Nettle, Urtica dioica, also known as stinging nettle, is a tall green herbaceous flowering plant that grows all over the world. It is a member of the mint family,
Covered in delicate white flowers, this member of the mint family is known for its sharp hair-covered leaves. These tiny “hairs” act like needles when they come into contact with the skin and contain chemicals such as histamine and formic acid that can cause stinging, itching, and redness. Although relatively harmless to humans, the reaction from touching nettle can last for hours. (Ask me how I know!)
Often found in hair and skin care products, nettle has cleansing and antiseptic properties. Nettle tea infusions are good for facial steams and are widely used to improve the appearance of the hair.
Many of the benefits are due to the plant's very high levels of minerals, especially, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, and phosphorous. Nettles, a good source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and B complex vitamins, also are ten percent protein, more than any other vegetable.
Warm Nettle oil has been traditionally used as a restorative anti-wrinkle facial mask for sensitive skin. It helps combat irritation, redness, and itching and improves skin conditions.
In hair care, nettle stimulates the scalp, improves circulation, and helps promote fuller, softer, and more radiant hair. Nettles have a long-standing reputation for preventing hair loss due to their anti-inflammatory properties which helps with irritated scalp conditions. Nettle is an excellent hair conditioner. Rich in silica, minerals and plant hormones, it is tonic and astringent and gives a healthy gloss to the hair when used in shampoo bars. Nettle is said to be a remedy for oily hair, dandruff, and hair shaft breakage.