I know I try out lots of products and I am always ranting and raving about how much I love them all (which I do!) but the main reason why so many products work well for me are because many products have similar ingredients And what I mean by ingredients, I mean all Natural and/or organic ingredients! My hopes are not that you feel the need to go out and buy all the products I love, they are that you find the ones that consistently work the best for you and that you stick with what works! (unless you enjoy trying new things and switching it up like me lol thats ok too hehe).
So I say all that to introduce a new series I plan to do here on the blog….Ingredients 101! A few times a month, I will highlight various ingredients I regularly see pop-up on the labels of my favorite products. Now that I am aware of them and their benefits, I search for and gravitate towards other products that also contain them. I also always check the labels to see if there are any other unique natural ingredients I may not have known about.
God created the earth and EVERYTHING in it and he gave us millions of natural resources for our benefit!! The mixtures and combinations of natural ingredients are endless and I am always discovering something new. Of course I have to add my disclaimer, I am NOT a botanist, herbalist, doctor, etc. so I can not make any health claims BUT I can speak from my experience and share from personal research. As with all things you try on/in your body, do your OWN research or consult the professionals! I’m just a lil ole blogger :o)
PLEASE remember that with ALL herbal remedies please take caution as herbal remedies are not for everyone, especially if you are a child, nursing or pregnant. Do your own research!!! I can only speak on what has worked for me and the things I have tried on myself!! Many herbal remedies can yield side effects and interact with other drugs so PLEASE take caution, k?
So My first Ingredients 101 post will be devoted to Nettle (a.k.a. Stinging nettle or Urtica dioica) but check out a few old posts that I have highlighted a few other ingredients: Aloe Vera, Coconut Oil, Essential Oils.
The first time I saw Nettle appear (or at least paid attention to) was when I first bought products from Shea Radiance (check out this post, this post and this post) and I was intrigued. I saw it was in the extract form, which is probably the most common form you will find herbs in “liquid” products (maybe in powdered form too).
Nettle is a plant that is native to northern Europe, Asia and other parts of the world. It produces little flowers and its leaves and stems are covered with prickly hairs that actually give you a stinging sensation if touched, thus giving it its name “stinging nettle”. It’s a natural defense mechanism for the plant! The prickly hairs also release chemicals like histamine too. (I know, sounds kind of scary right lol) Both the root and the leaves of the plant can be used for medicinal purposes and can be found in its pure form (leaves/root), powder, teas and of course, the extract.
The main benefit of nettle for hair is it helps promote and stimulate growth because it increases blood flow. It also can thicken and strengthen hair and also help restore hair color back to its natural state. Nettle can also eliminate dandruff and make your hair feel more silky and revitalized
Here are some additional health benefits of nettle. Depending on what form you use it in and whether it’s used externally or internally, the benefits may vary:
- Treatment of arthritis and joint pain;
- Muscle strain; tendinitis
- Treats anemia, gout, eczema, hay fever
- Insect bites
- Supports joint health
- Contains vitamins A and C, and minerals potassium, calcium and manganese
- Contains antioxidant flavonols, phytosterols, lignans and more
- Prostate health support
- The tea is a natural diuretic, can relieve eczema and acne and remove warts when applied topically
So for my experiences with nettle, beside seeing it in some of my hair products, I purchased the Traditional Medicines brand tea from VitaCost about a month or so ago, remember this post?! (Oh and NO I am not an affiliate of Vitacost or anything like that, just a huge fan. They have a HUGE selection of all natural stuff us Naturals love….and anyone who loves natural, healthy living :o) ) Fortunately, this herbal tea can actually be found in your local grocery store, you don’t really find the “less popular” herbal teas in major stores, which is why I tend to always shop at VitaCost, plus their prices are great!
Anywho, I am a tea lover, I try to drink tea at least twice a day. I always switch it up and mix different kinds to get various flavors and medicinal benefits. I figured Nettle would be cool to try because of all the health benefits it claims. The flavor is alright, the box describes it as hay-like and slightly bitter. It’s definitely tolerable but not the best. This is one of those teas I have to mix with one that tastes good to me. I still force myself to drink it to get the benefits :o)
I also have used the nettle tea in a couple herbal tea rinses mixed with some other teas (I guess I should make a post about that huh lol). I also like using the leftover of the rinses in my spritzer mixes, they only last about a week though if you keep them refrigerated. I also use the tea to mix my ayurvedic pastes (gotta try it in my henna too hehe)! So even if I don’t feel like drinking the tea, I can still benefit from it externally and can hopefully promote growth. I’ve only had the tea for about a month so I can’t say I have seen growth because of it but it’s definitely a part of improving the overall health of my hair and scalp.
You can also get an internal dosage of Nettle by taking herbal supplements. Again, you can find this brand and other brands on VitaCost or anywhere else you can purchase herbal supplements. I personally don’t care to take supplements because I can be very forgetful when taking vitamins sometimes so I prefer the tea. But if you don’t care to drink tea, this is a good alternative if you’d still like to reap the internal benefits of nettle.
And last, another way to get benefits of nettle is through the extract. I believe this is the most common form you will find nettle in hair products and it is also the most potent form of the plant. I have not tried this in its pure extract form but eventually I would love to try it and make my own hair tonic as well as use it in my spritzer mixes. I would also love to make my own oil infusions using the leafs and letting it distill for a few weeks, just some things on my to try list :o) As far as hair growth goes, nettle is probably best when applied topically to the scalp (to stimulate the growth duh!) but the extracts can be ingested by adding the specified dosage to beverages or I guess just dropping them in your mouth?? I dunno, check the labels on that one lol
So that about sums up all I have to say about nettle today lol :o) I am interested to hear your thoughts and what products you guys have seen nettle appear it!