How and where does stinging nettle grow in India | STN

Stinging nettle in India grows in the hill regions of Uttarakhand. It is a forest grass that grows naturally without providing any specific fertilizer.

Plant profile 

  • Scientific name – Urtica dioica.
  • Family – Urticaceae.
  • Genus – Urtica.
  • Height – 2 to 8 feet, 2 to 3 feet (average height).
  • Leaves – Looks like bit betel leaf and has stinging hairs on leaves.
  • Stem – Thin stem with stinging defensive hairs.
  • Growing countries – America, Europe and Asia.
  • Growing zone in India – Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu.
  • Usage – Used in making medicine, food, tea, fibre and clothes.
  • Local names – Kandali, kanai, bichhu ghaas.

How and where does stinging nettle grow in India

Stinging nettle grows in the villages of Kumaon Garhwal located in the Uttarakhand state of India. Due to the suitable atmosphere and climate conditions, this grass grows naturally in Kumaon Garhwal villages of Uttarakhand. It is well known as the Kandali plant in Uttarakhand villages.

It is a plant that grows throughout the year. The plant needs less water and can survive without any fertilizer so if you are looking for cultivation you can start it now. Provide the water in the 3 to 5 days intervals. 

Due to less water and fertilizer needed, stinging nettle farming costs are reduced. You can plant this grassy plant in any season, it grows in most soil. It prefers a cold climate and grows well in cold temperatures. However, it can be grown in partially warm temperatures. 

How to grow stinging nettle

Once the plant is removed from the root it dries in 1 to 2 days. So if you are planning to buy stinging nettle plants you should buy the rooted plant. It is difficult to grow this plant through stem cuttings or branches. So it is good to buy stinging nettle root plants having no or few leaves and plant them on time.

Dig a pit of 2 inches and place the rooted portion of the plant inside the pit. Then cover it with a soil pressing with light hands. The plant may thrive within a couple of weeks.

It is not seen in the plain areas of Haridwar, Rishikesh, Dehradun and Roorkee but it can be grown with some good practices.

It can also be grown through seeds as well and seeds are preferred by people who can’t visit hills to buy plants so they buy stinging nettle seeds. Seeds can be carried to long distances and do not collapse in 1 or 2 days like plants.

From where to buy stinging nettle plants or seeds

You can directly contact Uttarakhand villagers where these plants are being wasted and treated as only animal fodder. Some people eat them but not on a large scale and not regularly. You can get these plants free from villages or buy them from agriculture stores located in Uttarakhand.

Stinging nettle sensation pain swollen reason

Stinging nettle hair injects histamine and some chemicals that produce a stinging sensation when touched by naked hands or naked body parts by humans and animals. Histamine is a nitrogenous compound organically involved in local immune responses.

Due to histamine presence, the tissue gets red, swollen and painful as it is involved in inflammatory response. It regulates physiological function in the gut and acts as a neurotransmitter.  

To remove the stinging chemicals from the plant soak the plant without cutting in the water or cooking them. After soaking or cooking it can be handled or eaten without any injury.

Edible plants eaten by humans and animals

Whole stinging nettle plants, preferably the leaf shoots are eaten by deer, cow, goat, ox, buffalo, peacock butterfly, small tortoiseshell and other animals. 

Not only animals, but human beings also eat this edible plant due to its good health benefits. Plant is used for making vegetables and it tastes a little bit like spinach. To decrease the bitter element curd and some other ingredients are added to the dish. In Uttarakhand villages, kandali’s vegetable dish is famous and eaten interestingly. 


The stinging nettle growing zone, sensation, swelling and pain reason explained briefly. The ideal temperature and climate conditions for growing stinging nettle are shared. Where to buy plants and seeds is mentioned in this post.


Can I eat stinging nettle without soaking in water?

No, you cannot eat stinging nettle without soaking in water or without cooking it. Its hair contains histamine and other chemicals. 

Why does stinging nettle create sensation, pain and swelling when touched naked?

Stinging nettle hair contains histamine content and some chemicals that produce sensation, pain and swelling. 

From where to buy stinging nettle plants or seeds?

They are available hugely in Uttarakhand’s Garhwal and Kumaon villages.

Where does stinging nettle grow in India?

Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh.

Where does stinging nettle grow in the world?

America, Europe and Asia.

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