Scientific Name/Common Name: Urtica dioica / Nettle
Part(s) Used: Leaf
Constituents/Active Ingredients: Chlorophyll, indoles (histamine, serotonin), acetylcholine, flavonol glycosides (isorhamnetin, kaempferol, quercetin), vitamin C, protein, dietary fiber.
Overview: Stinging is also known as ‘Indian spinach’ and was used as a food and medicine by Canadian Indigenous Peoples, as well as by Europeans. Stinging nettle is known traditionally as a spring tonic. The German Commission E recognizes stinging nettle for treating bone and joint conditions, inflammation, and irritation of the urinary tract and for preventing urinary system gravel. The diuretic action of the herb has been shown to significantly increase urine volume in people taking the herb and can help to alleviate bladder infections. Stinging nettle was also traditionally used for treating allergies, baldness, bladder infections, bronchitis, bursitis, cough, gingivitis, hives, laryngitis, premenstrual syndrome, prostate enlargement, sciatica, and tendonitis. A popular use of stinging nettle today is for treating prostate enlargement with the root, which contains lignan-type phytoestrogens.
Traditional Use/Benefits/Body Systems: Traditionally used in Herbal Medicine as a diuretic, as supportive therapy to help relieve rheumatic complaints, as a nutritive tonic, and to help relieve seasonal allergy symptoms.
Clinical Studies/Scientific Research/References:
Bisset NG, Wichtl M, editors. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals: A Handbook for Practice on a Scientific Basis, 2nd edition. Stuttgart (D): Medpharm GmbH Scientific Publishers; 2001.
Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J, editors. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Boston (MA): Integrative Medicine Communications; 2000.
Hoffmann D. 2003. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester (VT): Healing Arts Press.
Disclaimer: This information in our Herbal Encyclopedia is intended only as a general reference for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for medical advice. This content does not provide dosage information, cautions/contraindications, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Please consult any relevant product labels for detailed information on use and with a medical practitioner for individual health advice.