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Urtica urens - L.
                 
Common Name Annual Nettle
Family Urticaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards The leaves of the plants have stinging hairs, causing irritation to the skin[21, 200]. This action is neutralized by heat so the cooked leaves are perfectly safe and nutritious[200]. However, only young leaves should be used because older leaves develop gritty particles called cystoliths which act as an irritant to the kidneys[172].
Habitats A weed of cultivated land and waste places, preferring light soils[17].
Range Northern temperate regions, including Britain.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Moist Soil Full sun

Summary

Urtica urens Annual Nettle


commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Urtica_urens_Sturm40.jpg
Urtica urens Annual Nettle
commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Llez
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Urtica urens is a ANNUAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to September, and the seeds ripen from Jul to October. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Habitats
 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Oil.
Edible Uses: Drink;  Oil.

Young leaves - cooked and used as a potherb[1, 9, 12, 46, 105, 183]. A very nutritious food, high in vitamins and minerals, it makes an excellent spinach substitute and can also be added to soups and stews. Only use the young leaves and wear stout gloves when harvesting them to prevent getting stung. Although the fresh leaves have stinging hairs, thoroughly drying or cooking them destroys these hairs. Nettle beer is brewed from the young shoots[200].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antiasthmatic;  Antidandruff;  Astringent;  Depurative;  Diuretic;  Galactogogue;  Haemostatic;  Homeopathy;  
Hypoglycaemic;  Tonic.

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 tonic and blood purifier. The whole plant is antiasthmatic, antidandruff, astringent, depurative, diuretic, galactogogue, haemostatic, hypoglycaemic and a stimulating tonic[4, 9, 21, 36, 165, 238]. An infusion of the plant is very valuable in stemming internal bleeding[4], it is also used to treat anaemia, excessive menstruation, haemorrhoids, arthritis, rheumatism and skin complaints, especially eczema[238]. Externally, the plant is used to treat arthritic pain, gout, sciatica, neuralgia, haemorrhoids, hair problems etc[238]. For medicinal purposes, the plant is best harvested in May or June as it is coming into flower and dried for later use[4, 238]. This species merits further study for possible uses against kidney and urinary system ailments[222]. 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[4]. A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh plant, gathered when in flower[232]. A useful first-aid remedy, it is used in the treatment of ailments such as bites and stings, burns, hives and breast feeding problems[232].
Other Uses
Compost;  Dye;  Fibre;  Hair;  Liquid feed;  Oil;  Repellent.

A strong flax-like fibre is obtained from the stems[200]. Used for string and cloth[1, 4, 6, 13, 36], it also makes a good quality paper[115]. It is harvested as the plant begins to die down in early autumn[99]. An essential ingredient of 'QR' herbal compost activator[32], the leaves are also an excellent addition to the compost heap[12, 18, 20] and they can be soaked for 7 - 21 days in water to make a very nutritious liquid feed for plants[54]. This liquid feed is both insect repellent and a good foliar feed[14, 18, 53]. The growing plant increases the essential oil content of other nearby plants, thus making them more resistant to insect pests[18, 20, 54]. A hair wash is made from the infused leaves and this is used as a tonic and antidandruff treatment[172]. A green dye is obtained from the leaves and stems[4, 115, 232]. A yellow dye is obtained from the root[115, 232]. An oil extracted from the seeds is used as an illuminant in lamps[232].
Cultivation details
Prefers a nitrogen-rich soil[200]. The best fibre is produced when plants are grown on deep fertile soils[200]. Dislikes shade[17].
Propagation
Seed - sow spring in a cold frame.

Books by Plants For A Future

Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Boehmeria cylindricaFalse Nettle, Smallspike false nettle00
Boehmeria glomerulifera 00
Boehmeria longispica 11
Boehmeria macrophylla 00
Boehmeria nipononiveaRamie11
Boehmeria niveaRamie, Chinese Grass, Chinese Silk Plant22
Boehmeria spicata 10
Boehmeria tricuspis 11
Cecropia peltataTrumpet Tree, Snakewood, Congo pump, Wild pawpaw, Pop-a-gun33
Debregeasia edulis 21
Debregeasia hypoleuca 20
Debregeasia longifoliaWild Rhea11
Debregeasia wallichiana 00
Elatostema cuneatum 10
Elatostema dissectum 10
Elatostema laetevirens 10
Girardinia diversifoliaHimalayan Nettle22
Gonostegia hirta 02
Laportea bulbifera 30
Laportea canadensisCanadian Wood Nettle31
Laportea macrostachya 30
Musanga cecropioidesCorkwood34
Myrianthus arboreusGiant yellow mulberry, Monkeyfruit43
Oreocnide integrifoliaWild Rhea00
Parietaria judaicaPellitory Of The Wall, Spreading pellitory23
Parietaria officinalisPellitory Of The Wall, Upright pellitory23
Pourouma cecropiifoliaAmazon Grape42
Touchardia latifoliaOlona00
Urera bacciferaNettle Tree, Chichaste, Ortiga02
Urtica angustifolia 30
12
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Expert comment
 
Author
L.
Botanical References
17
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
Martin Mon Nov 4 10:04:23 2002

Link: Gardening Database A database of plants both species and varieties are listed

patricia H.
Mar 15 2016 12:00AM
Please include information on uses of the roots of nettles
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