Nettle [Urtica dioica]

Stinging nettle is a weedy perennial plant of the nettle family known for its stinging leaves.

Medicinally, the plant is commonly taken as a tea made from the dried leaves as a quintessential nourishing herbal tonic energizing the whole body and soothing fatigue. The plant has hollow stinging hairs called "trichomes" on its leaves and stems, which act like needles that inject histamine, formic acid, and other chemicals that produce a stinging sensation.

The plant's high nutritional content has made it a popular food source (it does lose the "sting" when cooked.) When made into an infusion, it assists in the nutrition of expectant or nursing mothers, hay fever, diabetes, gout, arthritis, and general tonic properties for good health.

Nettle leaf has a long history of modulating the body's inflammatory pathways and supporting upper respiratory health. The rootstock is used as a diuretic and as an herbal treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement) and other urinary disorders. Topical creams have also been developed for joint pain and various skin ailments, including eczema and dandruff.