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Urtica dioica

Urtica dioica                                            Common name:  Nettle, Stinging nettle
Family:  Urticaceae

Parts used: Aerial, Radix, Seeds

Constituents:

  • Leaf: Acids (carbonic, caffeic, chlorogenic, formic, silicic, citric, fumaric, malic, oxalic, succinic), Amines (Ach, betain, choline, lecithin, histamine, serotonin), lignans, flavonoids (quercetin, kaempferol, and rutin), Nutrients (Vitamins A, B2, B5, C, K+, Ca+, silicon), chlorophylls a and b, dietary fiber & protein, nitrates, sterols, tannins, glucoquinones
  • Root: Polysaccharides, lectin, lignans, coumarins, triterpenes, sterols, tannins, phenolic acid

Medicinal actions:  Anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, mild hypoglycemic, diuretic, anti-hemorrhagic, hemostatic, detoxifier, vasodilator, circulatory stimulant, hypotensive, nutritive, galactagogue, astringent, expectorant, anti-allergic, reduces BPH, anti-rheumatic

Medicinal use: Urtica increases urine output and increases the removal of uric acid. The diuretic action of Urtica makes it useful in the treatment of edema, arthritis with swollen joints, and congestive heart disease. The root is indicated in BPH and uterine hemorrhages. Is specific for nervous eczema and will strengthen and support the whole body. Plays an important role in chronic and degenerative condition of the musculoskeletal system such as RA, OA, gout, joint pain and myalgia.

Pharmacology:

  • Amines Ach, histamine & leukotrienes in fresh plant are responsible for stinging sensation.
  • Glycoquinones are hypoglycemic.
  • Flavonoids and high K+ possibly responsible for diuretic action and excretion of uric acid.

Pharmacy: Capsules: 200mg, up to 6 caps per day. Infusion:  2 tsp/ cup, TID to 6 times per day (may infuse overnight). Tincture: (1:5, 30%), 5 ml TID; weekly max. = 100 ml. Decoction of radix:  4-6 g QD for BPH.

Toxicity:  Hypersensitivity or allergy to Urtica may occur.  The symptoms are pharyngeal constriction and aggravation of sinusitis and rhinitis.  Start with low doses!  The fresh leaves cause wheals due to the formic acid is the nettle hairs.  This reaction is self-limited and may even be used therapeutically to produce a counter-irritant effect.

Contraindications: None known.

Interactions: None reported.

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