Stinging nettles (Urtica dioica)
Ahhhh, nettles. Urtica dioica. Stinging nettles. Very possibly one of the most beloved medicinal plants in western herbalism. And for good reason.
As one of the most mineral and nutrient-rich plants in the western herbal materia medica, nettles bring deep nutrition and restoration to the whole body, and have a lovely affinity for the wombspace, too.
Listen to this episode to learn:
- why nettles is an indispensible herb for your apothecary (and diet)
- the energetics and overall character of nettles
- what I mean when I say nettles is a "gateway plant"
- ways to start working with nettles in your own body or clinically
- traditional actions and uses of nettles throughout history
- explorations into current scientific research on nettle leaf, root, and seed
- specific reasons to incorporate nettles into pregnancy, postpartum, endometriosis, PCOS and overall support during menopause
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Free guide: Gardening for Your Menstrual Health
- Episode 2: What is Herbal Medicine?
- Episode 4: Herbal Spotlight - Tulsi/Holy Basil
- Episode 12: The Simple + Sacred Practice of Making Medicinal Teas
- Episode 15: What's a Plant Ally (and how to find yours)
- Buy bulk organic herbs: Mountain Rose Herbs
Braun, L., & Cohen, M. (2015). Herbs & natural supplements: An evidence-based guide (4th ed). Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.
Francišković, M., Gonzalez-Pérez, R., Orčić, D., Sánchez de Medina, F., Martínez-Augustin, O., Svirčev, E., Simin, N., Mimica-Dukić, N. (2017). Chemical composition and immuno-modulatory effects of Urtica dioica L. (stinging nettle) extracts. Phytother Res., 31(8), 1183-1191. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5836
Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical herbalism: The science and practice of herbal medicine. Healing Arts Press: Rochester, VT.
Mills, S., & Bone, K. (2013). Principles and practice of phytotherapy: Modern herbal medicine (2nd ed). Churchill Linvingstone Elsevier.
Moini Jazani, A., Hamdi, K., Tansaz, M., Nazemiyeh, H., Sadeghi Bazargani, H., Fazljou, S., & Nasimi Doost Azgomi, R. (2018). Herbal medicine for oligomenorrhea and amenorrhea: A systematic review of ancient and conventional medicine. BioMed research international, 2018, 3052768. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/3052768
Özalkaya, E., Aslandoğdu, Z., Özkoral, A., Topcuoğlu, S., Karatekin, G. (2018). Effect of a galactagogue herbal tea on breast milk production and prolactin secretion by mothers of preterm babies. Niger J Clin Pract., 21(1), 38-42. doi: 10.4103/1119-3077.224788.
Paulauskienė, A., Tarasevičienė, Ž., & Laukagalis, V. (2021). Influence of harvesting time on the chemical composition of wild stinging nettle (Urtica dioica L.). Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(4), 686. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10040686
Repajić, M., Cegledi, E., Zorić, Z., Pedisić, S., Elez, Garofulić, I., Radman, S., Palčić, I., Dragović-Uzelac, V. (2021). Bioactive compounds in wild nettle (Urtica dioica L.) leaves and stalks: Polyphenols and pigments upon seasonal and habitat variations. Foods, 10(1), 190. doi: 10.3390/foods10010190.
Shahzad. N., Alzahrani, A.R., Ibrahim, I.A.A., Soni, K., Shahid, I., Alsanosi, S.M., Falemban, A., Alanazi, I.M.M., Bamagous, G.A., Al-Ghamdi, S.S., Mahfoz, A.M. (2021). In vivo pharmacological testing of herbal drugs for anti-allergic and anti-asthmatic properties. J Pharm Bioallied Sci., 13(4), 380-386. doi: 10.4103/jpbs.jpbs_454_21.
Winston, D., & Kuhn, M. (2008). Herbal therapy & supplements: A scientific and traditional approach (2nd ed). Wolters Kluwer: Philadephia, PA.
Winston, D. (2003). Herbal therapeutics: Specific indications for herbs & herbal formulas (8th ed). Herbal Therapeutics Research Library: Broadway, NJ.
Wood, M. (2008). The earthwise herbal: A complete guide to old world medicinal plants. North Atlantic Books: Berkeley, CA.
Yeşil, Y., & İnal, İ. (2021). Ethnomedicinal plants of Hasankeyf (Batman-Turkey). Frontiers in pharmacology, 11, 624710. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.624710
Younger, J., Donovan, E.K., Hodgin, K.S., Ness, T.J. (2021). A placebo-controlled, pseudo-randomized, crossover trial of botanical agents for Gulf War Illness: Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum), stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), and epimedium (Epimedium sagittatum). Int J Environ Res Public Health, 18(7), 3671. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18073671.
Ziaei, R., Foshati, S., Hadi, A., Kermani, M.A.H., Ghavami, A., Clark, C.C.T., Tarrahi, M.J. (2020). The effect of nettle (Urtica dioica) supplementation on the glycemic control of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Phytother Res., 34(2), 282-294. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6535.
DISCLAIMER: This podcast is for educational purposes only, I am not providing any medical advice, I am not a medical practitioner, I’m an herbalist and in the US, there is no path to licensure for herbalists, so my role is as an herbal educator. Please do your own research and consult your healthcare provider for any personal health concerns.
Trusted sources for bulk herbs:
- Mountain Rose Herbs* (globally-sourced organic and wild-crafted herbs)
- Pacific Botanicals (California-grown and globally sourced herbs)
- Banyan Botanicals (Ayurvedic herbs)
REGIONAL, FARM-BASED COMPANIES
- Zack Woods Herb Farm (VT)
- Healing Spirits (NY)
- Sawmill Herb Farm (MA)
- Oshala Farm (OR)
- Meetinghouse Farm (ME)
- Sonoma County Herb Exchange (CA)
* affiliate link (I would only ever become an affiliate for a company I already trust and buy from myself, you can always google it and get there on your own if you'd prefer not to use my link)
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