Nettles: Herbal Remedies

Nettles Preparations and Warnings

Like all herbs, there are some precautions you should take before using nettles medicinally.

Nettles Precautions and WarningsOld, late-season nettles can develop hard, stony, microscopic mineral conglomerates that can irritate the kidneys and lead to swelling of urinary organs and retention of urine, when used repeatedly. For this reason, young spring nettles, picked before flowering -- usually in early summer -- are preferred for food and medicine. Be aware that most suppliers of nettles do not pay attention to this important caution against using the older nettles. Ask about the supply of nettles your health food or herb store sells. Of course, you can grow and pick your own nettles. Otherwise, no dangers or warnings are cited commonly in modern research or literature.

Side Effects of Nettles

Other than the stinging rash the fresh plant can produce, side effects are uncommon. Medicinal preparations do not cause stinging or rashes; only direct contact with the living plant causes these reactions. Tingling in the mouth after drinking nettle tea occurs occasionally. Very rare allergic reactions, such as dizziness and fainting, have been reported.

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Jennifer Brett, N.D. is director of the Acupuncture Institute for the University of Bridgeport, where she also serves on the faculty for the College of Naturopathic Medicine. A recognized leader in her field with an extensive background in treating a wide variety of disorders utilizing nutritional and botanical remedies, Dr. Brett has appeared on WABC TV (NYC) and on Good Morning America to discuss utilizing herbs for health.This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, including the use of natural or herbal remedies, you should be aware that many of these techniques have not been evaluated in scientific studies.   Use of these remedies in connection with over the counter or prescription medications can cause severe adverse reactions. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. Each state and each discipline has its own rules about whether practitioners are required to be professionally licensed. If you plan to visit a practitioner, it is recommended that you choose one who is licensed by a recognized national organization and who abides by the organization's standards. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before starting any new therapeutic technique.