Origin and history

The genus of stinging nettles ( Urtica ) includes up to 70 species worldwide. The most noticeable feature is the stinging hairs on the plant, which can cause painful swelling on the skin when touched. Nevertheless, people have not avoided the plant since early times and have made use of it. In the Bronze Age, in some regions, nettle fibers were used to make clothing, for example. Even today the majority is grown as a fiber crop. The plant is also found in many different folklore and traditional dishes around the world. It also has a long history of use as a medicinal plant, giving rise to many superstitions and customs.  


In addition to its pleasant, slightly sour taste, nettle has many nutrients in dishes such as a high content of flavonoids, magnesium, potassium, silicon, vitamins A & C and proteins. In fact, the plant contains about twice as much vitamin C as oranges and up to 30% of the dry matter consists of proteins.  

The medicinal uses and health benefits of the plant are very diverse. The nettle detoxifies, promotes and stimulates the metabolism. Properties and effects that are known and have been investigated in studies are:  

- Influence on the central nervous system:  

The components of nettle have a neuroprotective effect and can ensure the survival of brain cells. In addition, they protect against damage thanks to their antioxidant effect. A study suggests that nettle also has a positive effect on learning performance. In mice, administration of nettle extract showed an antidepressant effect, which is also suspected to have potential in stress-induced neurological diseases.  

- Influence on the cardiovascular system:  

Due to its vasodilating effect, nettle extract can reduce heart rate and blood pressure, which can be beneficial if you have high blood pressure. The flavonoids it contains counteract the formation of blood clots in the vessels, which can otherwise lead to thrombosis or strokes. The knowledge obtained from studies supports the traditional benefits of the plant in the prevention and/or treatment of cardiovascular diseases.  

- Influence on the immune system:  

Nettle contents have been shown to be anti-inflammatory and immune stimulating. It also has an inhibitory effect on neuronal inflammation, which contributes to its neuroprotective properties. In addition, antimicrobial, antifungal and, for some viruses, antiviral effects have also been found.  

- Influence on metabolic syndrome:  

Metabolic syndrome describes a group of symptoms that occur together. These include obesity, high blood pressure and disorders of sugar and fat metabolism. Studies on diabetic mice have shown that nettle lowers blood sugar, stimulates insulin secretion and thus increases insulin levels in the blood and can counteract insulin resistance. It therefore offers a promising approach as a treatment option for diabetes.  

It is also effective for elevated blood lipid levels. Nettle lowers the cholesterol content in the blood. It lowers LDL cholesterol, which is considered “unhealthy,” and increases healthy HDL cholesterol. It is therefore also helpful in terms of fat metabolism.  

- Influence on the digestive system:  

Prolonged use of nettles provides a protective measure against chronic colitis. But for existing chronic illnesses such as IBD, nettle has a positive effect due to the plant's immune-modulating effect.  

- Anti-cancer effect:  

In studies of prostate cancer as well as breast cancer, anti-tumor properties of stinging nettle have been found. They inhibit cancer cell growth and also offer protection against cancer formation. The active ingredients of nettle had a chemopreventive and anti-mutagenic effect when mice were exposed to carcinogens.  

In experiments, it was found that nettle extract (more specifically Urtica dioica ) increased the sensitivity of breast cancer cells to treatments with cisplatin and also paclitaxel. When treating breast cancer, additional nettle intake could have a positive effect on the treatment. In addition, the extract has the potential to counteract side effects such as liver and kidney damage from cisplatin treatment .  

- Organ protective:  

Nettle has an antioxidant effect. This enables protection of organs and diseases associated with them. Organs sometimes include the brain, liver, lungs, kidneys, ovaries and uterus.  

- Pain-relieving effect (also for rheumatic diseases)  

- Potential help with hair loss  

- Supports wound healing  


Possible side effects  

Due to the heartbeat and blood pressure lowering effects of nettle, high consumption of the plant is not recommended.  

Due to the influence on blood sugar and pressure, a dangerous interaction should be ruled out when taking appropriate medication and seek advice from a doctor. People taking blood thinners or medications to control blood pressure should also exercise caution, as nettles can affect the effects of these medications.  


Nettle also causes more frequent urination.  

Although nettle is said to have an abortifacient effect and an influence on the menstrual cycle in traditional medicine, oral administration of 250 mg/kg of nettle to mice shows no abortifacient effect. However, there is still a lack of clear evidence against the abortifacient effect, so nettle intake should be completely avoided during pregnancy or in breastfeeding women and children.  



Possible interactions of stinging nettle with medications for rheumatoid arthritis, increased blood sugar and pressure, and depression as well as sedatives are possible. Therefore, taking them together is not recommended or prior advice is recommended.  


Which AgilNature® products contain nettle powder? 





300 mg per daily ration (6 capsules each) 



*Nutrient Reference Value = Percentage of the reference value according to Appendix XIII of the Food Information Regulation (EC) No. 1169/2011.  

** No recommendation available.  



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