Treatments from nettles
As well as the nutritional value people have exploited the medicinal properties of the stinging nettle.
Culpeper recommended the use of nettles to ...consume the phlegmatic superfluities in the body of man, that the coldness and moisture of winter has left behind. He also prescribed the juice of the leaves as a treatment for gangrenes and scabies.
Native Americans used the fresh leaves to treat aches and pains. European herbalists used the leaves in a similar fashion to treat gout and arthritis.
Surprisingly, although the nettle sting is highly irritant, once dried to neutralise the acid the leaves are a natural anti-histamine and also have anti-asthmatic properties.
The dried powdered leaves can also be used to staunch the flow of blood from small cuts.
In recent times the nettle has also been found to be effective in the treatment of benign prostate hypertrophy.