Nettle me this, Nettle me that.

To many, this plant is seen as nothing more than a pesky weed, but the nettle plant (Urtica dioica) also known as stinging nettle, is surprisingly more than that - it's a popular herbal remedy with many amazing benefits!
This herbaceous plant, with its fine hairs on both leaves & steam, contains a stinging chemical that causes pain & an itchy irritation when it comes in contact with the skin. However, when its leaves are processed (through drying, freeze-drying, or cooking), the effects of the chemical are lost and the plant can be safely consumed.
So why am I talking about this plant? No, I didn't become a botanist overnight, but, since I found out I was expecting, I've been doing everything within my power to keep up a healthy lifestyle - more specifically, a simple one. I'm not perfect and there are days when I just want a donut, but I try to live by the rule that "success is the sum of small efforts." Pregnant or not, every bit counts.
 
I decided to reach out to a friend who's a natural therapist & health consultant. She gave me a list of the things I should be consuming and those I should be avoiding. Gratefully I took my list... and then asked for the cheat sheet. She laughed and said that if I should take away anything from all this information, let it be the significance of the nettle plant. And with nettles growing wild in our backyard, how could I not give it a try!
 
Benefits
 
Nettle tea is a fabulous source of vitamins and minerals, including iron, vitamins A, C and K, and potassium - it's also low in calories and high in fibre. Its an incredible tonic and is said to have more chlorophyll than any other herb. 
 
Chlorophyll is the green molecule found in plants that absorbs sunlight during photosynthesis and converts it to energy. It's been said to help with blood detoxification, wound healing, gut health, energy, immune system support, and cancer prevention.(1)
 
Nettle is an anti-inflammatory, and great for alleviating allergies and ease symptoms such as sneezing & nasal congestion.This magical plant is also a kidney tonic and diuretic, which is a great natural way to help urinary tract infections and prevent kidney stones.
 
Nettles & pregnancy
 
Rich in iron, nettles conveniently contain those pro-vitamin A, the vitamin B complex, vitamin K1 and vitamin C, which helps the body absorb iron. The normal hemoglobin range is 12.0 to 15.5 g/dl for an adult woman and 13.5 to 17.5 g/dl for adult males. It is very common for pregnant women to become iron deficient during pregnancy, as your body requires almost double the amount of iron in order to make more blood to support your little one. It's common to experience mild anaemia during pregnancy, however, if it is not monitored, it can lead to complications such as premature birth and a low birth weight for your baby. Iron deficiency not only impacts your little one, but can make you feel tired, cause issues regulating body temperature, weaken your immune system, and even increase the chance of infections.
 
Postnatal
 
The benefits of nettle don't stop after your little one arrives. Consuming nettle after childbirth is also a wonderful way to increase the supply and richness of breast milk, and the vitamin K can help prevent haemorrhaging after birth.
When & How much to drink
 
Nettle can be taken throughout your entire pregnancy, however it's always good to run it by your health care professional. Try to get 1-2 cups daily, but don't worry if that sounds a bit daunting - we can help you out with our Nettle in a hay stack smoothie!
 
Having been mildly iron deficient for years, my doctor advised that I look into taking supplements in order to avoid complications during my pregnancy. After two weeks, I noticed they were not agreeing with me. So, with the green light from my doctor, I got my cheat out and put nettle to the test. Along with my nettle infusions, I also made sure to start my mornings off with my Nettle in a hay stack smoothie. I kept this up for 4 weeks and I was incredibly impressed with the results. Not only did I notice an increase in my energy, but my iron levels shot up by .06 g/dL! My doctor, happy with the results told me to keep up whatever I was doing - and that's what I'm gonna do!
 
Pregnant or not, nettle has fantastic benefits that won't go unnoticed. I can't deny the nice boost in energy that nettle has provided me. It's been extremely beneficial during my pregnancy, and I have no doubt that it'll only continue after my little one is here.
 
 
Drink up & start living Simpl today!
Nadine & The Simpl Team

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