The leaves and root of Urtica dioica, Linné (Nat. Ord. Urticaceae). Common in Europe and the United States. Dose, 20 to 40 grains.
Common Names: Nettle, Stinging Nettle.
Principal Constituents.—A volatile oil, tannic and gallic acids, and probably formic acid.
Preparation.—Specific Medicine Urtica. Dose, 1/2 to 20 drops.
Specific Indications.—Excessive mucous discharges; choleraic discharges; profuse gastric secretion, with eructations and vomiting; eczema of infants.
Action and Therapy.—External. Contact with growing nettle produces an intense stinging, probably due to an unorganized ferment in the hairs of the plant, though by some formic acid is believed to be the irritating substance. A lotion of Specific Medicine Urtica, 2 fluidrachms; Rose Water, enough to make 2 fluidounces, is reported to have been effective in stubborn eczema of the face and scalp. The crusts should first be removed by means of olive oil and asepsin soap. Its internal use should accompany its external application.
Internal. Profuse choleraic and excessive mucous discharges, as in cholera infantum and dysentery, are reputed to have been controlled by urtica, while it also has a restraining effect in gastric affections with excessive gastric secretion, and eructations, and vomiting. Chronic cystitis, with large mucous diuresis, is also asserted to have been benefited by it.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.