Stinging nettle grows wild in temperate regions throughout the world. This dark green nutritive herb has an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, but the leaves and stems have tiny hairs coated in an irritating substance. Accidental contact can result in a painful rash that lasts for hours. Nevertheless, the entire plant serves as a food and has medicinal purposes -- soaking nettles in water for ten minutes removes the irritants. The nettles can be added to a variety of foods and dishes as fresh leaves, while dried nettle is steeped in water for tea or crushed into powder for capsules.
Nettle root helps maintain urinary tract health or relieve the prostate swelling and discomfort associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia or BHP. Nettle reduces prostate swelling by interrupting the conversion of testosterone into estrogen and increasing levels of free testosterone in the bloodstream. The diuretic effects of nettle assist in flushing out the bladder and urinary tract to prevent infection and kidney stones.
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