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Nettle is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant that has been used for centuries to treat irritation, itching, redness and other scalp and skin conditions. Nettle extract can be in oil or alcohol form. The oil can be found in many personal care products, such as soap and hair conditioner. It can be rubbed onto the skin to help burns and abrasions heal quickly. Nettle oil also can be taken in capsule form and provides many health benefits.
Nettle is also known as hemp nettle, white nettle, devil’s leaf and stinging nettle. The oil is obtained by cold extraction of the herb's leaf or root into virgin olive oil. Nettle oil can be made at home by putting the leaves in a dark bottle with virgin olive oil, covering it tightly and letting it sit in a dark place for two to three weeks. The leaves should be strained out, and the oil can be saved for future use. Care should be taken when handling nettle, because the leaves and stems of some varieties, such as stinging nettle, have little hairs that can sting and burn the skin upon contact.
Shampoo that contains nettle not only promotes healthy hair growth, it also is great for controlling oil. The nettle oil should be massaged into the hair and scalp and should remain there for a minute or two before it is rinsed out. This oil also can be used as a deep conditioner by leaving it on the hair and scalp overnight, with a shower cap worn to protect bedding and clothing.
Nettle in soap can help clear up redness and irritation, and it will moisturize dry skin. It also works well for reducing wrinkles and stopping new ones from forming. In capsule form, nettle oil is used as a diuretic and detoxifies the kidneys, and it helps fight gout, prostate issues and even allergies.
People who have arthritis, rheumatism or osteoporosis might benefit from nettle oil. It can be rubbed directly onto the skin or taken in capsule form. It is rich in chlorophyll, silica, iron and other nutrients. This oil also can be used to help burns and skin abrasions heal quickly. It can be applied directly to the wound several times a day. There are no known side effects of this oil.
In ancient times, people used the nettle's stem to create tough fibers to make cloth, and cooked nettle leaves were eaten. Nettle was used as medicine to treat tuberculosis, arthritis and coughs and to increase hair growth. Romans would rub nettle leaves on their skin to restore circulation. The ancient Greeks and Romans used nettle oil on their skin to treat skin irritation and redness as well as help prevent wrinkles.
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