Urtica dioica or common nettle is a herb well known among the people.

It can be found almost all over the world and it is mostly found in bushy areas. It is famous for its heart-shaped leaves covered with small hairs that sting. All of the parts of this plant can be used for healing – the leaves, the flowers, the trunk, the roots and the seeds.

Nowadays, common nettle is considered as weed and everything is done to remove it from the garden. However, the elderly have a different opinion about this herb. They know that this plant must be appreciated both as food and as a remedy.

Common nettle as a remedy throughout history

The first traces and uses of this herb are from the first century, when common nettle was used as a remedy against colds and fatigue, as well as a powerful ingredient for detoxification of the body. Throughout history, nettle has been used an incredible diuretic and laxative, remedy for swelling, irregular menstrual cycles, bleeding, lung inflammation, asthma, spleen diseases, gangrenous wounds and many other health conditions.

In the seventeenth century, common nettle was used as an antidote from poisonous animals, for healing kidney and urinary tract sand and stones, skin infections, pain in the joints, etc. a well known and widely used remedy is putting nettle on the body, which is an ancient Russian traditional treatment for improving blood circulation and reducing rheumatic pain.

In Russia, nettle is also traditionally used to treat liver and nerve diseases. In England and Germany, in phytotherapy, common nettle is an appreciated herb for stopping inflammations of the urinary tract and problems with the prostate. Nettle is also loaded with iron. Therefore, in many ancient cultures, it was used to treat anemia and lack of energy.

Common nettle also contains fibers similar to flax and twine. Therefore, it has been used in textile industry for many centuries. In many countries, housewives have used nettle to clean and wash windows, mirrors and pantries. They wiped the dirty surfaces with nettle, wash it with water and then wipe it with a clean cloth.

Abundance of nutrients

In this widespread herb there are a lot of precious nutrients. It is loaded with vitamin A, B2, C and K.
It also contains fats, carbohydrates, flavonoids, chlorophyll, carotene and many beneficial acids. The roots contain large amounts of iron and therefore it is used to treat anemia and against dandruff and hair loss.

Because of the high amounts of magnesium, common nettle is an excellent ingredient for soothing pain and cramps in the muscle, menstrual cramps, weakness, tiredness and exhaustion. The mineral silicon is of great importance for the heath of the skin. Therefore, nettle is a well-known remedy in phytotherapy for the treatment of acne, eczema, herpes, etc.

Thanks to vitamin K, common nettle is an excellent way to stop a bleed and this is why it is recommended in case of large menstrual flow. It can also stop a nose bleed. Common nettle can be sued in the treatment of inflammations of the urinary tracts because it destroys the bacteria. It also reduces pain in the joints and improves the strength of the bones. It improves memory as well.

Natural remedy against anemia

For many centuries, this herb has been used as a folk remedy for prevention and treatment of anemia. The reason why nettle should be part of your home is the amounts of iron it contain, which is an essential element for the organism and the body cannot produce it by itself. Common nettle also contains vitamin C, which natural increases the absorption of iron. Therefore, when nettle is consumed, there are no side effects that usually occur when we consume iron supplements, such as nausea, diarrhea and pain in the stomach.

Common nettle is also a natural source of energy and vitality.

Aid in detoxifying the body

This herb may not look pretty, but it can detoxify the body. It improves the function of the digestive tract, helps the draining of liquids and cleanses the blood and the urinary tract. It also helps in the removal of accumulated uric acids in the body. These are the reasons why common nettle is used against accumulated toxins in the body. It can also remove the parasites in the body as well.

Excellent natural choice for pregnant women

Common nettle is a herb that is advised for consumption for women in the most delicate period of their life which is pregnancy. Pregnant women are advised to drink nettle tea, but not nettle juice.

Since it contains iron, it is a natural way to prevent and treat anemia. It promotes blood circulation and proper function of the kidneys, reduces stress and inflammations and balances the hormonal levels. The magnesium in it, reduces leg cramps, delivery pain, reduces tiredness and fatigue.

It can be helpful with hemorrhoids or prevent bleeding after delivery. It promotes the production of breastmilk. It is beneficial to drink nettle tea from the second trimester and until you breastfeed the baby. It will also give you clean and healthy skin and hair.

Other nettle benefits

It strengthens the immune system, reduces the symptoms of rheumatism and arthritis, helps with menstrual pain and premenstrual swelling, lowers blood pressure and blood sugar levels, helps in case of headaches and insomnia, treats diseases of the respiratory system, eliminates skin problems, stops infections of the urinary tract, destroys intestinal parasites, nourishes and strengthens the hair and induces the production of breastmilk.

Use of nettle

Regular consumption of remedies with this incredible herb can help you prevent, soothe or treat many health conditions. Therefore, you must consume at least 1 cup of nettle tea or nettle juice a day. for the treatment of more dangerous diseases a 1 or 2 cups of tea would not be enough. In these cause, you should drink 1 or 2 liters of nettle drinks.

You can use common nettle to prepare tea, juice, honey, liquor, syrup, tincture or make your meals richer.

Simple recipe for nettle tea

First, you need to wash and chop neatly 2 cups of common nettle. Pour 250 milliliters of boiling water over the chopped nettle. Cover it and leave it to rest for 5 minutes. After you strain the tea, it is ready for consumption.

Nettle compresses

Nettle compresses are extremely useful for reducing inflammation and rheumatism. To prepare them, you need to pour hot water over nettle leaves. Then, soak a cloth in the liquid and wrap it around the painful spot. Compresses of freshly squeezed nettle juice can be placed on the eyes to reduce eye inflammation. In history, warm nettle compresses were used to remove poison from the body.

Nettle bath

To treat cramps, tiredness, feet fungus and diseases of the cardiovascular system, you need to put 200 grams of nettle in a bag. Soak the nettle in a hot bath for 10 minutes. Spend at least 20 minutes in the bath. Don’t shower after the nettle bath. Do this every day for 4 months.

Nettle syrup

Homemade nettle syrup will help you improve the function of the kidneys and solve problems like asthma, allergies and hair loss. Moreover, the following syrup is a well-know cure for anemia.

Ingredients:

• 200 grams of nettle
• 3 lemons
• 2 liters water
• 1 kilogram of honey

Preparation: mix the water, sliced lemon and nettle in a bowl and leave it for a day. Add the honey and boil the remedy. Leave it to cool down, strain it, put it in a jar and keep it in a cold place. You can consume the remedy for 6 months.

Nettle tincture

Nettle tincture can be used both for internal and external use. It is natural remedy for anemia and improving the immune system’s function. It can stop urinary tract infections, colds and the flu.

It also reduces allergic reactions, especially caused by pollen. It helps the body eliminate the excess amounts of accumulated fluids and induces cleansing and renewal of the body.

When used externally, few drops of the tincture should be rubbed in the scalp to induce hair growth.

Ingredients:

• 20 grams of dried nettle root
• 100 milliliters of 70% alcohol

Preparation:

Pour alcohol over the nettle root, cover it and leave it to rest for 14 days. Shake the mixture from time to time.
Strain it, pour it in a glass bottle and store it in a dark and cold place.

Use: take 20 drops of the tincture with a glass of water three times a day. if you buy a nettle tincture, follow the dosing recommendations.

Harvesting and storing nettle

It is really easy to grow this herb. It can successfully grow in almost any soil. As in most herbs, it should be harvested from a clean environment, far away from the streets and polluted areas. Young nettle leaves, harvested before flowering, are the most delicious and the healthiest for consumption. The ideal time for harvesting the nettle leaves is spring, between March and May, before flowers appear.

They can also be harvested in fall before the formation of seeds. While harvesting, you must protect the hands with gloves from the formic acid and histamine found in the hairs of the leaves. These substances can cause itching, pain, redness and swelling. The leaves that are gathered are young leaves that must be prepared for consumption or dried for later use.

Many households gather nettle and freeze it for later use during the winter as a substitute for spinach. If you want to dry nettle and use it throughout the entire year, dry the nettle leaves in shade near the window. The dried leaves should be stored in a container or bag. Nettle roots are gathered in the spring or the fall. First, you need to clean them with a brush well and dry them in the same way as the leaves.