Nettle is a herb with the botanical name of Urtica dioica. It is native to the temperate regions of Europe and Asia. It is part of the Urticaceae family of plants. Nettle is often found growing near human habitations such as along garden fences. Nettle is also known as Stinging Nettle and Common Nettle. Nettle should be collected when the flowers are in bloom and the whole plant is used in herbal medicine. Nettle contains acrid components in the stinging hairs including formic acid, histamine, volatile and resinous acids, tannins, glucoquinine, iron, calcium, potassium, silica, chlorophyll, vitamin C, vitamin A.
Herbal supplements can alter the effects of certain drugs, including prescription medications. Always tell your Doctor about any prescription medications, non-prescription medications, herbs or other dietary supplements you are taking. - Nettle has a diuretic effect and should not be taken in combination with other diuretic medications. - Nettle also has hypotensive (blood-pressure lowering) effects and may interact with anti-hypertensive drugs (those that lower blood pressure) or hypertensive drugs (those that increase blood pressure). - Medications that cause sedation and reduce anxiety (e.g. alcohol, benzodiazepines and certain antihistamines) should be used cautiously with Nettle, as this herb may increase the actions of these drugs. - Nettle should be used cautiously by people taking hypoglycaemic drugs (i.e. those that lower blood glucose levels) such as insulin, as Nettle may contain substances that reduce blood sugar levels.
Always consult your Health Care Professional to advise you on dosages and any possible medical interactions. The ability of Nettle to cause local irritation on contact with human skin is well documented. This occurs as Nettle stimulates blood flow, drawing blood to the local area. It is used for skin conditions such as eczema, especially in children and in cases where the eczema is aggravated by nervousness and stress.
- Nettle has been used traditionally in herbal medicine in the treatment of rheumatism and neuralgic pain, particularly in cases of worsening and chronic arthritis. This may be due to an anti-inflammatory action and the diuretic properties which help to reduce swelling around joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis. - Nettle has a strong astringent action which helps to draw body tissues together and control bleeding. Nettle may be of benefit to women who experience very heavy bleeding during menstruation or people who are prone to nosebleed. - The diuretic action of Nettle makes it a popular choice in herbal medicine for treating prostate disorders. It is often combined in prostate formulae with the herb Saw Palmetto. A recent controlled study revealed that the patients with prostate disorders who were given Nettle experienced a reduced need to get up during the night to urinate. Nettle also reduced the symptoms of prostate enlargement in a trial group of men over 60 years of age. - One of the most important properties of this herb is its diuretic action. It helps the body to eliminate urea and other waste products and prevents fluid retention. Gout is one ailment which may improve from taking Nettle. Traumatic injuries such as sprains, strains or burns may benefit from this herb due to its ability to draw excess fluid away from the injury site which helps to reduce swelling.
Nutritive, haemostatic (stops bleeding) and astringent, circulatory stimulant, diuretic.
NOTES- Nettle has been reported to cause abortion, so should be avoided by pregnant women. - The effects of Nettle have not been well studied so its use during breastfeeding is not recommended.