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Nettle is one among my favourite herbs. Additionally referred to as “stinging nettle,” it’s full of vitamins and is even one of many elements in my homemade pregnancy tea. Stinging nettle advantages go far past being pregnant although.

What Is Nettle?

Nettle (Urtica dioica) is often known as stinging nettle, widespread nettle, and backyard nettle. It’s initially from northern Europe and northern Asia.

The nettle plant is herbaceous with superb hairs on the leaves and stems that include a chemical. This chemical causes pores and skin irritation and ache when it comes into contact with the pores and skin — thus the identify “stinging nettle.” In case you’ve ever been out weeding the yard or trying to find wildflowers, you’ve in all probability found this by yourself!

When cooked or in any other case processed, nettle now not causes this rash. (Excellent news… it’s also possible to simply purchase it and skip the stinging all collectively!)

Nettle has been utilized in conventional drugs to assist:

  • wounds
  • hair and scalp
  • psychological well being
  • ladies’s well being
  • males’s well being
  • ache reduction
  • seasonal allergy symptoms
  • aches and pains
  • elimination and detoxing (liver, digestion, urinary)

Not all of those conventional makes use of have been studied, however there’s a wealth of long-standing anecdotal proof.

Well being Advantages of Stinging Nettle

I like to preserve stinging nettle leaves available because it has so many well being advantages to the physique:


Nettle accommodates antioxidants, nutritional vitamins, and minerals that assist the physique, comparable to:

  • Vitamin A
  • B nutritional vitamins
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin Okay
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Polyphenols
  • Beta-Carotene

What I discover most attention-grabbing is that nettle accommodates fat and amino acids (nearly unparalleled in a plant)! This makes it a revered survival meals. It’s an awesome tea for tenting or backpacking journeys, particularly for those who forage it your self.


Stinging nettle has anti-inflammatory properties which can assist alleviate ache. Some 2013 analysis exhibits that there are various plant meals which might be anti-inflammatory, together with nettle. Researchers warning that extra analysis is required, however this preliminary analysis appears to assist how nettle has been used historically.

One other 2013 research demonstrates that nettle has sturdy anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties because of its big selection of phytochemicals.

I’ve had a superb expertise utilizing dried nettle in a cream or poultice for decrease again ache and different minor joint ache.

Metabolic Help

Metabolic points (coronary heart, blood sugar, thyroid, and so forth.) are more and more widespread right this moment. In keeping with analysis, nettle could also be useful in supporting metabolic well being. A 2013 research printed in Scientific Laboratory discovered that sufferers with Sort 2 diabetes noticed enchancment of their blood sugar after utilizing stinging nettle extract for 3 months.

The above research didn’t word why nettle may have this impact on the physique, however one other 2013 research does. In keeping with this research printed in Phytotherapy Analysis, nettle could mimic insulin.

The guts is one other essential a part of metabolic processes within the physique. Analysis exhibits that nettle can have a vasorelaxant impact. Which means nettle can assist cut back stress within the coronary heart muscle and cut back hypertension.

Moreover, nettle is useful in supporting the pancreas, in accordance with a 2014 research in rats. Researchers discovered a “statistically important” distinction between the rats within the management group and those who got nettle.


Historically, nettle is used topically on wounds and it appears to be like like science backs this up. Nettle demonstrated sturdy antimicrobial exercise towards a large spectrum of micro organism in accordance with a 2018 evaluate.

Understand that nettle ought to be processed earlier than making use of to a wound to keep away from its well-known sting! I exploit dried nettle infused into an oil (olive oil works properly) both immediately on the pores and skin or in recipes. You can even make a nettle tincture (however use the dried herb).

Ladies’s Well being

There isn’t a number of scientific information on how nettle can assist ladies’s well being. However since nettle is so excessive in quite a lot of vitamins, it is smart that it has been lengthy utilized in being pregnant tea to assist support pregnancy nutritionally. I personally use it this fashion and have had an awesome expertise.

Nettle has additionally been used historically to assist milk provide (in all probability for a similar nutritive purpose) making it a typical ladies’s well being herb.

Nonetheless, there may be some controversy about its use throughout being pregnant as some herbalists imagine it will possibly stimulate contractions. I are likely to agree with Aviva Romm’s view to keep away from herbs within the first trimester after which use herbs which might be proven to be secure scientifically or traditionally (like nettle).

As all the time test together with your healthcare supplier to determine what’s best for you.

Prostate Well being

Nettle can even assist with prostate well being. It’s extensively utilized in Europe for enlarged prostate — benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It helps with the signs comparable to diminished urinary circulation, incomplete emptying of the bladder, and submit urination dripping. It doesn’t have an effect on the dimensions of the prostate although. Due to this discovering, researchers are uncertain how nettle helps, in accordance with Penn State Hershey.

Moreover, nettle could also be a promising assist for prostate most cancers. A 2000 study found stinging nettle root extract can assist preserve prostate most cancers from spreading. Extra analysis is required to check this impact, however the outcomes are promising.

Hair and Scalp Well being

Considered one of nettle’s most well-known makes use of is in supporting hair and scalp well being. It’s thought that the looks of an herb provides a sign as to how it may be helpful to the physique. On this case, the superb hairs on nettle point out that it’s nice for hair and scalp!

Whether or not or not this outdated wives’ story is true, there does appear to be some reality to nettle’s place in hair and scalp assist. One research printed in 2011 discovered that hair loss and thinning hair are sometimes attributable to the harm of irritation on the hair follicle. Since nettle has anti-inflammatory properties, it will possibly assist cut back the irritation that’s inflicting hair loss and hair follicle harm.

Moreover, a research printed in 2017 discovered that nettle can enhance scalp circulation and hair development. It additionally concludes that nettle can “assist stop hair from falling out.” Compounds in nettle assist block the overproduction of testosterone which may trigger hair loss issues. These similar compounds can assist increase manufacturing of a protein that stimulates hair development.

Because of this I made certain to incorporate nettle as an ingredient in my line of shampoo and conditioner.

Allergy Help

Nettle is commonly used to assist with hay fever and different gentle allergy symptoms. Researchers discovered that nettle labored higher than a placebo for folks affected by allergic rhinitis (hay fever).

A more moderen research printed in 2009 discovered that that is possible because of nettle affecting key receptors and enzymes related to allergy symptoms. In different phrases, it could act as an antihistamine. Nettle is one among my go-to herbs for hay fever and seasonal allergies.

Methods to Use Stinging Nettle

There are a lot of methods to make use of nettle at dwelling. Sure, nettle will sting the pores and skin if touched, however processed nettle by drying or cooking poses no challenge.

Listed here are some methods I exploit it:

  • Culinary – As a result of nettle accommodates many vitamins, it’s an awesome addition to a meal. You should utilize it dried or cook dinner it and add it to a recipe you’ll add different greens to (don’t eat it uncooked). I like so as to add it to smoothies or meatloaf for added vitamins.
  • Multivitamin – Some folks even think about nettle tea a type of a each day vitamin. Add nettle to a different tea mix or brew it by itself for a each day infusion of vitamins.
  • Chilly and Flu Help – I’ll drink nettle tea for its vitamins during an illness since consuming will be tough.
  • First Support – Dried nettle can be utilized as a poultice for small wounds to assist combat an infection.
  • Inflammatory Ache – For points like arthritis and joint ache, herbalists suggest utilizing contemporary stinging nettle on the pores and skin close to the ache. The stinging is assumed to assist relieve the ache of arthritis. This may occasionally not sound like enjoyable to most of us, however it appears to work!
  • Hair Care – You’ll be able to infuse water or vinegar with nettle to make use of as a hair rinse. I embrace nettle in my do-it-yourself herbal hair rinse and it’s additionally in my brand new line of hair care products.
  • Allergy symptoms and Allergic Reactions – Eat nettle tea or tincture each day for 2-Three months earlier than allergy season to keep away from allergy symptoms. I additionally use capsules for acute relief of allergy signs. Nettle can also be useful for poison ivy since nettle acts as an antihistamine.
  • Total Well being – If you wish to use nettle for ladies’s well being, prostate well being or a few of its different makes use of, begin with a nettle tea or tincture. You can even take capsules or make dried nettle into electuaries (like cough drops).

Stinging Nettle Security and Aspect Results

Stinging nettle is mostly thought-about secure to be used. However as talked about earlier, a couple of herbalists disagree with nettle use throughout being pregnant. Herbalist Michael Moore in his e book Medicinal Vegetation of the Mountain West notes that contemporary nettle ought to be averted by pregnant ladies as it could trigger “uterine excitation.” It’s unclear if dried could be secure.

I’ve used it in all of my pregnancies and have been pleased with it, however you could do your individual analysis. It’s all the time a good suggestion to test together with your midwife or physician to see if nettle is secure for you.

If you’re on drugs, different dietary supplements, or have a medical situation, it’s greatest to test together with your well being care practitioner earlier than utilizing stinging nettle. There could also be some interactions for these on drugs for coronary heart illness, diabetes and hypertension, or for those who’re taking blood thinners.

The place to Get Stinging Nettle

Nettle is obtainable in each root and leaf type, and even a powdered model of the leaf which I add to my veggie smoothies. Listed here are a few of my favourite preparations of nettle:

In case you’re courageous sufficient to deal with the sting, it’s also possible to attempt to harvest it yourself (simply be sure to are 100% certain of any herb earlier than consuming).

This text was medically reviewed by Dr. Betsy Greenleaf, the primary board-certified feminine urogynecologist in america. She is double board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, in addition to Feminine Pelvic Drugs and Reconstructive Surgical procedure. As all the time, this isn’t private medical recommendation and we suggest that you just speak together with your physician.

Do you employ stinging nettle? How has it helped?


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