Home remedies

Nettle tea - application and effects

Anyone who has ever walked through nettles with bare feet can no longer forget the name of this plant. Because it burns violently - in addition, the skin is littered with pimples. This happens through the stinging hairs, which drill into the skin like injection needles and empty their secretions there. Urtica, the generic name, derived from the Latin "urere" means "to burn". But nettle tea is also used to treat “burning” pain, such as that associated with cystitis.

The big nettle

The large nettle, also called Urtica dioica, is like a weed that cannot be eradicated. Roman doctors have already used this plant. They recommended flogging with nettles to stimulate blood circulation. Sebastian Kneipp also attributed great healing powers to this "burning" plant. Today it is used as a nettle tea, as an extract or in the form of hair tonic. In the garden it is often used as a manure for fertilization and as a pesticide. The male inflorescences protrude from the large, two-headed nettle, the female ones hang and thus form the side shoots.

The little nettle

The small nettle, called Urtica urens, is between 15 and 45 centimeters high. Unlike its big sister, it is one-housed, which means that every plant has both male and female flowers. Like the Urtica dioica, the leaves contain vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, histamine, chlorophyll and formic acid. The latter is responsible for the burning sensation on the skin that occurs after contact. The histamine triggers the wheal effect. The nettle tea has a diuretic effect and also relieves prostate problems.

The nettle seeds used to be used as a love tonic. Today, they have become important for men again in naturopathy for fertility treatment.


The stinging nettle was formerly used as a countermeasure. On the solstice night nettles were placed under the cattle to drive away evil spirits. On the Walpurgis night, the nettles, put on the dung heap and beaten with a stick on them, prevented the witches' attack. The nettle was also known in the customs. For example, a nettle branch stuck in the milk should prevent acidification. To protect themselves from lightning, nettles were placed in the fire or hung up under the roof.

In antiquity

The nettle was already known in antiquity and was used, for example, for wounds, urinary tract diseases, nosebleeds, contortions and diseases of the respiratory tract. Hippocrates, Hildegard von Bingen and Paracelsus also used this plant.

Healing properties

The nettle tea has a draining, blood-cleaning, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, it contains iron, promotes the excretion of uric acid, has a stimulating effect on bile and pancreas, helps with rheumatism, eliminates spring fatigue and supports the excretion of semolina. In gynecology, nettle tea is mainly used for iron deficiency.

The essence of the nettle

Every plant also has a being - which means that the plant not only works physically, but can also be used for mental complaints. Slag accumulates in the body, which can sometimes impair movement. The nettle tea can help here. It is intended to support the breakup of the solidified structures so that the unusable substances can be eliminated. But the tea not only works against the slags in the body, but can also be used against hardening and "poisoning" in the mental area. The nettle cleanses the blood and helps the soul a little. That is why this plant is particularly well suited for spring and detox treatments.

Side effects / contraindications

The consumption of nettle tea can in rare cases lead to allergic reactions or slight stomach problems. If there is edema due to restricted heart or kidney activity, the tea should not be drunk. The tea is also unsuitable for pregnant women.


The nettle tea and the tea blends should never be drunk continuously for longer than six to eight weeks. For the preparation of the tea, a heaping teaspoonful of dried leaves is brewed with a quarter liter of boiling water. The tea is ready after a brewing time of around eight to ten minutes. The best drinking time for nettle tea is between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. - according to Chinese medicine, the main time of kidney and bladder activity. Thus, these two organs can best be supported and detoxified during this period.

Nettle tea has a detoxifying effect and the metabolism is stimulated, which in turn can contribute to weight loss.

Pick nettles

Nettles grow like weeds - almost everywhere. However, the plants should only be picked in places that are not on busy roads or are “watered” by dogs. The best time to harvest is spring, but harvesting is also possible from May to September. Caution: Please wear thick gloves. The nettle shoots are then hung to dry in an airy but dry place. And until the leaves are completely withered. These are then plucked and packed in cans. If you don't want to do this, get the nettle tea in the herb shop or pharmacy.

Home remedies with nettle

Nettle leaves can complement a wide variety of tea blends. Below are a few examples for use as a home remedy.

Kidney strengthening

The following mixture is recommended for strengthening the kidneys and for cold feet: Dried nettle leaves, (20 g) goldenrod (20 g) and lovage root (10 g). About 200 ml of boiling water is poured over a heaped teaspoon of the mixture. The whole thing then takes seven to ten minutes. Then the tea is drunk in small sips - two to three times a day.

Milk formation

The following tea is recommended for milk production during breastfeeding: nettle leaves, fennel fruits, lady's mantle and caraway fruits - each in equal quantities. Fennel and caraway must be pounded a little with the mortar so that the active ingredients develop. A teaspoon full of 200 ml of boiling water is brewed from the mixture and strained after about seven to eight minutes and then drunk. The woman takes a sip from time to time throughout the day, so that she gets about two cups a day.

Detoxify / detoxify

This tea helps to detoxify and detoxify: nettle, goldenrod, milk thistle and dandelion - in equal parts. The preparation is the same as for the tea blends described above.

Spring fatigue

In spring, nettle tea is the right choice. It contains vitamins, minerals and has a detoxifying effect. With the daily consumption of two to three cups over a period of four weeks, spring tiredness can be countered somewhat. (sw)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Susanne Waschke, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch


  • Ludwig Fischer: Nettles: A Portrait (Naturkunden), Matthes & Seitz Berlin; Edition: March 1, 2017
  • Ben-Erik van Wyk, Coralie Wink, Michael Wink: Handbook of Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated Guide, Scientific Publishing Company, 2003
  • Dorota Kregiel, Ewelina Pawlikowska, Hubert Antolak: Urtica spp .: Ordinary Plants with Extraordinary Properties, Molecules 2018, PubMed
  • Torsten Purle: Nettle (Urtica dioica) - characteristics, cultivation, use and healing effects, kraeuter-buch.de, 2018, herb book

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