Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) has been a staple in herbal medicine since ancient times.
Ancient Egyptians used stinging nettle to treat arthritis and lower back pain, while Roman troops rubbed it on themselves to help stay warm (1).
Its scientific name, Urtica dioica, comes from the Latin word uro, which means “to burn,” because its leaves can cause a temporary burning sensation upon contact.
The leaves have hair-like structures that sting and also produce itching, redness and swelling (2Trusted Source).
However, once it is processed into a supplement, dried, freeze-dried or cooked, stinging nettle can be safely consumed. Studies link it to a number of potential health benefits.
Here are 6 evidence-based benefits of stinging nettle.