Nettle, (Urtica dioica), is a flowering plant belonging to the Urticaceae family. It is commonly referred to as stinging nettle due to the fine hairs on its leaves and stems that release irritating chemicals when touched, causing a stinging sensation and skin irritation. Despite its prickly nature, nettle has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties and as a food source.

Active Ingredients in Nettle

The leaves, stems, and roots of nettle are rich in nutrients, including; vitamins (such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K), minerals (such as; iron, calcium and magnesium) and antioxidants.

Health Benefits of Nettle

Nettle has been used for centuries to treat allergy symptoms, particularly hayfever, which is the most common allergy problem. The whole plant, which is mostly leaves, contains biologically active compounds that reduce inflammation. Nettle Roots are used medically too.

Nettle has various traditional uses and potential health benefits, including:

Anti-inflammatory properties: Nettle has been traditionally used to alleviate inflammation associated with conditions like arthritis and allergies.

Allergy relief: Nettle can help to alleviate symptoms of seasonal allergies, such as sneezing, itching and congestion.

Diuretic effects: Nettle can act as a diuretic, promoting urine production and helping to alleviate fluid retention.

Support for prostate health: Nettle root extract can be used to support prostate health and alleviate symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Nutritional support: Nettle is a nutrient-dense plant, providing essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that support overall health and well-being.

How Nettle Reduces Allergy Symptoms

Dr. Andrew Wiel M.D. author of Natural Health/ Natural Medicine says he knows of nothing more effective than nettle for allergy relief, and his statement is backed up by studies at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon.

Nettle’s aerial parts may reduce the amount of histamine that is produced by the body in response to an allergen. An allergen is a substance such as pollen that may provoke an exaggerated immune response in individuals who are sensitive to it. Through this potential action, the aerial parts of nettle may help to reduce allergy symptoms.

Decongestants, antihistamines, allergy shots and even prescription medications such as Allegra and Claritin treat only the symptoms of allergies and tend to lose effectiveness over a period of time. They can also cause drowsiness, dry sinuses, insomnia and high blood pressure. Nettle has none of these side effects and can be used on a regular basis.

Healing Properties of Nettle Leaf

Nettle has been studied extensively and has shown promise in treating Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, asthma, bladder infections, bronchitis, bursitis, gingivitis, gout, hives, kidney stones, laryngitis, multiple sclerosis, PMS, prostate enlargement, sciatica and tendonitis.

Externally it has been used to improve the appearance of the hair, and is said to be a remedy against oily hair and dandruff.

Nettle Use in Germany

In Germany today, stinging nettles are sold as a herbal supplement for prostate diseases, and as a diuretic. It is a common ingredient in other herbal supplements produced in Germany for rheumatic complaints and inflammatory conditions, especially for the lower urinary tract and prostate.

Nettle Use in the United States of America

In the United States, many remarkable healing properties are attributed to nettle and the leaf is utilized for different problems than the root. The leaf is used as a diuretic, for arthritis, prostatitis, rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure and allergic rhinitis.

The root is recommended as a diuretic, for relief of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and other prostate problems, and as a natural remedy to treat or prevent baldness.

An infusion of the plant is very valuable in stemming internal bleeding. It is also used to treat anaemia, excessive menstruation, hemorrhoids, arthritis, rheumatism and skin complaints, especially eczema.

Externally, the plant is used to treat skin complaints, arthritic pain, gout, sciatica, neuralgia, hemorrhoids and hair problems.

Nettle Reduces Arthritis Pain

Taken orally, products made from nettle’s aerial parts may interfere with the body’s production of prostaglandins and other inflammation-causing chemicals. Consequently, nettle may have an anti-inflammatory effect. It may also enhance responses of the immune system.

Chemicals in nettle’s aerial parts are also thought to reduce the feeling of pain or interfere with the way that nerves send pain signals. All of these effects may reduce the pain and stiffness of arthritis and other similar conditions. A solution of the extract may be applied to the skin to relieve joint pain and muscle aches.

Nettle Relieves Skin Irritation & Dandruff

Astringent properties of nettle aerial parts may help to lessen the swelling of hemorrhoids and to stop bleeding from minor skin injuries, such as razor nicks. Astringents shrink and tighten the top layers of skin or mucous membranes, thereby reducing secretions, relieving irritation and improving tissue firmness.

Nettle may also be used topically for both dandruff, and for overly oily hair and scalp.

How to Take Nettle

Nettle can be consumed in various forms, including as a tea, cooked greens or in supplement form. However, it’s essential to handle fresh nettle with care to avoid skin irritation from its stinging hairs.

Nettle should be used for a minimum of 30 days for full effects.

Always take care when taking herbs and Read Our Disclaimer.

Nettle Herb Notes / Side Effects

Nettle may lower blood pressure and heart rate. It may also lower blood sugar. Whilst this may be beneficial, if you are on a set dosage of diabetic medication you may find your blood sugar ends up too low with the combined effect of both your medication AND nettle lowering blood sugar.

Additionally, pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult with a healthcare professional before using nettle supplements.

Latin Names

Uritca dioica, Urtica galeopsifolia

Common Names

Nettle, Big String Nettle, Common Nettle, Stinging Nettle, Gerrais, Isirgan, Kazink, Nabat Al Nar, Ortiga, Grande Ortie, Ortie, Urtiga, Chichicaste, Brennessel, Gross dOrtie, Racine dOrtie, Grote Brandnetel, Ortiga Mayor, Devils Leaf

Properties of Nettle

Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, anti-anaphylactic,anti-rheumatic, anti-asthmatic, anti-convulsant, anti-dandruff, anti-histamine, astringent, decongestant, depurative, diuretic, hemostatic, hypoglycemic, hypotensive, galactagogue, immunomodulator, prostate tonic, stimulating tonic.

Nettle is Indicated for:

Seasonal allergies, arthritis, bronchitis, bursitis, gingivitis, laryngitis, prostatitis, enlarged prostate, rhinitis, sinusitis, tendinitis, BPH, rheumatism and other inflammatory conditions, high blood pressure, hair loss, anaemia, excessive menstruation, hemorrhoids, eczema, gout, sciatica, neuralgia, hemorrhoids, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, bladder infections, hives, kidney stones, multiple sclerosis, PMS, prostate enlargement, sciatica.

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