Want to discover the amazing stinging nettle health benefits, uses, and home remedies with stinging nettle? Continue reading this article and find out what they are. But first.
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is indeed a miraculous plant. Countless studies and research done over the last years have shown that there are powerful healing substances in the leaves, seeds, and roots of the stinging nettle plant. These active substances can cure hundreds of diseases. There are over 40 species of nettle in the world, but the most powerful when it comes to healing are the stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) and the small nettle (Urtica urens). In this article, we’re going to focus on the benefits and uses of stinging nettle and the home remedies you can make with it.
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Stinging Nettle A-Z
The plant was widely celebrated and praised since ancient times. Greek botanist Phanias wrote an entire book in its honor, and the “father” of medicinal plants, Hieronymus, put the stinging nettle in front of his dictionary with herbal remedies.
The Main Healing Substances in Stinging Nettle
- Chlorophyll: stinging nettle is amongst the richest plants in chlorophyll, a phenomenal detoxifying agent, but also a very good alkalizing agent for blood, urine, and other body fluids.
- Minerals: Potassium, calcium salts, silica, iron, and magnesium, in nettle, are amazing minerals that our body needs.
- Over 10 Vitamins, among which are Vitamin B1 and B2, which protect the nervous system; vitamin C, which is an anti-allergic and immune stimulant; Vitamin A, which protects the eyes and strengthens the membrane of healthy cells; Vitamin K and E and many others.
- Volatile substances that give the specific taste to stinging nettle, and have a very strong antibiotic and diuretic effect.
- Acids: pantothenic acid, folic acid, and formic acid in stinging nettle are the substance that makes our skin sting when we touch the nettle leaves.
- Phytohormones which regulate hormonal activity naturally.
How to Harvest Stinging Nettle
Herbal medicine uses 2 parts from the stinging nettle, which have quite different medicinal properties. These are the stem with leaves and the root, more precisely, the rhizomes that are the underground stems of the plant, where the nettle stores its reserve substances over the winter.
How to Harvest Nettle Leaves and Stems
Stinging nettle leaves and stems are harvested from late March to early April. Stinging nettle flowers can be harvested in the interval between July and November. If you want to harvest the aerial part of the nettle in the late fall, you can also harvest the nettle seeds too, together with the leaves and the stem, which also have special medicinal qualities.
Cut the flowering tips of the nettle (which must be 20-30 cm long, no more), and dry them in a 4 cm maximum thickness layer in an airy, shady, and moisture-free place. After they have dried, the nettle stems become very brittle and break making a dry twinkle. Store them in paper bags, in dark and dry places.
How to Harvest Nettle Roots
The roots (rhizomes) are harvested after the first mists, in November. Dug them up, then wash them in a fast stream and allowed them to dry in a warm room and, if possible, in sunlight (even if this light is filtered through the window). After they have dried, the nettle roots also become very brittle and break making a dry sound. Store them in cloth bags, in cool and dry places. Stinging nettle is a healing arsenal, no wonder it has a multitude of therapeutic recommendations. Let’s see the most important nettle uses and benefits.
How to Use Stinging Nettle in Home Remedies
There are many beneficial ways to use stinging nettle as a home remedy, and these are the most popular:
Stinging Nettle Juice
Blend a handful of fresh nettles, well washed and cleaned, with a glass (200 ml) of plain water or spring water. Immediately add 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice, both for taste and to prevent oxidation of the active ingredients. Drink the nettle juice unfiltered, as soon as possible, in order to preserve its maximum healing properties.
Thoroughly wash and chop two handfuls of fresh nettle leaves and then rub them with a little bit of salt. Add lemon juice and olive oil and the nettle salad is ready to serve. Nettle salad is usually eaten in the morning on an empty stomach. To make it effective follow this cure for at least 7 days.
It is recommended that due to digestive sensitivity, we do not eat fresh nettles. Thoroughly wash three or four hands of nettles and then boil them on high heat, in water just enough to cover them. After 25-30 minutes, when the stems have softened, strain the remaining juice that has resulted after boiling. Season the nettles with salt to taste, a little olive oil, and lemon juice, and consume them while hot. The juice can be drunk two hours after a meal. This is amazing for body detox and weight loss.
Stinging Nettle Syrup
This remedy is prepared from fresh nettle leaves. Finely chop the leaves and fill 3/4 of a jar with them, and then fill the remaining of the jaw with raw honey. Stir constantly to homogenize the preparation. Close the jar and leave the contents to soak for 30 days, then filter the green nettle syrup, which has exceptional detoxifying and rejuvenating effects.
Stinging Nettle Tea
Pour a cup of boiling water over 2 tablespoons of fresh or dried nettle leaves. Leave to infuse for 15-20 minutes, then strain. Drink 3-4 cups of nettle tea a day between meals. This tea is amazing for body detox and weight loss.
Nettle root tea is a very good regulator of hormonal activity in men, it promotes the regeneration of hair and epithelia, and has immunomodulatory and anticancer effects. You can also use nettle root to make a powerful nettle root tincture.
Cut the fresh nettle roots as small as possible and put them in a jar and then pour 70° alcohol to cover them. Close the airtight jar and leave to soak for 2-3 weeks, in a warm place. After the maceration period, strain and pour the obtained tincture into small, amber bottles. You can have one teaspoon of this tincture 3-to 4 times a day on an empty stomach. Usually, each dose of tincture is diluted in half a glass of water before administration.
Nettle Root Powder
Finely grind the dried nettle roots with an electric coffee grinder. You can have 1 tsp of this powder on an empty stomach, 4-6 times a day.
Stinging Nettle Health Benefits
Stinging nettle is a powerful detox herb, used since ancient times for the following health benefits:
- Blood detox
- Hair loss
- Acne/Skin problems
- Digestive stimulant
- Auto-immune conditions
- Kidney problems
- High blood pressure
- Chronic Bronchitis
- Irregular menstruation
- Cancer prevention (especially gastric)
- Weight loss
- Heavy Metals Toxicity
- Cold and Flu
In addition, direct skin contact with fresh stinging nettle is a great cure for rheumatism, trigeminal neuralgia, poor circulation (cold hands and feet), back pain, sciatica, etc. (Those allergic to nettle stinging should avoid direct skin contact with fresh stinging nettle).
17 Home Remedies with Stinging Nettle
When the amount of iron in the body decreases you can sense o feeling of fatigue and overwhelming pressure. Iron can be recovered by frequent consumption of nettles. The chlorophyll contained in this plant stimulates the formation of red blood cells. Follow a nettle tea cure or make the following syrup: mix 100 g of fresh nettle juice with 100 g of honey. Boil on low heat until the liquid becomes syrupy and take 3 tablespoons of syrup a day. In addition, enjoy a fresh nettle salad every day during the season (late March till the end of April) twice a day, or a shot of fresh nettle juice; follow these remedies for at least 14 days.
2. Spring Detox & Weight Loss
Follow a 4-week cure with nettle tea, for which you pick small and fresh nettle (a teaspoon with the tip of the plant is scalded with 1/4 l of boiling water and left to boil infuse 2 minutes). The first cup is drunk in the morning, on an empty stomach, sip by sip, half an hour before a meal, and two more cups are drunk during the day.
Histamines are substances released by the cells of the immune system “out of control” during allergies caused by pollen, dust, or various chemicals. When we come in contact with an allergen we get skin rashes and itchy skin. Well, in nettle leaves we find the same histamines (with a modified chemical composition compared to histamines in the human body), which are secreted by its hairs.
An American doctor noticed that the internal treatment with nettle leaves helps the allergic desensitization of the body, with extremely favorable effects on skin eczema, rhinitis, and sinusitis. Simply put, he noticed that histamines found in nettle make specific receptors in the body much less susceptible to airborne stimuli (dust, pollen, dust, etc.) that cause allergies. For this, drink 2 cups of fresh nettle juice every day, for at least 21 days. Pause for 5 days and resume if needed. Stinging nettle syrup also works (100 g of fresh nettle juice mixed with 100 g of honey); 4-5 tsp a day for 1-2 months.
4. Heavy Metal Detox
The abundant chlorophyll in the nettle leaves is a real magnet for harmful substances that reach the body through food, water, air, beauty products, detergents, etc. First of all, fresh stinging nettle extracts excess toxic heavy metals from tissues, such as lead, cesium, cadmium, aluminum, strontium, etc. Then, it blocks to a certain extent the effects of synthetic substances with hormonal effects (xenoestrogens) that are as strong as they are harmful, such as phthalates (from conditioners, detergents), bisphenol A (from plastic bottles), parabens ( from cosmetics), certain pesticides, etc.
Read Also: How to Get Rid of Heavy Metals Detox
Drink a cup of nettle root tea before the three main meals. To prepare the tea, add 2 tablespoons of chopped nettle root into a liter of cold water overnight. Next morning, gently bring the tea to a boil on low heat and boil for 5 minutes. Allow the root to steep for another 10 minutes, and then it’s ready to enjoy. You can also make the following remedy for diabetes. Mix equal parts of dried nettle, walnuts, mulberries, bean pods, and blueberry leaves, grind them using an electric grinder, and have 1 teaspoon (5 g) four times a day, sublingually (suck on the powder for 15 minutes, then swallow with water).
Nettle is hemostatic. This means that it has the ability to stop bleeding, acting as a vasoconstrictor. It is useful in treating hemophilia, a hereditary disease that is characterized by heavy bleeding, internal or external. Stinging nettle is also helpful in case of painful and heavy menstruation, hemoptysis (expulsion of blood through the airways due to bleeding in the lungs), and in case of menopausal bleeding.
For this, drink a quarter – a half glass of fresh nettle juice a day, or have one teaspoon of dried nettle powder, 4 times a day, on an empty stomach, with a little water. If the bleeding is nasal, a simpler method can be used: soak a cotton swab in nettle juice and insert it into the nose.
Make a dough with 16 g of ground nettle seeds and 60 g of rye flour, to which add 1/2 glass of warm water and a spoonful of honey. Form 5 equal pies and bake them in the oven. Eat a pie every night after dinner. You can also take a teaspoon of crushed nettle seeds, mixed with honey, on an empty stomach every day.
8. Phlebitis and Thrombophlebitis
Take feet baths with nettle root: put two handfuls of well-washed and finely chopped roots, along with 5-10 leafy stems in a cauldron with 5 liters of cold water overnight. The next day, heat up the cold maceration to boiling point. Use this infusion (don’t strain it, leave the nettle roots inside) to take 20 minutes long feet baths, as hot as possible. You can reuse the maceration 2-3 times, just heat it again.
9. Chronic Bronchitis & Asthma
Nettle salad and fresh nettle juice have extraordinary immunoregulatory effects, being very helpful in respiratory diseases due to allergies, including asthma. For this, you can follow a long-term cure, from March to the end of April, during which time you drink a glass of nettle juice twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. This treatment relieves allergic reactions, helps to decongest the airways of secretions, and prevents asthma-like attacks. All children suffering from recurrent bronchitis, as well as adults who smoke or work in toxic environments, should follow this treatment with fresh nettle.
10. Autoimmune Conditions
Follow an eight-week cure with fresh stinging nettle, in the form of juice, by drinking 3 cups daily. It is a very powerful depurative treatment, which regulates the reactions of the immune system, helping to significantly improve autoimmune diseases of all kinds. The same treatment also helps to restore the elastic tissue affected by these diseases, such as collagenosis, eliminating, to a certain extent, the damage caused by them and significantly improving the general condition of the patient.
Several studies have shown that the administration of fresh nettle leaves has an anti-inflammatory effect on the joints. There was a marked decrease in pain and inflammation in rheumatic patients treated with nettle. The effect appeared after 3-4 weeks of treatment with fresh juice while consuming 0.5 – 0.75 liters per day. This anti-rheumatic effect is explained by scientists by the fact that the active principles in nettle inhibit the production of substances involved in joint inflammation and pain.
12. IBS & Digestion
Nettle juice obtained by blending fresh nettle leaves with water is a real elixir for the digestive tract in general and for the intestines in particular because it increases the juices required in the breakdown of fats and proteins. It has healing and calming effects and it helps to restore protective tissues in the digestive tract, damaged or destroyed by infectious processes, or by toxic substances from food or drinks. If you do not tolerate raw nettle, you can replace it with boiled or steamed nettle (both the broth and the plant). It has the same calming effects and, in addition, it normalizes intestinal transit.
13. High Blood Pressure & Heart Problems
Nettle leaves, whether fresh or boiled, help eliminate water accumulated in the body, eliminate excess sodium and relax the smooth muscles of blood vessels, thus regulating blood pressure in a natural way. Patients who consume nettle leaves regulate their heart rate, are less prone to painful heart attacks, and have an increased capacity for effort. Drink half a glass of nettle juice before main meals. In addition to regulating blood pressure, nettle extract has a protective effect on blood vessels, preventing sclerosis and stiffening.
14. Prostate Adenoma
Stinging nettle acts not only as an anti-inflammatory and antitumoral, but also has very good hormonal regulation effects, acting on the cause of the disease. For prostate adenoma, taking a teaspoon of nettle root tincture, four times a day can be very helpful. In addition, drink one glass of fresh nettle juice (obtained from the leaves and roots) a day. The treatment lasts at least a month, and the effects can be quite spectacular.
15. Irregular Menstruation
Nettle leaves are antihemorrhagic and anti-inflammatory, and in the long run, have very good endocrine regulatory effects. They are also highly recommended for skin problems (such as acne or certain types of eczema) caused by hormonal disorders. For irregular menstrual cycles or heavy bleeding consume two cups of fresh nettle juice a day, in three-week cures, with a week’s pause.
16. Kidney Problems
Fresh nettle juice is also a great remedy for chronic kidney diseases and an adjuvant in kidney failure. Consume a glass of fresh nettle juice a day in the morning, immediately after waking up. Continue for at least 20-30 days; stinging nettle has diuretic and regenerative effects on the renal tissue.
17. Canker Sore
Wash and gargle with a decoction of 2 tablespoons of nettle flowers in 1 liter of water. Boil them for 1-2 minutes, then let them steep. You can also use fresh nettle juice for this gargle.
3 Hair & Beauty Recipes with Nettle DIY
Stinging nettle has been used for ages by ancient peoples of the Danube river. The recipes have been passed on and nettle is still one of the most used natural remedies for hair fall here. Nettle extract is a very popular shampoo ingredient in most herbal shampoos. Used externally, nettle tones the hair root prevents and treats skin mycosis, and supports the health of the scalp. Here is how you can make a stinging nettle infusion for hair loss at home.
1. Stinging Nettle Hair Wash for Hair Loss
- 100 g fresh stinging nettle leaves
- 1/2 l of apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 l of cold water
- Put all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil.
- Boil for 5 minutes and then let the infusion cool off.
- Strain and use for daily frictions on the scalp.
- You can also use it to rinse the hair, for natural shine and extra volume.
This simple hair and scalp wash with nettle is also a great remedy for dandruff and seborrhea.
2. Stinging Nettle & ACV Recipe for Shiny Hair
Nettle and apple cider vinegar is the best natural combo for strong, shiny, and luscious hair. Here is how you can make it and use it at home.
- fresh nettle leaves
- apple cider vinegar
- Fill a clean glass jar halfway up with fresh nettle leaves.
- Fill the rest of the jar with vinegar over.
- Seal and place it in a sunny place for 3 weeks.
- Shake periodically during this time.
- Slip and the hair wash is ready.
- Rub the roots of the hair with the nettle and ACV hair wash
3. Stinging Nettle Remedy for Acne
Nettle leaf decoction can be used as natural skin maintenance or treatment before applying cosmetic products. It is also useful before dermatological treatments for skin issues, including acne. If you suffer from acne, follow a 10-day cure with nettle tea, then pause for 10 days and resume. Prepare the nettle tea by scalding a teaspoon of fresh stinging nettle leaves in a quarter of a liter of water. For best results, add a teaspoon of Swedish bitter into the tea. Drink 3 teas a day.
Externally, apply a nettle tea mask to the acne areas. To make this tea, scald a handful of leaves in 1 cup of boiling water and infuse for 10 minutes. Apply the mask at night, before bedtime. Apply a plastic wrap over the tea poultice to secure it in place. If possible, keep it overnight, or if not, for as long as you can. Nettle tea is a natural astringent and tonic for the skin and is also used for open pores. Follow this acne treatment for one month.
Stinging Nettle Side Effects
The leaves of the nettle plant have virtually no adverse effects and contraindications. Nettle remedies are considered amongst the safest out there because their use has been very long and well observed. However, there are certain categories of people who should be extra careful when taking nettle supplements or following nettle home remedies.
- People who suffer from thrombosis and are possibly under medication for this condition should be careful using fresh nettle leaves/stems. The high vitamin K content in nettle can cause an increase in blood coagulation rate. But dry nettle is safe to use for these conditions.
Nettle root has been the most studied when it comes to adverse reactions. A German study on 4087 volunteers, revealed that nettle root side effects are minor. Out of all the participants, 0.89% showed slight gastrointestinal disorders and 0.19% has some low allergic reactions with, namely skin itching. Therefore, nettle root has no major adverse side effects and can be used safely, except for pregnant and breastfeeding women. These women can instead consume nettle leaves or use them in remedies.
The Spiritual Lesson of Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle is one of the most modest herbs because it grows everywhere, from the edges of a ditch to the roadsides and banks of the water, and even the wet eaves of the forests. It comes out with its spiky leaves full of chlorophyll, deliberately crawling underfoot: “Take me and drink me if you want to live without drugs in your pocket.” Although unpretentious and modest-looking stinging nettle is one of the most healing herbs we know. Stinging nettle is the best example of not judging a book by its cover.
It comes out at the mid-end of March, at the first signs of Spring in the hopes that we will pick it up and use it to enjoy some of that revitalizing and powerful force of new beginning and fresh starts. Yes, stinging nettle has a very important message, and that is that no matter the harshness of the things you’ve been going through, there’s always enough power within you to overcome and start anew.
The sting of the nettle is its way to make herself noticed. It’s like “hey, I’m here, pick me up” because it knows that we need the natural shot very much. Nettle is a reminder that sometimes the things that hurt us the most are also those that help us grow and expand the most. Remember this next time you pick nettle or enjoy a revigorating cup of nettle tea.
We really hope that you’ve enjoyed reading about the health benefits of stinging nettle, its uses, and simple yet effective home remedies with stinging nettle. Please share so we help more people discover the amazing healing virtues of nettle. Stay healthy, naturally!