Skincare Ingredients: Nettle Extract

nettle-extract-skin

What is Nettle Extract or Urtica Urens Leaf Extract?

Great for: Anti-inflammatory, hormone-balancing, giving shine to hair
How it works: Throughout history, people have had a bit of a love-hate relationship with Stinging Nettle. On the one hand, the plant contains prickly hollow hairs called trichomes on the leaves and stems that when accidentally handled incorrectly cause mechanical irritation and inject biochemical irritants, such as histamine, serotonin, and choline into the skin. But on the other hand, stinging nettle also contains many powerful anti-oxidants and has long been used in natural and folk medicine to treat conditions like arthritis, kidney disorders, and rheumatism to stimulate circulation and bring warmth to joints. Women have long used nettle tea to help hormone imbalances during and after pregnancy.

Through the years, nettle extract has been eaten as a wild food plant, applied topically to the skin, and drunk as an herbal tea.  A 2016 study found nettle has high amounts of tannin content, total polyphenol, antioxidant activity, and carotenoids. Bioactivities of these functional components may play an important role in arthritis, rheumatism, muscular paralysis, and potentially cancer prevention. Nettle also contains acetylcholine, amino acids, histamine, carotenoids, and chlorophyll.

Where does Nettle Extract Come From?

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica, L. Urticaceae) often known as common nettle, stinging nettle or nettle leaf, or just a nettle or stinger, is an herb which is available in large part of the world.
Nettle often blooms in the spring is easily found in the wild in many locations.

Examples of skin and hair care with Nettle Extract

You can find Nettle or Urtica Urens Leaf extract in some commercial skin and hair care products. Some examples include Dr.Hauschka Revitalizing Hair & Scalp Tonic, and Lush Roots Hair Treatment, and Naturopathica’s Burdock Radiant Skin Tincture.

Sources:
  • Milady Skin Care and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary, 4th Edition
  • Comparison of nutritional properties of Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) flour with wheat and barley flours –  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4708629/
  • Urtica dioica – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urtica_dioica
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