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The common nettle comes by its other name, stinging nettle. The innocuous plant, a perennial that grows in many parts of the world and that has been naturalized to Brazil, delivers a stinging burn when the hairs on the leaves and stems are touched.
Its healing properties are as well known among various cultures and are part of folklore and tradition. Those healing powers are even alluded to in at least one fairytale, The Swan Princess, in which the heroine must weave shirts of nettle leaf to cure her twelve brothers who have been turned into swans by an evil stepmother.
It is important to keep in mind that the medicinal effects of the leaf and root of the nettle are markedly different.
The leaf shows some promise as an effective treatment for many skin conditions.
Nettle leaf has been used as a hair and scalp treatment for centuries, and again, those uses are being supported by research as well. Nettle leaf extract seems to promote hair regrowth and thicken hair, as well as reducing dandruff and scalp conditions when used as a rinse.