Stinging nettle – A wonder herb for fertility?Monday, September 24, 2018
BY CANDIECE KNIGHT
THE stinging nettle (scientific name Urtica dioica), also called nettle leaf, or just nettle, is a fairly common plant. It is believed to have originated in Europe and Asia, and then spread to other countries in the world. It is usually found growing wildly in Jamaica, and has been used for centuries to treat a number of ailments and conditions. The plant has been touted by herbalists especially for its fertility-boosting properties.
Nutritionist Donovan Grant explains that while there are no robust studies to show a direct link between the stinging nettle and improved fertility, it has been known to tone and nourish the uterus and prepare the body for pregnancy.
A number of the plant's benefits are derived from its high chlorophyll and iron composition, Grant says.
“Chlorophyll is a detox agent, so when consumed regularly it helps to clean the body, which improves the chance of an egg being fertilised and sustained to maturity. The plant is also rich in iron, calcium, and vitamins A, C, D and K, so it's used as a general tonic by many. From medieval times, people have been using the stinging nettle to treat muscle pain, joint pain, arthritis, and anaemia.”
Like other herbs, there can be side effects when using the stinging nettle, but once it is used in moderation, Grant says these should be minimal.
“There can be allergic reactions, the symptoms of which are usually nausea, tightness in the chest, stomach pains, diarrhoea and vomiting,” he cautions. “It is advised to use the plant in moderation. About a quarter to a half of an ounce in a cup of water should suffice. This can be had once or twice per day.”
While there are many benefits to be derived from using the stinging nettle, it can interfere with some other conditions and medications.
“The nettle plant has been known to lower the blood pressure, so it should be used with caution if you are taking blood pressure medication. You wouldn't want it to heighten the effect of the medication and cause your pressure to become too low,” he said.
“It can also interact with blood thinners such as Warfarin, because the plant has blood thinning properties. This might prevent the blood from being able to clot.”
For users after the fertility-boosting properties of the nettle, Grant says it is also important to ensure that the body is very well nourished and energised.
“Detox is important when planning for pregnancy. If the conditions are too acidic, it reduces the chance of fertilisation occurring. It is also important to make sure that your body weight is in check when trying to become pregnant” he said.
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