Urtica Dioica—or Nettle and Stinging Nettle is known as an ancient remedy for its popularity all over the world, the plant may also grow as a weed. It has a number of health benefits! But, before you know more about benefits of nettle leaf during pregnancy, here is an overview about this magical herb.
What is a nettle plant?
A nettle (stinging nettle) it is a perennial herbaceous plant which grows widely in the regions of Europe and Asia. The parts of plant used are stem, root and leaves. This plant is high in vitamin C, A, K potassium calcium and iron. It has been used for hundreds of years as a remedy, the herb is known for its ability to relieve the pain in the muscles and joints. It holds a number of health benefits during pregnancy. But only the leaf part must be consumed not the root part.
Nettle leaves are jam pack of nutrients, It is rich in Vitamin B, C, A, K. These leaves are known to be a good source of iron, potassium, manganese, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, silica, iodine, silicon, sodium, and sulphur and have high contents of proteins and amino acids.
Nettle Leaves During Pregnancy: 11 Amazing Health Benefits You Should Know
Nettle leaf serves as a surprisingly effective tonic and is proved to have higher chlorophyll content than any other herb. Chlorophyll is just one molecule way from the iron carrying haemoglobin; it can be used as an additional iron supplement to produce the extra blood cells that will be needed during pregnancy to help the mother and the growing baby. Nettles also contain and high of vitamins a, c, d, and k, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, iron, and sulphur.
The leaves of nettle plant are used to treat allergies. Taking nettle leaf can cure food sensitivities. Nettle has incredible anti-histamine properties, which act against the histamine present in the body. Nettle leaves are helpful in treating allergies such as, hay fever, coughs, sneezing, hives and asthma.
Women can consume nettle regularly. Nettle helps in relieving pain and strain, as well as pain during labour. It is known to help in easing labour and can be used by women to help with breastfeeding by increasing lactation.
Nettles helps to serve as a kidney tonic and diuretic and also helps with oedema and can support the kidneys because during pregnancy a woman has process 1.5 times more blood through the kidney.
Reduces leg cramps
Nettle leaves can help reduce leg cramps and spasms due to its high magnesium content. It has high calcium content too which can help to diminish pain during and after childbirth.
It has abundant amount of vitamin k which can help prevent haemorrhage after birth and its mild astringency can help reduce the likelihood of haemorrhoids and improves venous resilience.
Prevents damage of d.n.a
Our varying food habits and lifestyle produces toxins into our body. These toxins can damage the dna and cellular membranes. The antioxidants present in nettle leaf tea remove these toxins, damage-causing free radicals and protect our dna and cellular membranes.
Detoxifies the body
The good number of beneficial nutrients present in nettle makes it a good detoxifier for the body and it has been known to cleanse the body of toxins. As a diuretic, it helps to neutralize toxins and eliminate them quickly. It helps improve the nutrient uptake to the gut and ensures that the digestive processes run smoothly which further prevents accumulation of toxins.
Stinging nettle has amazing anti-inflammatory properties. It is very effective against various inflammatory conditions. Pregnancy is a period when body undergoes hormonal imbalances and weak immunity, and it’s easy to catch inflammation. It improves body’s immunity.
Stimulates milk production
Nettle is believed to stimulate milk production and increase the supply of breast milk in lactating mothers. It is usually considered safe to consume nettle immediately after delivering the child, and it can be continued even after. Nettle has been used by nursing mothers orally as a postpartum “tonic” for treating anaemia. It should probably not be applied topically to the breast while breastfeeding. But it’s always best to consult your doctor before starting any new herbs or supplement.
Protects heart health
This amazing herb would also be able to positively affect the heart. Research has found that consumption of stinging nettle tea help to lower systolic blood pressure and relieve tension on the cardiovascular system
Nettle tea during pregnancy
Nettle leaf is commonly found in pregnancy teas and recommended by many herbalists and midwives. It is rich in antioxidants. It is a fabulous source of vitamin and minerals including iron and potassium. But always look for the tea which contains just leaves not roots. It helps with stomach issues such as constipation and bloating. Don’t drink too much of it, especially in the first trimester since it has stimulating effects on the uterus. But it is safe to drink through the second and third trimesters. You can add an ounce of dried nettle leaf to a quarter of boiling water. You may also notice that your energy levels improve with your complexion, skin, hair, and nails.
How to take nettle during pregnancy?
Expectant women should always consult their doctors or before starting any new herbs or supplements. Here are some of the ways in which you may be able to consume nettle in your daily diet.
Food: Nettle is quite similar to spinach and other leafy vegetables. You can use it in soups and pasta dishes in place of other leafy greens.
Tea: To make a nettle tea, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried nettle leaf in 8 ounces of boiling water and stir for 10 minutes. You can drink this tea preparation up to few times a day.
Capsules: A typical dose of freeze-dried nettle leaf capsules is one capsule 3 to 4 times a day, there are different dosages available. But always consult your doctor; they will prescribe you the right dose according to your body and conditions.
Side effects and precautions
- The side effects of nettle tend to be mild and related to stomach. Stop taking nettle if it causes breast engorgement, mastitis, or an overabundant supply of breast milk.
- Handle the nettle plant with care. If the plant comes in contact with your skin, it may cause pain and a rash.
- Nettle contains vitamin K which can interfere with medication used to thin your blood. Always consult your doctor before taking nettle leaves if you take anticoagulant medication (blood thinners).
- Stinging nettle may lower blood sugar levels. If you are diabetic or hypoglycaemic, you should only take stinging nettle under the strict supervision of your doctor.
- Nettle may lower your blood pressure. If you are under any blood pressure medication, do not take nettle without consulting your doctor.
Stinging nettle is a great source vitamins and minerals and iron. However, if you are under any medication, there are potentially dangerous drug interactions that can occur with this herb. If you are interested in using this plant to help boost your breast milk supply or as a pregnancy tonic, you should talk to your doctor to know about the safest way to take it in your diet.