ClickCease Nettle – Dr. Morse's Herbal Health Club

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At a Glance:

COMMON NAME: Nettle, Stinging Nettle

LATIN BINOMIAL NAME: Urtica dioica, U. urens

FAMILY: Urticaceae

PARTS USED: Leaf, seed & root

HABITAT: Native to temperate zones in Asia, Europe and North America. Flourishes in riparian habitats.

PRIMARY CONSTITUENTS: Chlorophyll, trace minerals, antioxidants, fat, iron, Vitamin C, B group & K1, protein. The stingers are made of silicon and contain formic acid, histamine and acetylcholine.


If you have ever found yourself tromping along a riverbank in a swimsuit or shorts, you may already be familiar with the shocking prick of the stinging nettle. Once stung, the initial shock gives way to a tingly, throbbing sensation that can last for hours, and for some, days. Although unpleasant to unknowingly graze past, this plant's powerful protective mechanism provides a panacea of supportive benefits.*

Habitat and Cultivation:

As you may have guessed, stinging nettle is a plant that loves to grow by the waterside. Its thirsty roots heartily run along the riverbank making stinging nettle familiar scenery in riparian ecosystems worldwide. When introduced to the garden and given plenty of water, you’ll be hacking this leggy, leafy weed with a machete as, by the end of summer, it will be growing over your head! But it is still an herb worth tending (and containing) in your herbal garden plot for the many therapeutic and edible creations it can produce.

Traditional Use

Any plant that can sting like a bee is bound to generate some buzz. Much like bee venom therapy (apitherapy), which is the use of bee stings for their health benefits, the practice of urtication spans back some 2000 years. Still practiced today to support circulation, healthy inflammatory response and even aid in calming nervous system discomforts, urtication involves beating oneself with nettle stalks. This author has tried it, and it is profound.*

Although there is not a ton of research linking nettles with highly absorbable silica in the body, many traditional herbalists use nettle interchangeably with horsetail to support healthy hair, skin and nails. Try drinking nettle tea or taking nettle tincture daily and combine this with an herbal hair wash of infused nettle leaf and rosemary in apple cider vinegar.*

Specific Indications

Stinging Nettle is a tasty diuretic herb that likes to grow near moving water; an indication of how it supports movement of the waters in the body. Kidney tonic: mineral rich herb is high in potassium, which is an essential mineral for kidney health and fluid balance in the body. The sting of nettle is due to fine needles made of silica that inject a chemical mixture of formic acid, histamine, acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter) and 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin). This silica supports the strength of the lining of the urinary tract.*

*FDA warning: This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.