The common name (nettle) is thought to be derived from Anglo Saxon “noedl” meaning “a needle,” referring to the sting or use as a thread for sewing before the introduction of flax. Nettles have been used for their strong fibers in making cloth and cord since at least the Bronze Age.
During the First World War, nettle fiber was collected in Germany and Austria to make military uniforms. During the Second World War, a green dye made from nettles was used in the United Kingdom for camouflage uniforms.
Nettles have been used for remedies for skincare well over 100 years. In 1854, Dr. Joseph Buller describes replacing the use of liquor arsenicalis (a poisonous medicine used in the 1800s to cure many ailments) with nettle extract. The majority of his patients were cured of their chronic skin conditions and diseases, this knowledge was passed down by “the class of peasantry usually termed ‘old women’".
What are the skincare benefits Of Nettle?
Anti-inflammatory, astringent, bactericidal, healing, and stimulating properties are highly valued by a skincare formulator. Containing a number of phenols, which gives nettle powerful antioxidant properties that aid in keeping the free radicals under control when used in skincare.
Other precious compounds such as vitamins and minerals improve the condition of the stratum corneum (the outer layer of your skin). Lipophilic (oil-based) stinging nettle infusions (extracts) possess potent anti-inflammatory activity for your skin and aid in the treatment of inflammatory skin disorders. The many compounds found in Nettle:
Ceramides - Naturally occurring lipid molecules that cement the cells of the skin barrier together, maintaining elasticity, retaining moisture and protecting against harmful environmental aggress, pollution.
Fatty Acids - Boosting lipid content and the repair of the skin's barrier function. This helps protect delicate skin, improves moisture levels, helps the skin retain its own moisture which all leads to improved softness and elasticity.
Silica - This trace mineral is known to boost collagen and attract water to cells for deep, sustained hydration. This means plumper, firmer, complexion. Activates enzymes involved in the production of collagen.
Flavonoids & Phenols - Are antioxidants help to reduce free radical damage on the skin, which is incited by pollution, and UV radiation.
Caffeic Acid - Powerful antioxidant activity, increasing collagen production and prevention of premature aging, caffeic acid has demonstrated antimicrobial activity and may be promising in the treatment of dermal diseases.
Sterols - Plant sterols calm skin inflammation, encouraging the formation of collagen and protecting against its break down.
Ursolic Acid - Can enhance the recovery of skin barrier function
Coumarin - Induce proliferation of skin cells at low concentrations. The compounds have applications in healthy aging cosmetic products, skin repair, wound healing and regeneration.
Chlorophyll - High in skin-protecting antioxidants neutralizing free radicals, which are responsible for disrupting collagen production and DNA, which causes wrinkling, helps enhance wound healing.
Antioxidants - Like most plants, nettle has a number of protective antioxidants that help protect from environmental stressors, providing age supporting benefits.
Vitamin K - Helps to even out skin tone and reduce spider veins and broken capillaries.
/ 2004 STUDY / Found a high anti-microbial activity in nettle extracts.
/ 2013 STUDY / Noted lipophilic extracts of stinging nettle may be more effective than traditional tinctures (water, methanol, ethanol) in clinical evaluations for the treatment of inflammatory disorders especially arthritis. A chemical investigation into the lipophilic extracts of stinging nettle to identify the bioactive compound(s) responsible for their observed anti-inflammatory activity.
/ 2016 STUDY / Found nettle has high amounts of tannin content, total polyphenol, antioxidant activity, and carotenoids. Bioactivities of these functional components may play an important role in arthritis, rheumatism, muscular paralysis, and potentially cancer prevention. Nettle also contains acetylcholine, amino acids, histamine, carotenoids, and chlorophyll.
I have of course incorporated a lipophilic extract of certified organic stinging nettle into Cell Affinity Coactive Serum via our propriety blend of herbal infusions.
/ NETTLE / Nettle is a tonic herb nutrient-dense and mineral-rich, its leaves offer a wide variety of nutrients:
Vitamins: Vitamins A, C, and K, along with several B vitamins
Minerals: Calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium
Fats: Linoleic acid, linolenic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, and oleic acid
Amino acids: All 9 the essential amino acids histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
Polyphenols: Kaempferol, quercetin, caffeic acid, coumarins, and other flavonoids
Antioxidants: Carotenoids - Beta-carotene, lutein, luteoxanthin.
CULTIVATION: Certified organically grown in Australia.
BOTANICAL NAME: Urtica dioica
Many of these compounds act as antioxidants inside your body. Antioxidants help defend your cells against damage from free radicals. Damage caused by free radicals is linked to aging, as well as cancer and other harmful diseases. Stinging nettle may help suppress inflammation, which in turn could aid inflammatory conditions, including arthritis.
Try drinking a cup a day - The dried leaves and flowers can be steeped to make a delicious herbal tea with a grassy taste (in my opinion!).
- Buller, J. 1854. The use of an extract and decoction of the common stinging nettle in some chronic skin diseases. Assoc Med J. 1854 November 10; 2(97): 1010–1012.
- Gülçin, I., Küfrevio O.I., Oktay, M., Büyükokuro, M.E. 2004. Antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiulcer and analgesic activities of nettle (Urtica dioica L.). Journal of Ethnopharmacology 90 (2004) 205–215.
- Lipophilic stinging nettle extracts possess potent anti-inflammatory activity, are not cytotoxic and may be superior to traditional tinctures for treating inflammatory disorders. Johnson TA, Sohn J, Inman WD, Bjeldanes LF, Rayburn K.