This Site is dedicated to the medicinal herbs used by Maria Treben , the reknowned Austrian herbalist , in her healing works .

STINGING NETTLE

Scientific name: Urtica dioica
brennnessel
Herb Details:

n a radio program a physician once pointed out that the Stinging Nettle is one of our most valuable medicinal herbs. Mankind does not realize how valuable it is or it would plant Stinging Nettles (common name is Greater Nettle) only. Everything of the Nettle, stems, leaves, flowers and roots, has medicinal properties.

In ancient times it was already highly esteemed. Albrecht Duerer (1471 - 1528) painted an angel who flies heavenwards with Stinging Nettles in his hands.
The Swiss herbalist Abbe Kuenzle points out in his writings that the Nettle would have been wiped out long ago were it not for its stings. Insects and animals would have eaten it away.

I once told a mother of 7 children who since the last birth had suffered from eczema and headaches, to drink Nettle tea. In a short time she was free from the eczema and the headaches too. Since the cause of eczema often lies internally, it has to be treated internally with blood cleansing herbs.
Stinging Nettle is our best blood cleansing and blood building herb. Since it has a good influence over the pancreas, it assists in lowering the blood sugar.
It remedies disorders and inflammation of the urinary passage and suppression of urine.
It stimulates the movements of the bowel and is therefore recommended as a spring course of treatment. 
Since I know how valuable the Nettle is, I have made it a habit to drink a tea prepared from the young shoots during a 4 week period each spring and autumn. I drink 1 cup on an empty stomach half an hour before breakfast and sip 1 to 2 cups throughout the day. The effect is heightened if the tea is only sipped, even before breakfast. After 4 weeks, I feel like a new person and I am able to work 3 times as hard. My family and I have not taken any medication for years and I feel young and supple. The Stinging Nettle tea is drunk without sugar and does not taste too badly. Delicate natures can add a bit of Camomile or Mint to better the taste.

In herbal medicine Stinging Nettle tea drunk during a 4 week period, is used for liver, gallbladder and spleen disorders, even for a tumour in the spleen, for stomach cramps and ulcers, ulcers in the intestines, congestion of the lungs or stomach and lung disorders.
Do not boil the tea, it would destroy valuable substances. Drink 1 cup a day all year round as a prophylactic.
It is also beneficial for viral diseases and bacterial excretions.

From a certain age on the body has less iron and there are symptoms of fatigue and exhaustion; one feels old and less efficient. The Stinging Nettle with its iron content is used with great success and after a period energy, vitality and a bodily well-being is experienced.

A young, anaemic looking woman once came to see me. She suffered from stomach and gall bladder disorders, and as a side effect, from headaches. I recommended Stinging Nettle tea. Some time later I met her by chance and excitedly she told me how quickly Stinging Nettle tea had helped her. Her whole family has turned to herbs.

Stinging Nettle is diuretic and therefore of value for dropsy. As a blood builder it is beneficial for anaemia, chlorosis and other blood disorders.
Together with other herbs the Stinging Nettle is successfully employed in leukaemia. 
People who suffer from allergies (including hay fever) should drink Stinging Nettle tea for a while.
The Stinging Nettle diminishes susceptibility to colds and helps in cases of gout and rheumatism.

A lady who suffered from sciatica was under medical care for 3 years. After 6 Stinging Nettle baths (200 gm. of Nettles per bath) she lost all pain within 6 months.

I met a woman, about 50 years old, who had such thin hair that she had to wear a wig which would have caused the rest of the hair to fall out, too. I recommended a Stinging Nettle tea hair wash, made from a mixture of Stinging Nettle tea and a decoction of Stinging Nettle roots. She took my advice and from week to week her hair improved and grew much thicker. Very beneficial for hair is the Stinging Nettle tincture, easily prepared from the roots dug up in spring or autumn (see "directions"). I, myself, rub this tincture into the scalp daily; even on trips I take it with me. It is worth the effort, no dandruff, the hair is thick and soft and has a beautiful sheen.

For vascular constrictions (Buerger's disease) Stinging Nettle is most beneficial. Many a person could have saved himself an amputation of the leg by taking Stinging Nettle foot baths in time (see "direct ions"). Every cramp, no matter where, means a faulty circulation. Washing and bathing with a decoction of Stinging Nettle is recommended.

For coronary artery constriction it is also recommended. Bend the chest over the bath tub and bathe the heart region together with a gentle massage with the luke warm tea.

A 51 year old woman from Bavaria had a fistula which caused her considerable pain for 28 years. An operation was questionable, since the fistula was on the cheekbone. In 1978, she went to see a non-medical practitioner who put her on a fresh vegetable and fruit diet, prescribed deep and proper breathing and psycho cybernetics; above everything he gave her sympathy. The pain became bearable, but the fistula was still there. In March, 1979, she started to gather the first young Nettles and to drink 3 cups of tea with 1 teaspoon of Swedish Bitters added to each cup daily. She wrote: "After exactly 2 weeks the fistula had disappeared and I was without pain. And it has stayed this way."
With pleasure I hear, again and again, that people have experienced the curative effect of Stinging Nettle.

Not long ago, a woman wrote that she had drunk Nettle tea for months. Not only had she lost all fatigue and exhaustion, despite hard daily work, but also a festering corn which had caused her pain up to the thigh, as well as a fungus under the nails, had disappeared.
Another woman wrote that finally she got rid of a painful eczema.
Such letters are rays of hope in my life. They show that our medicinal herbs help whenever they are used.
An elderly man came to see me. 3 years ago he had influenza. Since that time his urine was dark brown and he suffered from terrible headaches. Neither the prescribed medications he took, nor the injections (lately in the head) brought relief. On the contrary, the headaches became worse; he was close to committing suicide. I gave him hope and recommended the Stinging Nettle. He was to drink 2 1/2 litres of the tea throughout the day. After 4 days he rang up to say that he felt better than even before the influenza.

Use the young Nettle tops, especially in spring, as a course of treatment. You will be surprised of its effects.
From a letter I quote: "Many thanks for your invaluable help. For 19 years I have been suffering and no physician could tell me what was wrong with me, although I consulted many. One week long I drank Nettle tea and miraculously my illness was gone, as if I never had suffered."

From these accounts it can be seen how quickly the herbs bring relief. Of course, 1 cup a day won't help, especially for bad cases at least 2 litres a day have to be sipped.
A business woman told me that she takes a thermos flask of Stinging Nettle tea on all her trips. She swears by it. It not only quenches the thirst but refreshes and takes away weariness.

A special hint: For sciatica, lumbago and neuritis in arms and legs, the affected parts are lightly brushed with a freshly picked Stinging Nettle. For sciatica, the Stinging Nettle is brushed upward from the foot along the outside to the hip and then downward on the inside towards the foot; repeated twice and then from the hips across the bottom. Similarly it is used for other affected areas. Afterwards the affected skin areas are powdered.

Don't we have to thank God for such wonderful herbs? In our fast living time man walks past them and prefers to use analgesics which he takes in excess.
I would like to tell of another experience which has touched me deeply.
In our small town I met an elderly woman who suffered, as the doctor had diagnosed, from cancerous growths in her stomach. She could not decide to have an operation, because of her age. Someone told her to drink Stinging Nettle tea. So, every day, she went into her garden to pick a handful of Stinging Nettles from along the fence, where they grew in abundance. When, after a time, she went to see her doctor, he asked in surprise: "What happened?" The growths had disappeared and the woman could enjoy a healthy old age. There is no need to let it get that far. Never could a malignant growth form, if we not only valued the Stinging Nettle, but drank it as a tea in regular intervals.
Another good advice: Start today with a Stinging Nettle course of treatment. The dried herb can be bought at a herbal chemist. The Stinging Nettle, growing wild, can be picked in spring. The more freshly picked it is used, the greater are its medicinal properties.
For the winter supply the Stinging Nettles gathered in May are best. Be pleased to be able to do something positive for your health!

A reader from Germany wrote: "My neighbour uses the Stinging Nettle to eradicate pests in his garden. He puts a large amount of Stinging Nettle in a container which holds approximate 300 litres (a smaller container can be used) and leaves them to soak for a while. With this Stinging Nettle water he sprays the plants again and again. He therefore grows plants free from pests without having to use chemicals."
Some farmers spray the Stinging Nettles, which grow on forest fringes and near paths away from roads and other pollutants, with herbicides. They do not consider that at the same time birds and valuable insects are killed. Many farmers do not take the time anymore to mow the Stinging Nettle with a scythe.
How blind have we become!

Directions:

Infusion: 1 heaped teaspoon per 1/4 litre of boiling water, infused for a short time. 
Tincture: The roots, dug up in spring or autumn, are cleaned with a brush, chopped and placed in a bottle up to the neck. 38% to 40% rye whisky or wodka is poured over it and the bottle is left to stand in a warm place for 14 days. 
Foot bath: 1 heaped handful of well washed roots and 1 heaped double handful of Stinging Nettle (stems and leaves) are soaked in 5 litres of cold water overnight. The next day this is brought to the boil and used 2 or 3 times. 
Hair wash: 4 to 5 heaped double handfuls of freshly picked or dried Stinging Nettle are placed in a 5 litre pot and slowly brought to the boil and infused for 5 minutes. If Stinging Nettle roots are used, 1 heaped double handful is soaked in cold water, brought to the boil the next day and infused for 10 minutes. Curd soap should be used with it.

Short Description:

In a radio program a physician once pointed out that the Stinging Nettle is one of our most valuable medicinal herbs.

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