Stinging nettle, or urtica dioica, is a perennial flowering plant that has been used medicinally for ages, dating back as far as Ancient Greece. Today, it can be found all over the world, but its origins are in the colder regions of Europe and Asia. The plant usually grows between two to four feet high and blooms from June to September. It grows best in nitrogen-rich soil, has heart-shaped leaves, and produces yellow or pink flowers.
While best known for the stinging reaction that occurs when the skin comes into contact with the fine stinging hairs (also known as trichomes) located on its leaves and stems, when processed and used medicinally, stinging nettle has a number of helpful health benefits, according to the Department of Dermatology at the Penn State University College of Medicine. (1)
Most stinging nettle products are made from the stem and leaves, but the roots also have pharmacological qualities. The herb has anti-inflammatory qualities that can affect treatment of many health issues. (2) The aboveground parts have typically aided in allergy relief and other breathing-related problems. The roots are able to provide relief for urinary disorders and enlarged prostate as well.