Generic Name: nettle (NET el)
Medically reviewed on Oct 9, 2018
What is nettle?
Nettle (or stinging nettle) is a plant also known as Bichu, Feuille d'Ortie, Graine d'Ortie, Grande Ortie, Ortie, Ortiga, Urtica, and other names.
Stinging nettle should not be confused with "white dead nettle" (Lamium album).
Nettle has been used in alternative medicine to treat hay fever, asthma, diarrhea, osteoarthritis, circulation problems, diabetes, fluid retention, symptoms of enlarged prostate, and other conditions. However, nettle has not been proven with research to be effective in treating these conditions.
It is not certain whether nettle is effective in treating any medical condition. Medicinal use of this product has not been approved by the FDA. Nettle should not be used in place of medication prescribed for you by your doctor.
Nettle is often sold as an herbal supplement. There are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for many herbal compounds and some marketed supplements have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.
Nettle may also be used for purposes not listed in this product guide.
Follow all directions on the product label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
Before taking this medicine
Ask a doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider if it is safe for you to use this product if you have:
kidney disease; or
a bleeding or blood clotting disorder (some parts of the nettle plant contain large amounts of vitamin K, which affects blood-clotting).
It is not known whether nettle will harm an unborn baby. However, taking nettle during pregnancy may stimulate uterine contractions and could increase your risk of miscarriage. Do not use this product if you are pregnant.
It is not known whether nettle passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without medical advice.
How should I take nettle?
When considering the use of herbal supplements, seek the advice of your doctor. You may also consider consulting a practitioner who is trained in the use of herbal/health supplements.
If you choose to use nettle, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider. Do not use more of this product than is recommended on the label.
Do not use different forms (tablets, liquid, tincture, teas, etc) of nettle at the same time without medical advice. Using different formulations together increases the risk of an overdose.
Call your doctor if the condition you are treating with nettle does not improve, or if it gets worse while using this product.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra nettle to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking nettle?
Nettle side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Although not all side effects are known, nettle is thought to be possibly safe when taken for a short period of time (no longer than 6 months).
Common side effects may include:
skin irritation; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect nettle?
Taking nettle with any medicines that make you sleepy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before taking nettle with a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.
Do not take nettle without medical advice if you are using any of the following medications:
blood pressure medication;
insulin or oral diabetes medicine; or
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with nettle, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this product guide.
- Consult with a licensed healthcare professional before using any herbal/health supplement. Whether you are treated by a medical doctor or a practitioner trained in the use of natural medicines/supplements, make sure all your healthcare providers know about all of your medical conditions and treatments.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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