May 30, 2016

Stinging Nettle

font size


What other names is Stinging Nettle known by?

Bichu, Common Nettle, Feuille d'Ortie, Graine d'Ortie, Grande Ortie, Great Stinging Nettle, Nettle, Nettle Leaf, Nettle Seed, Nettle Worth, Nettles, Ortie, Ortie Brûlante, Ortie des Jardins, Ortie Dioïque, Ortie Méchante, Ortiga, Small Nettle, Stinging Nettles, Urtica, Urtica dioica, Urtica urens, Urticae Herba et Folium, Urticae Radix.

What is Stinging Nettle?

Stinging nettle is a plant. People use the root and above ground parts as medicine.

Stinging nettle is used for many conditions, but so far, there isn't enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not it is effective for any of them.

Stinging nettle root is used for urination problems related to an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia [BPH]). These problems include nighttime urination, too frequent urination, painful urination, inability to urinate, and irritable bladder.

Stinging nettle root is also used for joint ailments, as a diuretic, and as an astringent.

Stinging nettle above ground parts are used along with large amounts of fluids in so-called "irrigation therapy" for urinary tract infections (UTI), urinary tract inflammation, and kidney stones (nephrolithiasis). The above-ground parts are also used for allergies, hayfever, and osteoarthritis.

Some people use the above ground parts of stinging nettle for internal bleeding, including uterine bleeding, nosebleeds, and bowel bleeding. The above ground parts are also used for anemia, poor circulation, an enlarged spleen, diabetes and other endocrine disorders, stomach acid, diarrhea and dysentery, asthma, lung congestion, rash and eczema, cancer, preventing the signs of aging, "blood purification," wound healing, and as a general tonic.

Stinging nettle above ground parts are applied to the skin for muscle aches and pains, oily scalp, oily hair, and hair loss (alopecia).

In foods, young stinging nettle leaves are eaten as a cooked vegetable.

In manufacturing, stinging nettle extract is used as an ingredient in hair and skin products.

Stinging nettle leaf has a long history of use. It was used primarily as a diuretic and laxative in ancient Greek times.

Don't confuse stinging nettle (Uritica dioica) with white dead nettle (Lamium album).

Possibly Effective for...

  • Osteoarthritis. There is evidence that taking stinging nettle by mouth or applying it to the skin might reduce pain in people with osteoarthritis. Research suggests that using stinging nettle might reduce the need for pain medications.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Hay fever. Early evidence suggests that using stinging nettle at the first signs of hay fever symptoms seems to help provide relief.
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). There is contradictory evidence about the effectiveness of stinging nettle, taken alone or together with other ingredients, for improving symptoms of BPH. Early evidence suggests that taking 360 mg of stinging nettle for 6-24 months improves urinary tract symptoms associated with BPH. Many studies have looked at the effects of a combination product that contains both stinging nettle and saw palmetto. One particular product (PRO 160/120, Willmar Schwabe GmbH, Germany) containing a specific extract of stinging nettle (WS 1031) 120 mg plus a specific extract of saw palmetto (WS 1473) 160 mg seems to significantly improve urinary tract symptoms in men with BPH when taken twice daily for 24-48 weeks. This combination seems to be comparable to the prescription medication finasteride for relieving symptoms of BPH, and may be better tolerated. However, it is not known if this benefit is due to stinging nettle, saw palmetto, or both ingredients.
    On the other hand, another combination product containing 80 mg of stinging nettle root extract, 106 mg of saw palmetto lipoidal extract, 160 mg of pumpkin seed oil extract, 33 mg of lemon bioflavonoid extract, and 190 IU of vitamin A (100% as beta-carotene) does not significantly improve symptoms of BPH when taken three times daily for 6 months.
  • Bleeding. Some early research suggests that applying a specific product (Ankaferd blood stopper) containing alpinia, licorice, thyme, stinging nettle, and common grape vine to the skin reduces bleeding in surgery, but does not reduce time in surgery. Other early research suggests the same product reduces bleeding after dental surgery.
  • Diabetes. Early research suggests that taking stinging nettle daily for 8 weeks does not affect the control of blood sugar levels in people with diabetes who are taking antidiabetes drugs.
  • Gingivitis. Early research suggests that using a mouthwash containing stinging nettle, juniper, and yarrow twice daily for 3 months does not reduce plaque or bleeding in people with gingivitis.
  • Water retention.
  • Anemia.
  • Poor circulation.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Asthma.
  • Cancer.
  • Wound healing.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate stinging nettle for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


Therapeutic Research Faculty copyright

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


Women's Health

Find out what women really need.

advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations