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Everyday Herbals | Medicinal Uses for Stinging Nettle

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

Brief History

Stinging nettle is historically one of the most frequently used herbs, likely due to its abundant availability all over the world.

Indeed, I believe God puts the medicine where it is needed, and clearly stinging nettle is needed.

Just observe disturbed ground near fences, pastures, and hillsides, and you will likely find copious amounts of the prickly herb.

Stinging nettle was used by herbalists in medieval Europe for skin irritations, kidney problems and gout.

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Roman soldiers carried nettles on their marches to supply them with energy and to prevent illness.

In ancient Egypt, nettles were used to treat arthritis, and some healers even intentionally stung their patients with nettle to relieve arthritis and rheumatic pain.

I know a German herbalist who says that some people still use nettles in this way in her home country.

Parts Used: leaves, seeds, and roots.

What does it do?

  • helps to regulate the endocrine system
  • manages benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate)
  • detoxifies body
  • calms skin inflammation
  • improves anemia
  • increases lactation in breast-feeding mothers
  • relieves allergies
  • treats gout
  • supports kidney function

Notable Qualities

  • anti-inflammatory
  • antioxidant
  • antifungal
  • highly nutritious

How does it work?

Nettle has several compounds, minerals, and vitamins that contribute to its medicinal value.

One such compound is a quercetin, a flavonoid found in nettle leaves.

Quercetin has antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Quercetin also improves circulation, especially in the legs.

Nettle is a nutrient dense herb consisting of minerals like calcium, iron, and magnesium and vitamins such as vitamins A, C, and B.

These components nourish the body and help us to recover after an illness, particularly when solid food is not an option.

Combine nettle with:

  • ashwagandha & lion’s mane to activate and tone the nervous system
  • dandelion root to reduce bloating and water retention
  • rosemary in a hair rinse to nourish hair and encourage growth
  • chamomile, red raspberry leaf, &chaste berry to balance female hormones

Quick Tip:

Remember, they call it STINGING nettle for a reason. Always use thick gloves when harvesting stinging nettle.

How is it administered?

  • brewed in a tea
  • in an extract
  • in a capsule or tablet
  • in a tincture
  • added to foods such as soups

What are the side effects?

Stinging nettle is generally safe to use for most people.

Side effects are rare but some people may experience gastric distress after consuming nettle.

Pregnant women can use stinging nettle but should contact an herbalist or naturopathic doctor with any questions.

Summary: Stinging nettle is historically one of the most frequently used herbs, favored by Roman soldiers & ancient Egyptians. Nettle treats a variety of conditions including enlarged prostate, hormonal imbalance, & arthritis. Be careful when harvesting stinging nettle, because like its name implies, it stings!

How do YOU use stinging nettle as medicine? Let us know in the comments below!

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Much Love, many Blessings, Jesus is Lord.

Reference List

Boon, H., & Smith, M. (2009). In 55 most Common MEDICINAL herbs: The complete natural medicine Guide (pp. 320–324). essay, Firefly Books Ltd.

Favrod-Coune, T., & Broers, B. (2010, July 22). The health effect of psychostimulants: A literature review. Pharmaceuticals (Basel, Switzerland). Retrieved September 17, 2021, from

Kačániová M, Miklášová K, Kunová S, et al. Antimicrobial and Antioxidant Activity of Black Elder, Stinging Nettle, Marigold and Ribwort Plantain. Scientific Papers: Animal Science & Biotechnologies / Lucrari Stiintifice: Zootehnie si Biotehnologii. 2021;54(1):136-142. Accessed September 17, 2021.

Landon, R. (2017). Nettle. In Super herbs: The best adaptogens to reduce stress and improve health, beauty and wellness (pp. 157-167). essay, Piatkus.

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