Common Name: Stinging Nettles | Scientific Name: Urticaria Dioica

Family: Urticariaceae
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RESOURCES
Fact sheet
 

Chapter from book

As an Adaptogen
Eclectic Physician’s notes
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Fact Sheet
Nettle
Urtica dioica
Parts Used: Leaves and stalks
Remember this : causes red cures red
Reasonable Uses: hay fever, allergies, runny eyes, running nose, osteo-arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, allergic skin conditions including eczema and contact dermatitis.
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History and Traditional Uses
The nettle plant is hard to miss. It stings you the way a honeybee or fire ant would. Indeed, its stingers contain formic acid, the same chemical that puts the sting in a fire ant! Just like the ant sting, the nettle sting will cause your skin to swell up and itch like crazy.
Oddly, its age old use is in treating chronic inflammation, both of the skin, joints, and even the respiratory tract. The Romans used it to treat swollen arthritic joints and Colonial Americans used it to treat inflammatory skin and respiratory problems. The ancients used the plant that caused inflammation to treat inflammation.
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Scientific Back Up
Scientific encounter with the nettle suggests that the weedy plant may be able just what a person suffering from chronic inflammation needs
Scientists at the University of Frankfurt, the University of Dusseldorf, and St. Elisabeth’s Clinic in Straubing, Germany, studied 40 people with sudden, severe episodes of arthritis. Half the people were given 200 mg of diclofenac (Cataflam), a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used for arthritis pain. The others were given only 50 mg of diclofenac and 50 grams of stewed nettle leaves. (Heating or drying nettle removes the sting.)
People in both groups experienced considerably less pain and stiffness. The researchers noted a previous study in which people with arthritis were able to cut their doses of NSAIDs in half by taking 1,340 mg of dried, powdered nettle. The next step, they say, is to find out whether stinging nettle can ease acute attacks of arthritis on its own, without the use of drugs.
Herbalists use it too….
Minimalise seasonal allergies
The good news about seasonal allergies is they are seasonal, you know when to expect the running nose and itching eyes. Whether its grass pollen in the summer or leaf mould in the fall, it’s all terribly predictable for most allergy sufferers. Herbalists recommend patients start using nettle products one month before their allergies traditionally start and to keep using it straight through the end of their allergy season. In some cases symptoms disappear, in others they are greatly reduced.
Reduce inflammation in chronic joint disease
They are many different types of arthritis but they all share one common feature, chronically inflamed, swollen, and painful joints. The Romans were the first to note that red joints, when stung with nettles, improved. Modern herbalists no longer recommend people stinging themselves with nettles, rather they suggest taking nettle products on a daily basis for long periods of time. The effect is dramatic in some and more subtle in others, but, herbalists concur it is worth a try when chronic joint disease is the problem.
Calm hysterical skin
Some people merely bump into something and they come out in hives! In others, bumping into something results in a full blown case of contact dermatitis or eczema. Herbalists recommend people with seriously reactive skin, skin that powerfully over reacts to just about anything, use nettles to make the skin less hysterical.
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Dosage and Duration
Nettles must be used for weeks an months for a change to be experienced. It should be taken three times a day.
Dried nettle herb: 3gms boiled in water and strained.
Nettle tincture 1:5 one teaspoon(5ml)
Nettle tincture 1:1: 20 drops
Fresh nettle juice: 10 ml
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Shopping Tips
Make certain that the products you purchase are made out of the nettle plant. (The nettle root products are used for prostate problems!) Avoid products containing other herbal remedies.
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Warning
Experts recommend taking no more than 1 dose a day for the first few days to make certain you are not allergic to it!
Alternatives
Licorice(Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Dosage and Duration
Nettles must be used for weeks an months for a change to be experienced. It should be taken three times a day.
Dried nettle herb: 3gms boiled in water and strained.
Nettle tincture 1:5 one teaspoon(5ml)
Nettle tincture 1:1: 20 drops
Fresh nettle juice: 10 ml
Chapter from Healing Plants of the Bible
Nettle
Urtica urens
Urtica pilulifera
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Urtica caudata
Urtica dioica
Isaiah 15:13.
Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress, instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle, and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial, for an everlasting sign which shall not be cut off.
Ezekiel 2:6.
And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you sit upon scorpions.
Zephaniah 2:9
Moab shall become like sodom, and the ammonites like gomorrah , a land possessed by nettles and salt pits, and a waste forever.
Hosea 9:6: the pleasant places for their silver, nettles shall posses them: thorns shall be in their tabernacles.
If you have never been stung by a stinging nettle, you have been spared a really strange and painful experience. There are four species of nettles growing in Palestine and they have one thing in common, when your brush against them, they sting you. They don’t stick you like a normal thorn bearing plant. They possess stingers that operate much like bee stingers. The plant has hollow needles all along its stem. When you bump into one of these needles, the plant happily injects you with a load of formic acid and sundry chemicals. This injection causes welts to develop instantly on your skin.
Nettles are a nightmare plant, throughout the Bible references are made to its hellish nature. They are plants that like abandoned places, happily growing where normal plants would not even think of setting up shop. They also live along the edges of a fields, just waiting for the opportunity to sting the behind of a person working with the crops. Much like the thistle, the stinging nettle was a symbol of punishment in the Bible.
If you were wondering how the Israelites felt about the plant, you only have to look at the name they gave the plant. It is called harese and seref, the words come from two verb roots, SRF and HAR. The verbs mean to burn or to scorch. That’s what this plant does to your skin when you come into contact with it. In makes your skin feel like it is on fire. In Hosea, we see God promising to fill peoples treasure rooms with nettles as a punishment. This about sums up how they Israelites saw the nettle, punishment. Though mentioned, it was not mentioned because the Israelites had a soft spot for it.
The Israelites called it scorch plant, which may be an exaggeration, however, it does warm the parts of the body it touches. The areas of the body that have been stung develop a warm sensation, warm painful sensation would be more accurate. Nettles contain formic acid. Formic acid being the same substance that fire ants have in their stingers. They are called fire ants because their stings feel like fire! It will be surprising to discover that human beings have actually taken advantage of the warming nature of nettles and their stings. The Roman soldiers actually brought the plant with them as the Empire moved into northern Europe . The reason was that if their legs got cold in the nasty weather, they would sting themselves with the plant to warm them up. I am not certain life in the Roman legion is all that it was cracked up to be. The scientific name for the nettle, urtica, comes from the latin uros, to burn. The ancient world felt the same way about this plant.
All of the ancient Mediterranean cultures, Israelite and otherwise, had a few things to say about the plant. The ancients said that nettles followed people around. It turns out, they were quite right. Nettles love nitrogen. Where man is there tends to be a lot of nitrogen. Animal and human faeces alike are high in nitrogen, a perfect draw for the stinging plant. The tend to grow along the sides of cultivated fields because humans fill fields with nitrogen to make the crops grow better. They love old homesteads for the same reason and they are often found growing on top of the site of the former outhouse. One herbalist told me that nettles follow man around so man can use them as medicine. I am inclined to think it is more because we leave something behind that helps the nettles health more than the other way around.
Nettles were used, and used quite a lot in ancient medicine. The word nettle is derived from the Anglo-saxon word noedel. I tried to find out what noedel means but failed in my attempt. At least we know where the word nettle comes from. The ancient medical use of nettles is a bit severe. The ancient doctors stung people with them. The Romans and the Greeks used the plant to treat paralysed or rheumatic joints. The crippled joint was stung with the stinging nettle. The ancients insisted that with this treatment, the joints improved. Here is a shocker. The Romans also said that nettles could cure a man of impotence. The penis was stung just like a malfunctioning joint. Whether it cured impotence I cannot report, but I would imagine it cured a man of discussing his impotence with his doctor. Ouch!
Though the nettle has its unpleasant sides, it can be quite useful in skilful hands. I do not mean when a person was skilfully stung! The nettle was supposed to have arrived in Britain with the Romans and our dear friend Gerard is able to fill us in on the ancient uses of nettles. Gerard and the ancient physicians felt the plant was diuretic, aphrodisiac, tonic to the lungs, and itch removing.
Diuretic: “As Dioscorides saith, it maketh the body soluble, doing it by a kind of cleansing quality, it also provoketh urine, and expelleth stones out of the kidneys, as it is thought.”
Aphrodisiac: “The seed of nettle stirreth up lust, especially drunk with cute. For as Galen saith it hath in it a certain windiness.”
Tonic to the lungs: “It concocteth and draweth out of the chest raw humors. Being boiled with barley creame it bringeth up tough humors that sticke in the chest. It is good for them that cannot breathe unless they hold their necks upright, and for those that have the pleurisie, and for such as be sick of the inflammation of the lungs, if it be taken in a looch or licking medicine, and also against the troublesome cough that children have, called the Chincough.”
Itch remover: “As Pliny witnesseth, the same Author writeth, that the oil of it takes away the stinging which the nettle itself maketh.”
Gerard suggests using the plant to treat a number of urological problems, trouble urinating and impotence being two examples. Funny, he didn’t mention the Roman practice of private-stinging. The notion that nettle did something for men didn’t die with the ancients. The traditional European use of nettle has been that of treating men with a range of urological difficulties that stem from prostate problems. Difficulty urinating and developing erections can be as a consequence of prostatic hypertrophy, prostate over growth. As a man ages, his available testosterone decreases. The prostate grows in response to the lack of testosterone. If you could increase the available testosterone, the prostate would shrink and many of the symptoms would disappear.
As it turns out, that is exactly what nettle does. Extracts from the root of the plant have been proven to shrink the prostate via increasing the available testosterone. Though the research is in the early phase, its affectivity has been proven clinically. The root contains phytosterols, or steroids, and these may be the wonder chemicals doing the job. Phytosterols are chemically similar to human sex hormones. It seems the Romans were onto something when they stung the private bits of a gentleman.
The plant itself is incredibly rich in iron. This is handy as it has been used for many centuries to treat anaemia, especially when caused by excessive menstruation. Though the leaves are a bit difficult to pick, once cooked, they loose their sting, and are quite delicious. The flavour is much like spinach, only better, it doesn’t make your teeth feel nasty. In most parts of the world the nettle grows wild. You can go out and gather as much as you like to treat anaemia. The spring leaves are the best for cooking as they are still tender. If you suffer from iron deficiency anaemia the greens are a must.
The plant has received a lot of attention lately as a cure for allergy problems. Gerard, when he mentioned they helped to cure raw humours, was hinting to the plants ability to reduce the symptoms of an allergy attack. Raw humours is Gerardian for excessive mucous production. When people are having an allergy attack, their respiratory passages fill with mucous. When your windpipes are loaded down with mucous, you do have to keep your neck upright to breath. Nettles have been used for centuries to reduce the symptoms of an allergic attack, whether the symptom be itchy skin or watery eyes.
Research has shown that the nettle leaf does reduce allergic reactions. The needles contain a combination of formic acid, histamine, volatile and resinous acids. Researchers have shown that the very chemicals that cause an allergic reaction on your skin, ie the welts that form when you brush up against the plant, will help to reduce inflammatory reactions in the body. Migraine, inflammatory joint conditions,and allergies are all improved by the use of nettle. Here is the hitch, it has to be either fresh nettle juice or freeze dried nettle in capsules. Heat destroys the chemicals contained in the plant that are useful in inflammatory reactions, so you have to use them fresh or the freeze dried. It is used in a manner similar to cortical steroids but, as I said, it must be used fresh or freeze dried.
The nettle is easily used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, just sting the affected joint! I know it sounds barbaric, but this is the ancient use and I know a number of patients that have found daily stinging with the plant works wonders. It can be used to reduce allergic responses by taking a few capsules of the freeze died plant each day. Eating nettles is an excellent idea as it provides lots of nutrients, has a cleansing nature, and tastes great! Remember to wear gloves while picking the tender greens, otherwise, you will understand first hand why the Israelites saw it as a punishment from God.
As an Adaptogen
Urtica dioica (L.)
Urticaceae
Stinging Nettle
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Part used
Fresh plant (1), leaves, root, seed. (2)
Chemical constituents
Significant phytochemicals include lycopene, histamine, protoporphyrin, serotonin, violaxanthin, and xanthophyll-epoxide. (9)
Pharmacy
Tincture of fresh plant. 8 ounces to 1 pint alcohol 76%. Dose: 1–10 drops. (2) Fluidextract: 480 grains to the fluid ounce alcohol. Dram ss to dram j in four ounces of water, a teaspoonful every half-hour, hour, or two hours. (8)
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History
Urtica dioica is native to both Europe and North America . The European variety has male and female plants whilst the American variety has flowers of both sexes on the same plant. Apart from reproductive differences, the plants are otherwise similar. They are both well known for their ability to raise welts on the skin if brushed against.
In Europe the ancients knew the plant. The Romans used it to treat a variety of conditions including rheumatism, paralysis, and impotence. A European medical text dating to 1475 said this of it. “It s good for jaundice if one crushed it with wine and drinks it. If one boils the seed in wine, that is good for diseases of the testicles. It cures, too, old cough if one drinks it often, and drives away cold from the lungs, and it is good for swollen stomach. For all this, nettle seed is good together with honey, or if one drinks green nettle juice. If one crushes salt with nettle leaves, it is good for boils and foul sores. It is good for teeth and dog bite. With this too, flesh is put on the bare bones, and all dangerous humor is dried. But if nettle roots are crushed with vinegar, that is good for swelling of the spleen and of the feet.” (9) Gerard, writing in 1633, confirms the belief that the drug was a stimulant to general health, well-being, and libido. “The seed of nettle stirreth up lust, especially drunke with cute . ” (11)
In North America , the various tribes (Ojibwe, Huron, Iroquois, Algonquin, Chippewa, Menomini, Meskwaki, and Potawatami) used the plant for a multitude of purposes. Primarily used as a fibre for clothing and fishing nets, it also found use as a diuretic and antiperiodic. The drug was used to treat urinary tract disease and malaria.
The Colonials used Urtica for a mixture of purposes. According to Raffinesque, it was used as a vermifuge, laxative, goitre cure, and treatment for corpulence. Raffinesque re-iterates the belief that the drug engendered vitality, even in barnyard animals. He commented that that the drug made horses smart and frisky and stimulated fowl to lay an abundance of eggs. (9)
Urtica dioica is a plant that makes itself known. Anyone who has walked the woods of Northern Europe of North America has made its acquaintance. The Eclectics were aware of the plant and its applications from the very beginning of the movement.
Eclectic Uses (1–8)
Actions
Astringent, styptic, tonic, and diuretic.
Indications
“Chronic diarrhoea and dysentery, with large mucous evacuations; profuse secretion of gastric juice, with eructation’s and emesis; choleric discharges; summer bowel diseases of children, with copious watery and mucous passages; chronic eczematous eruptions” (3)
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General
Malaria, scorbutic affections, febrile affections, (seeds) tertian and quatrain ague, goitre, excessive corpulence, profuse mucous discharges.
Cardiovascular
Haemorrhoids, haemorrhages, passive haemorrhages, hematuria, menorrhagia, epistaxis, hematemesis, bleeding gums, bleeding piles.
Digestive
Diseases of the bowels, chronic disease of the large intestine with increased mucous secretion, chronic diarrhoea, chronic dysentery with profuse mucous discharges, summer complaints of children, cholera infantum, summer disorders of children, with profuse water or mucous discharges, chronic diseases of the colon with increased secretion of mucous.
Endocrine
Suppression of milk.
Genito-urinary
Diseases of the urinary organs gravel, nephritic complaints, chronic cystitis with mucous discharges, strangury, suppression of urine, leucorrhea.
Respiratory
Bronchopulmonary disorders with free secretion.
Skin
Eczematous affections, stubborn eczema of the face, neck, and ears, crust head, chronic skin disease, nodular urticaria, vesicular erysipelas, retroversion eruptions, erythema, especially in eczema capitis and facialis.
The drug from Selye’s perspective
State of Resistance
The drug was used to raise resistance to malaria, scorbutic affections, febrile affections, goitre, excessive corpulence, and urinary/respiratory tract disease.
State of Exhaustion
When the body could no longer resist chronic disease and State of Exhaustion set in, the drug was employed. Signs of State of Exhaustion , treated with the drug, included chronic skin disease, spleen enlargement, cachexia, profuse mucous secretion, passive haemorrhage, chronic diarrhoea/dysentery, increased and abnormal watery discharge from the bowels, suppression of urine, temperature abnormalities, and broncho-pulmonary affections with excessive secretion.
Adaptation Energy
From Selye’s perspective, the drug was used to augment adaptation energy which suggests it increases adaptation energy. Evidence to this effect includes the following. Urtica dioica was used to increase resistance to chronic microbial infection. It was used when State of Exhaustion set in. Lastly, it was seen as a stimulant to libido.
Brekhman’s adaptogen criterion
An adaptogen should be innocuous and cause minimal disorders in the physiological functions of an organism.
Eclectic and contemporary literature reports the drug to be innocuous. (1–10)
The action of an adaptogen should be non-specific i.e. it should increase resistance to adverse influences of a wide range of factors of physical, chemical, and biological nature.
Clinically, the drug was used to increased resistance to malaria, hypothyroidism and respiratory/urinary tract disease. (1–8)
Experimentally, the drug contains compounds that have been shown to increase resistance to cancer, bacterial infection, fungal infection, cancer (bladder, breast, cervix), free radical damage, tumour formation, liver damage, fatigue, poisoning, and mutagenicity. (9)
An adaptogen may possess normalising action irrespective of the direction of the foregoing pathological changes.
Clinically, the drug was used to normalise many of the physiological aberrations noted to occur in State of Exhaustion including passive haemorrhages, membrane permeability abnormalities, skin and mucous membrane abnormalities, and temperature irregularities. (1–8)
Experimentally, the drug contains compounds that have been shown to normalise certain physiological functions including depression, hypertension, inadequate secretion, gastritis, anaemia, hypercholesterolemia, allergies, arthritis, and rheumatism. (9)
Discussion
The drug exhibits properties consistent with Brekhman’s definition of an adaptogen. The drug is innocuous; it raises resistance to a wide range of biological threats, and normalises function.
Urtica dioica is a strange plant. Covered with microscopic hypodermic needles that inject formic acid into the skin on contact, the plant stings like a fire ant. Despite its unpleasant nature, it has been revered as a vitality stimulant since the beginning of time. The Vikings, the Romans, and the various North American tribes saw it as a boon to health. It was simply a tonic or panacea that had to be picked carefully.
The drug is currently used to treat chronic skin disease, and more often than not, chronic skin disease of an inflammatory nature. Like the welts it raises, it is used to quell a tendency to welts. Some suggest this uses comes directly from the Eclectics, however, this not entirely true. The Eclectics used Urtica when constitutional collapse, or State of Exhaustion , had occurred. Skin disease is one part of that clinical picture. The Eclectics used Urtica for skin disease, but when it was a part of a greater problem.
Potential clinical applications
Historically, the drug was used to raise resistance amongst those in a state of constitutional collapse. Experimental data supports this use. The drug may have a role in treating patients no longer able to resist the hardship of chronic disease.
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Future research
•  Effects of Urtica dioica (leaf, root, and seed) on the GAS. Different parts of the plant have been used for medicine, intermittently, throughout history. It would be helpful to determine the various parts of the plant effect on the GAS. The different parts of the plant should be tested out in the animal model.
•  Urtica dioica and State of Exhaustion . Clinically, the drug was used when patients had hit State of Exhaustion . Its role in State of Exhaustion should be examined.
•  Urtica dioica and weight abnormalities. Historically the drug was used to normalize weight abnormalities. Its effect in stress related weight loss or gain should be examined.
•  Urtica dioica and sexual dysfunction. Historically the drug was used to augment sexual function. There is some evidence supporting this use. Its role in correcting stress or age related sexual dysfunction should be examined.
Eco-availability
The drug is abundant in the wild and is readily grown.
References for Urtica dioica
•  Scudder, J. M. Specific Medication and Specific Medicines. Revised. Fifth Edition. Wilstach, Baldwin and Company. Cincinnati . 1874. P. 261.
•  Scudder, J. M. The American Eclectic Materia Medica and Therapeutics. Published by the Author. Cincinnati . 1883. P. 549.
•  Watkins, Lyman. An Eclectic Compendium of The Practice of Medicine. John M.Scudder’s Sons. Cincinnati . 1895. P. 452.
•  Felter, Harvey Wickes and Lloyd, John Uri. Kings’ American Dispensatory. Volume one and Volume two. Ohio Valley Company. Cincinnati . 1898. P. 2032.
•  Webster, HT. Dynamical Therapeutics—A work devoted to the Theory and Practice of Specific Medication with special references to the newer remedies. Webster Medical Publishing Company. Oakland . Second Edition. 1898.P. 321, 559.
•  Lloyd Brothers. Dose book of Specific Medicines. Lloyd Brothers, Cincinnati . 1907.P. 234.
•  Fyfe, John William. Pocket Essentials of Modern Materia Medica and Therapeutics. The Scudder Brothers Company. 1903. P. 306.
•  Lloyd Brothers. Dose book of Specific Medicines. Lloyd Brothers, Cincinnati . 1930.
•  Dr. Dukes Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Database. Agricultural Research Service. USDA.
•  Erichson-Brown, Charlotte . Medicinal and other uses of North American Plants. Dover Publications. New York . 1979. P. 443–447.
•  Johnson, Gerard. The Herbal or General History of Plants. London . 1633. P. 706–708.
Eclectic Physicians Notes
1874: Scudder
Preparation- Prepare a tincture from the fresh plant, 3viij. to Alcohol 76degree Oj. Dose from gtts. j. to gtts. x.
The urtica has been employed in some diseases of the bowels, with reported good results. An old practitioner informs me, that in chronic disease of the large intestine with increased mucous secretion, he has never found anything so beneficial as this remedy. It has also been used in diseases of the urinary organs.
It is now but little used, but deserves investigation.
1883: Scudder
Urtica is astringent, styptic, tonic, and diuretic. The seeds, leaves, juice, and roots of the common nettle are all used occasionally for their remedial virtues.
We have employed the roots in numerous instances as astringent with uneqivocable advantage, and we know of no single agent upon which we would sooner rely in all the ordinary cases in which this class of agents is indicated. it is powerfully astringent, and well adapted to all cases of chronic diarrhea, and dysentery, and to the relief of the summer complaints of children….we should place , however, but little dependance upon any potion except the root, in hemorrhagic and mucous discharges. the seeds and flowers have been employed in the place of the peruvian bark.
1898: Felter and Lloyd – URTICA – NETTLE
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage – Common nettle is astringent, tonic, and diuretic. A decoction is valuable in diarrhoea and dysentery, with profuse discharges, and in hemorrhoids, various hemorrhages, and scorbutic affections, and has been recommended in febrile affections, gravel, an dother nephritic complaints. A strong syrup made of the root, combined with suitable quantities of wild-cherry bark and blackberry root, forms an excellent remedy for all summer complaints of children, and bowel affections of adults. In cholera infantum and other summer disorders of children, with profuse watery or mucous discharges, the following treatment gives excellent results: R Specific urtica, 3ss; water, 3iii. Mix. Dose, a teaspoonful, every 1 or 2 hours. It is especially applicable in chronic diseases of the colon, with increased secretion of mucus. The leaves of the fresh plant stimulate, inflame, and even raise blisters on those portions of the skin with which they come in contact, and have, in consequence, been used as a powerful rubefacient. Paralysis is said to have been cured by whipping the affected limbs with them. Applied to bleeding surfaces, they are an excellent styptic. The seeds and flowers, given in wine, in doses not to exceed 1 drachm, have been reputed equal to cinchona in tertian and quartan agues – larger doses will, it is said, induce a lethargic sleep. The seeds, in doses of 14 or 16, and repeated 3 times daily, are highly recommended as a remedy for goitre, and to reduce excessive corpulence; they are also considered anthelmintic. The seeds may also be prepared in strong tincture with full strength alcohol, the dose of which, for goitre, would be from a fraction of a drop to 10 drops. Dr. J. D. McCann (Ec. Med. Gleaner, 1893, p.62) praises this agent as a remedy for eczematous affections, and relats a case of stubborn eczema of the face, neck, and ears that was readily and completely cured by the following local application: R Specific urtica, fl3ii; rose water, fl3i. Mix. Apply every 3 or 4 hours. Several other cases have also yielded to it. A child with “a crust-covered head, with here and there a bleeding surface,” that had long resisted treatment, yielded in a short time to softening applications of olive oil, thorough ablutions with soap and water, drying the parts, and applying the solution as above recommended. Some physicians prescribe the remedy internally at the same time that they are using it locally. It is also a remedy for chronic cystitis, with mucous discharges. Warts, rubbed with the freshly expressed juice of this plant, 3 or 4 times a day, continuing the application daily for 10 or 12 days, disappear without any pain being produced (M. Jaroschevitz). Dose of the powdered root or leaves, from 20 to 40 grains; of the decoction, from 2 to 4 fluid ounces; of specific urtica, 1/10 to 10 drops.
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Specific Indications and Uses- Chronic diarrhoea and dysentery, with large mucous evacuations; profuse secretion of gastric juice, with eructations and emesis; choleraic discharges; summer bowel diseases of children, with copious watery and mucous passages; chronic eczematous eruptions.
1898: Webster(The Ductless Glands)
The seeds of the stinging nettle are reported to have removed goitres. A tincture should be made from the fresh seeds by covering them with pure alcohol and allowing them to macerate fourteen days. Of this from a fraction of a drop to ten drops will constitute the dose. Internal remedies may often be externally assisted, in the treatment of goitre, by the local use of polymnia ointment. An ointment of biniodide of mercury has also ly extolled in some quarters.
1911:Fyfe: (root and leaves)
Profuse mucous discharges, urticaria, when the skin is elevated and attended by stinging and burning. Diarhea,dysentery,cholera infantum, chronic inflammation of the bladder, and hemorrhoids are among the pathological conditions which frequently present indications for this medicament. Urtica dioica is astringent, tonic, and a powerful diuretic.
1895: Watkins - URTICA DIOICA, SP MED:
Profuse secretion of gastric juice, eructations an dvomiting, diarrhoea or dysentery with large mucous discharges, chronic inflammation of the bladder with mucous discharges in the urine. Ten to twenty drops in four ounces of water; teaspoonful three times a day.

RESOURCES

Fact sheet

Chapter from Healing Plants of the Bible

As an Adaptogen

Eclectic Physician’s notes

Fact Sheet

Nettle

Urtica dioica

Parts Used: Leaves and stalks

Remember this : causes red cures red

Reasonable Uses: hay fever, allergies, runny eyes, running nose, osteo-arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, allergic skin conditions including eczema and contact dermatitis.

History and Traditional Uses

The nettle plant is hard to miss. It stings you the way a honeybee or fire ant would. Indeed, its stingers contain formic acid, the same chemical that puts the sting in a fire ant! Just like the ant sting, the nettle sting will cause your skin to swell up and itch like crazy.

Oddly, its age old use is in treating chronic inflammation, both of the skin, joints, and even the respiratory tract. The Romans used it to treat swollen arthritic joints and Colonial Americans used it to treat inflammatory skin and respiratory problems. The ancients used the plant that caused inflammation to treat inflammation.

Scientific Back Up

Scientific encounter with the nettle suggests that the weedy plant may be able just what a person suffering from chronic inflammation needs

Scientists at the University of Frankfurt, the University of Dusseldorf, and St. Elisabeth’s Clinic in Straubing, Germany, studied 40 people with sudden, severe episodes of arthritis. Half the people were given 200 mg of diclofenac (Cataflam), a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used for arthritis pain. The others were given only 50 mg of diclofenac and 50 grams of stewed nettle leaves. (Heating or drying nettle removes the sting.)

People in both groups experienced considerably less pain and stiffness. The researchers noted a previous study in which people with arthritis were able to cut their doses of NSAIDs in half by taking 1,340 mg of dried, powdered nettle. The next step, they say, is to find out whether stinging nettle can ease acute attacks of arthritis on its own, without the use of drugs.

Herbalists use it too….Minimalise seasonal allergies

The good news about seasonal allergies is they are seasonal, you know when to expect the running nose and itching eyes. Whether its grass pollen in the summer or leaf mould in the fall, it’s all terribly predictable for most allergy sufferers. Herbalists recommend patients start using nettle products one month before their allergies traditionally start and to keep using it straight through the end of their allergy season. In some cases symptoms disappear, in others they are greatly reduced.Reduce inflammation in chronic joint disease

They are many different types of arthritis but they all share one common feature, chronically inflamed, swollen, and painful joints. The Romans were the first to note that red joints, when stung with nettles, improved. Modern herbalists no longer recommend people stinging themselves with nettles, rather they suggest taking nettle products on a daily basis for long periods of time. The effect is dramatic in some and more subtle in others, but, herbalists concur it is worth a try when chronic joint disease is the problem.Calm hysterical skin

Some people merely bump into something and they come out in hives! In others, bumping into something results in a full blown case of contact dermatitis or eczema. Herbalists recommend people with seriously reactive skin, skin that powerfully over reacts to just about anything, use nettles to make the skin less hysterical.

Dosage and Duration

Nettles must be used for weeks an months for a change to be experienced. It should be taken three times a day.

Dried nettle herb: 3gms boiled in water and strained.

Nettle tincture 1:5 one teaspoon(5ml)

Nettle tincture 1:1: 20 drops

Fresh nettle juice: 10 ml

Shopping Tips

Make certain that the products you purchase are made out of the nettle plant. (The nettle root products are used for prostate problems!) Avoid products containing other herbal remedies.

Warning

Experts recommend taking no more than 1 dose a day for the first few days to make certain you are not allergic to it!

Alternatives

Licorice(Glycyrrhiza glabra)

Dosage and Duration

Nettles must be used for weeks an months for a change to be experienced. It should be taken three times a day.

Dried nettle herb: 3gms boiled in water and strained.

Nettle tincture 1:5 one teaspoon(5ml)

Nettle tincture 1:1: 20 drops

Fresh nettle juice: 10 ml

Chapter from Healing Plants of the Bible

Nettle

Urtica urens

Urtica pilulifera

Urtica caudata

Urtica dioica

Isaiah 15:13.

Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress, instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle, and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial, for an everlasting sign which shall not be cut off.

Ezekiel 2:6.

And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you sit upon scorpions.

Zephaniah 2:9

Moab shall become like sodom, and the ammonites like gomorrah , a land possessed by nettles and salt pits, and a waste forever.

Hosea 9:6: the pleasant places for their silver, nettles shall posses them: thorns shall be in their tabernacles.

If you have never been stung by a stinging nettle, you have been spared a really strange and painful experience. There are four species of nettles growing in Palestine and they have one thing in common, when your brush against them, they sting you. They don’t stick you like a normal thorn bearing plant. They possess stingers that operate much like bee stingers. The plant has hollow needles all along its stem. When you bump into one of these needles, the plant happily injects you with a load of formic acid and sundry chemicals. This injection causes welts to develop instantly on your skin.<P>Nettles are a nightmare plant, throughout the Bible references are made to its hellish nature. They are plants that like abandoned places, happily growing where normal plants would not even think of setting up shop. They also live along the edges of a fields, just waiting for the opportunity to sting the behind of a person working with the crops. Much like the thistle, the stinging nettle was a symbol of punishment in the Bible.

If you were wondering how the Israelites felt about the plant, you only have to look at the name they gave the plant. It is called harese and seref, the words come from two verb roots, SRF and HAR. The verbs mean to burn or to scorch. That’s what this plant does to your skin when you come into contact with it. In makes your skin feel like it is on fire. In Hosea, we see God promising to fill peoples treasure rooms with nettles as a punishment. This about sums up how they Israelites saw the nettle, punishment. Though mentioned, it was not mentioned because the Israelites had a soft spot for it.

The Israelites called it scorch plant, which may be an exaggeration, however, it does warm the parts of the body it touches. The areas of the body that have been stung develop a warm sensation, warm painful sensation would be more accurate. Nettles contain formic acid. Formic acid being the same substance that fire ants have in their stingers. They are called fire ants because their stings feel like fire! It will be surprising to discover that human beings have actually taken advantage of the warming nature of nettles and their stings. The Roman soldiers actually brought the plant with them as the Empire moved into northern Europe . The reason was that if their legs got cold in the nasty weather, they would sting themselves with the plant to warm them up. I am not certain life in the Roman legion is all that it was cracked up to be. The scientific name for the nettle, urtica, comes from the latin uros, to burn. The ancient world felt the same way about this plant.

All of the ancient Mediterranean cultures, Israelite and otherwise, had a few things to say about the plant. The ancients said that nettles followed people around. It turns out, they were quite right. Nettles love nitrogen. Where man is there tends to be a lot of nitrogen. Animal and human faeces alike are high in nitrogen, a perfect draw for the stinging plant. The tend to grow along the sides of cultivated fields because humans fill fields with nitrogen to make the crops grow better. They love old homesteads for the same reason and they are often found growing on top of the site of the former outhouse. One herbalist told me that nettles follow man around so man can use them as medicine. I am inclined to think it is more because we leave something behind that helps the nettles health more than the other way around.

Nettles were used, and used quite a lot in ancient medicine. The word nettle is derived from the Anglo-saxon word noedel. I tried to find out what noedel means but failed in my attempt. At least we know where the word nettle comes from. The ancient medical use of nettles is a bit severe. The ancient doctors stung people with them. The Romans and the Greeks used the plant to treat paralysed or rheumatic joints. The crippled joint was stung with the stinging nettle. The ancients insisted that with this treatment, the joints improved. Here is a shocker. The Romans also said that nettles could cure a man of impotence. The penis was stung just like a malfunctioning joint. Whether it cured impotence I cannot report, but I would imagine it cured a man of discussing his impotence with his doctor. Ouch!

Though the nettle has its unpleasant sides, it can be quite useful in skilful hands. I do not mean when a person was skilfully stung! The nettle was supposed to have arrived in Britain with the Romans and our dear friend Gerard is able to fill us in on the ancient uses of nettles. Gerard and the ancient physicians felt the plant was diuretic, aphrodisiac, tonic to the lungs, and itch removing.

Diuretic: “As Dioscorides saith, it maketh the body soluble, doing it by a kind of cleansing quality, it also provoketh urine, and expelleth stones out of the kidneys, as it is thought.”

Aphrodisiac: “The seed of nettle stirreth up lust, especially drunk with cute. For as Galen saith it hath in it a certain windiness.”

Tonic to the lungs: “It concocteth and draweth out of the chest raw humors. Being boiled with barley creame it bringeth up tough humors that sticke in the chest. It is good for them that cannot breathe unless they hold their necks upright, and for those that have the pleurisie, and for such as be sick of the inflammation of the lungs, if it be taken in a looch or licking medicine, and also against the troublesome cough that children have, called the Chincough.”

Itch remover: “As Pliny witnesseth, the same Author writeth, that the oil of it takes away the stinging which the nettle itself maketh.”

Gerard suggests using the plant to treat a number of urological problems, trouble urinating and impotence being two examples. Funny, he didn’t mention the Roman practice of private-stinging. The notion that nettle did something for men didn’t die with the ancients. The traditional European use of nettle has been that of treating men with a range of urological difficulties that stem from prostate problems. Difficulty urinating and developing erections can be as a consequence of prostatic hypertrophy, prostate over growth. As a man ages, his available testosterone decreases. The prostate grows in response to the lack of testosterone. If you could increase the available testosterone, the prostate would shrink and many of the symptoms would disappear.

As it turns out, that is exactly what nettle does. Extracts from the root of the plant have been proven to shrink the prostate via increasing the available testosterone. Though the research is in the early phase, its affectivity has been proven clinically. The root contains phytosterols, or steroids, and these may be the wonder chemicals doing the job. Phytosterols are chemically similar to human sex hormones. It seems the Romans were onto something when they stung the private bits of a gentleman.

The plant itself is incredibly rich in iron. This is handy as it has been used for many centuries to treat anaemia, especially when caused by excessive menstruation. Though the leaves are a bit difficult to pick, once cooked, they loose their sting, and are quite delicious. The flavour is much like spinach, only better, it doesn’t make your teeth feel nasty. In most parts of the world the nettle grows wild. You can go out and gather as much as you like to treat anaemia. The spring leaves are the best for cooking as they are still tender. If you suffer from iron deficiency anaemia the greens are a must.

The plant has received a lot of attention lately as a cure for allergy problems. Gerard, when he mentioned they helped to cure raw humours, was hinting to the plants ability to reduce the symptoms of an allergy attack. Raw humours is Gerardian for excessive mucous production. When people are having an allergy attack, their respiratory passages fill with mucous. When your windpipes are loaded down with mucous, you do have to keep your neck upright to breath. Nettles have been used for centuries to reduce the symptoms of an allergic attack, whether the symptom be itchy skin or watery eyes.

Research has shown that the nettle leaf does reduce allergic reactions. The needles contain a combination of formic acid, histamine, volatile and resinous acids. Researchers have shown that the very chemicals that cause an allergic reaction on your skin, ie the welts that form when you brush up against the plant, will help to reduce inflammatory reactions in the body. Migraine, inflammatory joint conditions,and allergies are all improved by the use of nettle. Here is the hitch, it has to be either fresh nettle juice or freeze dried nettle in capsules. Heat destroys the chemicals contained in the plant that are useful in inflammatory reactions, so you have to use them fresh or the freeze dried. It is used in a manner similar to cortical steroids but, as I said, it must be used fresh or freeze dried.

The nettle is easily used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, just sting the affected joint! I know it sounds barbaric, but this is the ancient use and I know a number of patients that have found daily stinging with the plant works wonders. It can be used to reduce allergic responses by taking a few capsules of the freeze died plant each day. Eating nettles is an excellent idea as it provides lots of nutrients, has a cleansing nature, and tastes great! Remember to wear gloves while picking the tender greens, otherwise, you will understand first hand why the Israelites saw it as a punishment from God.

As an AdaptogenUrtica dioica (L.)

Urticaceae

Stinging NettlePart used

Fresh plant (1), leaves, root, seed. (2)Chemical constituents

Significant phytochemicals include lycopene, histamine, protoporphyrin, serotonin, violaxanthin, and xanthophyll-epoxide. (9)Pharmacy

Tincture of fresh plant. 8 ounces to 1 pint alcohol 76%. Dose: 1–10 drops. (2) Fluidextract: 480 grains to the fluid ounce alcohol. Dram ss to dram j in four ounces of water, a teaspoonful every half-hour, hour, or two hours. (8)History

Urtica dioica is native to both Europe and North America . The European variety has male and female plants whilst the American variety has flowers of both sexes on the same plant. Apart from reproductive differences, the plants are otherwise similar. They are both well known for their ability to raise welts on the skin if brushed against.

In Europe the ancients knew the plant. The Romans used it to treat a variety of conditions including rheumatism, paralysis, and impotence. A European medical text dating to 1475 said this of it. “It s good for jaundice if one crushed it with wine and drinks it. If one boils the seed in wine, that is good for diseases of the testicles. It cures, too, old cough if one drinks it often, and drives away cold from the lungs, and it is good for swollen stomach. For all this, nettle seed is good together with honey, or if one drinks green nettle juice. If one crushes salt with nettle leaves, it is good for boils and foul sores. It is good for teeth and dog bite. With this too, flesh is put on the bare bones, and all dangerous humor is dried. But if nettle roots are crushed with vinegar, that is good for swelling of the spleen and of the feet.” (9) Gerard, writing in 1633, confirms the belief that the drug was a stimulant to general health, well-being, and libido. “The seed of nettle stirreth up lust, especially drunke with cute . ” (11)

In North America , the various tribes (Ojibwe, Huron, Iroquois, Algonquin, Chippewa, Menomini, Meskwaki, and Potawatami) used the plant for a multitude of purposes. Primarily used as a fibre for clothing and fishing nets, it also found use as a diuretic and antiperiodic. The drug was used to treat urinary tract disease and malaria.

The Colonials used Urtica for a mixture of purposes. According to Raffinesque, it was used as a vermifuge, laxative, goitre cure, and treatment for corpulence. Raffinesque re-iterates the belief that the drug engendered vitality, even in barnyard animals. He commented that that the drug made horses smart and frisky and stimulated fowl to lay an abundance of eggs. (9)

Urtica dioica is a plant that makes itself known. Anyone who has walked the woods of Northern Europe of North America has made its acquaintance. The Eclectics were aware of the plant and its applications from the very beginning of the movement.Eclectic Uses (1–8)Actions

Astringent, styptic, tonic, and diuretic.Indications

“Chronic diarrhoea and dysentery, with large mucous evacuations; profuse secretion of gastric juice, with eructation’s and emesis; choleric discharges; summer bowel diseases of children, with copious watery and mucous passages; chronic eczematous eruptions” (3)General

Malaria, scorbutic affections, febrile affections, (seeds) tertian and quatrain ague, goitre, excessive corpulence, profuse mucous discharges.Cardiovascular

Haemorrhoids, haemorrhages, passive haemorrhages, hematuria, menorrhagia, epistaxis, hematemesis, bleeding gums, bleeding piles.Digestive

Diseases of the bowels, chronic disease of the large intestine with increased mucous secretion, chronic diarrhoea, chronic dysentery with profuse mucous discharges, summer complaints of children, cholera infantum, summer disorders of children, with profuse water or mucous discharges, chronic diseases of the colon with increased secretion of mucous.Endocrine

Suppression of milk.Genito-urinary

Diseases of the urinary organs gravel, nephritic complaints, chronic cystitis with mucous discharges, strangury, suppression of urine, leucorrhea.Respiratory

Bronchopulmonary disorders with free secretion.Skin

Eczematous affections, stubborn eczema of the face, neck, and ears, crust head, chronic skin disease, nodular urticaria, vesicular erysipelas, retroversion eruptions, erythema, especially in eczema capitis and facialis.The drug from Selye’s perspectiveState of Resistance

The drug was used to raise resistance to malaria, scorbutic affections, febrile affections, goitre, excessive corpulence, and urinary/respiratory tract disease.State of Exhaustion

When the body could no longer resist chronic disease and State of Exhaustion set in, the drug was employed. Signs of State of Exhaustion , treated with the drug, included chronic skin disease, spleen enlargement, cachexia, profuse mucous secretion, passive haemorrhage, chronic diarrhoea/dysentery, increased and abnormal watery discharge from the bowels, suppression of urine, temperature abnormalities, and broncho-pulmonary affections with excessive secretion.Adaptation Energy

From Selye’s perspective, the drug was used to augment adaptation energy which suggests it increases adaptation energy. Evidence to this effect includes the following. Urtica dioica was used to increase resistance to chronic microbial infection. It was used when State of Exhaustion set in. Lastly, it was seen as a stimulant to libido.Brekhman’s adaptogen criterion

An adaptogen should be innocuous and cause minimal disorders in the physiological functions of an organism.

Eclectic and contemporary literature reports the drug to be innocuous. (1–10)<P>

The action of an adaptogen should be non-specific i.e. it should increase resistance to adverse influences of a tide range of factors of physical, chemical, and biological nature.

Clinically, the drug was used to increased resistance to malaria, hypothyroidism and respiratory/urinary tract disease. (1–8)

Experimentally, the drug contains compounds that have been shown to increase resistance to cancer, bacterial infection, fungal infection, cancer (bladder, breast, cervix), free radical damage, tumour formation, liver damage, fatigue, poisoning, and mutagenicity. (9)

An adaptogen may possess normalising action irrespective of the direction of the foregoing pathological changes.

Clinically, the drug was used to normalise many of the physiological aberrations noted to occur in State of Exhaustion including passive haemorrhages, membrane permeability abnormalities, skin and mucous membrane abnormalities, and temperature irregularities. (1–8)

Experimentally, the drug contains compounds that have been shown to normalise certain physiological functions including depression, hypertension, inadequate secretion, gastritis, anaemia, hypercholesterolemia, allergies, arthritis, and rheumatism. (9)Discussion

The drug exhibits properties consistent with Brekhman’s definition of an adaptogen. The drug is innocuous; it raises resistance to a wide range of biological threats, and normalises function.

Urtica dioica is a strange plant. Covered with microscopic hypodermic needles that inject formic acid into the skin on contact, the plant stings like a fire ant. Despite its unpleasant nature, it has been revered as a vitality stimulant since the beginning of time. The Vikings, the Romans, and the various North American tribes saw it as a boon to health. It was simply a tonic or panacea that had to be picked carefully.

The drug is currently used to treat chronic skin disease, and more often than not, chronic skin disease of an inflammatory nature. Like the welts it raises, it is used to quell a tendency to welts. Some suggest this uses comes directly from the Eclectics, however, this not entirely true. The Eclectics used Urtica when constitutional collapse, or State of Exhaustion , had occurred. Skin disease is one part of that clinical picture. The Eclectics used Urtica for skin disease, but when it was a part of a greater problem.Potential clinical applications

Historically, the drug was used to raise resistance amongst those in a state of constitutional collapse. Experimental data supports this use. The drug may have a role in treating patients no longer able to resist the hardship of chronic disease.Future research

•Effects of Urtica dioica (leaf, root, and seed) on the GAS. Different parts of the plant have been used for medicine, intermittently, throughout history. It would be helpful to determine the various parts of the plant effect on the GAS. The different parts of the plant should be tested out in the animal model.

•Urtica dioica and State of Exhaustion . Clinically, the drug was used when patients had hit State of Exhaustion . Its role in State of Exhaustion should be examined.

•Urtica dioica and weight abnormalities. Historically the drug was used to normalize weight abnormalities. Its effect in stress related weight loss or gain should be examined.

•Urtica dioica and sexual dysfunction. Historically the drug was used to augment sexual function. There is some evidence supporting this use. Its role in correcting stress or age related sexual dysfunction should be examined.Eco-availability

The drug is abundant in the wild and is readily grown.

References for Urtica dioica

• Scudder, J. M. Specific Medication and Specific Medicines. Revised. Fifth Edition. Wilstach, Baldwin and Company. Cincinnati . 1874. P. 261.

*Scudder, J. M. The American Eclectic Materia Medica and Therapeutics. Published by the Author. Cincinnati . 1883. P. 549.

•Watkins, Lyman. An Eclectic Compendium of The Practice of Medicine. John M.Scudder’s Sons. Cincinnati . 1895. P. 452.

•Felter, Harvey Wickes and Lloyd, John Uri. Kings’ American Dispensatory. Volume one and Volume two. Ohio Valley Company. Cincinnati . 1898. P. 2032.

•Webster, HT. Dynamical Therapeutics—A work devoted to the Theory and Practice of Specific Medication with special references to the newer remedies. Webster Medical Publishing Company. Oakland . Second Edition. 1898.P. 321, 559.

•Lloyd Brothers. Dose book of Specific Medicines. Lloyd Brothers, Cincinnati . 1907.P. 234.

•Fyfe, John William. Pocket Essentials of Modern Materia Medica and Therapeutics. The Scudder Brothers Company. 1903. P. 306.

•Lloyd Brothers. Dose book of Specific Medicines. Lloyd Brothers, Cincinnati . 1930.

•Dr. Dukes Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Database. Agricultural Research Service. USDA.

•Erichson-Brown, Charlotte . Medicinal and other uses of North American Plants. Dover Publications. New York . 1979. P. 443–447.

•Johnson, Gerard. The Herbal or General History of Plants. London . 1633. P. 706–708.

Eclectic Physicians Notes

1874: Scudder

Preparations- Prepare a tincture from the fresh plant, 3viij. to Alcohol 76degree Oj. Dose from gtts. j. to gtts. x.

The urtica has been employed in some diseases of the bowels, with reported good results. An old practitioner informs me, that in chronic disease of the large intestine with increased mucous secretion, he has never found anything so beneficial as this remedy. It has also been used in diseases of the urinary organs.

It is now but little used, but deserves investigation.

1883: ScudderUrtica is astringent, styptic, tonic, and diuretic. The seeds, leaves, juice, and roots of the common nettle are all used occasionally for their remedial virtues.

We have employed the roots in numerous instances as astringent with uneqivocable advantage, and we know of no single agent upon which we would sooner rely in all the ordinary cases in which this class of agents is indicated. it is powerfully astringent, and well adapted to all cases of chronic diarrhea, and dysentery, and to the relief of the summer complaints of children….we should place , however, but little dependance upon any potion except the root, in hemorrhagic and mucous discharges. the seeds and flowers have been employed in the place of the peruvian bark.

1898: Felter and Lloyd – URTICA – NETTLE

Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage – Common nettle is astringent, tonic, and diuretic. A decoction is valuable in diarrhoea and dysentery, with profuse discharges, and in hemorrhoids, various hemorrhages, and scorbutic affections, and has been recommended in febrile affections, gravel, an dother nephritic complaints. A strong syrup made of the root, combined with suitable quantities of wild-cherry bark and blackberry root, forms an excellent remedy for all summer complaints of children, and bowel affections of adults. In cholera infantum and other summer disorders of children, with profuse watery or mucous discharges, the following treatment gives excellent results: R Specific urtica, 3ss; water, 3iii. Mix. Dose, a teaspoonful, every 1 or 2 hours. It is especially applicable in chronic diseases of the colon, with increased secretion of mucus. The leaves of the fresh plant stimulate, inflame, and even raise blisters on those portions of the skin with which they come in contact, and have, in consequence, been used as a powerful rubefacient. Paralysis is said to have been cured by whipping the affected limbs with them. Applied to bleeding surfaces, they are an excellent styptic. The seeds and flowers, given in wine, in doses not to exceed 1 drachm, have been reputed equal to cinchona in tertian and quartan agues – larger doses will, it is said, induce a lethargic sleep. The seeds, in doses of 14 or 16, and repeated 3 times daily, are highly recommended as a remedy for goitre, and to reduce excessive corpulence; they are also considered anthelmintic. The seeds may also be prepared in strong tincture with full strength alcohol, the dose of which, for goitre, would be from a fraction of a drop to 10 drops. Dr. J. D. McCann (Ec. Med. Gleaner, 1893, p.62) praises this agent as a remedy for eczematous affections, and relats a case of stubborn eczema of the face, neck, and ears that was readily and completely cured by the following local application: R Specific urtica, fl3ii; rose water, fl3i. Mix. Apply every 3 or 4 hours. Several other cases have also yielded to it. A child with “a crust-covered head, with here and there a bleeding surface,” that had long resisted treatment, yielded in a short time to softening applications of olive oil, thorough ablutions with soap and water, drying the parts, and applying the solution as above recommended. Some physicians prescribe the remedy internally at the same time that they are using it locally. It is also a remedy for chronic cystitis, with mucous discharges. Warts, rubbed with the freshly expressed juice of this plant, 3 or 4 times a day, continuing the application daily for 10 or 12 days, disappear without any pain being produced (M. Jaroschevitz). Dose of the powdered root or leaves, from 20 to 40 grains; of the decoction, from 2 to 4 fluid ounces; of specific urtica, 1/10 to 10 drops.

Specific Indications and Uses - Chronic diarrhoea and dysentery, with large mucous evacuations; profuse secretion of gastric juice, with eructations and emesis; choleraic discharges; summer bowel diseases of children, with copious watery and mucous passages; chronic eczematous eruptions.

1898: Webster(The Ductless Glands)

The seeds of the stinging nettle are reported to have removed goitres. A tincture should be made from the fresh seeds by covering them with pure alcohol and allowing them to macerate fourteen days. Of this from a fraction of a drop to ten drops will constitute the dose. Internal remedies may often be externally assisted, in the treatment of goitre, by the local use of polymnia ointment. An ointment of biniodide of mercury has also been highly extolled in some quarters.

1911:Fyfe: (root and leaves)

Profuse mucous discharges, urticaria, when the skin is elevated and attended by stinging and burning. Diarhea,dysentery,cholera infantum, chronic inflammation of the bladder, and hemorrhoids are among the pathological conditions which frequently present indications for this medicament. Urtica dioica is astringent, tonic, and a powerful diuretic.

1895: Watkins – URTICA DIOICA, SP MED:

Profuse secretion of gastric juice, eructations an dvomiting, diarrhoea or dysentery with large mucous discharges, chronic inflammation of the bladder with mucous discharges in the urine. Ten to twenty drops in four ounces of water; teaspoonful three times a day.



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