Urtica dioica, U.urens, U. gracilis 

Common Name: Nettle, Stinging Nettle, Wild Spinach, Devils Leaf
Family: Urticaceae
Part/s Used: Leaves + Roots + Seeds
Energetics: Neutral 
Taste: Sweet, bland, astringent
Actions: Nutritive, diuretic, homostatic, astringent, anti allergenic, inflammation modulating, galactagogue, emollient
Organ system affinity: Genitourinary system
Constituents: Histamine, vitamins A and D, Iron, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, silica
Element: Fire 
Planet: Mars

Medicinal Preparations:

Tincture (ratio & alcohol %): Fresh: leaves or roots 1:2 to 1:4 95%  Dry: 1:5 50% alcohol
Drops: 30-60   Times a day: 3x
Glycerite: Fresh leaf 1:2.5-1:4  Glycerin: 50% Water: 50%
Drops: 30-60   Times a day: 3x
Acetum Extract: Fresh leaves 1:2.5-1:4 organic ACV or simplers method

Dosage: 1tsp   Times a day: 1-3x before meals

Tea: 8-12 oz of standard or cold infusion of the leaves  
Times a day: 3-4x
Decoction: 4-8 oz strong decoction or cold infusion of the root     
Times a day: 2-3x

Habitat and Botanical Description: 

Nettle is a herbaceous perennial native to Europe, Asia and Western North Africa that now grows throughout temperate regions of the world. Find Nettle in sunny areas along lakes and streams, at the edge of forests, mountain slopes, woodland clearings and in disturbed areas such as roadsides. It prefers rich, moist soil and makes an excellent addition to the compost pile due to its high nitrogen content. Nettle grows from 2-6 feet tall on a square, fibrous stem. The dark green leaves are ovate and sharply toothed located in opposite pairs and become progressively smaller toward the top of the stem. The leaves and stems are covered with tiny, hollow hairs tipped with silica. Nettle spreads by rhizomes, so each plant can have multiple stems and thus nettle typically grows in dense colonies.

Medicinal Uses:

Nettle has been used as a food, herb, and fiber for thousands of years! 

Nettle is famous for its sting! The stinging feeling is induced by the formic acid and histamine present in small hairs that coat the stems and leaves. These sharp hairs pierce the skin upon contact and then detach, releasing their chemicals and the pain often persists for several hours or longer. 

On a brighter note, Nettle provides the highest source of plant protein in the forest. A highly nutritive land plant rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, C ,E and K, iron, selenium, magnesium, chlorophyll. silica, calcium. This immune boosting herb contains astringent qualities with gentle decongestant properties and support lax mucous membranes. Those with seasonal allergies or recovering from acute illnesses accompanied by a runny nose, watery eyes, coughing will find nettles help to alleviate these symptoms.

Nettle leaf and root have been found to be beneficial in addressing kidney and genitourinary system issues. Both have diuretic properties which aid in eliminating toxins and flushing the urinary system. Nettles provide relief for urinary discomfort, strengthen and tone the kidneys, and improve overall vitality. The herb is also useful in treating fluid retention, cystitis, urethritis, prostatitis, and even softening and expelling kidney stones and gravel from the urinary tract.

Nettle is a specific for women and can be used throughout all her stages in life. An excellent tonic for PMS, new mothers by nourishing and promoting milk flow and building the blood. Drinking the tea will also nourish the breast milk. Nettles hemostatic properties help with excessive bleeding during menstruation, mid cycle spotting, minor bleeding in stools, hemorrhoids. 
Nettle root has a much stronger affinity for the prostate and the male reproductive system. Nettle root increases urine flow and reduces frequency of urination at night (primary complaint in BPH). The root combines nicely with the leaf which is a stronger diuretic, great for reducing inflammation for prostatitis and nutritive for debilitated tissues. Proper dosage varies from person to person and should be consulted with a clinical herbalist. But generally, Nettle can be eaten raw, as a daily nourishing tonic, teas and tinctures are all beneficial.
Nettle is ruled by the planet of Aries, which is the spark of fire! Aries is impulsive, hot, the vital force is moving up and out just like we see at the beginning of the spring season. Readily available during this time, it is the perfect plant medicine for us. 


Regular use of Urtica has been used to improve skin and hair. Susan weed raves about Nettle drunk as a infusion and applied as a hair rinse for "glossy, think, vibrant hair, healthy hard nails and clear lustrous smooth skin" Using a localized application of ACV is most effective for dandruff and hair loss and can be used as a darkening agent for dark hair. 


Gather carefully, covering exposed skin. Harvest nettles in the spring during Aries season, up to the time it begins to flower. If using fresh, cut the first two or three pairs of leaves from the top of the plant. Fresh nettle can be used in tea, tincture, wild pesto (blanched), juiced, cooked, steamed. If you plan on using for later use, cut the top third of the plant though the fibrous stalk and bundle together with twine and hang upside down. Strip the leaves when dry. The hairs are inactive when dry but some can remain. The seeds are best harvested in the late summer/early fall during Libra season, the opposite sign of Aries which rules the kidneys and the primary part of the body which nettle seed works on. The roots of nettle can be harvested in the fall, during Scorpio season

Recommended Products:


Sharp, stinging hairs encompass this entire plant. The sting is more potent when in flower. Leaves should be cooked or blanched before use. 


  • Popham, Sajah. Alchemical Herbalism Course. School of Evolutionary Herbalism. Lecture Notes; 2020
  • Popham, Sajah. The Vitalist Herbal Practitioner Program. School of Evolutionary Herbalism. Lecture Notes; 2021
  • Sinadinos, Christa. The Essential Guide to Western Botanical Medicine. Fieldbrook, CA; 2020
  • Sinadinos, Christa. Northwest School for Botanical Studies Course. Lecture Notes; 2014

Disclosure: This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.