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ur·ti·ca

(ŭr'tī-kă, er'ti-),
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.
Synonym(s): nettle
[L. a nettle, fr. uro, pp. ustus, to burn]

stinging nettle

Herbal 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.
 
Toxicity
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.
References in periodicals archive ?
With the help of eight students from Oxford Brookes University, the designers were able to harvest more than 3000 nettle plants which took most of the summers.
"To be honest, I was tentative at the start - having someone push a bunch of nettles in front of you and say 'Eat that' is quite terrifying.
Who needs track and field when you've got nettle eating, a sport where doping carries grave risks?
Obviously Nettle Beer was available to quench their thirst.
It first started in 1997 after a local farmer lost a bet with another over who had the longest nettles, with the loser having to eat a whole stem.
However, Yellow Admirals seemed to be in unusually short supply, and only occasionally did I see one visit the nettles. I didn't manage to find any eggs (stinging nettles don't provide a welcoming environment!), but in due course caterpillars hatched and made shelters (larval tents) by folding a nettle leaf and securing it with caterpillar silk (Fig.
The clip will say that the "nettle patch is a jungle metropolis, hiding a secret community of life."
"Basically, as soon as the spring starts, he told me, and the first nettles sprout out, pick a bunch and sting myself with them.
"His work has been instrumental in advancing the application of ETS research and information to highlight and address critical education challenges," adds McDonald, who says he has known Nettles for 35 years.
After it ended in 1991, Nettles starred in ITV's Midsomer Murders.
The nettles used to make the beer have all been hand-grown on site.
He said: "I've been in horticulture for 44 years and never been asked to grow nettles. Normally we get rid of them.