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Where To Buy Indian Nettle Leaves

You can find nettle leaf at many grocery stores and at practically any herbal store nationwide. If you buy fresh nettle leaf, be careful with the small stinging barbs on the leaves, as they can be a little painful if they prick you. Use a good pair of gloves while handling nettle.

where to buy indian nettle leaves

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Throughout the area where the plant grows, it is widely known for its effect on domestic cats, which react very strongly and favorably to the root of the plant. In this regard it is very similar to catnip, but the effect is much more pronounced. For this reason it is called kuppaimeni/கப்பமன in Tamil, puchamayakki/പൂച്ചമയക്ക in Malayalam, biralhanchi/biralkanduni (বড়ল হঁচ/বড়লকন্দুন) in Bengali, pokok kucing galak (excited cat tree) in Malay}kuppameniya (කුප්පමනිය) in Sinhala[citation needed] and ตำแยแมว (cat nettle) in Thai.[6]

Nettles grow all over the world in mild to temperate climates. They prefer open or partly shady habitats with plenty of moisture and are often found in forests, by rivers or streams and on roadsides. Urtica spp. are widespread throughout Europe and North America, North Africa and in parts of Asia. Both species of stinging nettle (U. dioica L. and U. urens L.) prefer to grow in nitrogen-rich soil and are commonly found in soils high in inorganic nitrates and heavy metals. Heavy metals are poorly processed by the plant and tend to accumulate in the leaves. Long vegetation seasons lead to on-going growth, while harsh winters cause destruction of the plants [5].

The total phenolic content of one gram of nettle powder has been reported as 129 mg GAE (Gaelic Acid Equivalent), which is two-times higher than the phenolic content in 100 mL of cranberry juice (66.61 mg GAE) [27]. Stinging nettles have been shown to be richer in individual polyphenols than other wild plants [13]. Ghaima and co-workers found that the content of phenolic compounds in stinging nettle leaves was significantly higher than in dandelion leaves [28]. Vajić et al. reported that the predominant phenolic compound in stinging nettle leaves is rutin [29]. Ðurović and co-workers studied the chemical composition of stinging nettle leaves using different analytical approaches. Soxhlet extraction was performed and qualitative analysis of Ultrasound-Assisted (UA) extracts using the UHPLC-DAD technique with MS/MS. Differences in the chemical profiles were found. For example, after Soxhlet extraction, syringic, cinnamic and protocatechuic acids were detected in the products, which was not the case with the UA extract. On the other hand, ferulic, caffeic, chlorogenic and sinapic acids were detected only after ultrasound-assisted extraction [30].

Fresh nettle leaves contain smaller amounts of sterols and higher concentrations of flavonol glycosides. The leaves of the plant also contain carotenoids, mainly β-carotene, violaxanthin, xanthophylls, zeaxanthin, luteoxanthin and lutein epoxide [5]. Terpene diols, terpene diol glucosides, α-tocopherol, as well as five monoterpenoid components have also been detected in nettle leaves [39]. Weglarz and Roslon studied the content of polyphenolic acids in leaves and rhizomes. They found that the level of these compounds was higher in the male forms, but the chemical profiles of polyphenolic acids from the female plants were much more diverse [40,41]. Moreover U. dioica is considered the only plant that contains choline acetyl-transferase, an acetylcholine-synthesizing enzyme [42]. Fifteen hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives and sixteen flavonoids, flavones and flavonol-type glycosides were identified in hydroalcoholic extracts from the aerial parts of U. dioica, U. urens and U. membranacea using HPLC-PDA-ESI/MS. Of these, 4-caffeoyl-5-p-coumaroylquinic acid and three statin-like 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaroyl flavone derivatives were identified for the first time in U. urens and U. membranacea, respectively. U. membranacea showed a higher content of flavonoids, mainly luteolin and apigenin glycosides, which are almost absent in the other species studied [43].

The hairs of Urtica plants contain an acrid fluid with the active components: acetylcholine, histamine and formic acid, as well as silica, serotonin and 5-hydroxy tryptamine. Many of these chemicals are smooth muscle stimulants [44]. The fresh hairs of U. dioica also contain a high level of acetylcholine [45]. The results of numerous experiments suggest that each species of nettle, as well as each part of the plant (root, stalk or leaves) have a different content and profile of bioactive compounds. Therefore, different species of nettle may have different uses, depending on their chemical characteristics [21].

Nettles can help alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis and joint pain, typically in the case of hands, knees, hips and spine. Nettles can work in combination with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), allowing patients to decrease their use of NSAIDs. The prolonged use of NSAIDs can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. In a study by Randall and co-workers, nettles were able to decrease osteoarthritic pain in the base of the thumb when applied to the painful area. In a clinical trial of 37 people with acute arthritis, 50 g of stewed nettle leaves consumed daily, combined with 50 mg of diclofenac, were shown to be as effective as the full 200-mg dose of diclofenac over a two-week period [71]. Studies have also shown that applying nettle leaves directly decreases joint pain and can treat arthritis. In a study by Christensen and Bliddal, it was found that a combination of nettles, fish oil and vitamin E reduced the need for analgesics and other drugs for the symptoms of osteoarthritis [72].

Another study conducted by Klingelhoefer et al. showed the anti-inflammatory benefits of stinging nettles against other autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis [73]. Nettle leaves contain histamine, which may seem inadvisable for allergy medication. However, histamine has been already used to treat strong allergy symptoms [74]. Histamine production causes unwanted allergic reactions, associated with unpleasant nasal congestion, sneezing or itching. Stinging nettles affect numerous receptors and/or enzymes involved in allergic reactions [75]. In addition, because of their anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory properties, stinging nettles can be used as a natural component in eczema medications. Infusions of the plant can be used for nasal and menstrual hemorrhage, diabetes, anemia, asthma, hair loss and to promote lactation [76]. Terpenes and phenols are major groups associated with the inhibition of cancers, as well as with the treatment of headache, rheumatism and some skin diseases [58,77,78]. Phenols also have been associated with the inhibition of atherosclerosis and cancer, as well as age-related degenerative brain disorders [79,80].

In European countries, nettles are used in soup or as a steamed or wilted vegetable. Since it has a similar flavor and texture, cooked nettle can be used as a substitute for spinach. Raw nettles after blending can be also used in pesto sauces, salad dressings or dips. Boiled nettles with walnuts is a common dish in Georgia, while Romanians make sour soup using fermented wheat bran, vegetables and young nettle leaves [89]. Mature leaves are used in the production of semi-hard Cornish cheese, made from grass-rich milk and wrapped in stinging nettles. The nettle changes the acidity of the outside of the cheese, affecting the way the curd breaks down and matures. It has also been documented that nettle leaves can be used to coagulate milk in the process of fresh cheese making [90]. In some European countries, for example in Serbia and Poland, bread with nettle leaves (up to 1%) is sold as a commercial product [30]. Compared to barley and wheat flour, nettle flour has a much higher content of proteins, crude fibers, fats, ash, calcium and iron and has a low glycemic index. As compared to barley and wheat, nettles have much higher levels of tannins and total polyphenols [10].

Nettle leaves can also be used to make an herbal tea, which is rich in vitamins and minerals. Depending on the amount used, nettle tea has a mild to strong flavor and tastes similar to vegetable broth. Concentrated nettle tea can be used as a soup base or as a component in drinks or green cocktails. Nettle tea can also be used as a nutritional replacement for water. Nettle roots can be used as liquid or powdered extracts, as well as in special decoctions. Nettles are also used in herbal liquors [91]. In the British Isles, Urtica plants are used in an alcoholic beverage, which is similar to ginger beer and brewed in the same way. Nettle and oat extracts are the subject of a U.S. Patent describing the use of plant powders as additives in beverages or fruit juice to provide nutritional drinks [92]. Aqueous infusions of U. dioica exhibit antioxidant activity towards iron-promoted oxidation of phospholipids, linoleic acid and deoxyribose [83]. The use of such antioxidant and antimicrobial compounds is of considerable interest for the preservation of foods, as well as for improving the shelf-life of food products [53,93].

Despite their beneficial properties, the consumption of nettle teas or juices may cause a skin rash in individual cases. Although it is rare, there have been reports of allergic reactions after ingesting raw nettle leaves in the form of puree or juice [94]. Therefore, stinging nettles need to be correctly prepared by hot water infusion, maceration, drying or tincturing. This pretreatment deactivates the formic acid, allowing safe consumption of this valuable plant.

Inai et al. studied the inhibition of myoglobin oxidation by some plant polyphenols with activity for flavonols (kaempferol, myricetin and quercetin) [97]. Slightly weaker activity was observed for other polyphenols: sinapic acid, catechin, nordihydroguaiaretic acid, taxifolin, morin and ferulic acid. The use of natural antioxidants from U. dioica water extract and dried leaves as a functional ingredient significantly decreased the level of lipid deterioration and increased color stability during storage. Therefore, nettle water extract can be successfully used to reduce lipid oxidation and to enhance the functionality of the final products. Other studies have investigated the use of U. dioica water extract in sucuk, a Turkish dry-fermented sausage [98,99,100], in ground beef [101], meatballs [102], in super-chilled minced meat [103], vacuum-packed beef steaks [104] and in cooked pork sausage [105]. 041b061a72


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