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Uses

Toxic parts

The leaves of the plants have stinging hairs, causing irritation to the skin[13][14]. This action is neutralized by heat or by thorough drying, so the cooked leaves are perfectly safe and nutritious[14]. However, only young leaves should be used because older leaves develop gritty particles called cystoliths which act as an irritant to the kidneys[23].

Edible uses

Material uses

Stem

Plant

Seeds

Oil

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Nettles have a long history of use in the home as a herbal remedy. A tea made from the leaves has traditionally been used as a cleansing tonic and blood purifier so the plant is often used in the treatment of hay fever, arthritis, anaemia etc[27]. The whole plant is antiasthmatic, antidandruff, astringent, depurative, diuretic, galactogogue, haemostatic, hypoglycaemic and a stimulating tonic[2][9][13][11][28][4]. An infusion of the plant is very valuable in stemming internal bleeding[2], it is also used to treat anaemia, excessive menstruation, haemorrhoids, arthritis, rheumatism and skin complaints, especially eczema[4]. Externally, the plant is used to treat skin complaints, arthritic pain, gout, sciatica, neuralgia, haemorrhoids, hair problems etc[4]. The fresh leaves of nettles have been rubbed or beaten onto the skin in the treatment of rheumatism etc[29]. This practice, called urtification, causes intense irritation to the skin as it is stung by the nettles. It is believed that this treatment works in two ways. Firstly, it acts as a counter-irritant, bringing more blood to the area to help remove the toxins that cause rheumatism. Secondly, the formic acid from the nettles is believed to have a beneficial effect upon the rheumatic joints. For medicinal purposes, the plant is best harvested in May or June as it is coming into flower and dried for later use[2][4]. This species merits further study for possible uses against kidney and urinary system ailments[30]. The juice of the nettle can be used as an antidote to stings from the leaves and an infusion of the fresh leaves is healing and soothing as a lotion for burns[2]. The root has been shown to have a beneficial effect upon enlarged prostate glands[27]. A homeopathic remedy is made from the leaves[2]. It is used in the treatment of rheumatic gout, nettle rash and chickenpox, externally is applied to bruises[2].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Herbaceous or Soil surface

Ecological Functions

Pest Repellent

The growing plant increases the essential oil content of other nearby plants, thus making them more resistant to insect pests[21][22][24].

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Division succeeds at almost any time in the growing season. Very easy, plant them straight out into their permanent positions.

Seed

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame, only just covering the seed. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, and plant them out in the summer.


Cultivation

Prefers a soil rich in phosphates and nitrogen. Plants must be grown in a deep rich soil if good quality fibre is required[2][18]. Nettles are one of the most undervalued of economic plants. They have a wide range of uses, for food, medicines, fibres etc and are also a very important plant for wildlife. There are at least 30 species of insects that feed on it and the caterpillars of several lepidoptera species are dependant upon it for food[31]. It is a good companion plant to grow in the orchard and amongst soft fruit[26][24]. So long as it is not allowed to totally over-run the plants, it seems to improve the health of soft fruit that grows nearby and also to protect the fruit from birds, but it makes harvesting very difficult.

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Urtica dioica. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Urtica dioica.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Urtica dioica
Genus
Urtica
Family
Urticaceae
Imported References
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
3
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Strong wind
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
Ecosystem Niche
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
?
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
Fertility
Pollinators
?
Flower Colour
?
Flower Type

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"image:Urtica dioica.jpeg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Urtica dioica.jpeg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


"image:Urtica dioica.jpeg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Urtica dioica.jpeg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Urtica dioica.jpeg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Urtica dioica.jpeg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Urtica dioica.jpeg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Urtica dioica.jpeg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Urtica dioica.jpeg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Urtica dioica.jpeg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Urtica dioica.jpeg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Urtica dioica.jpeg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki."image:Urtica dioica.jpeg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Urtica dioica.jpeg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Urtica dioica.jpeg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.




References

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  14. ? 14.014.114.214.314.414.514.6 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (32202/01/01)
  15. ? Wild food [Nettle Beer] Wild Foods (2012/09/16)
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  33. ? Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PFAFimport-17


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