Urtica dioica

© J.Reis

Also called stinging nettle, nettle leaf or stinger.

The story…

Nettle is native to Europe and Asia and is nowadays present all around the world, even if it is still mostly found in temperate Europe. It grows on rather humid and well-drained soils. It is precious for “useful” fauna and shelters between others various species of butterflies, including some in regression. Its scientific name derives from the Latin uro, burning – not surprising considering its stinging hairs!


Nutritional value

Nettle is rich in proteins (30% of the dry matter), mineral salts (magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, silica), vitamin A, C, D, E, F, K and P, oligo-elements and organic acids, which makes it a polyvalent plant, contributing to the smooth running of the liver, kidneys and digestive system. This very complete plant is perfect for periods of exhaustion, convalescence, or for people who may have nutritional deficiency.

For people suffering anemia, or women with iron deficiency due to periods, nettle contains both iron and vitamin C facilitating the assimilation of the former. The minerals it contains are particularly useful for muscular cramps, as well as chronic stress, which draws on the body’s mineral stocks. Oligo-elements and vitamins contribute to the reinforcement of the immune system.

For deficiencies, take infusions, tincture or add to your diet, as a cure during a dozen days.


Nettle has a positive effect on inflamed or ulcerated digestive mucous membranes, and balances the intestinal flora. Therefore, it is most useful as a medium-term treatment, rather than during a specific meal.


The minerals contained in nettle help the body to eliminate acid waste. Nettle infusion also has a diuretic effect accelerating the elimination of certain toxins by the kidney, including uric acid, which can create renal calculus or joint inflammations when present at too high level in the body. The diuretic effect also helps women with water retention during the periods or at the menopause.


Leaves infusion: 20 to 30g of dry plant or 100g of fresh plant per liter water; infuse during half an hour. Drink 3 cups a day. For the detoxifying effect, combine for example with dandelion root (for the liver) or rosemary.

You can eat nettle for example as soup or juice; hack the young leaves with a salad or to make a pesto; the dry and powered nettle or the seeds can be mixed with salad, rice, legumes, etc.


Contraindicated for people suffering kidney insufficiency, hemochromatosis (iron excess), taking certain anticoagulants or (on long-term) suffering hypotension issues. Allergic reactions are possible. The stinging effect can persist on the dry plant but disappears by hacking it. In case of persistent symptoms or if you have any doubts, consult a doctor.

© L.Mia