Stinging Nettle

Stinging Nettle

Stinging Nettle

Scientific name: Urtica dioica

Other common names: Common nettle, greater nettle, ortie, common nettle, or just a nettle or stinger

U. dioica (UD), often called common nettle or stinging nettle, is an herbaceous perennial flowering plant in the family Urticaceae. It is native to Europe, Asia, northern Africa, and western North America; it grows wild around rural houses, in piles of rubble and in ditches all over the world, in regions where the climate is humid and temperate. U. dioica is a perennial plant, 1–2 m tall in the summer and dying down to the ground in winter. The soft, green leaves with long triangular teeth are 3–15 cm long and are borne oppositely on an erect, wiry, green stem.


Energy Support, Urinary Tract Support, Immune Support, Men, Beauty


Stinging nettle root is used for urination problems related to an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia [BPH]). These problems include nighttime urination, too frequent urination, painful urination, inability to urinate, and irritable bladder [1].

Stinging Nettle traditionally has been used to treat Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) (root only), and Stinging Nettle leaf traditionally has been used to treat cough, tuberculosis, and other respiratory conditions, including allergic rhinitis. It is used as an expectorant, an astringent, a diuretic, and as a treatment for urinary tract disorders. Nettle is recognized as a bladder irrigant to reduce blood loss and inflammation in bladder conditions. Stinging Nettle is also used for arthritis pain, often in conjunction with low doses of NSAIDs. It is used externally as a hair and scalp remedy for oily hair and dandruff [2].

Many studies have been performed to confirm the BPH action of nettle. Several double-blind controlled studies showed a considerable improvement in urologic function after nettle was given. The change in urination occurred within 4 weeks to 6 months, depending on the study.

View Important Precautions

Active Constituents of Nettle

Nettle is rich on vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3 and B5. It is rich in protein, calcium, iron, folate, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, selenium and zinc. It also contains alpha and beta hydroxysitosterols, appreciable amounts of quercetin and rutin.

Parts Used

Root, Leaf, Stem

Additional Resources


[2] Skidmore-Roth, L. Mosby’s Handbook of Herbs & Supplements, 3rd ed. St. Louis: Mosby, Inc., Elsevier; 2006:762-776.

Fenter TC, Naslund MJ, Shah MB, et al. The cost of treating the 10 most prevalent diseases in men 50 years of age or older. Am J Manag Care. 2006;612:S90-S98.

Sökeland, J. Combined sabal and urtica extract compared with finasteride in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia: analysis of prostate volume and therapeutic outcome. BJU Int. 2000;86:439-442.

Important Precautions

Not for use during pregnancy or lactation. If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs please consult your doctor prior to use.


This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.