Common and folk names
- • Great Nettle
- • Stinging Nettle
Parts of Plants Used
Dark green= the most popular and common use
The Common Nettle is a herbaceous perennial plant in the Urticaceae family, with long, creeping rhizomes, of yellowish colour. The plant is also known under the name: “stinging nettle”.
The plant is hairy on the upper side, dark green to greyish green, sporadically yellowish green or matt. It has fine hairs on the leaves and stems that contain irritating chemicals, which are released when the plant comes in contact with the skin. The hairs, or spines, of the common nettle are normally very painful to the touch.
The plant is native to Europe, North America, and the non-tropical parts of Africa and Asia. It is a perennial weed with deep roots that takes over recently disturbed ground, and therefore is widespread at road edges, river and creek banks and on abandoned sites.
The plant is assessed as Least Concern according to the Red Data List (Europe) criteria of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
- Used to promote prostate health
- Used to decrease seasonal allergies
- Used to prevent many types of kidney stones
- Used to improve skin and hair conditions
- Used to improve liver and gall bladder functions
- Used to relieve rheumatism, arthritis and other inflammatory diseases
- Used to harmonise metabolism and can heal wounds and sores
- Used against mouth and throat infections
Used to relieve bronchial and asthmatic problems
• ingredient in salads, soups and omelets
• cordial and nettle beer
• ingredient for cheese making
• herbal tea
• root and leaf extract (capsules)
• oil, tincture, drops
• leaf powder
• hair-loss shampoo and conditioner
• ingredient of soap
• cleansing tonic and lotion
• commercial nettle textiles
• beneficial weed in gardens
• dye with shades ranging from yellow to deep green
• used for making rope, fishing line and nets
- Irritation from the nettle can be soothed by rubbing the skin with Rosemary, mint, or sage
- The plant fiber is similar to flax and it has been used to weave cloth. It was used for this purpose during World War II in Germany and Austria when these countries ran short of cotton
- Dried nettle added to chicken feed is supposed to increase egg yield
- Hang a bunch of stinging nettle in the kitchen to keep away flies. Supposedly they can't stand the smell
- You can make a natural green or natural yellow dye from nettles
- Crushing the leaves disables the stings, allowing nettles to even be served in salads but be careful!
- Nettle leaves are used for wrapping fresh fish in order stop bacteria multiplying and to prevent the fish from smelling bad
- Stinging nettles provide the only food for many species of butterfly larva
- Nettles were one of the main ingredients in English beer until the 1800s. Nettle beer, wine, champagne and cordial are all still commercially available
The leaves and stems of nettles have small fragile hair, which are actually capsules, containing several chemicals, including formic acid (similar to ant stings). When touching a leaf, a sharp hair, like a needle, gets into your skin then breaks down, injecting liquid into your skin. Ouch!