Nettle has been used worldwide for centuries in a variety of countries and cultures. It has been eaten as a wild food plant, applied topically to the skin, and drunk as a mineral rich tea for its diuretic and soothing effects on the urinary tract. It was used extensively for its fibers, similar to flax and hemp, and was woven into cloth.3,4,5 Nettle fibers were considered to be high quality and comparable to flax or hemp in Northern Europe.
astringent, antiseptic, diuretic, alterative, tonic, trophorestorive (bringing balance to a system, in this case nettle seed is a trophorestorative to the kidney and adrenal glands)
The leaves contain a multitude of vitamins and minerals including: A, B complex, C, E, K1, folic acid, histamine, acetylcholine, formic acid, acetic acid, and butyric acid.10,21 The hairs are made of silica and inject neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, histamine, 5HTP (serotonin), moroidin, leukotrienes into the skin.11,21 The root contains various anti-inflammatory compounds including: phytosterols, pentacyclic triterpenes, lignans, coumarin, ceramides and hydroxy fatty acids polysaccharides and lectins, tannins, alcohols, monoterpenes and triterpenes.6,21,22 The seed contains volatile oils and formic acid.9
Nettle fiber was used in Europe in the early 1900's for cloth to make stockings, tarps and army clothing3. It was estimated that it took roughly 90 lbs of fiber to make one shirt. Overalls from a captured German soldier revealed the cloth to be made of 85% nettle and 15% ramie (Boehmeria nivea), which is from the nettle's tropical cousin, and is one of the oldest continually cultivated fiber crops.20 Ramie was a principal component in the cloth used to wrap mummies in ancient Egypt and is currently cultivated in China, India, and SE Asia.
Specific: No known precautions.
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.
- Plants for a Future Database. Accessed at http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Urtica+dioica on June 9, 2014.
- Vogl CR, Hartl A. 2003. Production and processing of organically grown fiber nettle (Urtica dioica L.) and its potential use in the natural textile industry: A review. American journal of alternative agriculture, 18(3), 119-128.
- Foster, S. Herbal Renaissance. Utah: Peregine Smith Books; 1984.
- Mabberley D.J. The plant-book. A portable dictionary of the higher plants. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1987.
- Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, Gruenwald J, Hall T, Riggins CW, Rister RS, eds. Klein S, Rister RS, trans. The Complete German Commission E MonographsTherapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Austin, TX: American Botanical Council; Boston: Integrative Medicine Communication; 1998. Accessed on June 9, 2014 at www.herbalgram.org.
- Foster, S. and J. A. Duke. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company; 2000.
- Lust. J. The Herb Book. New York: Bantam books; 1974.
- Moore M. Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West. Santa Fe. New Mexico: The Museum of New Mexico Press; 1979.
- Stary, F. The Natural Guide to Medicinal Herbs and Plants. Detroit: Treasure Press; 1991.
- Darlington, R.W. Wildflower Finder. Accessed at http://wildflowerfinder.org.uk on June 9th, 2014.
- Gladstar, R. Herbal Healing for Woman. New York: Fireside Publishing; 1993.
- Drum, R. Wildcrafting Medicinal Plants. Accessed at http://www.ryandrum.com/wildcrafting.htm on June 9, 2014.
- Cunningham, S. Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs. Woodbury: Llewellyn Publications; 2000.
- Moerman, D.E. 1998. Native American Ethnobotany. Accessed at http://herb.umd.umich.edu/ on June 9, 2014.
- Hamel, Paul B. and Mary U. Chiltoskey. Cherokee Plants and Their Uses – A 400 Year History. Sylva, N.C.: Herald Publishing Co; 1975.
- Grieve M. A Modern Herbal. New York: Dover Publications, Inc. Accessed at http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/n/nettle03.html on June 9, 2014.
- Duke, J. A. Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. Accessed at http://www.ars-grin.gov/duke/ on June 9, 2014.
- Bombardelli, E. and P. Morazzoni. 1997. Urtica dioica. Review. Fitoterapia 68(5):387401
For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Organic Nettle leaf and pullulan capsule.
These vegetarian capsules are made from pullulan which is naturally fermented from tapioca.