Nettle

(urtica dioica)

Nettle is a leafy plant that is found in most temperate regions of the world. The Latin root of Urtica is uro, meaning “I burn,” indicative of the small stings caused by the little hairs on the leaves of this plant that burn when contact is made with the skin. The root and leaves of nettle are used in herbal medicine.

Nettle has a long history of use. The tough fibres from the stem have been used to make cloth and cooked nettle leaves were eaten as vegetables. From ancient Greece to the present, nettle has been documented for its traditional use in treating coughs, tuberculosis, and arthritis and in stimulating hair growth.

What it does

Nettle leaf contains high levels of cholorophyll, iron, calcium and silica. It also contains flavonoids, Vitamin C, lectins and polysaccharides. Nettle is anti-inflammatory, diuretic and considered a tonic and blood purifier.

Potential Uses

Water retention Arthritis Gout
Oedema of the legs Hayfever Heavy periods
Anaemia Osteoporosis Urticaria

Other information

Nettle is commonly used to provide relief from hayfever and other allergic symptoms. In addition to the herb’s reduction of inflammatory prostaglandins, nettle is also a rich source of the flavonoid quercetin, which is known to inhibit the release of histamine.

Nettles can be picked (with caution) and used to make nettle tea.

Nettle leaves can be used to sting the skin and relieve the symptoms of arthritis, they are also said to enhance the effects of diclofenac anti-inflammatory drug.

Cautions

If you already take diuretic drugs do not take nettle without first checking with your doctor.

At the time of writing there were no well known negative drug interactions with nettle.

 

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