Overview of Stinging Nettle
Scientific Name: Urtica dioica
Stinging nettle is called stinging nettle because of the "stinging hairs" (trichomes) on the leaves that can cause a rash when touched. Do NOT confuse with Urtica ferox, a poisonous plant native to New Zealand.
- Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH)/Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS), stinging nettle alone and in combination with avocado / soya oil; and pygeum appear to be effective [1-7]
- Nonetheless, stinging nettle with saw palmetto appear to be more effective, and in one case as effective as finasteride
- Osteoarthritis/Joint Pain, stinging nettle alone and stinging nettle with fish oil / vitamin E [8-10]
- Type 2 Diabetes, including cardiovascular health in people with Type 2 Diabetes [11-13]
Conflicting (Unclear):insufficient information
- Allergic Rhinitis 
- Arthiritis, when stinging nettle was applied to the painful region of the skin 
- Burns, stinging nettle with arnica 
- Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis (CBP), stinging nettle with saw palmetto / quercetin / curcumin 
- Insect Bite (reduces erythema, but NOT itching), a homeopathic gel containing stinging nettle / Echinacea angustifolia / Ledum palustre / witch hazel extract 
- Stops Bleeding, stinging nettle with Thymus vulgaris / Glycyrrhiza glabra / Vitis vinifera / Alpinia officinarum [19-20]
- Gingivitis 
No Clinical Research:All other conditions.
- Allergic Skin Reactions
- Decreased Urine Flow
- Gastrointestinal Complaints
- Avoid or contact a licensed healthcare practitioner, if you are sensitive to stinging nettle or are allergic to plants in the genus Urtica, or when there is fluid retention resulting from reduced heart or kidney functions.
- Handling stinging nettle can cause intense burning for 12 hours or even longer or urticaria, but washing the affected area thoroughly with soap and water may relieve the symptoms.
- An older man who regularly drank stinging nettle tea had edematous gingivostomatitis (swelling of the mouth and its mucous membranes), which may have been a serious allergic reaction.
- After taking a combination of stinging nettle/couch grass root/willow herb/onion bulb, a diabetic man became hypoglycemia.
- Strong diuretic effects have been reported in people with arthritis, and myocardial or chronic venous insufficiencies.
- A man began developing breast and a woman began over-producing milk after taking stinging nettle.
- Topically applied fresh nettle can cause rash, stinging, itching, and tongue swelling.
- A case of upper gastrointestinal bleeding occurred while using stinging nettle.
- Do NOT give stinging nettle to children under 2 years of age.
- Stinging nettle juice can sometimes cause diarrhea.
There is not enough research on the use of supplements containing stinging nettle during pregnancy and breast-feeding, so consult a licensed healthcare practitioner before use or avoid use. A case of an infant who sucked on nipples rubbed with stinging nettle developed rashes/hives (urticaria). Stinging nettle may stimulate the uterus. [22-28]
Stinging nettle is not a "drug", the best doses have not been thoroughly established. Make sure to follow the specific product instructions and take as directed on the label, or consult a licensed healthcare practitioner before use.
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