Traditionally Used for:
Osteoarthritis. There is evidence that taking stinging nettle by mouth or applying it to the skin might reduce pain in people with osteoarthritis. Research suggests that using stinging nettle might reduce the need for pain medications.
Insufficient Evidence for
Hay fever. Early evidence suggests that using stinging nettle at the first signs of hay fever symptoms seems to help provide relief.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). There is contradictory evidence about the effectiveness of stinging nettle, taken alone or together with other ingredients, for improving symptoms of BPH. Early evidence suggests that taking 360 mg of stinging nettle for 6-24 months improves urinary tract symptoms associated with BPH. Many studies have looked at the effects of a combination product that contains both stinging nettle and saw palmetto. One particular product (PRO 160/120, Willmar Schwabe GmbH, Germany) containing a specific extract of stinging nettle (WS 1031) 120 mg plus a specific extract of saw palmetto (WS 1473) 160 mg seems to significantly improve urinary tract symptoms in men with BPH when taken twice daily for 24-48 weeks. This combination seems to be comparable to the prescription medication finasteride for relieving symptoms of BPH, and may be better tolerated. However, it is not known if this benefit is due to stinging nettle, saw palmetto, or both ingredients. On the other hand, another combination product containing 80 mg of stinging nettle root extract, 106 mg of saw palmetto lipoidal extract, 160 mg of pumpkin seed oil extract, 33 mg of lemon bioflavonoid extract, and 190 IU of vitamin A (100% as beta-carotene) does not significantly improve symptoms of BPH when taken three times daily for 6 months.
Bleeding. Some early research suggests that applying a specific product (Ankaferd blood stopper) containing alpinia, licorice, thyme, stinging nettle, and common grape vine to the skin reduces bleeding in surgery, but does not reduce time in surgery. Other early research suggests the same product reduces bleeding after dental surgery.
Diabetes. Early research suggests that taking stinging nettle daily for 8 weeks does not affect the control of blood sugar levels in people with diabetes who are taking antidiabetes drugs.
Gingivitis. Early research suggests that using a mouthwash containing stinging nettle, juniper, and yarrow twice daily for 3 months does not reduce plaque or bleeding in people with gingivitis.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Stinging nettle is LIKELY UNSAFE to take during pregnancy. It might stimulate uterine contractions and cause a miscarriage. It’s also best to avoid stinging nettle if you are breast-feeding.
Diabetes: There is some evidence stinging nettle above ground parts can decrease blood sugar levels. It might increase the chance of low blood sugar in people being treated for diabetes. Monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use stinging nettle.
Low blood pressure: Stinging nettle above ground parts might lower blood pressure. In theory, stinging nettle might increase the risk of blood pressure dropping too low in people prone to low blood pressure. If you have low blood pressure, discuss stinging nettle with your healthcare provider before starting it.
Kidney problems: The above ground parts of stinging nettle seem to increase urine flow. If you have kidney problems, discuss stinging nettle with your healthcare provider before starting it.
Be cautious with this combination
Lithium interacts with STINGING NETTLE
Stinging nettle might have an effect like a water pill or "diuretic." Taking stinging nettle might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with STINGING NETTLE
Stinging nettle above ground parts might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking stinging nettle along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.<br/><br/> Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs) interacts with STINGING NETTLE
Stinging nettle above ground parts seem to decrease blood pressure. Taking stinging nettle along with medications for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low.<br/><br/> Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDiuril), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.
Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with STINGING NETTLE
Large amounts of stinging nettle above ground parts might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking stinging nettle along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.<br/><br/> Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.
Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with STINGING NETTLE
Stinging nettle above ground parts contain large amounts of vitamin K. Vitamin K is used by the body to help blood clot. Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. By helping the blood clot, stinging nettle might decrease the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin). Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult with a physician or other healthcare professional regarding any medical or health related diagnosis or treatment options.