Urtica urens / dioica –Stinging Nettles

Nettles are best described as mother nature’s multivitamin and are one of the most popular of the wild green. Nettles are a rich source of nutrients, their nutritional value is impressive, high in vitamins and minerals especially iron, silica, and potassium, vitamin A, B1 in the fresh plant, B2, C, E & K, carotenoids (chlorophyll/beta carotene), calcium, potassium, iron, manganese, copper, flavonoids, silica. Infusion of the gathered herb in spring is higher in ammonium, phosphorus, and potassium, and gathered in late summer is higher in calcium, magnesium, and sulfur (fresh or dried).

The young leaves are soft and tender, wonderful nutritional food to be consumed in winter and early spring. Make nettle soup, or add to any other soup, steam some nettles, and serve them up with a little olive oil or parmesan cheese, they are delicious. Nettles are known for their sting, the stinging properties are lost when hot water is applied as in an infusion or heating when cooking, and also when squeezed as in juice in a small amount.

Traditional Uses:

Nettles have been traditionally used as a blood purifier, diuretic, astringent, circulatory stimulant, hypoglycemic galactagogue, hemostatic, expectorant, nervine, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

A nourishing tonic for debility, hypotension, convalescence, and anemia. Stimulating action on the bladder and kidneys, assisting with the cleansing of toxins from the body, relieving fluid retention & bladder infections.

For the respiratory system to assist with allergic rhinitis, hay fever, nasal mucus problems, and nose bleeding. Nettle leaf is considered a natural antihistamine.

For the gastrointestinal tract to assist with stomach hemorrhage and hemorrhoids.

For the genitourinary to assist with prostatic hypertrophy (rhizome used), and chronic cystitis.

For the musculoskeletal system to assist with gout, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and joint pain.

For the skin to assist with eczema (infantile & nervous), cutaneous eruptions, external: ulcers, and wounds.

Dosage:  infusion of dried herb 2 – 4g three times daily (BHP)

Nettle is governed under the energy of Mars. It’s warm, mild, bitter, dry, and cold. It works on the meridians of the liver, spleen, and bladder.

Nettle Soup Recipe     

  • Pick nettles before they flower, use gloves
  • They are best picked when they are 4-12 inches tall before their stalks get too tough
  • Sauté some onion, garlic and chopped potato How much is up to you
  • Fill the pot halfway with water, or water and stock (vegetable or chicken broth)
  • Turn on the heat
  • Once the water is simmering, jam the pot FULL of chopped nettles
  • Continue to simmer the soup until the potatoes are soft
  • Put some in a blender, add some milk, and make crème of nettle soup

The information provided is for educational purposes and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment. Consult your medical care provider before using herbal medicine, particularly if you have a known medical condition, are on any medication, and if you are pregnant or nursing.