nettle(redirected from nettles)
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The herb, Urtica dioica (family Urticaceae); a weed, the leaves of which produce a stinging sensation when touching the skin. It has been used as a diuretic and hemostatic in metrorrhagia, epistaxis, and hematemesis.
[L. a nettle, fr. uro, pp. ustus, to burn]
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.