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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Stinging Nettles for Lyme Arthritis?

Stinging nettles growing among our asparagus.

Who doesn't remember running through a pasture or weedy lot at some point as a kid and being stung by nettles?  Ouch!  I remember being shocked that such an innocent looking weed could pack a powerful sting.

When I was wrongly diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis, I researched cures, remedies, herbals, and folk medicine. I was reading about bee sting therapy as a possible way to trick the immune system into reacting to the bee venom instead of causing joint inflammation.  Then the article said that stinging nettles seem to have a similar immune response.  I did safely try a few bee stings, but I always kept a bottle of liquid Benedryl nearby just in case.  I usually do not even swell when I get a bee sting, so I felt it was safe for me to try.  I wouldn't recommend this to anyone else, however, because of the risk of anaphylactic shock.  After several attempts with no improvement, I decided that it wasn't working, or that I just wasn't trained to do it correctly, and I gave up.

Then I decided it wouldn't hurt to try the stinging nettles.  At that point, the doctors still had me convinced that I had Rheumatoid arthritis.  I was searching for a way to get my body to quit attacking itself.  I went on daily walks to try to find nettles.  I asked my friends, relatives, and acquaintances if they had any nettle weeds that they wanted to get rid of in their yard or pasture.  Where was the nettle when you need it?  I couldn't find it anywhere!  I forgot about that after a while and eventually, was properly diagnosed with Lyme disease.

Well, fast forward a couple of years.  This week while gardening, we found a nettle weed growing in our raised vegetable garden.  We live in the city, with a fenced in yard.  How that nettle weed got there is nothing short of Divine Intervention!  My beau Tom, was about to pull the weed out, and I shouted, "No! I want to use it on my swollen knee and ankle joints."  So the weed is still growing in our garden box.  I think that I will keep it.

Applying the nettle leaf to a swollen knee joint.
Tiny red bumps appeared, just like a bee sting.

The Arthritis Foundation has an article about the use of Stinging Nettles for arthritis:

Mother Earth Magazine published an article about the use of Stinging Nettles for treating arthritis:


  1. Have you ever tried using stinging nettles for swollen joints or Lyme arthritis? Did it help to reduce swelling and pain?