English Name: Nettle, Stinging nettle, Dwarf nettle
Latin Name: Urtica dioica, Urtica urens
What is Nettle?
There are approximately 45 different plants that fall into the nettle category. Most of these nettles have stinging hairs and are perennial plants, while some are annual.
Stinging nettle is a perennial flowering plant that is native to Europe but now grows in Asia, Africa and North America. This herb is also known as common nettle and is the most known nettle in the category. Stinging nettle has both medicinal uses and is a common food source for various animals.
Dwarf nettle, also known as annual nettle or small nettle, is an herbaceous annual plant that is native to Europe and Asia but now grows in New Zealand and North America as well. It is also used as herbal remedy and is a food source for some animals.
Medicinal Uses of Nettle
Nettle is a common medicinal herb used in for hundreds of years in Europe. It contains several mineral salts (calcium and potassium), silicic acid, volatile oils, and flavonoids. It also contains vitamins C and K and several B vitamins, plus acetylcholine, which is important in maintaining healthy memory functioning.
Nettle was traditionally used as a treatment for water retention, muscle pain, and joint discomfort. Other uses included skin condition (eczema), arthritis, gout and anemia. More recently, this herb has been used to treat the early stages of prostate enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH). Nettle helps maintain blood sugar levels and mood balance. It also aids in the health of the circulatory system.
Photos of Stinging nettle
Photos of Dwarf nettle