Want to learn how to make nettle root decoction and use this ancient medicine at home? Continue reading and find out.
Nettle root (Urtica dioica) is one of the most potent parts of the nettle, highly praised in the rural areas of Central and Southern Europe. Here, healer women of the village used to go in the late autumn with the sedge on the edge of water streams, to dig up the nettle roots. It was like a small autumn ritual, done in the morning on wet days when the wet soil on the banks of the water or in the forest clearings was easy to dig up. One of the main remedies with nettle root is nettle root decoction. But before we show you how to make nettle root decoction, here is how to harvest nettle root first.
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How to Harvest Nettle Root
Nettle roots are harvested either in early spring or in late autumn, after the first frosts, in the month of November. Dig it up with a spade, wash it in a fast stream of water, and leave it to dry in a warm room (if possible, exposed to sunlight – near the window). Dry the nettle root in a thin layer, on wooden frames, sheets of paper, or mats, in airy and well-ventilated spaces (atticks, verandas, balconies).
When they are dried, the nettle roots become very brittle and break with a dry crack. After drying, store the nettle roots in gauze bags, paper bags, cardboard boxes, or raffia bags. Keep the root whole, until the moment of processing. Grind the root in small pieces just before use and then store it in canvas bags, in cool and dry places.
Nettles do not like to grow alone but always form a compact group. For this reason, its roots stretch from one plant to another, like an invisible underground network. When you pull out a nettle root, you will notice along with it, that long threads are dug up, sometimes several meters long, that pass from one plant to another. The village healers know this and never dig up more than half of the roots from one spot, “so that the nettle grows next year” as well.
Health Uses of Nettle Root
Back in the day, women were the ones who picked this root particularly, because they used it for cosmetic and beauty treatments. They prepared a nettle decoction to strengthen the roots of their hair and grow healthy and rich hair. It was said that whoever eats crushed nettle root in winter has strong teeth, bones, and nails. For this purpose, people oftentimes had a teaspoon of dried nettle root powder, 2-3 times a day. It is very rich in essential minerals and trace elements, making it a valuable substitute for expensive supplements during the winter.
Recent findings have confirmed the healing virtues of nettle root, which is loaded with active substances, namely histamines, chlorophyll, carbohydrate substances, sterols, vitamins C, B2, and K, pantothenic acid, folic acid, calcium salts, magnesium, iron, silica and more. Now let’s see how to make nettle root decoction and what to use it for.
How to Make Nettle Root Decoction
There are two ways to make nettle root decoction. The first one is the simple version, where the root is boiled and chilled, and the second one is the combined infusion, where you first make a cold maceration and combine it with a hot decoction. Both are fantastic recipes, used for various health problems, as you will see below.
To make the simple nettle root decoction simmer 4 tablespoons of chopped/ground nettle root for 10 minutes in one liter of water, then allow to cool for 15 minutes. Strain while hot and sweeten with raw honey to taste if you wish. The dosage is two cups of this nettle root decoction per day, in the long term, depending on your health problems.
The more complex nettle root decoction, or the combined nettle root decoction, is as follows.
Put 2 tablespoons of nettle root powder to macerate in half a liter of water at room temperature for 8-10 hours, then strain. The resulting maceration is set aside. Use the root powder left after filtering and boil it in another half liter (2 cups) of water for 5 minutes. Cool and strain, and then combine the two extracts. This will make you approximately one liter (4 cups) of combined nettle root decoction. The regular dose of this combined decoction is 2-4 cups per day. For added efficacy, you can use a mix of nettle root and leaves (equal parts) to make the combined decoction.
15 Health Uses of Nettle Root Decoction
1. High blood pressure – nettle root decoction helps reduce and stabilize blood pressure and also reduces heart rate, increases diuresis, and as well as the amount of sodium excreted from the body. Drink 2 cups a day of the combined nettle root decoction – in courses of 1-2 months, followed by a 2-week break. Or two cups a day of the simple nettle root decoction.
2. Cystitis, nephritis, pyelonephritis – 900-1200 ml per day of the combined nettle root decoction to reduce the inflammation of the kidneys and urinary tract, has a mild antibacterial effect and reduces stinging when urinating. Then take sitz baths with the combined nettle root and leaves decoction (equal parts) – should be as hot as you can bear. Pour 2 liters of combined nettle decoction into five liters of water. It is a very effective treatment in acute cystitis, leucorrhoea, and adnexitis, with calming, immune-stimulating, anti-inflammatory effects. For best results, combine nettle with juniper berries and yarrow to make the sitz baths.
3. Prostate adenoma – drink 750-1000 ml per day of the combined nettle root decoction, on an empty stomach, for six months, or 2 cups of the simple nettle root decoction. Boost the action of nettle even more, by associating it with hoary willowherb (Epilobium parviflorum), and spiny cocklebur (Xanthium spinosum). This remedy gradually reduces the frequency of night urination, reduces the volume of the prostate, and normalizes urination.
4. Type II diabetes adjuvant – nettle reduces blood sugar levels, stimulates diuresis, protects the heart and blood vessels, and has an antioxidant effect. Drink 2 cups a day of the combined nettle root and leaves decoction or two cups of the simple nettle root decoction. A more effective antidiabetic tea is obtained by combining nettle leaves with dry bean pods, walnut leaves, or mulberry leaves. Boil 2 spoons of bean pods over low heat for 15 minutes in one cup of water. Then add 2 spoons of nettle leaves and one spoonful of walnut leaves. Steep for 30 minutes, then strain. Nettle juice is also effective if you drink 100 ml per day.
5. Diarrhea, adjuvant in dysentery, liver problems – drink 3-5 cups/day of the combined nettle decoction (roots and leaves) for 2-4 weeks. This decoction has astringent and slightly anti-bacterial effects, helping to rebalance the body’s hydration and restore the intestinal epithelia much faster. To regulate intestinal transit, for gastric disorders caused by sm,oking, and for liver failure caused by high consumption of medical drugs, drink two cups of the simple version of nettle root decoction.
6. Hair loss – rinse your hair after washing with the combined infusion of nettle root and leaves, or the simple nettle root decoction for 1-2 times a week. During rinsing, do an energetic massage of the scalp with your fingers, so that the active principles are assimilated as much as possible at the level of the scalp. This tea also helps to strengthen the hair and the hair roots.
7. Open pores – apply a compress with the combined nettle leaves and root decoction in the evening, and leave it on for half an hour. Do this simple application once every two to three days, as nettle has astringent and tonic effects on the skin.
Other Health Uses of The Simple Nettle Root Decoction
Drinking two cups of the simple nettle root decoction a day for a longer period of time has powerful depurative, immune boosting, and diuretic properties, making it an amazing remedy for:
- Internal bleeding (nose bleeds)
- Varicose veins
- Asthma / Allergies
- Bone and teeth remineralization
- Oral mucosa problems
Nettle Root Side Effects
Before using stinging nettle preparations or remedies, consult your specialist doctor or herbalist, especially if you also use synthetic drugs or medication. Nettle leaves practically have no adverse effects and contraindications, being considered among the safest known herbal remedies, because their use has been very long and well observed. However, there are some recommendations.
- Fresh nettle is used with caution in the case of thrombosis, under medication, in which case the high vitamin K content of nettle causes an increase in the blood coagulation speed.
- Limit its use to a minimum in case of thrombophlebitis, and blood circulation problems, especially in the elderly.
- Nettle is not used in case of internal bleeding caused by myoma, ovarian cysts, or acute kidney diseases.
- Nettle juice and diuretic preparations with nettle should be used with care in cases of acute kidney and liver inflammatory processes, but also in acute kidney or heart failure.
- In pregnant women, in some cases, nettle can cause miscarriages.
- Nettle preparations lower blood pressure, therefore it is contraindicated while taking antihypertensive drugs.
- Do not use nettle remedies in combination with antidepressants and sleeping pills, because it can affect the central nervous system.
Read Also: How to Make Nettle Powder and Use at Home
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