Instead of a spa facial, try nettles

For this week’s “Naturally,” herbalist Brigitte Mars shares the benefits of being stung by nettles and how they just might be the new Botox.


  • cover play_arrow

    Instead of a spa facial, try nettles Por Jaijongkit

Download audio

Read the transcript:

Greetings! Welcome to “Naturally.” This is Brigitte Mars, and today we’ll be discussing an ancient remedy that might sound rather bizarre—it involves nettles. Currently, I’m writing a book called “Nettle Power,” and I’m delighted to champion these incredible weeds. Surprisingly, the remedy isn’t about drinking nettles (which I do all the time) but rather getting stung by them, as it proves to be a powerful remedy.

You might wonder why this isn’t extensively covered in medical textbooks. After all, why would anyone research and write about something freely available in our backyards? It doesn’t seem to make sense from a profit perspective. Nevertheless, nettles have an urtication effect, meaning they can sting when they come into contact with the skin. But before you think it’s some evil force of nature, it’s essential to understand that nettles are incredibly powerful plants with protective mechanisms that deter wild animals from eating them. Interestingly, when nettles are dried, animals can consume them without any harm.

However, I’m specifically discussing the intentional stinging with nettles. The word “urtication” comes from “I burn” because nettles possess sharp little hairs with delicate silica tips. When you brush against the nettles, they release certain chemicals, including histamine, acetylcholine, formic acid, oxalic acid, and tartaric acid. Now, you might be wondering why anyone would willingly do that to themselves.

Well, you might have heard of bee venom therapy (apitherapy), where people deliberately get stung by bees to alleviate conditions like MS, arthritis, pain, and fibromyalgia. Similarly, nettle stinging therapy (nettle urtication) can also be used for similar therapeutic purposes.

In my personal experience, I had a wonderful facial performed by a skilled esthetician who used tiny micro-currents on my skin. Although the treatment was delightful, it cost around $300. It got me thinking that I could experiment with sticking my face with nettles, targeting those fine lines that appear as you age. And yes, it stings for about five minutes, but then the sensation dissipates, leaving a feeling similar to when your foot falls asleep and starts waking back up.

Nettle stinging therapy has shown great results for arthritis and post-hip surgery recovery. A friend of mine used nettles topically and reported having more mobility, less pain, and a sense of their nerves waking up.

Nettle has been utilized on the scalp to combat hair loss and on male genitalia for erectile dysfunction by promoting fresh blood flow. Musicians who strain their hands and wrists have also found relief using nettles to stimulate blood circulation.

So, the stinging action of nettles stimulates an anti-histamine reaction, prompting your body to produce anti-inflammatory compounds. If you happen to get stung by a nettle, take it as a sign that you’ll probably be less likely to develop arthritis in that area.



  • cover play_arrow

    Instead of a spa facial, try nettles Por Jaijongkit

Por Jaijongkit

Por Jaijongkit


Now Playing

Recent Stories

Upcoming Events