Nettles (Urtica dioica) are a group of plants belonging to the Urticaceae family. Nettles are also called stinging nettles. There are over 500 species of nettles worldwide. Nettles originated in Europe and Asia, but grow all over the world today. 1,2
Stinging nettles are a perennial plant that grow in forests or damp areas. Nettles have long, far-spreading roots. It’s a creeping plant with sharp, pointed leaves and green flowers. Nettles grow up to 4 feet tall with the stems and the leaves covered in fine, bristly hairs.
When touched, nettles leave a stinging residue that irritates the skin.1 Nettles have been used as a medicinal remedy for hundreds of years, including during Ancient Greek and Medieval times.3
Though stinging nettles are often associated with causing pain when touched, they actually have important health benefits. Stinging nettles natural remedies are produced from the nettles stems, leaves and roots. Nettles can be taken as a tea or applied topically.3
Nettles Health Uses and Health Benefits
Nettles contain several vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, D, E and K.4 Different parts of the nettles plant provide different nettles benefits for health. The stems, leaves and flowers have antihistamine properties used for respiratory conditions and allergy-relief. Nettles benefits form the roots provide relief for urinary conditions and enlarged prostates.3
Nettles benefits are known for being a natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, astringent and pain-killer.3
Nettles benefits can help in the following ways:
- Stimulating and improving urinary flow
- Reducing joint inflammation and pain
- Treating allergic reactions
- Reducing bleeding
- Lowering skin inflammation and irritation
- Healing wounds and insect bites
- Detoxifying the body
Nettles uses for natural remedies include:
- Nosebleed - Nettles help to reduce bleeding and can help stop a nosebleed.
- Bursitis - Nettles have natural anti-inflammatory health benefits that can help to treat bursitis.
- Uterine Fibroid - Nettles can help reduce uterine fibroids with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Hives - Nettles uses include being able to treat skin irritation and inflammation caused by hives. Nettles can be applied directly to the skin on the affected areas.
- Snoring - Nettles can help improve breathing and reduce snoring caused by allergies or sinus congestion.
Nettles Side Effects and Precautions
Nettles side effects can include interfering with blood sugar levels. People with diabetes should avoid taking nettles as a natural remedy. Nettles side effects may also include causing upset stomach or diarrhea. When taking nettles, start out with a small dose and gradually build up.3