Health Benefits and Uses of Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

Stinging nettle, despite its name and appearance, is a very useful herb that is effective in treating a wide variety of ailments. This herbaceous plant is also referred to as burn weed and burn nettle because the leaves and stems contain sharp hairs that produce a stinging sensation when touched. An easy way around this is to boil the stems and leaves, or utilize the extracted oil, to treat everything from menopausal symptoms to high blood pressure.

Stinging Nettle Benefits

Below are some of the many benefits of and uses for stinging nettle.

1. Natural Detox

Stinging nettle has been shown to remove toxins from the body and cleanse the entire system. Being a potent diuretic, stinging nettle makes sure excess nutrients as well as toxins are removed from the body quickly. This plant also stimulates the lymphatic system and digestive system.

2. Kidney Health

Because it is a potent diuretic, stinging nettle helps keep the kidneys clean and healthy. Stinging nettle may also be able to help break down kidney stones.

3. Menstruation and Menopause Relief

Stinging nettle has been shown to soothe cramping and bloating, two of the most common side effects of menstruation. Because of its astringent and coagulant properties, stinging nettle may also reduce excessive bleeding during menstruation. Stinging nettle may also help regulate hormones during menopause and menstruation.

4. Aid in Childbirth

Stinging nettle is believed to help address excessive pain and to speed up the process during childbirth. It may also reduce bleeding as it is a natural coagulant. Civilizations have also used stinging nettle to increase milk production.

5. Improves Circulation

Vitamin C combined with iron makes stinging nettles an excellent natural remedy for stimulating blood flow. Improved circulation assists in healing of wounds, decreasing fatigue, and preventing headaches.

6. Supports Healthy Bones

Boron is found in high quantities in stinging nettle, and this mineral is crucial to bone health. Boron helps to maintain the calcium content in our bones, which therefore prevents fractures, breaks, osteoporosis, and other bone issues.

7. Anti-Inflammatory

Stinging nettle has anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it effective in treating inflammation due to arthritis, gout, and other conditions. Research supports the idea that consuming stinging nettle tea can soothe sore muscles, reduce arthritic symptoms, and treat gout.

8. Healthy Skin

When applied to the skin, stinging nettle extract has been shown to treat various skin conditions, such as acne and other bacterial infections. The extract may also reduce the appearance of scars, age spots, blemishes, and wrinkles.

9. Respiratory Support

Certain stinging nettle extract combinations have been shown to reduce allergic reactions and symptoms of seasonal allergies. Consumption of stinging nettle tea is another natural remedy that has been used for centuries to treat asthma and other respiratory issues.


This herb has also been linked to supporting the health of the heart, prostate, and gastrointestinal system. This natural remedy can help prevent prostate growth and inflammation, lower blood pressure, and prevent and soothe ulcers and hemorrhoids.

How to Use Stinging Nettle

Fresh, young nettles are best to be used, especially if they are found where you live. Sometimes they can be found to be growing wild in large pieces of lands or yards. They should be cooked until they are tender and then seasoned with a small amount of butter.

For external use, the leaves may be used raw and put directly on the area that has rheumatic pain, as it increases the circulation and draws out pain. Many people try to avoid the sting of these nettles, but those who suffer from arthritic pain in their hands prick their hands on purpose to ease the pain and inflammation.

Dried leaf can be used in teas or sprinkled onto your food like parsley.

To make a tea, wash one pint of young nettle tops and add to 1 quart of rapidly boiling water. Turn the heat off and stir. Allow to cool, then strain and consume.


While stinging nettle is an effective natural treatment for many conditions, it should not be used by those with low blood pressure. Also, if you are pregnant, be sure to consult with your physician or herbalist before using stinging nettle for any reason.


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