What are the Uses and Health Benefits of Nettle Leaves (Urtica dioica)?
What is Nettle Leaves?
Nettle leaves are also known as 'stinging nettle' or 'common nettle' (its leaves sting at the lightest touch) and are used in the Ayurveda for treating various diseases. Its botanical name is Urtica dioica and it belongs to family Urticaceae. Other common names are Dwarf Nettle, Stinging Nettle, Devil's Leaf, Great Nettle, Net Plant, and Chinese Nettle.
This perennial plant grows up to 2 to 3 feet in height. Root is widely spread and yellow in color with rhizomes. Leaves are about 3 to 15 cm long and are borne opposite on the stem. They have strongly serrated margins with a cordate base and an acuminate tip with a terminal leaf tooth longer than adjacent laterals. Flowers bloom between early summers to early autumn. It is a rich source of minerals, vitamins such as A, C, D and K and also contains iron, calcium, potassium and phosphorous.
It is native to Europe, western North America and temperate Asia and commonly grows on the waste ground and near hedges.
Roots and aerial parts of the plant
What are the Medicinal Properties of Nettle Leaves?
- Nettle leaves are useful in treating symptoms related to cough, cold, bronchitis and allergies.
- This herb is used in neuralgia, prostatitis, and kidney infections.
- It also treats arthritis, rheumatism, gout, diarrhea, and dysentery.
- It is also useful for itching, burns, wounds and skin problems such as eczema.
- It detoxifies toxins from the body and are also used as a spring tonic.
- It promotes healthy digestion and cleans the digestive tract.
What are the Therapeutic Uses of Nettle Leaves?
Cough and bronchitis
Nettle leaves decrease the cough reflex by acting as a cough suppressant. This herb acts as a mucolytic agent that loosens the mucus and decreases its production. It also dilates the bronchioles and relaxes the lung muscles. It also widens the airways and provides relief in other symptoms such as pain and stiffness in the chest.
This herb is useful in treating symptoms related to joints. It acts as an analgesic as well as an anti-inflammatory that reduces the pain, inflammation and provides relief to the patient. It maintains the synovial fluid and decreases the friction between the joints. It keeps the bones strong and healthy.
Nettle leaves are great for kidneys that are helpful in treating problems such as kidney failure, kidney stones, polycystic kidneys etc. This herb acts as an antihypertensive that controls the blood pressure. Due to its diuretic property, it maintains the functioning of kidneys and increases the production of urine. It also acts as an antioxidant that cleans the blood and removes the toxins from the body.
Diarrhea and dysentery
In diarrhea and dysentery, it acts as an antimicrobial that prevents the body from getting rid of the bacteria or virus that can cause diarrhea. It acts as an analgesic that can ease the severe abdominal and rectal pain. It decreases the frequency of bowel movements and maintains the hydration of the body.
This herb acts as an antiviral that kills the virus and removes the obstruction caused by it. It builds up the bilirubin in the body and provides relief in symptoms related to jaundice such as yellowing of the skin and mucous membrane, weakness, fever, vomiting, dark urine etc.
This herb strengthens the blood vessels and acts as an antibacterial that kills the growth of bacteria that cause skin infections. It prevents the spread of infection and provides relief in redness, itching, pain, dry skin, and other related symptoms. It maintains the body's metabolism by increasing the immunity.
In hemorrhoids, this herb acts as a laxative that makes the stool soft and passes it easily through the rectum. It blocks the pain and swelling and maintains the growth and repair of tissues. It promotes the health of the patient and provides relief in other symptoms such as mucus discharge, weakness, constipation etc.
Nettle leaves acts a blood purifier that removes the toxins and other waste products from the body. It keeps the blood clean and maintains the circulation of blood in the blood vessels.
Different Preparations Made by Nettle Leaves
Doses of these Preparations
- Capsules: one capsule daily
- Tea: 2 to 4 gm
- Powder: 3 to 6 gm