March 17, 2021 4 min read

A plant called “stinging nettle” sounds like one of the last things you’d want to consume. Despite its disagreeable name, Stinging Nettle is one of the most beneficial herbs that you can take.

This common weed is nutrient dense - packed with a number of different vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.

We’ll dig into the benefits and uses for Stinging Nettle below.

Benefits of Stinging Nettles

History of Stinging Nettles

First, let’s go over a quick history. Stinging Nettle, known scientifically asUrtica dioica, is readily found throughout the US and Europe. It has been used for hundreds of years as both a food and as a medicine.

Traditionally it was used for its astringent, tonic, and diuretic effects [1]. Nettle is also seen as a “nutritive” herb, which means it has a high amount of vitamins + minerals (in particular Vitamin C and Calcium).

Benefits of Stinging Nettle

Nettle has many benefits, we’ll dig into them below.

1. Respiratory & Sinus Health

Stinging Nettle has been shown to balance immune response, specifically in the airways and nasal passages [2]. Studies have shown that the extract of stinging nettles leaf balances a variety of inflammatory activities that affect respiratory & sinus health.

Stinging Nettles leaf has also been shown to control mast-cell degranulation, prostaglandin formation, and histamine action all contributing to a balanced inflammatory response [3].

This is one of the big reasons why we include Stinging Nettle in ourAllurtica formula. Allurtica is a natural way to support your body’s immune system to fight off seasonal challenges.

Allurtica is also a special formula for us here at Utzy Naturals because the Stinging Nettles that we use in it are grown on our Organic herb farm in Wisconsin. This is the first herb we started growing on the farm and we are proud to have a direct sourcing, from seed to capsule!

Allurtica

2. Prostate Health

Research shows that Stinging Nettle may be beneficial for those suffering from prostate discomfort [4]. Additionally, this study showed no negative side effects in the participants. A similar study confirmed that Stinging Nettle helps to support overall prostate health [5].

Other clinical trials show that taking Stinging Nettle, alongside Saw Palmetto, may be useful for prostate health [6]. This makes Stinging Nettle a potential option for men who are looking to support their prostate health as they age.

3. Joint Pain/Inflammatory Balance

Research shows that Stinging Nettle, when combined with a low dose of diclofenac (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), helped to reduce joint pain [7]. It is thought that this is due to Nettle’s ability to support inflammatory balance in the body.

Another study found that a combination of nettles, fish oil, and vitamin E helped to improve joint comfort [8].

4. Antimicrobial Properties

Stinging Nettle also has strong anti-microbial properties. Studies have shown that it possesses the ability to combat both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria [9].

BONUS: How To Eat Stinging Nettle

Even though brushing up against a Stinging Nettle plant might cause your skin to break out, if you simply cook Stinging Nettles leaves, the “sting” is taken out of them. You can also dry them, which has the same effect.

Nettle can be used as a “greens” substitute (similar to spinach). You also make a lovely tea by simmering the leaves in hot water.

In Closing:

Even though Stinging Nettle is viewed as a lowly weed, as you can see, it has some big time health benefits. So the next time you see a patch of nettle, consider foraging some for later use. Just remember to wear gloves!


 

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Daniel Powers

Co-Founder of Utzy Naturals

Daniel Powers is a health fanatic and writer. He's currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Herbal Medicine. He's obsessed with learning how to live a healthier, happier life. 
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References:

  1. Felter, H. W., & Lloyd, J. U. (1898). Kings Materia Medica.Henriette’s Herbal. Retrieved on March 10th, 2021 fromhttps://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/kings/urtica.html
  2. Mittman P. Randomized, double-blind study of freeze-dried Urtica dioica in the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Planta Med 1990; 56:44-47. 
  3. Obertreis, B. et al. Anti-inflammatory effect of Urtica dioica folia extract in comparison to caffeic malic acid. Arzneimittelforschung 1996; 46(1): 52-56.
  4. Safarinejad M. R. (2005). Urtica dioica for treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia: a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study.Journal of herbal pharmacotherapy, 5(4), 1–11.
  5. Schneider, T., & Rübben, H. (2004). Brennnesseltrockenextrakt (Bazoton-uno) in der Langzeittherapie des benignen Prostatasyndroms (BPS). Ergebnisse einer randomisierten, doppelblinden, placebokontrollierten Multicenterstudie über 12 Monate [Stinging nettle root extract (Bazoton-uno) in long term treatment of benign prostatic syndrome (BPS). Results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled multicenter study after 12 months].Der Urologe. Ausg. A, 43(3), 302–306. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00120-004-0532-7
  6. Kregiel, D., Pawlikowska, E., & Antolak, H. (2018). Urtica spp.: Ordinary Plants with Extraordinary Properties.Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 23(7), 1664. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23071664
  7. Randall, C., Randall, H., Dobbs, F., Hutton, C., & Sanders, H. (2000). Randomized controlled trial of nettle sting for treatment of base-of-thumb pain.Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 93(6), 305–309.https://doi.org/10.1177/014107680009300607
  8. Christensen, R., & Bliddal, H. (2010). Is Phytalgic(R) a goldmine for osteoarthritis patients or is there something fishy about this nutraceutical? A summary of findings and risk-of-bias assessment.Arthritis research & therapy, 12(1), 105. https://doi.org/10.1186/ar2909
  9. Gülçin, I., Küfrevioglu, O. I., Oktay, M., & Büyükokuroglu, M. E. (2004). Antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiulcer and analgesic activities of nettle (Urtica dioica L.). Journal of ethnopharmacology, 90(2-3), 205–215.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2003.09.028

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