Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a popular herbal plant in many parts of the world. It contains protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, making it an ideal all-around tonic. It also has anti-inflammatory, anti-asthmatic, antirheumatic, anticonvulsant, antihistamine, hypotensive and anti-anaphylactic properties.
There are a lot of ways to use nettle for different health issues internally and externally. One way to reap its benefits is nettle oil. The beneficial effects of the herb can be passed on to the oil infusion really well.
Nettle oil is usually extracted from the leaves of the plant that contain provitamin A, vitamins B1 and K, sistosterin and xanthophylls. This mineral-rich nettle oil is a powerful remedy with a wide spectrum of uses.
Nettle has been used for healthy hair since medieval times. The extract enhances blood circulation that is essential for hair roots to get a sufficient supply of nutrients. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant features allow using nettle extract for the treatment of alopecia and a healthy scalp. Massaging the scalp helps to combat hair loss effectively. Nettle oil is very effective to relieve dry, tense scalp, it helps scalp conditions like psoriasis and dandruff. It also contributes to hair regrowth, nettle leaves contain sulfur and silica that make the hair healthier and shinier.
Nettle oil helps to ease stiff joints as well. People who suffer from inflammation-related disorders like rheumatism, arthritis and osteoporosis can benefit too from nettle oil. Nettle oil extract has also shown promise in helping skin abrasions and burns to heal. Topical application of nettle oil may help ease insect bites, eczema and chickenpox. Thanks to its antihistamine benefit the nettle oil is useful for spring and seasonal allergies such as hay fever.
How to prepare your own nettle oil?
You can make nettle oil by extracting leaves of nettle in any oil of your choice. Extra virgin olive oil is the most suitable for any type of skin. For a “good night” purpose oil, use slow absorption oils such as avocado or sunflower oil, but if you intend to use a “good morning” oil, choose a fast-absorbing oil such as fractionated coconut oil or grapeseed oil.
There are two basic infusion methods: the slow traditional method and the fast infusion method.
If you want to try the traditional infusion, pack dried nettle in a jar and immerse it completely with oil. Cover with a lid tightly and leave on a sunny windowsill for 2-3 weeks. Stir or shake it daily. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth. Store your nettle oil in a clean and sterilized bottle, in a cool place away from sunlight.
If you want to hurry, you might prefer trying the fast method. Place the uncovered jar with herbs and oil into a double boiler. Watch out for the temperature, it shouldn’t exceed 50 ℃. Let it simmer for 5 hours for the herb to release its medicinal properties. Be careful and make sure that the water doesn’t evaporate. Let it cool to room temperature. Strain the mixture with the cheesecloth, store your nettle oil in a sterilized jar in a dark place away from direct sunlight.
The extracted nettle oil can be used in massage oils, creams, salves, hair conditioners, shampoos or soaps.