Nettle has been used traditionally as a spring tonic. The leaf contains vitamins and minerals including vitamin C and iron. This makes it useful in anaemia (vitamin C is needed for iron absorbtion)
The herb has a diuretic action and encourages uric acid excretion, so can be a useful treatment in gout and arthritic conditions. Its cleansing action also indicates its use in chronic skin conditions.

The infusion of the dried leaf can be used as a hair rinse to help control dandruff and hair loss.

Nettle root is also used in herbal medicine. It is particularly useful in benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) - enlarged prostate. It has been shown to inhibit binding of testosterone to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and can help symptoms by improving urine flow and reducing frequency, particularly at night.

Nettles may be eaten freely as a vegetable (cook the fresh leaves as you would spinach).

Urtica dioica (Nettle)

Julie Padgham, Medical Herbalist & Reflexologist.  Urtica dioica.  Photo: By Norbert Nagel (own work) via Wilkimedia Commons.

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