Nettle is a plant best known for the sting of its leaves. The root has been used to improve urine flow, ease swelling in the joints, and aid blood glucose control. It can be applied as a cream, salve, or oil. Nettle can also be made into a tea or taken as a pill, powder, or extract.
300 milligrams 1 to 2 times daily
What Research Shows
May Be Effective
Not Enough Data to Assess
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
It is likely safe for most adults to apply nettle products to the skin and to take nettle orally in small doses for a short time, but stinging skin is possible. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take nettle by mouth.
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse such as:
A. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
A1. Schneider T, Rübben H. [Stinging nettle root extract (Bazoton-uno) in long term treatment of benign prostatic syndrome (BPS). Results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled multicenter trial after 12 months]. Urologe. 2004;43(3):302-306.
A2. Safarinejad MR. Urtica dioica for treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia: a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. J Herb Pharmacother. 2005;5(4):1-11.
A3. Lopatkin N, Sivkov A, et al. Efficacy and safety of a combination of Sabal and Urtica extract in lower urinary tract symptoms--long-term follow-up of a placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicenter trial. Int Urol Nephrol. 2007;39(4):1137-1146.
B. Chronic Knee Pain
B1. Randall C, Dickens A, et al. Nettle sting for chronic knee pain: a randomised controlled pilot study. Complement Ther Med. 2008 Apr;16(2):66-72.
C1. Namazi N, Esfanjani AT, et al. The effect of hydro alcoholic Nettle (Urtica dioica) extracts on insulin sensitivity and some inflammatory indicators in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized double-blind control trial. Pak J Biol Sci. 2011 Aug 1;14(15):775-779.
C2. Kianbakht S, Khalighi-Sigaroodi F, et al. Improved glycemic control in patients with advanced type 2 diabetes mellitus taking Urtica dioica leaf extract: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Clin Lab. 2013;59(9-10):1071-1076.
D. Inflammation of the Knee
D1. Moré M, Gruenwald J, et al. A Rosa canina - Urtica dioica - Harpagophytum procumbens/zeyheri Combination Significantly Reduces Gonarthritis Symptoms in a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Double-Blind Study. Planta Med. 2017 Dec;83(18):1384-1391.
E1. Cameron M, Chrubasik S. Topical herbal therapies for treating osteoarthritis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 May 31;(5):CD010538.
F. Seasonal Allergies
F1. Mittman P. Randomized double-blind study of freeze-dried Urtica dioica in the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Planta Med. 1990;56(1):44-47.
G. Urinary Tract Infection
G1. Pavone C, Abbadessa D, et al. [Associating Serenoa repens, Urtica dioica, and Pinus pinaster. Safety and efficacy in the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms. Prospective study on 320 patients]. Urologia. 2010;77(1):43-51.
Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
Last Updated: 6/29/2020
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