Spring time has arrived and with it comes the pollen, grass, and other allergens that make our eyes itch, noses run, and causes us to have sneezing fits all throughout the day. If you are an allergy sufferer then you are likely familiar with antihistamines like Zyrtec, Claritin, or Benedryl. Those a good options but if you are looking for an herbal allergy buster, consider Nettle leaf!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is strictly for educational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult your physician and/or healthcare provider before beginning to use herbal products.
Latin Name: Urtica dioca
Common Name: Nettle aka Stinging Nettles
Parts used: aerial, radix, seeds
Actions: antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, mild hypoglycemic, diuretic, anti-hemorrhagic, hemostatic, detoxifier, vasodilator, circulatory stimulant, hypotensive, nutritive, galactagogue, astringent, expectorant, anti-allergic, reduces BPH, anti-rheumatic
Medicinal Uses: Nettle works as a diuretic by helping your kidneys remove uric acid which can help with painful gout symptoms. The diuretic action of Nettle makes it useful in the treatment of edema (swelling), arthritis with swollen joints, and congestive heart disease. The Nettle root is indicated in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and uterine hemorrhages. It is specific for nervous eczema and will strengthen and support the whole body. Plays an important role in chronic and degenerative condition of the musculoskeletal system such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis (OA), gout, joint pain and muscle pain (myalgia).
Who should use this herb: The nettle leaves are great for anyone with musculoskeletal pain, arthritis, or gout. Nettle is also great for those suffering from seasonal allergies & chronic inflammation (i.e. autoimmune conditions like Lupus, Sjogren’s Rheumatoid Arthritis, etc.).
Who should avoid this herb: While there are no known contraindications or interactions, some people may experience a hypersensitivity or allergy to Nettles. The symptoms are throat tightness and aggravation of sinusitis and rhinitis (runny nose). The fresh leaves cause wheals & irritation from the nettle hairs. This reaction is self-limited and may even be used therapeutically to produce a counter-irritant effect. Consult your physician.
How to use Nettle: Nettle can be used as a tea, tincture, capsule, or tincture.
Tea: steep 2 teaspoons of dried herb in 1 cup of water for 10 minutes. Strain and drink 1 cup, three times a day for seasonal allergy relief.
Tinctures/Capsules/Extracts: you can purchase a Nettle tincture at your local natural/health food store or online. Visit my Holistic Pharmacy for access to high-quality supplements & herbal products.
As previously mentioned, please consult a naturopathic doctor before self-prescribing herbs.
- Monographs on the medicinal uses of plant drugs. Exeter, UK: European Scientific Co-op Phytother, 1997.
- Blumenthal M, ed. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Trans. S. Klein. Boston, MA: American Botanical Council, 1998.
- Rayburn, K., Fleischbein, E., Song, J., Allen, B., Kundert, M., Leiter, C., and Bush, T. Stinging nettle cream for osteoarthritis. Altern.Ther.Health Med. 2009;15(4):60-61.
- Jacquet, A., Girodet, P. O., Pariente, A., Forest, K., Mallet, L., and Moore, N. Phytalgic, a food supplement, vs placebo in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee or hip: a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Arthritis Res.Ther. 2009;11(6):R192.