LATIN NAME: Urtica dioica
COMMON NAMES: Stinging nettle, common nettle
PARTS USED: leaves
Nettle has been used for many ailments. The leaf is useful drunk as a tea or juice for allergic, itchy skin conditions. The root is used to treat an enlarged prostate as it has a studied effect on dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels. A cure that is not often used these days is being whipped with nettles for arthritis. Although due to its anti-inflammatory effect, nettle root is often taken internally.
Nettle leaf: depurative, mild diuretic, antirheumatic, antiallergic, styptic (ability to stop wound bleeding).
Nettle root: lessens benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate).
In clinic: Herbalists use this herb to treat epistaxis (bleeding from the nose), uterine haemorrhage and cutaneous eruptions.
Infusion: 1 to 2 teaspoons of herb (2 to 4 g) to a cup of cold water. Pour boiling water over the herb and leave to infuse for 5 to 10 minutes. Flavour with lemon, ginger or honey if desired. Drink 3 times a day unless otherwise told by a medical herbalist.
Decoction: 1 teaspoon of root (1.3 to 2 g) to a cup of cold water, bring to the boil and leave to sit for 15 minutes. Or steep 1 teaspoon bark in cold water overnight. Flavour with lemon, ginger or honey if desired. Drink 3 times a day unless otherwise told by a medical herbalist.
Tincture: Take 2.3 to 4.6 ml (1:5 tincture), 3 times a day or as directed by a practitioner.
Fluid extract: 1:1 Take 2 to 4 ml, (nettle leaf), 1.1 0.5 to 2.5 ml (nettle root) 3 times a day or as directed by a practitioner.
Dried Herb: Maximum of 12 g per day may be taken as a powder or capsules.
CONTRAINDICATIONS: May cause allergy when applied topically with fresh or unprocessed dried leaves. This herb is considered safe in food amounts. Do not take if you are allergic to this plant or other members of this plant's family (Urticaceae). Not all herbs are suitable in pregnancy, breastfeeding or for young children. If in doubt, please ask us or your medical herbalist.
SIDE EFFECTS: Slight gastrointestinal issues may result from use of nettle root. Plant extracts cause few side effects when taken correctly but if a side effect is experienced please contact us.
INTERACTIONS WITH DRUGS: None known.
GENERAL: We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.