Stinging Nettle: Nature’s Allergy Relief?

Urtica dioica displays its youthful beauty.

The question I’ve been asked most often lately is, “Does stinging nettle really work for allergies?” I asked a doctor. Meet Serron Wilkie, a clinical naturopath in Portland with a bachelor’s degree in ethnobotany and an advanced degree in Chinese medicine. She also co-edits a medical textbook.

First Ways: How have you used stinging nettle for allergies in your practice?
Dr. Wilkie: I have used both the tincture and the dried herb as a tea with success. The tea works best when one starts to drink two-plus cups daily about two months before allergy season begins. The tincture dose is two droppers-full three times a day for most adults during allergy season. I also am a big proponent of eating fresh nettles.

First Ways: Do any studies show that it works?
Dr. Wilkie: In this double-blind study 58 percent of people reported it to be effective and 48 percent said 300mg of freeze-dried herb was equally or more effective as other allergy medications.

First Ways: How does it work?
Dr. Wilkie: The stinging hairs contain amines — histamine, seratonin, acetylcholine — as well as glucoquinones and chlorophyll. It is thought that these are some of the active constituents (though as with all herbs the list of active constituents is much

Dr. Serron Wilkie, ND, MAc

greater than science can tell us). Histamine [is] the component that induces the inflammatory cascade and leads to the symptoms. [It] acts like a local hormone [that] modulates the immune response. Fifty percent of allergy symptoms are caused by the release of histamine from mast cells. The allergen binds to the mast cell and the mast cell spills out inflammation and immune mediators which cause at first an acute/immediate response, and they in turn then release their own mediators in a delayed response that occurs hours later. The issue becomes a problem when this cycle repeats incessantly. Nettle affects this part of the problem. (The leaf is also anti-inflammatory.) It might be important to note that there are several natural therapies that target the other causes of allergies not addressed by nettle.

First Ways: What other plants would you recommend for allergy sufferers?
Dr. Wilkie: Lobelia helps relax the bronchioles, which can be indicated for some people (though not all). Euphrasia is a nice homeopathic herb for the itchy, watery eyes. [And] mushrooms of course! The ones that are most specific to the respiratory system are cordyceps and reishi.

Have you ever taken stinging nettle for allergies? Did it help you?

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106 thoughts on “Stinging Nettle: Nature’s Allergy Relief?

  1. Pingback: Natural Allergy Relief You Can Count On | scrumptiousmoms

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  3. I took nettle for allergies a few years ago, and just recently resumed. I was out of the country in the Sahara Desert for two years where I didn’t suffer seasonal allergies. When I returned to the US, the allergies came back in full force. One day, I just remembered Nettle, went to the health food store to purchase a bottle of nettle capsules. For me, they work marvelously. The sneezing, the itchy, runny nose are things of the past, as long as I remember to take my nettle regularly. I take a capsule three times a day. I haven’t tried the tea, though I think I will after reading the other posts.

    • How old do have to be to take it. My grandson is 11yrs old and about 85 lbs. He really could use something more natural since he is food sensitive to so many things. Thank you

  4. My grandson age 12 started taking it a week ago. So far so good. How much should
    he be taking? Should he take it at night or morning and with food.
    Thank you

  5. My six year old has seasonal allergies and his nose itches all year long , I suspect there’s also a dust sensitivity. I Purchased organic nettle leaf tea and am wondering how much to give him daily. He weighs 55lbs. Thanks for any advice

  6. My six year old has seasonal allergies and his nose itches all year long , I suspect there’s also a dust sensitivity. I Purchased organic nettle leaf tea and am wondering how much to give him daily. He weighs 55lbs. Thanks for any advice

  7. Hello,

    How long would you take stinging nettles freeze dried supplements as a spring tonic. Once Capsule 420mg daily for 2-3 months ?

    Thanks for your help.

  8. I have to take Eclectic Institute freeze dried nettles everyday. If I don’t I am a wreck.
    I am also vegan, but I got allergies years after becoming vegan.
    I take one pill in the winter and two or three pills in the spring and summer.

  9. I have cholinergic urticaria. I take Allegra 180mg and Ranitidine 150mg daily and have successfully kept it under control. It works great, however, I am concerned with the side effects, especially after long term use. I am also worried that my body will develop a tolerance for it and I will be left with nothing to fall back on. Nevertheless, I am very interested in finding a natural remedy for my condition. After reading the article/interview/Q&A I was still left with several questions. Most questions were answered after reading all the comments and replies but some still remain. I understand everyone’s situation is different even if they have the same condition. However, I do have several questions that I hope that you can answer and can possibly point me in the right direction.

    Are there specific tests that you do to find out what is causing cholinergic urticaria? For example, high levels of histamine, low levels of DAO? If so, what are the tests called?

    What would you look for in blood work or allergy panel in people suffering from urticaria?

    Besides nettle, what other natural remedies or combinations of remedies do you usually try/recommend to people with urticaria?

    What do you base the dosage of nettle on? Weight? Height? Reaction? Trials? Can you give some examples, particularly with urticaria?

    Have you been able to treat urticaria successfully with natural remedies alone? If so, can you please give an example?

    Would you say that people who have urticaria usually have respiratory problems? I have asthma by the way. My eosinophils are slightly elevated.

    I feel like I have a million questions and therefore I will leave it at that.

    Thank you!

    • Hello.
      I was reading the many comments and questions and a post specifically regarding Urticaria.
      Frank wrote in November 2014 with the questions that I also have today regarding Urticaria.
      I do not see a reply to his questions. Would you reply to those questions or send me something
      on my email. please. Thank you

  10. Dr. Wilkie, thank you for answering my question! (I would have posted a reply directly under your message but I don’t seem to be able to). Iris

  11. Hi Dr. Serron Wilkie! I found out just recently about this nettle herb. Can this herb treat FOOD ALLERGIES???? I’m so desperate to help my child! I am a mother of 2 children one is almost 2 years old and another one is going on 4 months. My 1st child started with exzema (that’s what i was told) but she was also spitting up A LOT. Later found she was allergic to some foods. As she growing it seems like she is developing more food allergies and not growing out of them. We did blood tests at one years of age and she had many foods that she was allergic to. Sometimes don’t know what to feed her with and she wants what we eat and can’t have. I’m afraid of introducing any other new foods and when i do most of the time she has some sort of reaction on her body. We can’t even go out anywhere or to somebodys house because of her food allergies. Foods that are most eaten she can’t have… My second child has exzema that is also what i was told but i feel like it is more than that. It is also red rashes and dry. On her face started now on her chest, some arms and hands…..It bothers her. IS there anything i can treat food allergies? I read online that nettle herb is good for exzema. Is it also good for food allergies? Safe to give it to a 2 year old child and maybe to a baby who is going to be 4 months old with exzema?

  12. Dr. Wilkie, my cat has horrible allergies. Would stinging nettles liquid be ok for a cat? Maybe a few drops in his water?

  13. I habe used Stinging Nettle for a couple years now and itnis wonderful. It was the only thing that helped my allergies and no side effects. My question is my 11month old has developed my allergies to pollen and grass. Can i give her the nettle as well or is she too young?

  14. Nettle leave and bud has worked for me. It is miraculous. I boil water, add the leaves / teabags, turn off heat, cover, and let sit overnight or longer. I drink a couple of cups a day for the first month, but then I’m usually good for the rest of the summer!

    I had tried everything over the counter, honey, etc, and this was the only thing that worked. I went from miserable summers to almost perfectly allergy free!

    • Devang,
      This is really helpful. Where do you get the leaves and bud from?. which brand? And how much do you you use for making a days quota of tea?

      • Alisha, it totally depends on the person and also year by year. Year 1 (~3 years ago) I only needed ~1 cup a day for a week pre allergy season, and it worked the whole season. However, this year, my allergic reactions are so strong, the nettles are still helping greatly, but I’m finding I need to drink it every day continuously.

    • Hi Devang,

      I started this concoction yesterday and I feel the inflammation in my nose is more worse. Did it happen to you too? Is it something normal in the starting or I should stop it?

  15. Pingback: 4 All-Natural Allergy Remedies That Work | Off The Grid News

  16. Dr Serron,
    I am planning to start my son who is 4.5 yrs and has severe spring and fall pollen allergies on the nettle leaves capsule. Each capsule is 435mg. What do you think is the ideal dosage for a 4.5 yr old?

  17. I stay in NJ and my son is 4.5 yrs old. He has servere pollen allergy to the extent that it starts with coughing and then gets into wheezing. We have to give him zyrtec all fall and spring which is like 6 to 7 months a year. Also we give him singulair during spring. His mind is foggy all the time and I can see that he is unable to focus and very restless when he is consuming zyrtec. I badly want to switch to a natural anti histamine. Can I give him stinging nettles? How much should I start with, given that he has severe pollen allergy.

  18. I have been extremely histamine sensitive for half a year now (chronic urticaria) and eat a very low-histamine diet to keep it under control. Still, I have some hives nearly every day. I have researched the stinging nettle for allergy-modification for some time and felt really confident about finally trying it. I had bulk nettle leaf and made a strong infusion and took that throughout the day yesterday. My diet was the same as always. Last night I developed the worst hives I’ve had in months- even my neck, back, and arms which do nt usually develop hives. Needless to say, I’m so disappointed. But I’m wondering why? And also if there would be a different reaction if I took capsules, etc? Any advice would be helpful!

    • Hi Solveg,

      I’m so sorry to hear about your reaction–especially after having researched it for so long. Its certainly not the typical reaction and because of that I would need to know more about you. Everyone is an individual and thus anyone could have a reaction different than the norm. It does make it hard to speculate why without having more information. However, it is likely related to Diamine oxidase (DAO) which is the main enzyme for the metabolism of histamine. It has been proposed that DAO, when functioning properly, may be responsible for scavenging extracellular histamine after mediator release. Because nettles actually have a small amount of histamine in them (part of how they are effective) I might suggest that you simply had too much too fast. I would start with strengthening your system with a homeopathic dose and then begin to take a little herb and slowly increase. This will allow your Mast cell membrane to strengthen and avoid any DAO imbalances you have from flaring. Have you looked at blood work? done an allergy panel? These can also be helpful in your evaluation. I would want to look at your immune system and lifestyle to see what kinds of other clues I could get from that information to round out and inform what I’ve outlined above. Unfortunately I can’t give more specific medical advise in this format. Having said all that I do think there is a solution for your situation and would be more than happy to help.

      • I’ve had a similar experience. Since 1999 when I was in my mid-30’s I’ve suffered from severe allergies in the spring time. In the past 3-4 years however, the symptoms become milder and milder each year. I only get them around May, and during the rest of the year I will respond to dust but it isn’t very severe. Last week I bought Nettle tea at a local shop, simply to try a herbal tea, without knowing it’s properties. When I looked up the properties I was happy to learn it can help with allergies, inflammation and other conditions and is an overall tonic. I drank and enjoyed the flavor of the tea, and continued to drink 2-3 cups every day for three or four days. However, right from the beginning I started sneezing and experiencing allergy symptoms. At first I didn’t make the connection, but when the symptoms worsened and became unbearably aggressive I decided to stop drinking it, and I’ve been recovering in the last couple of days, all the allergy symptoms are gone. I must say, though, that while I was drinking the tea, especially during the first two days before the allergic reaction became very strong, I felt rejuvenated and energetic, I quite enjoyed the effect the tea had on me. My question is – would it be possible that I drank too much of the tea and would it be beneficial to try it again at a lower dose?

  19. Out of all these posts I only see a few that say nettle actually did someting for them. It’s difficult to find such statments on the web as well. I suffered from horrendous allergies and tried many things, including shots. Three trips to the Acupuncutrist over several months and one bottle of Sinutrol later, I’m allergy-free for the past 3 years. I wish I had known sooner. Life is so different and better now that I’m not constantly irritated w/allergies!

  20. Hi. I am hoping you still check these posts. It’s been a few months since the last one, but would love to have a response. I’ve been seeing a doctor trying to figure out why I’ve had chronic cough with lots of sputum for almost 5 years now. It’s constant, like allllll day long. It’s awful and I finally got fed up with it. They did a chest xray which came back clear and they just recently did a cat scan of my sinuses which was clear other than some thickening of my nasal passages. My doctor thinks it is just a case of severe post nasal drip. She prescribed loratadine in the morning and zytrec at night. The loratadine is giving me frequent extreme migraines and the zyrtec makes me like zombie sleepy. The side effects are not worth a very slight relief. My mom gave me a jar of nettle tincture she made and said to take a teaspoon maybe 3 times a day. Have you ever heard of a problem such as this and do you think the nettles will give me any relief? Thank you so much!.

      • Hi Becky! I do eat dairy, but not a ton. Milk pretty much only in cereal occasionally. Ice cream, pudding, coffee creamer sometimes. My mom has suggested this in the past as well. I guess it wouldn’t kill me to try and cut out the dairy for a couple of weeks and see what happens.

  21. Pingback: Seasonal Allergies: Fighting Nature with Nature – Part Two | Nourishing Herbalist

  22. Pingback: Racism and Nettle Juice | Experimenting as we grow

  23. Hi Rebecca,

    I am 41 years old male and for the past few years I have been suffering from spring allergies (I never before had allergies) – I believe it’s the pollen from the Alder tree that’s bothering me. I live in Vancouver BC and the Alder tree starts pollinating in late Feb).. My symptoms generally are sneezing and itchy watery eyes. It lasts about 4-5 weeks and is unbearable. I’ve tried Ribus Nigrum and Quercetin but they don’t seem to help much. Do you think Stinging Nettle tea would be something that could be of benefit to reduce the symptoms?

  24. I am a 49 year old male. I work out very regularly. I am 5′ 7″, 167 lbs. I have had trouble with snoring all my life but it shows up a lot more around allergy season. I know I snore through my nose and it appears to me to be mainly sinus related. I was thinking of trying the freeze dried nettle. What are your thoughts? and yes, I do know I have allergies and I do take allegra on an “as needed” basis. Thank you.

    • Hi Joe,
      Unfortunately I can’t give specific medical advice on the internet. However, I can say nettle is very good for allergies and if this is causing congestion it is possible that in some individuals snoring will improve! If you have specific questions regarding your situation please feel free to contact my office. 503-956-9396. They would be happy to get you scheduled.

  25. How long do you have to take stinging nettle take before you can expect results? I harvested some local stinging nettle, juiced it, then froze it in tablespoon portions and have been giving this raw juice to my daughter in her morning oatmeal. (She suffers from allergies and we’ve been giving her Claritin daily–throughout the summer–for a couple of years.) Can I hope that this will help, or is this something I should have started months ago to build her up slowly for the the summer allergy season? Thanks so much for your time!!!!

    • I usually have my patients begin in February a few months before allergy season. Typically, what I see is that we are able to control and prevent allergies from flaring that first year with natural supplements and treatments (nettle being one of the things I typically use). For most people by the second year of treatment they no longer need to take anything and their allergies are controlled because their bodies are working optimally for them again.

      • Dr Serron over time you say that most people dont need to continue with treatment by the second year, do most people take it everyday for a year or just during allergy season. Thank You. I have allergies to ragweed mostly my allergies seem to start around end of june to sept/october sometimes i have a little early spring/summer allergy.

  26. Hello, my 7 yr. old daughter will often get the nose that won’t stop running and she can blow it all day and will get a ton of snot (for lack of a better word!). she also gets a sore throat and her eyes are glassy. this lasts for about a month 3-4 times year. We assume this is allergies, although we have used benedryl in the past to try to dry her up, but she doesn’t seem to respond to it. I’m now more aware of natural alternatives, so I bought freezedried nettle (200mg/capsule) and dihydrated quercetin (145 mg/capsule). I was wondering how much I should give my daughter (the adult dosage is 3 capsules).
    also, I have a 3 yr. old who may have allergies too, but her’s are not nearly as bad. Is it safe for her to take it?
    thank you for your help!

    • Most manufacturers base their adult dosing on the 150lb adult. I can’t reply to the safety of the dosing as there is a lot of clinical information that goes into saying something is “safe”. Generally, nettle is considered “safe” for most people. A good Naturopath would be able to help you get to the root of the issue.

      I hope that helps. Best wishes!

  27. Would Stinging Nettle tincture help with Cholinergic Urticaria? It’s miserable and nothing I have tried seems to help. Barring living in air conditioning for the rest of my life…nettle is the only thing I can think if. Like cures like…right?

    • Hi Jill,
      The nettle should help with what your dealing with, it is generally part of the formulas that I use for folks with urticaria. I suspect though that it will take more than just the nettle but give it a try for sure. I have treated a lot of urticaria, its not an easy one to treat but most people end up doing really well…. so don’t give up hope :-)

  28. Pingback: Focus On: Nettles

  29. My naturopath just gave me some freeze dried stinging nettle capsules for allergies (she couldn’t tell if I was sick or having allergies). Anyway, I have two questions:

    1) I can’t swallow big pills like the ones she gave me. Can I take the nettle out and put it in something?
    2) Is this safe for someone who is prone to anxiety attacks?

    Thank you!

    • Angela,

      Nettle is food, so I cannot imagine why you couldn’t eat it sans pill capsule. As for your second question, I believe nettle is considered helpful and nourishing for people with anxiety. I am not a doctor nor naturopath but I have never heard of it causing any trouble in that regard.

      • Thank you so much for responding Rebecca! I will just break the capsule and take the nettle mixed in food or something. I’ve learned so much about nettle through this post :) Thanks!

      • I have no letters after my name but I have spent a very long time studying nettles, harvesting them, feeding them to everybody I can, sharing information with anybody who will listen. With a wide range of demographic differences in people given all edible parts and in everything I have read, the leaves and roots will go nothing but combat anxiety. Amongst other things, you will be suprised at how quickly the effects of the serotonin is felt. Nettle seeds do have a stimulant effect, but it’s pleasant and not jittery.

  30. I purchased stinging nettle leaves powder capsules (500/mg). It says take 1 cap per day. I read that some are taking 3 or 4 a day? What dosage? I am suffering from severe seasonal allergies. I don’t want to do shots but that’s what my dr’s office says is next. Allegra has stopped working for me. I am desperate. Also, have you heard of Aller-Pure? It was recommended by the man at the health food store. Do you know of this and does it work? Its made by Irwin Naturals.

  31. Pingback: Stinging nettle (Urtica spp.): The weed that is a food that is a tea that is a medicine | The Forager's Year

  32. Hi– the forsythia has started to bloom and my allergies and pretty much 1 out of 4 people I encounter lately, are out of control. I started with 3 capsules of nettle 3 times a day for about a week now- but then ran out – and just bought some Nature’s Way Nettle Leaf– but am not sure if it is freeze dried. Does it matter? I think the other brand is helping but i threw away the bottle as the lid broke. When I went to the store, they had the freeze dried solar ray for $26 and the one I bought was $9 so I thought I would try and save some money. 100 capsules certified 435 mg. Also, I am doing this along with a sinus rinse- neil med– is that good too?

    • Hi Karen,

      The freeze dried option is more expensive. I think simply because its the type of nettle that has been studied and so it has research to back up its effectiveness. I think its worth giving your less expensive version a go and if you get results you will know and if you don’t get the results you were hoping for then you will know to invest in the money on the freeze dried.

      I would add that most of my patients don’t even need to use nettle long term if they make dietary changes and strengthen their immune system. So if your not totally knocking them out its worth pursuing some additional therapy.

      Happy healing!

      • Thanks– and yes– I agree– am also strengthening my immune system. I have been green juicing for 2 meals and eating a healthy meal for the 3rd. I am also wondering if I should add some probiotics for the intestinal track. Yesterday it rained and today I am feeling a lot better- taking 3 stinging nettle 3 times a day though.

      • I find people saying that even if it wasn’t therapeutic or medicinal, they would use it still, because they enjoy the flavor . I agree.

    • Hi Karen. I’ve been using a freeze dried capsule I found at Life Source. It was around $10. It’s called Eclectic Institute fresh raw freeze dried stinging nettle. There are 90 capsules in the bottle and it has 300mg/ cap. I actually notice a difference fairly quickly. =)

      To be fair, this is the only brand I have tried. I do think it’s a great option tho.

    • Hi Karen,
      Did you find any difference between the natures way nettle leaves and the freeze dried nettle leaves? Is the freeze dried more effective?

  33. I live in Portland, Oregon, and I’m a slightly built and slightly over weight 66 year old male, who exercises by walking a couple of miles a day to get places. I use 6 caps of stinging nettle, swallowed, when I first start having a (now rare) hay-fever allergy attack. The next day, I can taper off to one or two. It’s been a few year since I’ve had to use stinging nettle more than two days in a row. It seems to cause some kind of reaction, like a homeopathic mini allergy reaction?, and ends the sensitivity. I had bad allergies for 30 years — I’d gotten so hyper-reactive from anti-histamines that I’d sometimes sneeze at air. First time with stinging nettle, I had to take six capsules twice a day for three days. I’m still so amazed that it actually worked. I know all of what people have gone through — the humiliation of the doctor giving you the supposedly non-drowsy pill, back in 1970, and all bee pollen and foods supposedly knocking allergies out. Then the other humiliation of having some pot-head tell you marijuana will cure hay-fever… marijuana can’t even cure fatuousness.

    I haven’t a favorite brand, though the first brand I used was a freeze-dried expensive brand. Now, I use the brand from the health-nutrition chain store in the neighborhood mall. Most anywhere you can get it for a good price seems to be the happiest source.

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  35. This is old but I love Stinging Nettles for my daughter. We also use Bee Propolis with it and her chronic allergies and persistent cough are a thing of the past and find the combo is great for protecting against colds… She was fully vaccinated and I believe left her immune system weaker but glad to have found this combo to help her out.

  36. I recently(three days ago) started my12 year old son on Nettle Leaf (freeze dried). We started on one capsule a day. ** He is also suffering from an autoimmune issue and I had heard it is also an anti-inflammatory.** One thing I have noticed since starting. His nose is running like crazy and he has a tickling cough (as he does with his allergies). Allergies were gone when his autoimmune symptoms were at their highest but slowly resurfaced as his autoimmune symptoms improved. Do you think its possible he is experiencing a type of “die off” from the Nettle Leaf?

    • Hi Jodie,

      with the immune system there is no “die off” that occurs with immune system reactions like there are in conditions like candida. Candida are organisms that can be over grown in the body the “die off” happens when they are starved. What you describe is not related to overgrown organisms but rather function of the immune system an issue more related to up regulation and down regulation of certain aspects of the system. Without knowing more about your son’s particular AI condition and his constitution as a whole I can’t give you more info than that. However, I hope this clears up the confusion about what a “die off” is and isn’t.

      • Please may I have your opinion on an allergies/immune system question Dr Serron?

        I have been looking into Stinging Nettle due to massive allergies (sneeze, runny nose, water itch eyes all day, every day) and just ordered some Organic dried for Tea from Amazon. My problem is that I have Psoriatic Arthritis. I have an immune system disease where my system fights my own body. I have to take Remicade which is a biological drug that lowers my immune system response.

        Regardless of me taking this medication, my immune system remains strong and I rarely get sick. I have done the Injection therapy for allergies and that worked for a few years until I was diagnosed with P.A. I don’t know whether that has anything to do with the severity of the allergies or not.

        Can you tell me in your opinion:

        1. Do you think my allergies are exacerbated by the immune system disease Psoriatic Arthritis?
        2. Is tea or capsule more effective for taking Stinging Nettle?
        3. What other herbs should I be taking that may help my PA and allergies?

      • Jared,

        Some of your questions regarding types of nettle are answered in earlier posts on this blog. Specific questions about your individual health really can’t be adequately addressed over a blog and are best answered with an office visit. My typical first office visits run 2 hours in length. I’d be happy to give you my opinion about your specific and individualized questions after having more information.

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  38. I see that Stinging Nettles seem to work well for low histamine levels. But will stinging nettles work if you have high histamine levels (as in Mast Cell Activation Syndrome)?

    • Stacy,

      I do not know of any properties that actually reduce mast cells as is found in Mast Cell Activation disorder. However, it is used to decrease the release of histamine from those cells. The question and where therapy really needs to focus is on what is causing you to produce the increased mast cells.

      • Hi Dr. Serron Wilkie,
        Thank you for your response. I have a great deal of stinging nettles growing in my backyard. What would be the best way to use these to decrease the release of histamine?
        Thank you,

      • Hi Stacy,

        There are many ways to use them. I tell my patients to start drinking 3-5 cups of tea in the spring. You can make a big pot of tea and then refrigerate it. Local raw honey is nice to flavor it and has the added benefit of helping to create immune tolerance to their local pollen. My favorite way to use nettles is to make nettle soup as a tonic. I will try to include the recipe here at this link: file:///Users/serenity/Desktop/Diet/Recipes/Nettle%20soup%20recipe.pdf. If not please email my clinic at and we can get it to you via email.

  39. Can nettle and and the other herbs you mentioned for allergies be used in a cream? My 5 month old son had eczema and a skin condition called dermatographism and I already have to give him loratadine everyday, which I don’t like at all. I already make a lot of things at home and want to make his lotion so I can stop paying $20 a bottle for this organic stuff. Any other ideas for his treatment?

    • The only way I know to use nettle for a cream is to use it homeopathically. I don’t know how easy it is to find the homeopathic liquid in the grocery store but any naturopathic doctor or homeopath should be able to supply it to you. Of course, Urtica may or may not be indicated for your specific situation, this information should not be used as a substitute for proper evaluation. You should always consult a naturopath or licensed practitioner for best results.

  40. Pingback: Stinging Nettle Is Dandruff Shampoo! « First Ways

  41. I have been an allergy sufferer every Dec-Feb in Austin, TX when the cedar pollen comes out for about 6 years now. This year, I decided to try Nettle Tea.. and what do you know! It’s working! Pollen counts have been almost as high on the chart as they can go, and I am not sneezing, I am not itching my eyes, I have no runny nose! Hallelujah praise the Lord! If anyone tries to steal my nettle, I might drop kick them :)

  42. Is it safe to consume Stinging Nettle capsules while continuing allergy medications? I use Allegra and Omnaris on a daily basis. I have not been consistent with those medications but am starting to rev up again as my allergies are the worst in October and again in Spring.

    • Generally it is safe to use them in conjunction with other allergy medications. While the exact mechanism of action for Omnaris is still unknown, it is thought to be anti-inflammatory to various cytokines in which case it is likely safe for short periods of time. I have had many patients initially on allegra in combination with natural treatments for a short time without any problems. However, I would not be able to be very specific to your case without more information.

      Most patients find that with a holistic approach prescribed by their naturopathic physician they no longer need to use other medications.

      If there is any question or doubt you should consult your naturopathic physician so they can specifically address your situation.

    • Patricia,
      What you are dealing with requires a different approach than the traditional nettle prescription. While nettles might help your situation please know that it is not a long term solution for your situation. You would likely find more help from the nettles with the spring allergies. However, there is an underlying issue that you may be dealing with and until that is addressed you will not know how good you can actually feel.

  43. Proceed with extreme caution. I took stinging nettle capsules, as directed, for my pollen allergies and broke out with the worst case of hives my doctor had ever seen.

    • Linda,

      I’m so sorry to hear about your reaction. This is an extremely rare reaction there are zero documented cases of such a reaction to freeze-dried capsules. Though of course, if the fresh leaf contacts the skin it does produce hives. It doesn’t sound like you were foraging and collecting it yourself though. I’ve successfully prescribed nettles to 100’s of patients and never had anyone report such symptoms. The nettles may not be a good fit for your situation but they are not the likely reason for the reaction. While its hard to say for certain without knowing more about your situation, I would suspect that there is something else going on that contributed to your outbreak. Taking herbs and supplements should always be done under the care of a licensed naturopathic physician. I’m happy to talk to you further about it or other options Linda!

      In health,
      Serron Wilkie ND LAc

  44. Do you know if it is safe to take Nettles every day for long periods of time? I am considering trying nettles so i can attempt to wean myself off of the antihistamines i take now for year round allergies.

    • Yes, it is very safe and most importantly nutritious. Much like eating your cup of dark leafy greens daily nettles offer lots of micronutrients that will both support your immune system and your overall health.

  45. I have been using Stinging Nettle capsules for years– taking 3 capsules in the morning and 2-3 at night, has completely rid the symptoms of my seasonal allergies. I also use a nettie pot like device (neil med sinus rinse) and no longer need to take allergy pills that either made me very nervous and edgy or made me want to pass out.

    • Karen,
      Can you pls share the name of the brand you use for Stinging Nettle capsules. Are they the stinging nettle leaves or the freeze dried stinging nettle. Also, do you take them year round for seasonal allergies or just start a month before the season. How soon do you see its effect?

      • Nature’s Way – “Nettle” 435 mg capsules. I only need to take them during allergy season. I usually take 3 every 6 hours or so for about 3 days– then maybe 2 capsules in the mornings for about a week… then I am fine for about a month or so. It’s pretty miraculous.

  46. Is stingin nettle safe for kids 6years and8 years to take ?one child has hay fever +pollen and sinus allergy and the 5year old one has dust mits and nuts eggs allergy .how afften to give them and which form tea or leaf ?whet to find them is that safe for them ?should I at it to thiere evey day diets .

  47. stinging nettle makes an incredible pesto. the leaves just need to be blanched for a minute then quickly cooled in cold water. add garlic, almonds, olive oil and lemon juice and work into a pesto paste.

    since our household began eating about 30 different types of wild plants on a daily basis, mostly considered weeds, we’ve had no household illness, allergies, and not even a common cold since the winter of 2009.

    from our pharmacopeia commons:

  48. Nettles have helped me tremendously, but I would appreciate it if you could elaborate on how they work? The explanation above says that they contain histamine and this is part of how they work, but when I have other foods or substances that contain histamine, it makes my allergies worse rather than better. Why is it different here? Thank you!

    • Hi Sierra,

      To elaborate on your question regarding histamine containing foods vs nettles. The key in understanding the differences is to know that the list of active constituents is greater than science can tell us about. That is, there are synergistic interactions that we really don’t know the full complexity of their benefits. However, it is also important to note that the concentration of histamine seems to be part of the difference between why we react to the histamine released by pollen and other symptom inducing foods vs the healing affects of the histamine present in the nettle. They found that patients who had low levels of histamine seemed to suffer the worst symptoms. So, the hypothesis is that consistent dietary nettle supplementation helps to raise ones baseline histamine levels so that when confronted with the allergen they can mount a full response to the allergen. Symptoms occur when the response is less than adequate and a low grade response cycle repeats itself.

  49. Hey Rebecca this is off topic but have you ever used western dock (Rumex aquaticus) as a grain? The seeds are very abundant and easy to gather right now. I’m wondering if they are good to grind up and try to make flour with…

    • Connor,

      I sometimes put the dock grain in oatmeal as an iron supplement with the chaff still attached because winnowing is rather pointless since the actual grains are the size of pinpoints. I once tried using an herb grinder to remove the chaff and I was left with dust.

  50. Do not know what to say ,,yet about yalls site , from the deep ,deep south Arkansas -Louisana border . Have all my life been raised up on wild foods
    at some time or another . Born on the longest bayou in the United States. 359 miles long from start to finish . Well i hope to learn alot from all yall .

  51. As an aside, should you get stung by nettles while collecting them for their amazing health benefits, find some of the burdock growing nearby that is featured in the recent post here. Crush part of a leaf in your hand and then rub it on the area where you brushed up against the nettle until it looks green from the leaf. The sting will be gone!

  52. I am one of those people who suffers from allergies. I don’t mean that I sneeze a little more than the average person a few weeks out of the year. I mean, I have what I call sneeze-seizures, where I’m completely out of control sneezing for minutes at a time, multiple times a day. My eyes are often swollen, itchy and watery to the point that contact lenses are only useful about half the time. My throat starts to itch, and that itch spreads out all over my body, even into my bones where there is no way at all to scratch. And this is most days out of the year.
    …Or, it was that way until I started picking Nettles and making tincture to take three times a day. Since then people around me have been noticing my lack of misery and asking what I’m doing that’s different.
    Nettles? Amazing. Try it yourself, you’ll see.

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