Can Stinging Nettles Relieve Arthritis Pain?
For many the simple answer is yes, nettles do offer some fast pain relief. Stinging Nettles are known to have been used for thousands of years for there medicinal properties throughout the world. Many plants and natural substances exist that that are known to aid joint pain and inflammation, with the most extreme probably being the common Stinging Nettle.
The science behind the myth is somewhat confusing, having said that recent studies carried out at the University of Plymouth UK, offer some scientific proof that this ancient folklore therapy can actually work.
27 Arthritic volunteers at the University of Plymouth underwent treatments consisting of stinging nettle leaves being applied to the hands daily for a week. The results were then compared to the effect of a placebo, namely, the white deadnettle leaf, (which does not sting), also applied one week. The research indicated that stinging nettles not only significantly reduced pain, but they also diminish the level of remaining pain
Why Does It Work
Serotonin and histamine, both of which are neuro-transmitters are contained in the plants leaf, as well as causing a sting, they are thought to trigger an anti-inflammatory action by the body and so relieve arthritis Pain relief was most likely to occur if a sting with nettle rash was produced on the skin. Other possibilities could be that the sting has an acupuncture-like effect, or that it acts as a “counter irritant” like capsaicin, an ingredient derived from peppers which is used in products like Ralgex.
This is an ancient folklore, that seems to work for many people all over the world. The stinging nettle is a freely available plant which grows in may countries around the world and its sting seems a safe treatment.
How to Administer
The traditional way to treat your arthritis with stinging nettles is simply to grasp the plants stem with a gloved hand and then thrash or rub down the affected joint area with the leaves until nettle rash appears, repeat the same process for all affected areas, in many cases this will help reduce the pain and swelling quickly all be it for a short period of time.
Although proof does exist, that nettles can offer short term relief, the thought of thrashing yourself with them may not be one to relish. well the good news is nature has provided many long and short term answers for most types of arthritis and there are easier and far less extreme ways of reducing your pain and inflammation believe me.