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Medicinal Qualities of Stinging Nettle

  • THE BENEFITS OF THE USE OF STINGING NETTLE IN HERBAL PREPARATIONS
    By Kassie Vance
    Herbal Legacy
    Straight to the Source

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Stinging nettle is an astringent, diuretic, tonic, anodyne, pectoral, rubefacient, styptic, anthelmintic, nutritive, alterative, hemetic, anti-rheumatic, anti-allergenic, anti-lithic/lithotriptic, haemostatic, stimulant, decongestant, herpatic, febrifuge, kidney depurative/nephritic, galactagogue, hypoglycemic, expectorant, anti-spasmodic, and anti-histamine.

Nettle leaf is among the most valuable herbal remedies.  Because of its many nutrients, stinging nettle is traditionally used as a spring tonic.  It is a slow-acting nutritive herb that gently cleanses the body of metabolic wastes.  It is one of the safest alteratives, especially in the treatment of chronic disorders that require long-term treatment.  It has a gentle, stimulating effect on the lymphatic system, enhancing the excretion of wastes through the kidneys.

Nettle’s iron content makes it a wonderful blood builder, and the presence of vitamin C aids in the iron absorption.  As a hemetic (an herb rich in iron), this is an excellent herb for anemia and fatigue, especially in women.  It “promotes the process of protein transanimation in the liver, effectively utilizing digested proteins, while simultaneously preventing them from being discharged through the body as waste products.”

Stinging nettle is beneficial during pregnancy due to its rich mineral value and vitamin K, which guards against excessive bleeding.  It is also a good supplement to strengthen the fetus.  It is used during labor to ease the pains, and will increase milk production in lactating women. Stinging nettle is often recommended for pre-menstrual syndrome because of its toxin-ridding activity.  When the liver is sluggish, it processes estrogen slowly, contributing to the high levels that cause or aggravate PMS.  It acts as a restorative remedy during menopause, and the astringency of the herb helps in excessive menstrual flow.

As a diuretic, stinging nettle increases the secretion and flow of urine.  This makes it invaluable in cases of fluid retention and bladder infections. It is also anti-lithic and nephridic, breaking down stones in the kidneys and gravel in the bladder.

The leaves of the fresh nettle plant are stimulating, thus making it a powerful rubefacient.  Arthritis, bursitis, rheumatism, gout, and tendonitis have all been treated successfully with urtification.  In a group of eighteen patients with joint pain treated with the topical use of the nettle sting, all except one respondent were sure that the therapy had been very helpful, and several considered themselves cured. However, there are other, less painful ways of treating arthritic diseases using stinging nettle.  Boron is a trace mineral essential for healthy bones.  James A.  Duke states in his book The Green Pharmacy, “The recommended beneficial dose of boron is 2-3 milligrams daily.  An analysis of stinging nettle provided to me [James Duke] by the USDA scientists shows that it contains 47 parts per million of the mineral boron, figured on a dry-weight basis.  That means that a 100-gram serving of stinging nettle, prepared by steaming several ounces of young, tender leaves, could easily contain more than the 2-3 milligram recommendations.  According to the Rheumatoid Disease Foundation, boron is effective because it plays a role in helping bones retain calcium.  It also has a beneficial influence on the body’s endocrine (hormonal) system, and hormones play a role in helping the body maintain healthy bones and joints.”


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