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 normally 2-4 meters tall. It contains components that might reduce swelling and increase urination. The leaves are sometimes consumed as a prepared vegetable.

Stinging nettle is most typically used for diabetes and osteoarthritis. It is also often utilized for urinary tract infections (utis), kidney stones, bigger prostate, hay fever, and other conditions, however there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

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

History of nettle

Nettle use has been tape-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 properties assisting julius caesar’s soldiers in helping them stay awake and alert throughout the night. Aside from its use in herbal supplements, nettle has likewise been widely utilized as a textile. Similar to textiles made from flax, nettle can be made into different textures, from silky to coarse. Nettle fabric likewise has the ability to be colored or bleached like cotton. It was a common home textile in scottish families throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. And throughout the very first and 2nd world wars, nettle fiber was used as a substitute for cotton yarns, when this material was unavailable. Because of its strong and durable fibers, nettle would be an excellent ally if you were ever stranded in a forest, as it can be used to make natural rope. This natural rope might then be utilized to help build a shelter, start a fire, fashion clothing, make tools, and more, making it the perfect plant to have around in a survival situation. [3]


This common hedgerow perennial grows to above 1.5 m and has comprehensive sneaking rooting stolons. The leaves are pointed with toothed edges. The stem is square in random sample and covered with stinging hairs. The small green male and female flowers are borne in tassels by different plants.

Key functions

Young plant: it has longer and more triangular first real leaves than yearly 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 small nettle and the very first true leaves of typical nettle are longer and more triangular. [4]


Urtica dioica is thought about to be native to europe, much of temperate asia and western north africa. It is plentiful in northern europe and much of asia, usually discovered in the countryside. It is less prevalent in southern europe and north africa, where it is restricted by its need for damp soil, but is still common. It has actually been presented to many other parts of the world. In north america, it is extensively distributed in canada and the united states, where it is found in every province and state except for hawaii, and also can be discovered in northernmost mexico. It grows in abundance in the pacific northwest, particularly in places where yearly rainfall 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 suggest the site of a long-abandoned structure, and can also show soil fertility. Human and animal waste may be accountable for elevated levels of phosphate and nitrogen in the soil, supplying a perfect 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 idea is broken off obliquely along a basically established fracture line, leaving a sharp point (” resembling the beveled idea of a hypodermic needle”). This point penetrates the skin and the subsequent pressure squeezes the base of the stinging cell which therefore actively injects the contaminant included within it. Pollard and briggs (1984b) mention that despite a lot of biochemical and pharmacological research study over the past 100 years, the precise nature of the toxic substance is not totally comprehended, although it is known to contain serotonin and acetylcholine (connor, 1977).

Dioica is a long-day plant and may need approximately 16 hours daylength for flowering (bond et al., 2007). Flowering (in britain) happens from late might to early august and viable seed is shed or might remain on the dead stems till december or january. According to the kew seed details database (2015 ), evaluated seeds sprouted readily 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 obviously need no vernalization and fresh seed will sprout in 5 to 10 days.

With regard to plant development, brand-new rhizomes are produced in late summertime or autumn either from old rhizome product or from the base of aerial shoots (greig-smith, 1948). They continue to grow at or simply underneath the soil surface area up until the death of the aerial shoots when they turn upwards to form brand-new shoots. Young roots 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 profusely and form numerous fine laterals.

Greig-smith (1948) says that new aerial shoots of u. Dioica continue development up until about 15 cm tall and then endure the winter season (in britain), resuming development the following spring. Blooming begins in late might or june. In canada, according to bassett et al. (1977 ), the north american subspecies is killed back to ground level by frost each year however its rhizomes survive and grow once again in spring.

Taylor (2009) cites work by grime and hunt (1975) in stating that although u. Dioica has a small seed mass its competitive technique includes an extremely high relative growth rate, which accompanies high stature, extensive lateral spread and the propensity to collect leaf litter, qualities that help with the exclusive occupation of fertile websites.

Wheeler (1981 ), mentioned in taylor (2009 ), compared the growth of forest and pasture clones of u. Dioica subsp. Dioica at various light levels. Plants shaded by deciduous forest grew better in their light regime of 37.3% of direct occurrence light from november to april and of 23.8% from may to october than did pasture clones in 84.3% of direct event light in respect 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 significant difference in between overall dry mass of plants.

Taylor (2009) reported that plants wilted under very dry conditions, but they may be able to ‘solidify’ to drought to some extent. The exact same author states that the plant can not endure flooding of its rhizomes and roots for long periods. Greig-smith (1948) observed that the shoot tips are not affected by spring frosts however might die back after early fall frosts. U. Dioica does not continue saline locations (bassett et al. (1977 ). [6]


Stinging nettle, or urtica dioica, is a common plant that grows in the united states, canada, and europe. It mainly grows in moist, fertile soil.

However, individuals might describe numerous plants in the urtica household as stinging nettle. These consist of:.

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

Advantages of nettle

Here are 6 evidence-based benefits of stinging nettle.

Includes lots of nutrients

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

What’s more, much of these nutrients function as anti-oxidants inside your body.

Anti-oxidants are molecules that help safeguard your cells against damage from complimentary radicals. Damage caused by totally free radicals is connected to aging, along with cancer and other damaging diseases.

Research studies indicate that stinging nettle extract can raise blood antioxidant levels.


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

May lower swelling

Inflammation is your body’s method of recovery itself and combating infections. However, chronic swelling can inflict significant harm. Stinging nettle harbors a variety of substances that might reduce swelling.

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

In human research studies, using a stinging nettle cream or consuming stinging nettle items appears to eliminate inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis.

For example, in one 27-person study, applying a stinging nettle cream onto arthritis-affected locations considerably minimized discomfort, compared to a placebo treatment.

In another study, taking a supplement which contained stinging nettle extract substantially decreased arthritis discomfort. Additionally, participants felt they might minimize their dose of anti-inflammatory pain relievers because of this pill.

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


Stinging nettle might help reduce swelling, which in turn could aid inflammatory.

Conditions, including arthritis, but more research study is needed.

May treat enlarged prostate signs

As much as 50% of guys aged 51 and older have an enlarged prostate gland.

An enlarged prostate is commonly called benign prostatic hyperplasia (bph). Researchers aren’t sure what causes bph, however it can cause substantial pain throughout urination.

Remarkably, a couple of research studies suggest that stinging nettle may assist treat bph.

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

Stopping this conversion can help in reducing prostate size.

Research studies in people with bph show that stinging nettle extracts help deal with brief- and long-term urination problems– without adverse effects.

Nevertheless, it’s unclear how effective stinging nettle is compared to standard treatments.


Stinging nettle might help in reducing prostate size and deal with symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland in guys with bph.

May treat hay fever

Hay fever is an allergic reaction that includes inflammation in the lining of your nose. Stinging nettle is deemed a promising natural treatment for hay fever.

Test-tube research study reveals that stinging nettle extracts can inhibit inflammation that can activate seasonal allergic reactions.

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

Nevertheless, human studies keep in mind that stinging nettle amounts to or only somewhat better at dealing with hay fever than a placebo.

While this plant might show an appealing natural treatment for hay fever signs, more long-term human studies are required.


Stinging nettle might decrease hay fever symptoms. Yet, some research study suggests that it might not be much more efficient than a placebo. More studies are required on stinging nettle’s impacts on hay fever.

May lower blood pressure

Roughly one in 3 american adults has high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is a severe health issue because it puts you at risk of heart problem and strokes, which are among the leading causes of death worldwide. Stinging nettle was typically utilized to treat high blood pressure. Animal and test-tube research studies illustrate that it may help lower blood pressure in a number of ways.

For one, it might stimulate nitric oxide production, which functions as a vasodilator. Vasodilators relax the muscles of your blood vessels, helping them widen.

In addition, stinging nettle has substances that might serve as calcium channel blockers, which unwind your heart by lowering 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 results on high blood pressure in people are still unclear. Extra human studies are required before recommendations can be made.


Stinging nettle may help lower blood pressure by enabling your blood vessels to relax and reducing the force of your heart’s contractions. Yet, more human research studies are required to confirm these impacts.

May help blood glucose control

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

In fact, this plant contains substances that might mimic the results of insulin.

In a three-month research study in 46 individuals, taking 500 mg of stinging nettle extract 3 times day-to-day substantially lowered blood glucose levels compared to a placebo.

In spite of appealing findings, there are still far too couple of human studies on stinging nettle and blood sugar control. More research study is necessary.


While stinging nettle might help lower blood glucose levels, more human studies are vital prior to recommendations can be made.

Other possible advantages

Stinging nettle may offer other prospective health benefits, consisting of:.

Reduced bleeding: medicines consisting of stinging nettle extract have been discovered to minimize extreme.

Bleeding, specifically after surgical treatment.

Liver health: nettle’s antioxidant properties might secure your liver versus damage by contaminants, heavy.

Metals and inflammation.

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

Wound and burn healing: applying stinging nettle creams may support injury healing, consisting of burn injuries.


Stinging nettle’s other prospective health advantages consist of decreased bleeding, increased liver health and wound healing. [8]

How to utilize?

Nettle are fantastic as tea, in soup as a fresh vegetable like spinach, as a pot herb, as a vegetable compliment to meals and while some nutrient material is lost with cooking there is still an excellent level left– do not over-cook though, as many veggie nutrients are diminished by long cooking periods. The dried item can be added to flour in bread, pasta, and noodle dough as a protein-rich supplement for vegans and vegetarians. In the spring i frequently select an excellent 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 fizz it up use a 1/3 of a glass of the infused water with a gleaming mineral water and either a little lemon juice or a piece of lemon or lime and some ice.

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

How to brew nettle tea?

Merely add water to your gathered nettle leaves and heat to a near boil. Usage about two cups of water for a cup of leaves; there’s no requirement to determine. You can make the tea more powerful by steeping longer, or weaker by including 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 consume. Some people prefer a smidgen of sugar added to the tea, but i find the taste is just great 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 consume the leaves, taste a smidgen first to be sure the sting has actually left.

A word of care

Any new compound should be introduced gradually to your body. A cup or more of nettle tea each day is sufficient to enjoy the advantages which nettles offer. Those brand-new to nettles should start with small amounts.

If you will be bringing children along while harvesting nettles, which is a good knowing experience for them, make certain to take appropriate precautions to keep them from being stung by the leaves. Long clothes and gloves ought to be worn at all times when handling nettles. Once they are cooked or brewed into tea, they lose their sting.

So if you’re seeking to shake the winter blahs and renew yourself for spring, a basic restorative elixir might be as close as a neighboring weed patch. And because nettles grow in the very same area year after year, it only takes one discovery to bring you a ready supply of nature’s wonder tonic for spring. [10]

Nettle soup


  • 1/2 big shopping bag of fresh nettle tops
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1 pound yukon gold or russet potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 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 light whipping cream


Blanch the nettles:

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

Usage tongs to lift the wilted blanched nettles out of the pot and transfer to the bowl of ice water to shock them. Pressure in a colander.

Cut away and dispose of any large stems from the nettles. (this need to be simpler to do now that the nettle stingers have actually lost their sting due to the blanching.).

You must have 3 to 4 cups of blanched tender nettle tops and leaves for this dish. Any blanched nettles not used 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 utilizing unsalted or low sodium stock, include one teaspoon of salt. Give a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes.

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

Roughly slice 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. Go back to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes or up until the potatoes are soft and the nettles tender.

Purée the soup:

Get rid of the bay leaves (and thyme sprigs if utilizing) from the pot. Using an immersion blender or working in batches with a standing blender, purée. Go back to the pot and take off the heat.

Change the spices and serve:

Include salt to taste. Depending upon the saltiness of the stock you are utilizing, you might need to include at least a teaspoon or more to the soup. Include 1/2 teaspoon of newly ground black pepper. Include lemon juice. Right before 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 preferred pasta recipes and integrate the nettle.


  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 or 3 big handfuls of fresh nettle tops (gathered from plants no greater than 18″ high 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 on.
  3. Puree nettles and the eggs utilizing immersion mixer.
  4. Make a well out of the flour in a mixing bowl and include the nettles and eggs mixture. Mix completely until 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 represent 15 minutes.
  6. Roll out about 1/3 of the dough at a time into a ball.
  7. Cover the ball of dough with wet 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 very thin or thicker if you like thick noodles.
  9. Cut into any length strip– as long or brief as you want, or in squares if you wish to make ravioli. Hang them, if possible, for about 10 minutes. We have a pasta hanger, but you can utilize a clean plastic wall mount.
  10. Bring the conserved nettle water to a boil again and position your green noodles into the boiling water. Cook for 3– 8 minutes depending on the thickness. Check them for doneness. [12]

Nettle syrup dish for a healthy radiance

This strengthening syrup nourishes the blood, skin, and hair. It is terrific to utilize throughout times of stress, after menstruation or a prolonged disease, while breastfeeding, or at any time the body needs an additional boost (for a ready-made variation, attempt the strong lady syrup readily available in our shop). Talk with your physician about this formula if you have excess iron stores, liver or kidney disease, coagulation issues, if you take blood-thinners, or if you are pregnant.


  • 1 pound. Fresh nettle tops (or 4 oz. Dry)
  • 2 oz. Dried dang gui root
  • 2 oz. Dried milky oat tops (or 1/4 pound. Fresh)
  • 2 oz. Dried burdock root (or 1/4 lb. Fresh, around 1 large 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. Integrate herbs, dried fruit, and water in a non-reactive (stainless-steel or ceramic-lined) pot and give a boil.
  2. Decrease 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. Strain out herbs, pushing through cheesecloth to catch all the liquid.
  4. While liquid is still warm (not hot), include molasses and stir till liquified.
  5. Transfer to glass jar and store in refrigerator for as much as 1 month.
  6. ( optional): to extend shelf life, include a tablespoon per quart of citric acid, or protect with alcohol. To do this, measure final syrup volume and add 50% of that volume of your favorite basic abv alcohol (brandy or vodka works well), to develop 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 medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergy: hives; hard breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Although not all negative effects are understood, nettle is thought to be perhaps safe when considered a short amount of time (no longer than 6 months).

Typical side effects of nettle may consist of:.

  • Sweating;
  • Skin inflammation; or
  • Stomach pain. [14]

How to take?

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

For allergies, the studied dose is 300 mg twice a day of freeze-dried nettle leaf.

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

Possible interactions

Antiplatelet and anticoagulant drugs (blood slimmers)

Stinging nettle might impact the blood’s capability to embolisms, and could disrupt blood-thinning drugs, consisting of:.

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

Drugs for hypertension

Stinging nettle may lower high blood pressure, so it could reinforce the impacts 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)

Since stinging nettle can function as a diuretic, it can increase the impacts of these drugs, raising the risk of dehydration:.

  • Furosemide (lasix)
  • Hydrocholorothiazide

Drugs for diabetes

Stinging nettle may reduce blood glucose, so it might enhance the results of these drugs, raising the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).


Stinging nettle may have a diuretic result and might minimize the body’s capability to eliminate this drug.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

In a scientific study of clients with intense arthritis, stewed stinging nettle leaves enhanced the anti-inflammatory effect of diclofenac, an nsaid. Although this effect can decrease discomfort, speak to your physician before taking or utilizing stinging nettle if you also take nsaids. [16]

What are warnings and preventative measures for nettle?


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

Stay out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or call a poison control center right away.


Diabetes, impaired cardiac or kidney function. [17]


Nettle (urtica dioica l.) is herbaceous seasonal that has actually been utilized for centuries in folk medicine. More recently, nettle extracts have also been used 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 capability. Here, utilizing an experimental design technique and a clustering analysis, we connected the phytochemical structure of nettle extracts to their biological activities. This method verified the antioxidant capability of nettle extracts as well as offering the first proof of another system for their anti-aging potential involving the inhibition of enzyme activities, such as elastase and collagenase. We associated these inhibitory impacts to ursolic acid and quercetin present in the nettle extracts. Our results also showed the possibility of drawing out ursolic acid, quercetin and other phenolic substances differentially to get an extract with a strong antioxidant capacity and anti-aging activities toward both elastase and collagenase. This could be of specific interest for cosmetic applications of nettle extracts. [18]


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