You're probably aware of the old wives' tale that if you get stung by a nettle, rubbing a dock leaf on the area of skin will soothe the itching and cool it down. It often works, but nettles are certainly something that we tend to view in a negative light.
At Heyland & Whittle, nettle leaves are actually one of the natural colourings that we use in our handmade soap bars. Not only do they help to provide the soap with a gorgeous green colour, but they also have a few benefits for your skin that you might not know about.
Nettle leaves are used to naturally dye our Seaweed Soap Bar and our Tea Tree Soap Bar, which are both a lovely shade of green and are packed with nourishing properties. But what exactly does the nettle add apart from the colour?
Both of these H&W soap bars are incredibly moisturising, making them ideal if you have dry skin. However, if your skin's a little oily, using a soap that contains nettle leaf extract can be very beneficial, as it's believed to help clear up acne and leave your skin feeling less oily.
If you've tried tablets from the pharmacist or chemical-laden beauty products to treat your bad skin in the past, give a nettle-based soap a go and see if you notice the difference so many past acne sufferers have experienced.
Some people swear by nettle leaf tea to get similar results. The taste of nettle is reminiscent of green vegetables like spinach and broccoli, so if you don't mind the taste, try drinking a cup every day. If it's not your cup of tea - please forgive the pun - stick with nettle-based beauty products instead.
Good for arthritis sufferers
Nettles might traditionally be associated with causing pain and stinging, but they can in fact soothe it too. Natural nettle oil has been shown to reduce some of the pain and inflammation suffered by people diagnosed with arthritis.
It's recommended that you massage nettle oil over sore joints to relieve pain, so washing yourself daily with one of our soaps that's packed with natural ingredients and a little nettle should lead to similar results over the long term.
A natural antihistamine
It is also believed that nettle leaves are a natural antihistamine. Studies have shown that they can help to calm minor allergic reactions, so our Seaweed and Tea Tree soap bars could be soothing for your skin if you suffer from eczema or hives.