- 1 Nettle: Medical Uses
- 2 Historical Uses
- 3 Growth
- 4 Parts Used
- 5 Major Chemical Compounds
- 6 Nettle: Clinical Uses
- 7 Mechanism of Action
- 8 Nettle: Dosage
- 9 Side Effects
- 10 Contraindications
- 11 Herb-Drug Interactions
- 12 Pregnancy and Breast-Feeding
- 13 Summary of Studies
- 14 Warnings
- 15 Nettle: Recipes
Nettle: Medical Uses
Nettle grows 2 to 3 feet high and has dark green leaves with stinging hairs. Touching or brushing against the leaves sometimes causes a severe local irritation.
Major Chemical Compounds
• High amounts of iron, calcium, vitamin C, and silica.
Nettle: Clinical Uses
Nettle is used for allergy symptoms and anemia. It also is used to prevent hair loss, stimulate hair growth, promote weight loss, and strengthen the liver. It is used as a nutritive tea for pregnant and breast-feeding women. It can also be used for arthritis pain and for its anti-HIV effects.
Mechanism of Action
This herb has antihistamine and diuretic effects. It increases production of breast milk. It has antiprostatic, androgenic, keratogenetic, and testosteronigenic effects. Its anti-HIV effects result from a virus-cell fusion process of N-acteyl-glucosamine-speciflc lectin.
Do not administer raw nettle.
Tincture: 2 to 5 mL (1/2 to 1 teaspoon) three times a day.
Decoction for root: 1 teaspoon dried root in 1 cup water, boiled for 10 to 15 minutes and then strained and drunk.
Nettle may increase blood glucose levels slightly.
• Nettle is contraindicated in patients who are allergic to it.
Pregnancy and Breast-Feeding
No restrictions are known.
Summary of Studies
Marks et al. (2000). This American study was a controlled, 6-month trial using 44 subjects who took a blend of saw palmetto extract, nettle root extract, and pumpkin seed oil (Nutrilite product of Amway) for symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Results: Symptoms were improved, but not to a statistically significant level. The growth of prostate tissue was slowed via a nonhormonal mechanism without affecting serum prostate-specific antigen levels.
Chrubasik et al. (1997). This open, randomized study included 40 patients with acute arthritis. Of the 40, 20 patients took diclofenac (Voltaren) 200 mg and 20 patients took 50 mg of diclofenac with 50 grams of stewed nettle leaf. Results: A combination of 50 grams of nettle leaf with 20 mg diclofenac was just as effective in relieving pain as the full dose of diclofenac.
• Don’t use nettle if you are allergic to it.
• Don’t use nettle if you take diclofenac.