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While stinging nettle can be painful to touch, it’s a plant that is very friendly to a mother’s milk supply!
There are many species of nettle, but stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is probably the best known. It’s native to much of the world, and has long been used as to support milk supply, as a food, and as a treatment for a variety of health problems.
Nettle has dark green serrated leaves and short hairs that cause burning and blistering when touched. It achieves this sting with hollow hairs which inject histamine and other chemicals when contacted. It grows in moist soil, usually near streams and ditches.
Even though it may sting when gathered without gloves, stinging nettle is an excellent spring green in teas and meals. As a food, nettle is a rich source of iron, calcium and folic acid, vitamin K, and supports the kidney and adrenals. As a tea, it blends well with other herbs like mint and lemon balm, and its nutrients are important during pregnancy, so it’s a great one to drink when you’re expecting. It makes a wonderful substitute for spinach in any dish, such as lasagna filling. You’ll find some wonderful looking recipes online. Cooking nettles removes the stinging chemicals from the plant; they should never be eaten before cooking.
Nettle is an herb worth using on a regular basis. This spring tonic is loaded with nutrition and strengthens many body systems. It’s used as a treatment for arthritis, anemia, skin problems, urinary tract infections, small kidney stones, hay fever symptoms, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and even as a hair rinse to control dandruff and make hair more glossy.
The German Commission E lists no contraindications, drug interactions, or side effects for nettle. The American Herbal Products Association considers stinging nettle Class 1: safe when used appropriately.
As a galactagogue, Nettle is most effective as a tincture, as the dried form is difficult to take in sufficient quantities. Stinging Nettle is a herb included in many of our formulas, including More Milk Plus, More Milk Plus Alcohol Free, More Milk Plus Capsules, More Milk Special Blend, More Milk Special Blend Alcohol Free, More Milk Special Blend Capsules, More Milk, More Milk Two Alcohol Free.
Sources: Wikipedia, The Nursing Mother’s Herbal. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons