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Stinging nettle (urtica dioica) is a plant with pointed leaves and white to yellowish flowers. The root and above ground parts are utilized for diabetes.

The stinging nettle plant is typically 2-4 meters high. It contains ingredients that may decrease swelling and increase urination. The leaves are sometimes eaten as a prepared vegetable.

Stinging nettle is most typically utilized for diabetes and osteoarthritis. It is likewise in some cases utilized for urinary tract infections (utis), kidney stones, bigger prostate, hay fever, and other conditions, but there is no good clinical proof to support these usages.

Do not puzzle stinging nettle (urtica dioica) with white dead nettle (lamium album). [2]

History of nettle

Nettle usage has actually been recorded as far back as the bronze age (3000 bce– 1200 bce), and it is still used in herbalism today. Between 58 and 45 bce, there are records of nettle’s stinging residential or commercial properties helping julius caesar’s troops in helping them stay awake and alert throughout the night. Aside from its use in herbal supplements, nettle has actually also been commonly used as a fabric. Similar to textiles made from flax, nettle can be made into various textures, from smooth to coarse. Nettle material also has the ability to be colored or bleached like cotton. It was a typical household fabric in scottish families during the 16th and 17th centuries. And throughout the first and second world wars, nettle fiber was utilized as a substitute for cotton yarns, when this product was unavailable. Because of its strong and strong fibers, nettle would be a fantastic ally if you were ever stranded in a forest, as it can be used to make natural cordage. This natural rope might then be utilized to help construct a shelter, start a fire, style clothing, make tools, and more, making it the perfect plant to have around in a survival situation. [3]


This common hedgerow seasonal grows to above 1.5 m and has extensive creeping rooting stolons. The leaves are pointed with toothed edges. The stem is square in cross section and covered with stinging hairs. The tiny green male and female flowers are borne in tassels by different plants.

Key functions

Young plant: it has longer and more triangular very first true leaves than annual nettle.

Plant: it is high and upright, with leaves larger than those of small nettle. The leaves and stem are covered in stinging hairs.


Common nettle may be confused with small nettle, nevertheless it has shorter cotyledons than little nettle and the very first real leaves of common nettle are longer and more triangular. [4]


Urtica dioica is considered to be belonging to europe, much of temperate asia and western north africa. It is plentiful in northern europe and much of asia, typically discovered in the countryside. It is less prevalent in southern europe and north africa, where it is restricted by its need for damp soil, however is still typical. It has been introduced to many other parts of the world. In north america, it is extensively dispersed in canada and the united states, where it is discovered in every province and state except for hawaii, and likewise can be found in northern most mexico. It grows in abundance in the pacific northwest, particularly in places where annual rains is high. The european subspecies has actually been introduced into australia, the United States and Canada and south america.

In europe, nettles have a strong association with human habitation and buildings. The presence of nettles may indicate the site of a long-abandoned building, and can likewise indicate soil fertility. Human and animal waste might be accountable for raised levels of phosphate and nitrogen in the soil, supplying an ideal environment for nettles. [5]

Physiology and phenology

Pollard and briggs (1984b) explored the structure and function of the stinging hairs of u. Dioica subsp. Dioica. When brushing contact is made with a hair the inflamed pointer is broken off obliquely along a basically established fracture line, leaving a sharp point (” looking like the beveled tip of a hypodermic needle”). This point permeates the skin and the subsequent pressure squeezes the base of the stinging cell which hence actively injects the toxin included within it. Pollard and briggs (1984b) explain that regardless of a good deal of biochemical and medicinal research study over the past 100 years, the exact nature of the toxin is not fully comprehended, although it is understood to contain serotonin and acetylcholine (connor, 1977).

Dioica is a long-day plant and may need approximately 16 hours daylength for blooming (bond et al., 2007). Blooming (in britain) takes place from late might to early august and practical seed is shed or might remain on the dead stems till december or january. According to the kew seed info database (2015 ), tested seeds sprouted easily after stratification at 5oc or 6oc for 8 weeks before being moved to alternating temperature levels of 25/10oc, 8/16oc, 33/19oc or 12/12oc. The seeds of north american plants of u. Dioica subsp. Gracilis apparently need no vernalization and fresh seed will sprout in 5 to 10 days.

With regard to plant advancement, new rhizomes are produced in late summer or autumn either from old root product or from the base of aerial shoots (greig-smith, 1948). They continue to grow at or just beneath the soil surface up until the death of the aerial shoots when they turn upwards to form new shoots. Young rhizomes are reddish in colour and have stinging hairs and scale leaves. Older roots and roots have a yellow corky layer and so appear yellow in colour. The roots branch a lot and form many fine laterals.

Greig-smith (1948) states that new aerial shoots of u. Dioica continue development till about 15 cm tall and after that endure the winter (in britain), resuming development the following spring. Flowering starts in late may or june. In canada, according to bassett et al. (1977 ), the north american subspecies is eliminated back to ground level by frost each year however its rhizomes make it through and sprout once again in spring.

Taylor (2009) points out work by grime and hunt (1975) in stating that although u. Dioica has a little seed mass its competitive strategy involves an incredibly high relative growth rate, which coincides with high stature, comprehensive lateral spread and the propensity to build up leaf litter, characteristics that assist in the exclusive profession of fertile websites.

Wheeler (1981 ), mentioned in taylor (2009 ), compared the development of forest and pasture clones of u. Dioica subsp. Dioica at different light levels. Plants shaded by deciduous forest grew better in their light program of 37.3% of direct occurrence light from november to april and of 23.8% from might to october than did pasture clones in 84.3% of direct incident light in regard of height, internode length and shoot dry mass. However the pasture clones produced 82% more seeds than the forest ones. When plants were grown in pots at 25%, 35%, 67% and 100% (full greenhouse light) irradiance, there was no considerable distinction in between total dry mass of plants.

Taylor (2009) reported that plants wilted under really dry conditions, but they may have the ability to ‘solidify’ to dry spell to some extent. The same author says that the plant can not withstand flooding of its roots and roots for long periods. Greig-smith (1948) observed that the shoot pointers are not affected by spring frosts but might pass away back after early fall frosts. U. Dioica does not continue saline locations (bassett et al. (1977 ). [6]


Stinging nettle, or urtica dioica, is a typical plant that grows in the united states, canada, and europe. It primarily grows in wet, fertile soil.

However, people may describe lots of plants in the urtica household as stinging nettle. These include:.

  1. Urtica galeopsifolia: this has no stinging hairs, and individuals often describe it as the stingless nettle.
  2. Urtica gansuensis: this kind of nettle has stinging hairs and is local to eastern asia.
  3. Urtica gracilis: individuals may refer to this as the american stinging nettle.
  4. Urtica afghanica: this might have stinging hairs or are hairless, and it is belonging to main and southwestern asia. [7]

Advantages of nettle

Here are 6 evidence-based advantages of stinging nettle.

Includes many nutrients

Stinging nettle’s leaves and root offer a variety of nutrients, consisting of:.

What’s more, many of these nutrients serve as antioxidants inside your body.

Antioxidants are particles that help defend your cells against damage from complimentary radicals. Damage brought on by free radicals is connected to aging, along with cancer and other hazardous diseases.

Studies show that stinging nettle extract can raise blood antioxidant levels.


Stinging nettle provides a range of vitamins, minerals, fats, amino acids, polyphenols and pigments many of which also function as anti-oxidants inside your body.

May decrease inflammation

Swelling is your body’s way of recovery itself and battling infections. Nevertheless, chronic inflammation can cause significant harm. Stinging nettle harbors a variety of compounds that may reduce swelling.

In animal and test-tube studies, stinging nettle reduced levels of multiple inflammatory hormonal agents by disrupting their production.

In human studies, applying a stinging nettle cream or consuming stinging nettle items appears to alleviate inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis.

For instance, in one 27-person study, using a stinging nettle cream onto arthritis-affected locations substantially minimized discomfort, compared to a placebo treatment.

In another research study, taking a supplement which contained stinging nettle extract substantially reduced arthritis pain. Furthermore, individuals felt they could decrease their dosage of anti-inflammatory pain relievers because of this pill.

That said, research is insufficient to suggest stinging nettle as an anti-inflammatory treatment. More human studies are required.


Stinging nettle may assist reduce inflammation, which in turn might assist inflammatory.

Conditions, consisting of arthritis, however more research is needed.

May deal with enlarged prostate symptoms

Up to 50% of guys aged 51 and older have a bigger prostate gland.

A bigger prostate is frequently called benign prostatic hyperplasia (bph). Scientists aren’t sure what triggers bph, however it can cause substantial discomfort during urination.

Interestingly, a few studies suggest that stinging nettle may assist treat bph.

Animal research study reveals that this powerful plant may avoid the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone– a more effective kind of testosterone.

Stopping this conversion can help in reducing prostate size.

Studies in individuals with bph demonstrate that stinging nettle extracts help deal with short- and long-term urination problems– without adverse effects.

However, it’s unclear how reliable stinging nettle is compared to standard treatments.


Stinging nettle may help in reducing prostate size and deal with signs of an enlarged prostate gland in men with bph.

May deal with hay fever

Hay fever is an allergy that involves swelling in the lining of your nose. Stinging nettle is deemed an appealing natural treatment for hay fever.

Test-tube research study shows that stinging nettle extracts can hinder inflammation that can activate seasonal allergies.

This consists of blocking histamine receptors and stopping immune cells from launching chemicals that set off allergy symptoms.

However, human studies note that stinging nettle is equal to or only somewhat better at treating hay fever than a placebo.

While this plant might show a promising natural remedy for hay fever signs, more long-term human research studies are needed.


Stinging nettle may lower hay fever symptoms. Yet, some research study suggests that it might not be a lot more efficient than a placebo. More research studies are needed on stinging nettle’s results on hay fever.

May lower blood pressure

Around one in three american adults has high blood pressure.

Hypertension is a serious health issue since it puts you at risk of heart problem and strokes, which are amongst the leading causes of death worldwide. Stinging nettle was traditionally utilized to deal with hypertension. Animal and test-tube research studies illustrate that it might assist lower blood pressure in numerous methods.

For one, it may promote nitric oxide production, which serves as a vasodilator. Vasodilators relax the muscles of your blood vessels, helping them widen.

In addition, stinging nettle has substances that may serve as calcium channel blockers, which relax your heart by reducing the force of contractions.

In animal studies, stinging nettle has actually been revealed to lower blood pressure levels while raising the heart’s antioxidant defenses.

Nevertheless, stinging nettle’s effects on high blood pressure in humans are still unclear. Additional human studies are needed before suggestions can be made.


Stinging nettle might assist lower blood pressure by permitting your capillary to unwind and reducing the force of your heart’s contractions. Yet, more human studies are required to verify these results.

May help blood sugar level control

Both human and animal studies connect stinging nettle to lower blood sugar levels.

In fact, this plant includes substances that may imitate the results of insulin.

In a three-month research study in 46 people, taking 500 mg of stinging nettle extract three times everyday considerably decreased blood sugar level levels compared to a placebo.

Regardless of promising findings, there are still far too few human research studies on stinging nettle and blood sugar control. More research is essential.


While stinging nettle may help lower blood sugar levels, more human research studies are crucial before recommendations can be made.

Other prospective benefits

Stinging nettle might provide other potential health advantages, including:.

Decreased bleeding: medications consisting of stinging nettle extract have been discovered to lower excessive.

Bleeding, especially after surgical treatment.

Liver health: nettle’s antioxidant residential or commercial properties might protect your liver against damage by contaminants, heavy.

Metals and inflammation.

Natural diuretic: this plant may assist your body shed excess salt and water, which in turn could lower blood pressure temporarily. Bear in mind that these findings are from animal studies.

Wound and burn healing: using stinging nettle creams might support injury healing, including burn injuries.


Stinging nettle’s other potential health benefits consist of reduced bleeding, improved liver health and injury healing. [8]

How to use?

Nettle are great as tea, in soup as a fresh vegetable like spinach, as a pot herb, as a veggie compliment to dishes and while some nutrition material is lost with cooking there is still an excellent level left– don’t over-cook though, as most vegetable nutrients are reduced by long cooking durations. The dried item can be contributed to flour in bread, pasta, and noodle dough as a protein-rich supplement for vegans and vegetarians. In the spring i frequently choose a good sized handful of fresh tops of nettles and include a pint of boiling water and just let the leaves remain in the infusion water. Take the beverage warm or cold with a slice of lemon and to fizzle it up utilize a 1/3 of a glass of the infused water with a sparkling mineral water and either a little lemon juice or a slice of lemon or lime and some ice.

Nettle tea can be bought in a lot of food stores and health shops however if you have a fresh source this will be the most delightful and healthful. [9]

How to brew nettle tea?

Just add water to your collected nettle leaves and heat to a near boil. Use about 2 cups of water for a cup of leaves; there’s no need to determine. You can make the tea stronger by steeping longer, or weaker by adding more water. Once the water is near boiling, reduce heat and simmer for a couple minutes. Pour through a small strainer and the tea is ready to drink. Some people choose a small bit of sugar contributed to the tea, however i find the taste is just fine with no additives.

The prepared leaves can likewise be consumed with a little bit of butter melted over top, or they can be added to soups and stews. If you are going to eat the leaves, taste a small bit very first to be sure the sting has left.

A word of care

Any brand-new compound must be introduced slowly to your body. A cup or 2 of nettle tea daily is sufficient to delight in the advantages which nettles deal. Those new to nettles must start with small amounts.

If you will be bringing children along while harvesting nettles, which is an excellent learning experience for them, be sure to take sufficient preventative measures to keep them from being stung by the leaves. Long clothing and gloves need to be used at all times when handling nettles. Once they are prepared or brewed into tea, they lose their sting.

So if you’re wanting to shake the winter blahs and reinvigorate yourself for spring, a simple corrective elixir might be as close as a nearby weed patch. And considering that nettles grow in the very same location year after year, it just takes one discovery to bring you an all set supply of nature’s miracle tonic for spring. [10]

Nettle soup

Active ingredients

  • 1/2 big shopping bag of fresh nettle tops
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon additional virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/2 cup sliced shallots
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1 pound yukon gold or russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 to 2 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or a couple sprigs of fresh thyme)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream


Blanch the nettles:

Bring a large pot of gently salted water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Using protective gloves, transfer the nettle tops into the boiling water. Blanch for 2 minutes.

Use tongs to lift the wilted blanched nettles out of the pot and transfer to the bowl of ice water to surprise them. Strain in a colander.

Cut away and discard any large originates from the nettles. (this must be much easier to do now that the nettle stingers have lost their sting due to the blanching.).

You should have 3 to 4 cups of blanched tender nettle tops and leaves for this recipe. Any blanched nettles not utilized at this moment can be frozen for future use.

Sauté the shallots and celery:

In a 6-quart soup pot, heat the olive oil and butter on medium heat. Include the sliced shallots and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Include the potatoes, stock, bay leaf, and thyme:

Add the sliced potatoes, the chicken stock, bay leaf, and thyme. If using saltless or low sodium stock, include one teaspoon of salt. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes.

Chop the blanched nettles, add to the soup pot, and simmer

Approximately chop the blanched nettles. Add 3 to 4 cups of the sliced blanched nettles to the pot. Include enough water to simply cover the nettles and potatoes, 1 to 2 cups. Return to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes or up until the potatoes are soft and the nettles tender.

Purée the soup:

Eliminate the bay leaves (and thyme sprigs if utilizing) from the pot. Using an immersion mixer or operating in batches with a standing mixer, purée. Go back to the pot and take off the heat.

Change the spices and serve:

Add salt to taste. Depending on the saltiness of the stock you are using, you might need to add a minimum of a teaspoon or more to the soup. Include 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Add lemon juice. Right prior to serving, swirl in the cream. Change spices to taste. Sprinkle with black pepper and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint to serve. [11]

Nettle pasta

You can use any of your favorite pasta dishes and integrate the nettle.


  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 or 3 big handfuls of fresh nettle tops (collected from plants no greater than 18″ tall and only taking the leading 6″)
  • 2-3 eggs


  1. Bring nettle and water to a boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Stress nettles, keeping the water– you’ll utilize that water to boil your pasta in later.
  3. Puree nettles and the eggs utilizing immersion mixer.
  4. Make a well out of the flour in a blending bowl and add the nettles and eggs mix. Mix thoroughly till you have a smooth dough ball. (you might require to add additional flour if the mixture is wet or the retained nettle water if the mixture is dry.)
  5. Put the ball of dough in a bowl and let it mean 15 minutes.
  6. Roll out about 1/3 of the dough at a time into a ball.
  7. Cover the ball of dough with moist towel and let reserve for 10-15 minutes.
  8. Roll 1/3 of the dough at a time on a floured surface area as thin as you would like– can be extremely thin or thicker if you like thick noodles.
  9. Cut into any length strip– as long or short as you want, or in squares if you wish to make ravioli. Hang them, if possible, for about 10 minutes. We have a pasta wall mount, however you can utilize a tidy plastic wall mount.
  10. Bring the conserved nettle water to a boil once again and position your green noodles into the boiling water. Cook for 3– 8 minutes depending upon the density. Inspect them for doneness. [12]

Nettle syrup recipe for a healthy glow

This fortifying syrup nourishes the blood, skin, and hair. It is excellent to utilize throughout times of tension, after menstruation or an extended illness, while breastfeeding, or whenever the body requires an additional increase (for a ready-made version, try the strong lady syrup offered in our shop). Speak with your doctor about this formula if you have excess iron shops, liver or kidney illness, coagulation issues, if you take blood-thinners, or if you are pregnant.

Active ingredients

  • 1 pound. Fresh nettle tops (or 4 oz. Dry)
  • 2 oz. Dried dang gui root
  • 2 oz. Dried milky oat tops (or 1/4 lb. Fresh)
  • 2 oz. Dried burdock root (or 1/4 lb. Fresh, roughly 1 big root)
  • 1 oz. Dried horsetail (or 2 oz. Fresh)
  • 2 oz. Prunes and/or raisins
  • 1 gallon (4 l) water
  • 1 cup blackstrap molasses
  • ( optional) ~ 2 tbsp. Citric acid


  1. Combine herbs, dried fruit, and water in a non-reactive (stainless steel or ceramic-lined) pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Lower heat and simmer on low heat a minimum of 2 hours, or until water level has actually dropped to about half.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool. Pressure out herbs, pushing through cheesecloth to catch all the liquid.
  4. While liquid is still warm (not hot), include molasses and stir till dissolved.
  5. Transfer to glass jar and store in fridge for approximately 1 month.
  6. ( optional): to extend service life, add a tablespoon per quart of citric acid, or preserve with alcohol. To do this, measure final syrup volume and include 50% of that volume of your favorite basic abv alcohol (brandy or vodka works well), to produce a syrup that is 20% pure ethanol by volume. For instance, if steps 1-4 led to 2 liters of syrup, you would need to add 1 liter of 40-proof alcohol to approach a 20% alcohol syrup. [13]

Nettle side effects

Get emergency situation medical assistance if you have any of these signs of an allergy: hives; hard breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Although not all adverse effects are known, nettle is believed to be possibly safe when considered a short amount of time (no longer than 6 months).

Typical negative effects of nettle might include:.

  • Sweating;
  • Skin irritation; or
  • Stomach discomfort. [14]

How to take?

120mg of stinging nettle (root) taken 3 times a day (amounting to 360mg) is connected with advantage in benign prostate hyperplasia.

For allergic reactions, the studied dosage is 300 mg two times a day of freeze-dried nettle leaf.

The proof is better for nettle root and prostatic augmentation than for nettle leaf and allergies. [15]

Possible interactions

Antiplatelet and anticoagulant drugs (blood thinners)

Stinging nettle might impact the blood’s capability to clot, and could disrupt blood-thinning drugs, including:.

  • Warfarin (coumadin)
  • Clopidogrel (plavix)
  • Aspirin

Drugs for high blood pressure

Stinging nettle might decrease blood pressure, so it might strengthen the effects of these drugs:.

  • Ace inhibitors: captopril (capoten), elaropril (vasotec), lisinopril (zestril), fosinopril (monopril)
  • Beta-blockers: atenolol (tenormin), metoprolol (lopressor, toprol xl), propranolol (induran)
  • Calcium channel blockers: nifedipine (procardia), amlodipine (norvasc), verapamil (calan, isoptin)

Diuretics (water tablets)

Due to the fact that stinging nettle can function as a diuretic, it can increase the results of these drugs, raising the threat of dehydration:.

  • Furosemide (lasix)
  • Hydrocholorothiazide

Drugs for diabetes

Stinging nettle may reduce blood sugar level, so it could reinforce the effects of these drugs, raising the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood glucose).


Stinging nettle may have a diuretic impact and might reduce the body’s ability to remove this drug.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

In a scientific study of clients with acute arthritis, stewed stinging nettle leaves improved the anti-inflammatory effect of diclofenac, an nsaid. Although this result can reduce discomfort, speak with your medical professional before taking or using stinging nettle if you also take nsaids. [16]

What are warnings and preventative measures for nettle?


This medication includes nettle. Do not take stinging nettle or urtica dioica if you are allergic to nettle or any components contained in this drug.

Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical aid or contact a toxin nerve center immediately.


Diabetes, impaired heart or kidney function. [17]


Nettle (urtica dioica l.) is herbaceous perennial that has been utilized for centuries in folk medicine. More just recently, nettle extracts have likewise been utilized in cosmetics because of the many advantages of their topical application for skin health. Their prospective anti-aging action is of particular interest and is primarily credited their antioxidant capacity. Here, using a speculative design technique and a clustering analysis, we linked the phytochemical composition of nettle extracts to their biological activities. This approach validated the antioxidant capability of nettle extracts along with offering the first evidence of another system for their anti-aging potential including the inhibition of enzyme activities, such as elastase and collagenase. We associated these inhibitory effects to ursolic acid and quercetin present in the nettle extracts. Our outcomes also demonstrated the possibility of extracting ursolic acid, quercetin and other phenolic compounds differentially to acquire an extract with a strong antioxidant capacity and anti-aging activities towards both elastase and collagenase. This could be of particular interest for cosmetic applications of nettle extracts. [18]


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