Nettle, also called stinging nettle, is a perennial herb with a natural range that includes North America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa. Although the herb can easily become an invasive weed and has a reputation for delivering a “sting” when brushed against, its chemical composition makes it a wonderful companion plant and natural fertilizer due to its nitrogen content.
It has also been a food crop for centuries and is still consumed as a steamed or puréed vegetable. Powdered dried nettle leaf adds a spinach-like flavor to foods, such as stews, soups, and egg, cheese, and rice dishes.
The herb is also a nutritional ally for people. Nettle is abundant in fiber, protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamins A and K. The herb also contains soy isoflavones that, like the prescription medication finasteride, inhibit 5 alpha-reductase types 2, an enzyme that contributes to male pattern balding.
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