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stinging nettleHerbal medicine
A perennial herb that contains acetyl-choline, formic acid, histamine, minerals and vitamins A and C; it is astringent, diuretic, tonic, and administered as an infusion, poultice or applied topically (the leaves act as a counterirritant). Stinging nettle is used for arthritis, baldness, cystitis, diabetes, diarrhoea, eczema, epistaxis, gout, hay fever, haemorrhoids, rheumatic complaints and tuberculosis; it may be used under the supervision of a physician for congestive heart failure and hypertension.
Uncooked nettle may cause renal damage; the diuresis-related loss of potassium should be compensated for by increasing potassium intake; it should not be given to young children.
Urtica dioica(dī-ō′ĭ-kă, dē-)
The scientific name for the stinging nettle, an herb used to treat allergic conditions such as allergic rhinitis. Exposure to the herb can cause a rash. Extracts made from it are promoted for their diuretic effects.