Stronger than Thunderbolt

When we come across nettle in nature and accidentally get stung by it we are usually angry, but this plant is so healthy and beneficial that we should be thankful it even when it leaves blisters on our skin. At the same time, it is available to everyone and everywhere, and if we eat it a couple of times a week or drink an infusion made with its root, it will certainly significantly improve our health.

Nettle has been used since time immemorial and nowadays is recognised as a seemingly cruel folk cure for rheumatic pains which involves whipping yourself with it. That is backed by science, because nettle is a well-known pain killer and has an anti-inflammatory effect. Throughout history it has been used as detox therapy, as a diuretic, a cure for enlarged prostate, women’s ailments, pneumonia and asthma, for wound healing, for high blood pressure and boldness. Those old enough can remember that there was not much to choose from in terms of shampoos on sale in our shops in the past – you could choose between nettle and birch shampoos. And that was quite sufficient. Nettle shampoo strengthens hair roots and prevents hair loss.

When the first shoots of nettle appear in the spring, that is exactly the time when we need it most. After eating unvaried food during a long winter, springtime nettle can restore our vitality. As it is rich in iron, it is an ideal cure for anaemia, weak immunity and exhaustion. It is also a diuretic and a great detoxifier in the spring.

What is it about nettle that has such healing power? First, a set of minerals: iron, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium; then vitamins: B2 and B5, A, C and K. Quercetin in nettle reduces allergic reactions. Beta-sitosterol regulates work of the prostate and prevents its enlargement. Its diuretic effect also helps with high blood pressure, and its anti-inflammatory effect helps with osteoarthritis. Nettle root contains polysaccharides, lectins, coumarins, triterpenes, fatty acids…

As an excellent diuretic, nettle can help against cellulite accumulated due to water retention issues. It also has a good effect on high blood pressure, and thanks to beta-sitosterol it protects the heart because this ingredient has the power to absorb fats in blood vessels. Triglycerides and cholesterol are always within the normal range if we consume nettle on a regular basis.

As it is a natural cleanser, nettle is beneficial for the skin. If used as a skin lotion it can reduce the symptoms of eczema and problems with acne, because it balances the production of sebum. Thus it helps with the problems associated with greasy hair and dandruff.

Nettle is a great friend of men. In addition to being effective in fighting hair loss problems, it has a beneficial effect on proteins in the blood which attach to a surplus of hormones. In that way it protects the prostate and the urinary tract. Women benefit from it too, because the same effect of hormone regulation can help with reproductive system disorders, with polycystic ovary syndrome for instance; as it has astringent effect it prevents heavy bleeding. It is excellent for breast-feeding women as it stimulates lactation, while in pregnancy it strengthens the embryo and prevents anaemia.

It is not surprising that it has been used throughout history as a super cure for all ailments. However, nettle is not only used in herbal medicine. Its stalk contains cellulose fibres which can be used to produce textiles. German First Word War uniforms were made of it. It is also used to produce the natural yellow die for textiles. In German mythology the nettle used to be a symbol of the God of Thunder.

One should wear gloves when harvesting nettle, in areas far from city pollution, in the spring when the shoots appear. We can enjoy nettle’s therapeutic effect without having to go to areas untouched by heavy pollution from car exhaust fumes. To help us do that, there are two products in Herba Svet laboratories:

Disan – in addition to other herbs and honey, this product contains liquid nettle extract. This natural elixir strengthens immunity, protects respiratory organs, helps with the revitalisation of the mucus membrane in the throat, calms tickly cough and is of great help to smokers who are attempting to give up smoking.

Hipoporstat – contains nettle root in addition to another four medicinal plants and is intended for men. It increases the vitality of the prostate, decreases frequent and laboured urination and protects the urinary tract. Hipoprostat helps with acute and chronic infections of the prostate and with the benign enlargement of the prostate.

With Disan and Hipoprostat – our health is stronger than thunder.

Horsey, Horsey, Horsetail

Rastafarians, members of a religion that developed in Jamaica during the 1930s who believe that Haile Selassie, the emperor of Ethiopia between 1930 and 1974, was the Second Coming of Jesus and their god Jah incarnate, wear the easily recognisable dreadlocks. The rope-like strands of hair formed by locking or braiding hair are inspired by the Nazarites of the Bible and the mane of the Lion of Judah as a symbol of non-conformism and freedom. The most famous member of the Rastafari movement is Bob Marley whose reggae music is popular world-wide. Rastafarians express their spirituality in a number of unorthodox ways, among other things through the “spiritual use” of cannabis, through the severe criticism of the materialistic walk of life and promotion of sensory pleasures, temperance in eating and vegetarianism. As they are opposed to everything materialistic, their religion is not institutionalised. They have faith in personal intuitive experience and living at the present moment.

Rastafarian dreads look like horsetail, a plant of an equally freedom-loving spirit. Horsetail spreads its ‘dreads’ freely in wet meadows, marshland, fields along brooks and roads… Apart from looking like Rastafarian dreads, it looks like a horse’s tail and hence its name in both Latin and English. Horsetail is reminiscent of a small Christmas tree, its leaves are spiky and turned upwards – looking quite magical. It has such healing properties that a whole religion could be woven around it.

In ancient times horsetail was used for various purposes: due to its abrasive properties, the Indians polished their arrows with it; it was used for centuries to polish tin dishes. Today we know that it was silicic acid that made the dishes shine and that horsetail’s exceptional healing properties are precisely due to this ingredient.

It is believed that horsetail was a giant dominant plant that grew some 15 metres in height during the Palaeozoic, the oldest era of planet Earth. Today, this is a perennial plant that reaches up to half a metre in height.

Horsetail contains flavonoids, alkaloids, glycosides, vitamin C, carotene, manganese, potassium, iron and the very useful silicic acid.

Let us see what medicinal properties horsetail has:

  • Horsetail is a diuretic, it stimulates the expulsion of accumulated fluid from the body and cleanses it. That is why it is used against cellulite and fatty deposits on the hips.
  • The plant’s diuretic effect helps with swelling in the legs and edema caused by injuries or diabetes.
  • Horsetail protects the urinary tract because it prevents the formation of stones. It can reduce pre-existing stones and speed up their expulsion. It is very useful in inflammations of the urinary tract and bleeding, as it eases painful urination and prevents inflammations of the kidneys and the prostate.
  • It helps with stomach ulcers, constipation and lazy intestines.
  • Silicic acid, being good to cure tissues, is useful to treat lung and blood vessel injuries. It is recommended to be taken for tuberculosis, arteriosclerosis and varicose veins.
  • In combination with other medicinal herbs it is good for period pains, increased bleeding and secretion.
  • It stimulates the creation of red blood cells and it is excellent for anaemia.
  • The silicic acid in this plant strengthens the skin, hair, nails, it adds the elasticity with its collagen fibres, it helps with alopecia and removes dandruff.

And that is not all. Horsetail is a veritable goldmine. Literally so, as plants absorb useful substances from the soil, including metals. This plant can accumulate more gold than any other. One tonne of fresh horsetail is reputed to give around one kilo of gold. The start of the 20th century saw the emergence of a new branch of mining – herbal plant mining which uses special techniques to extract precious metals from plants.

Horsetail is unique and exceptional, but it should be used with caution. It should not be taken excessively and is best used in professionally-prepared products. There are some varieties of horsetail which are toxic and therefore its harvesting should be left to professionals. Horsetail infusion should be consumed strictly in accordance with instructions. Pregnant and breast-feeding women should not use it. Also, as it is a diuretic, a lot of water should be drunk with it.

Horsetail is an ingredient in several Herba Svet products: in Equigal, it stimulates the expulsion of accumulated fluid from the body and removes cellulite. In Hipoprostat it protects the prostate and aids urination; in Nefrovit, it protects the entire urinary tract, prevents infections, formation of stones and their expulsion; in Leocardin, it flushes out excess fluid and improves heart rate in cardiac insufficiency. This wild plant brings the biggest treasure, that of non-materialistic kind: health.

What Is Free And Rudderless that Cannot Be Found in Shops?

Dandelion. It grows everywhere, its seed is carried by the wind, it cannot be domesticated, it has a will of its own and it cannot be found in shops. But it is all over the place, all around us. We walk on it, we pick it, we blow its over-ripe flowers and watch as its feathery seeds hover in the air in front of our eyes. In the spring it is among the first plants to flower, breaking through the gloom of winter. When we have something in abundance, we are usually unaware of its value. Do we really know how beneficial to our health dandelion is?

Ancient nations have been well aware of it; oldest records about dandelion date back to the 10th century manuscripts of Arabic doctors. All parts of taraxacum oficinale Weber, a plant in the family of Asteraceae, are edible, it is very healthy and has therapeutic properties. Dandelion contains vitamins: K, A, B6, C, riboflavin and thiamine, folic acid; minerals: iron, potassium, calcium, manganese, copper, zinc and magnesium. Since time immemorial it has been used for stomach issues and numerous studies have proven its positive effect on the urinary tract, bile and the liver.

Dandelion has a diuretic effect, it stimulates bile secretion, cleanses toxins from the liver, but also helps with allergies, soothes inflammations, joint and muscle pain, raises energy levels, lowers cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Since it regulates digestion, prevents constipation and boosts metabolism, it is also good for weight loss; as it has antibacterial properties, it helps with skin infections and acne. Even if we do not suffer from any of these problems, dandelion can strengthen our immunity and improve the general condition of the body.

Dandelion root has been used for centuries in China to cure certain types of cancer, and the latest research conducted in 2011 at the University of Windsor in Canada proved its ability to selectively destroy malignant melanoma cells without damaging healthy cells. Studies were also done on pancreatic and liver cancers, and dandelion proved equally effective. Its powerful ingredient is luteolin, a flavonoid with extremely strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumour effects.

Dandelion root is dug out in the spring or autumn in fields away from city pollution; the best time to dig it is immediately after it flowers. It can be used fresh or dried; a herbal infusion can be made from it. It can also be baked, ground and used to make a drink as a substitute for coffee. Dandelion flowers can be used to make a syrup which improves digestion, soothes coughs and strengthens the whole body. Dandelion leaf, which is richer in useful ingredients than spinach, is best picked in the spring, and is delicious served as a salad with a bit of olive oil and lemon juice.

The dandelion root extract can be found in three Herba Svet products: Nefrovit, Hipoprostat and Disan. In Nefrovit, it is effective in combating urinary problems, it has a diuretic effect; in Hipoprostat, it helps soothe symptoms of infections and an enlarged prostate; in Disan it calms coughs. Dandelion is accessible to us everywhere, but in its best form it can be found in Herba Svet products.