Newsletter Notes by David Winston, AHG

May / June 2004

Herb of the Season: Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

Nettles is a truly amazing medicinal plant-virtually every part of the plant is useful and each part has different uses.

Nettle Leaf
Nettle leaf is the most commonly used part of the plant. It is a nutritive tonic rich in calcium, iron, silicic acid (silica), potassium, as well as carotenoids and Vitamins C & K. The leaf is used clinically for xue (blood) deficiencies such as iron-deficient anemia and as a venous tonic for varicose veins, capillary fragility, and excessive bruising. The leaf also strengthens bones (Osteoporosis, fractures), hair and nails and is an aquaretic (a non-irritating, potassium sparing diuretic). It enhances excretion of uric acid (gout), and can be used to treat hematuria and simple cystitis.
H&A formulas with Nettle Leaf: Osteoherb, Iron Extract, and Kidney Support Compound

Nettle Root
Nettle Root has been used for many years in Europe and more recently here for treating BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia). Its mechanism of action is different than Saw Palmetto, and the two together are more effective for reliving prostatic swelling, nocturia, and urinary dribbling in older men than either one alone. Preliminary evidence also suggests that Nettle Root may inhibit or slow the progress of prostate cancer.
H&A formulas with Nettle Root: Men’s Prostate Tonic.

Nettle Seed
Nettle Seed is the least known part of Nettles. In Europe, the seed is used as a restorative tonic for old and worn out horses. More than 10 years ago, I discovered Nettle Seed could be used as a kidney trophorestorative-literally a food for the kidneys. I have used the seed tincture to treat over 30 cases of degenerative kidney disease and the results have far exceeded my expectations. A recent study published in the Journal of The American Herbalist Guild [4(2):22-25] confirms my clinical experience, showing that Nettle Seed increases kidney glomerular function and reduces serum creatinine levels. Many herbalists have seen significant benefits from using Nettle Seed tincture in patients with glomerulonephritis, chronic nephritis with degeneration, and to protect the kidneys from nephrotoxic medications.
H&A formulas with Nettle Seed: Kidney Support Compound.