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How Effective Is Nettle for Allergies?

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  • Written By: Laura M. Sands
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2016
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Nettle for allergies is believed to be very effective in fighting allergy symptoms, which include nasal inflammation, congestion and sneezing. Stinging nettle, known botanically as Urtica dioica, may be used by allergy sufferers in its raw form or may be purchased from health food stores that sell nettle products, such as nettle capsules and nettle teas. Nettle for allergies is used mostly for nasal allergies, not skin allergies, as nettle may actually cause a temporary allergic reaction to the skin when touched.

In addition to using nettle for allergies, people use nettle to treat multiple health conditions, such as arthritis, urinary problems, gout and an enlarged prostate gland in men. One of the primary benefits of nettle is that it reduces inflammation, which is an underlying factor in many of these conditions, as well as is found in the nasal passages of those suffering from hay fever. Nettle also contains antihistamines, which work to halt other allergy symptoms, such as nasal congestion and sneezing.

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Experts warn that those using nettle for allergies should also be aware of its potential side effects. A few of the side effects include stomach upset, diarrhea, fluid retention and skin irritation in people prone to skin allergies. Due to the tiny, scratchy hairs on the nettle plant, anyone can experience a temporary irritation or rash from contact with the actual nettle plant. In some people, however, a more severe allergic reaction may persist when contact is made. Women using nettle for allergies should be aware that regular menstrual cycles are sometimes interrupted by the use of this herb, whether it is used raw or in a packaged form.

While nettle for allergies is considered to be very effective and is sold in many health food stores without a prescription, experts further warn that those who have other medical conditions or who are taking other medications should first consult with a physician before using nettle. In particular, people who are taking prescription blood thinners or who have been prescribed medications to treat high blood pressure, diabetes or arthritis should be aware that nettle may interfere with the effectiveness of those drugs. Using nettle for allergies may also be dangerous to pregnant women, as some medical experts claim the herb can cause a miscarriage.

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