phytochemicals Phytochemicals

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Stinging Nettle

Stinging Nettle

Urtica dioica

What is stinging nettle?

Stinging nettle is an erect perennial plant up to 1,5 m high. The stinging nettle leaves are dark greyish green with serrated margins. The flowers are small and inconspicuous. The stems and leaves have the typical stinging hairs.

Parts used

The entire plant can be used. During spring the young nettle shoots are harvested.


These are typical phytochemicals found in stinging nettle: histamine, acetylcholine, serotonin, flavonol glycosides, sitosterol, lectin, coumarins, hydroxysitosterol, scopoletin, tannins, lignans.

Benefits of stinging nettle

The stinging nettle has stimulating action on the kidneys and bladder. Nettle shoots, eating during spring, helps to clean the body of toxins. Stinging nettle is used to treat inflammation of the urinary tract and kidney gravel.
Stinging nettle improves the excretion of uric acid thereby reducing the symptoms of gout and arthritis.
Stinging nettle leaves have diuretic properties. Nettle root is also used for the treatment of urinary retention caused by prostate enlargement.
Lectins present in stinging nettle appear to stimulate the immune system.

Other facts

Stinging nettle originates from Europe and Asia.
Stinging nettle is very rich in chlorophyll and is used by the industry to extract pure chlorophyll for colouring purposes. Young stinging nettle shoots are edible when slightly cooked and have a nice and nutty taste. Nettle shoots contain also beta-carotene and vitamin C.

Other names

Great stinging nettle, common nettle, nettle

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