Stinging nettle is an herbaceous shrub covered by small stinging hairs. Herbal preparations are usually made from the leaves or roots. Handling the plant should be done with care to avoid skin irritation (eg, hives, stinging).
When stinging nettle touches a painful area of the body, its counterirritant properties may help relieve pain. It has been used for hundreds of years to treat eczema, gout, anemia, arthritis, and rheumatism (joint inflammation and pain). Medicinal preparations are used today to treat kidney stones and urinary problems (eg, symptoms of an enlarged prostate).
Sources of Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle is available in the following forms: dried leaf and root tincture.
Guidelines and Cautions
Always follow package directions.
- Side effects include gastrointestinal discomfort.
- Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use stinging nettle.
Do not use stinging nettle if taking medication for the following conditions:
- Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Nervous system disorders
Drugs that may interact with stinging nettle include:
Disclaimer: Many people report feeling improvement in their condition and/or general well-being taking dietary, vitamin, mineral, and/or herbal supplements. The Editorial Board of SpineUniverse.com, however, cannot endorse such products since most lack peer-reviewed scientific validation of their claims. In most cases an appropriate diet and a "multiple vitamin" will provide the necessary dietary supplements for most individuals. Prior to taking additional dietary, vitamin, mineral, and/or herbal supplements it is recommended that patients consult with their personal physician to discuss their specific supplement requirements.