Scientific name: Urtica dioica L.

Common names: (Stinging) nettles.


Proven health benefits

Nettles are effective against prostate hyperplasia and seem also beneficial for kidney stone management and for their anti-inflammatory properties, even though further investigations are required to confirm these health benefits.

Preparation and dosage

Consume 10 g/day (= 5 tablespoons) of dried nettle corresponding to approximatively 25 g of fresh nettles.

We recommend consuming nettle dried, or fresh and steamed for only a few minutes, in order not to lose its hypoglycaemic activity.

Part used

Leaves – fresh or dry


Bitter melon is a native vine of tropical Asia. It is widely grown in South and South-East Asia, Africa, and South America. The unripe fruit is commonly consumed. Seeds are bitter and should be removed. Extracts of various parts of bitter melon are also used in traditional medicine

Where to buy

The commercialization of nettle extracts as a food supplement is well established on the market. It is possible to find nettle leaves in local markets and with local farmers. Also, it is possible to find it in commercial herbal shops in powder form.

Make your own

How to collect or grow it:  Is possible to have nettle in the garden and pick the young leaves. It can be cooked fresh for much of the year (at least from spring to autumn).

How to prepare the powder: Wash and dry nettle leaves in the shade and reduce it in powder. Leaves are nutritious and can be preserved for winter and consumed after drying at room temperature.


The seeds must be stored under dry conditions to maintain their characteristic spicy flavour. Their viability is for 2 to 3 years when fully ripe. Broken seeds deteriorate rapidly; do not keep them over long periods.

Precautions, interactions and adverse effects

Besides the urticant effect on the skin in contact with the fresh leaves or stem, no interaction, adverse effect, or toxicity have been reported.  

Pregnancy / Nursing

Despite no systematically controlled studies in pregnant women or during breastfeeding, nettle can be consumed safely at the usual doses as a standard food product.

Nettle recipes


Nettles and Chicken Risotto

Nettles and Chicken RisottoIngredients For 4 people 1 teaspoon oil, preferably olive 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, crushed 2 skinless chicken breasts, cubed 225 g risotto rice (a brown rice (preferable in terms of sugar load – see the section on...

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Nettle Crepes

Nettles CrepesIngredients For 2 people 20 g dried nettle 150 g whole grain what flour 2 eggs 300 ml milk, skimmed (a vegetal substitute might also work) Instructions Pour the dried nettles into the milk and let them rehydrate for about 15 minutes. Add the eggs, flour...

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Nettle Soup

Nettle SoupIngredients For 4 people 100 g fresh nettle leaves (without the stalks) 1 onion Curry powder 1 L water Salt Plain yoghurt, low-fat (optional Instructions Wash the nettles, pick them over and discard the tough stalks. Chop the onion and brown it in a pan...

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