Picture this, it is a beautiful blue-sky day and you are out in your garden taking advantage of the delicious sunshine. As you reach down with gloveless hands to snag up a pesky weed, your fingers shout out with pain that feels like a million little needles puncturing your skin. You have just encountered stinging nettle (Urtica dioica). Ouch! Luckily, the tiny stinging filaments do not pose any long-term threat, and the pain will dissipate, although you may encounter several hours of tingling pain, itchiness, and welts on your skin.
NETTLE LEAF SOOTHES SKIN IRRITATION
After such an annoying introduction, would you ever think that nettle leaf could be beneficial to your skin in a variety of ways? It’s true! In fact, the very leaf that can cause such nagging, irritating pain also holds its own cure. If you are ever the unlucky recipient of a nettle leaf sting, you can grind up the leaves and steep them in water to make a topical poultice for your sore spots. Once the leaves are ground and/or heated, the tiny stinging filaments are destroyed, and all that is left are the nurturing qualities of the plant. Many people even eat it! Nice.
Nettles are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties and can be exceptionally helpful in easing skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis, and they are a wonderful remedy for easing itchy skin due to its rich content of histamine, chlorophyll, oxyacetylene, and iron. They also have an amazing astringent property that allows them to shrink and tighten the top layer of our skin and aid in minor skin injuries like scrapes and annoying razor nicks. That’s one amazing little plant.
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