Stinging nettle

Other names: Zhguchka, Zhalyuga, Strekanka, Sporekusha, Kostarka.

Diseases and effects: hypo- and beriberi, atherosclerosis, bleeding (uterine, pulmonary, hemorrhoidal, nasal), anemia, diseases of the liver, gallbladder, urolithiasis, dropsy, irregular menstruation, rheumatism, bronchitis, tuberculosis, neuroses, scrofula, furunculosis, lichen, stomach cramps, constipation, dyspepsia, skin diseases, radiculitis, joint diseases, hair loss.

Active substances: ascorbic acid, carotenoids, glycoside urticin, sitosterol, formic, silicic, gallusic acids, resins, chlorophyll, choline, acytylcholine, starch, mucus, gums, mineral salts, trace elements (manganese, copper, chromium, etc.), phytoncides , .

Collection time:  June – July

Botanical description

Perennial herbaceous plant of the nettle family, densely covered with burning and short hairs up to 170 cm high, with a longish, creeping, branched rhizome.

Stems erect, not branched, tetrahedral. The leaves are opposite, ovate-lanceolate, long-petiolate, coarsely serrated, dark green with oblong membranous stipules. The flowers are greenish, small, unisexual, collected in bunches in branched, discontinuous axillary, spike-shaped inflorescences. The fruits are yellowish-gray, ovoid nuts, enclosed in flower beds remaining within. Blooms in June-July. The fruits ripen in August-September.

With early mowing, the plants grow back and bloom again in August-September.


Stinging nettle is found throughout Ukraine. In the south, the area of ​​​​its growth captures the Nikolaev, Odessa, Kherson, Zaporozhye regions and the Crimea, but here the reserves of its raw materials are less significant than in the middle zone of the republic. It grows like a weed in yards, on the outskirts of gardens, parks, forest clearings, roadsides, in floodplains.

Due to vegetative propagation, small thickets often form from one plant. Billets can be produced in the southern regions at the rate of 3-4 tons annually.

Procurement rules

In medical practice, nettle leaves are used. Harvesting is carried out during flowering, mowing or cutting leafy stems with sickles and drying for several hours – as a result of this, the nettle will lose its pungency, then the leaves are cut off by hand and dried under sheds, in attics and in dryers. In the sun, the leaves lose their green color, and most importantly, some of the vitamins are destroyed. Humidity is not higher than 14%. In raw materials it is allowed: crushed parts passing through a sieve with a diameter of 3 mm – no more than 10%, other parts of nettle – 5%, organic impurities – 2%, mineral – 1%. The smell of raw materials is peculiar. The taste is bitter.

Dry leaves are packed in bags or bales. Store in dry, well-ventilated areas on racks, out of direct sunlight. Storage period 2 years.

Impurities of other plants are possible – leaves of a white or deaf nettle. The latter are distinguished by the alternation of large and small teeth along the edge of the sheet, the absence of roughness to the touch, and also by the anatomical structure.

medical significance

Nettle leaves are rich in vitamins. They contain ascorbic acid (0.6 mg /%), carotenoids (up to 50 mg /%), urticin glycoside, dyes, sitosterol, formic, silicic, gallusic acids, resins, chlorophyll, choline, acytylcholine, starch, mucus, gums , mineral salts, trace elements (manganese, copper, chromium, etc.), phytoncides. The ashes of nettle leaves contain up to 6.3% iron oxide. Stinging nettle accelerates the process of blood coagulation, stimulates erythropoiesis, increases the tone of the smooth muscles of the uterus, enhances basal metabolism, has anti-inflammatory and some hypoglycemic effects, and also increases granulation and epithelialization of damaged tissues. Nettle is used mainly due to its hemostatic effect, which is determined by the presence of a significant amount of vitamin K, silicic acid salts and tannins. Used as a prophylactic for the treatment of hypo- and beriberi, as well as atherosclerosis. Nettle treats all kinds of bleeding (uterine, pulmonary, hemorrhoidal, nasal) and anemia. It helps to increase the hemoglobin content and increase the number of red blood cells. Leaf decoctions lower blood sugar levels.

In folk medicine, nettle is used as a diuretic, carminative, anti-febrile, blood-purifying and wound-healing agent. It is used for diseases of the liver, gallbladder, urolithiasis, dropsy, irregular menstruation, rheumatism, bronchitis, tuberculosis, neuroses, scrofula, furunculosis, lichen, stomach cramps, habitual constipation, dyspepsia.

With frequent diarrhea, eat dry, powdered nettles or drink an infusion of nettle leaves and blackberries. Crushed raw leaves are recommended to be applied to fresh wounds. Nettle juice is used to treat chronic wounds, ulcers and fistulas.

When used externally, nettle products have a bactericidal effect, stimulate the processes of granulation and epithelialization. Lotions and baths from the infusion of dry crushed leaves are also used for furunculosis, for the treatment of wounds, skin diseases. It is recommended to take an infusion of nettle leaves orally as a blood purifier.

People use it as an irritating and distracting remedy for radiculitis, joint diseases: they “sting” sore spots 1 time for 2-3 days in a row with fresh grass. Externally, nettle products are used in the form of lotions, used in the treatment of chronic varicose ulcers, burns, etc.

In case of hair loss and dandruff, it is recommended to wash your hair with a decoction of nettle leaves. To do this, prepare a decoction at the rate of 100 g of crushed leaves per 0.9 l of water and 0.1 l of vinegar. The broth is boiled for 30 minutes, filtered and in the evening before going to bed they wash their hair (without soap). For this purpose, an infusion of dry leaves is also used: take 1 tablespoon of chopped nettle, pour 1 cup of boiling water and insist like tea. The cooled infusion is filtered and once every one to two weeks, after washing the head, rubbed into the skin.

In homeopathy, along with stinging nettle, stinging nettle is used.

Nettle is also used in the food industry to obtain a harmless natural dye – chlorophyll.

Young shoots, rich in vitamins, are eaten, used to feed domestic animals, especially chickens. This valuable, vitamin supplement is necessary for young animals: turkey poults, goslings, ducklings. Nettle increases the fat content of milk and its milk yield. It is one of the earliest multivitamin foods.

Already in April, young shoots of nettles can be used for cooking cabbage soup, salads and seasonings. Salted for future use, young shoots with leaves are not inferior in taste to salted cabbage, and in nutritional value they surpass it.

Nettle is also used for cosmetic purposes in the preparation of masks that contribute to the disappearance of wrinkles, making the skin soft and velvety. For this purpose, a tablespoon of honey is added to 50 grams of minced leaves in a meat grinder, mixed and applied in a thin layer on the face, neck, covering with a napkin or towel for 25-30 minutes. After that, the mask is washed off with boiled water and the skin is lightly lubricated with a nourishing cream. This procedure will need to be repeated 10-12 times in spring and autumn. In perfumery, a nourishing lotion is obtained by adding the chlorophyll contained in the leaves.

Infusions, liquid extract, briquettes are prepared from nettle.

Nettle is a part of vitamin teas and fees, as well as anti-asthma drugs: asthmatin and asthmatol. Nettle extract is part of the Allahol product. Radiation therapy uses chlorophyll obtained from nettle leaves.

At home, the infusion is prepared as follows: crushed raw materials (15 g) are poured into 200 ml of water, heated in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Cool for 45 minutes, filter and add boiled water to the original volume. Take a tablespoon 3-4 times every day. Also used for baths on the anal area (for hemorrhoids) and lotions on the affected areas for wounds, burns, trophic ulcers.

Two tablespoons of crushed leaves are poured into 400 ml of boiling water, insisted for 2 hours and filtered. Take 1/2 cup 4 times daily for acne vulgaris.

A tablespoon of crushed raw materials is poured with a glass of boiling water, insisted for 20-25 minutes. Used for rinsing with periodontal disease.

Brief recommendations for cultivation on personal plots

When growing, it is necessary to use waste, even weedy, slightly shaded wet areas. Nettle propagates by seeds and vegetatively: by dividing the bush, segments of rhizomes and branches. When sown in the ground, the seeds require pre-sowing treatment – stratification for one month at a temperature of 0-5 ° C (in the refrigerator). Seeds are sown early in spring. Seedlings begin to bloom and bear fruit in the second year.

The best results are obtained when propagating vegetatively. Nettle in culture is unpretentious and gives good yields of leaves, increasing them every year. Already at 30% of the year they can be harvested at 25 g (wet weight) from each plant.

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