Stinging Nettle Urtica dioica

Urtica dioica
  • Common Names
  • Stinging Nettle , Nettle, Common Nettle
  • Botanical Name
  • Urtica dioica
  • Family

Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Stinging Nettle

remedyHow to Use| Side Effects | Plant & Garden| Folklore

How to Use: Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettles are a potent herb with a long history of use. Nettle is one of natures best nutraceuticals, containing protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, beta-carotene, along with vitamins A,C, D, and B complex, all in a form that is easy for the body to use.

The stinging comes from the presence on the bristles of histamine that delivers a stinging burn when the hairs on the leaves and stems are touched. Stinging nettle contains natural antihistamines and anti-inflammatories (including quercetin), that open up constricted bronchial and nasal passages, helping to ease hay fever, and nose & sinus type allergy symptoms.1

Extracts of nettle roots are reliable diuretics that encourage excretion of uric acid, but simultaneously discourage nighttime bathroom urges, making this remarkable plant useful for such disparate problems as gout, and the overnight incontinence of benign prostate enlargement and weak and irritated bladder. Frequent use of nettle leaf tea, a cup or more daily, rapidly relieves and helps prevent water retention. Nettle is a superb nourisher of the kidneys and adrenals.

Stinging nettle is an almost ideal herb for those with all types of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. The anti-inflammatory substances combined with the rich concentration of the minerals boron, calcium and silicon ease the pain while helping to build strong bones. Drink stinging nettle in teas to reap the most benefits for osteoporosis and the bone loss that is often associated with arthritis. A cup of nettle herbal tea delivers as much calcium and boron, important herbs for bone health, as a whole cup of tincture would.3 While non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID) is necessary evil for most with arthritis, using nettle may help you to decrease the amount you need to take. In a scientific study of patients with acute arthritis, stewed stinging nettle leaves enhanced the anti-inflammatory effects of common arthritis medications. One reason may be that nettles contain large amounts of magnesium which helps to moderate pain response.

Stinging Nettles use a tonic of the female system goes back to the Native American women who used it throughout pregnancy and as a remedy to stop hemorrhaging during childbirth. It is considered one of the best all round women's tonics. Nettles are a good general tonic of the female reproductive system, excellent for young women just starting their monthly cycle, as well as women entering menopause. Stinging nettle helps to keep testosterone circulating freely and keep you feeling sexually vital, and has been shown effective in treatment of BPH in clinical trials when combined with saw palmetto 4 and for male pattern baldness when combines with saw palmetto and Pygeum 5 Stinging nettle also acts as a tonic to the female system making it a herb that couples can share.2

Preparation Methods & Dosage :If you grow nettles, or live in an area where they can be wildcrafted try the fresh young spring plants cooked until tender and seasoned with just a little butter. The leaves can be used raw and applied directly to the rheumatic pain area, they increase circulation and draw out pain. While most people avoid the stinging part of the nettle, those with arthritic hands deliberately prick there hands to calm inflammation and pain. Use the dried leaf in teas or sprinkled it onto food like parsley. Stinging nettle makes an almost iridescent emerald green tea that is very nutritious, mild and slightly grassy.

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Stinging Nettle Remedies

Stinging Nettle Side Effects: The sting of the nettle can cause a rash in some people. It is a strange fact that the juice of the nettle can provide relief for its own sting. It can also be relieved by rubbing leaves of rosemary, mint or sage.

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Plant Description

Nettles, despite their perfect adaptation to North America, are not native but where brought over from England by John Josselyn. This hardy plant can be seen on nature walks throughout temperate regions throughout the world and presents a pretty and delicate array of greenish-white flowers, and of course the bristles and hairs that put the 'sting' into stinging nettles.

books citedWorks Cited
  1. Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook(2000)
  2. Meletis, Chris D. "Better Sex Naturally:Herbs and Other Natural Supplements That Can Jumpstart Your Sex Life", Robson Books Ltd (2000)
  3. Weed, Susun. "New Menopausal Years", The Wise Woman Way, (2002)
  4. Saw Palmetto, Nettles, and Pygeum for Male Pattern Baldness American Botanical Council
    Although the safety and efficacy of an herb or phytomedicinal product cannot be determined by the results of only one clinical trial, in the case of the saw palmetto and nettle root preparation, the combination of the literature on each ingredient, plus recent trials and the new trial on the combined formulation, demonstrate that this phytomedicine is both safe and effective for treating many symptoms of BPH.
  5. Long-Term Use of Saw Palmetto and Nettle Root Combination Shown Effective for BPH in Clinical Trial American Botanical Council
    increasing evidence of the link between male pattern hair loss and elevated levels of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, which converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It refers to reports of increased scalp levels of DHT in men with male pattern hair loss, and notes that elevations in 5-alpha-reductase have also been linked to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)