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A perennial nettle (Urtica dioica) native to Eurasia and widely distributed in North America. It is sometimes used medicinally, and the young leaves are edible.
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.
Any plant of the genus Urtica. Its sawtoothed leaves contain hairs that secrete a fluid that irritates the skin. Extracts from nettles are used as herbal remedies to treat allergic rhinitis and kidney stones. Synonym: stinging nettle