of stinging nettles as a weed but this extraordinary plant has a lot of therapeutic properties for the skin, urinary system, lactation and joints.
History of cultivation
If you’ve ever had a kidney infection and you like alternative therapies, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with nettle tea. Smells a bit like fresh cowpats.
Nettles have been used in Austrian traditional medicine for centuries and pagans used nettle tea as a lactation aid. In Ecuador there are indigenous healers that use stinging nettles to improve fatigue and circulation. They either rub raw leaves directly onto their patient’s skin or they flog them with bundles of the herb. I guess that would wake you up!
Nettle extracts are used in skincare because they are chockablock full of calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and copper, and they have possess anti-inflammatory qualities.
Want to check out our day cream with sunscreen that has nettle in it? Check it out here.