Digestive properties of nettles

Medicinal properties of nettles related to the digestive system

Nettles stimulates the digestive system

Nettles have this property since it makes the pancreas, stomach and gallbladder work, which improves the good general functioning of the digestive system.

Nettle promotes digestion thanks to the histamine contained in its stinging hairs for two reasons:

  • First of all, histamine has the ability to increase secretions of gastric juice to the stomach. Thus, enzymes and hydrochloric acid increase, which are responsible for hydrolyzing proteins and lipids. In other words, it will be easier for us to digest the more enzymes and acid we secrete, because we will have a greater capacity to break down foods that are more difficult to digest, such as lipids and proteins.
    nettle soup
    Nettle soup. See recipe
  • And secondly, nettles are rich in mucilage, a type of fiber that promotes peristaltic movements (bowel movements) since it causes muscle contraction. Peristaltic movements are responsible for progressing the alimentary bolus through the esophagus and, later, through the intestines.

In addition, these movements also help to mix the alimentary bolus with the gastric juices in the stomach and the chyme with the bile, intestinal juices and pancreatic juice in the intestines.

That is, peristaltic movements facilitate the mixing of food with acids. And therefore facilitates the fragmentation of nutrients. It also helps form the alimentary bolus to advance through the intestines.

In this way, nettles promote digestion and the elimination of excrement from the intestine. In other words, it works as a mild laxative, preventing constipation and hemorrhoids.

If you have problems of poor digestion or constipation, you must take an infusion of two tablespoons of dry leaves per liter of water three times a day before meals to achieve these effects.

It is also known that nettles ire used as a home remedy to combat food poisoning due to the ingestion of mollusks or/and crustaceans.

Nettles are astringent

On the other hand, if we follow another treatment different from that in the previous section, we can obtain another property of nettles that is completely the opposite of that of a mild laxative.

Due to the richness of tannins in nettles, especially in the root, they are suitable for the treatment of diarrhea since these substances have the ability to transform proteins into products resistant to decomposition.

If you have this problem, you have to make a decoction of the dry root for ten minutes and drink three cups a day.

punto rojo More information on nettles

This article was endorsed by Montserrat Enrich - Journalist specializing in edible wild plants and plant uses.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

15 May, 2024

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