The first spring walk in shorts - and suddenly something burns your leg. Contact with nettles can be quite unpleasant. As Martian plants, they are, after all, extremely defensive. At the slightest touch of the sawblade-like toothed leaves, the stinging hairs on them break off at the heads and bore into the skin like hypodermic needles. In doing so, they inject a whole range of irritants, including histamine, serotonin and traces of formic, acetic and butyric acid. The result: redness, itching and burning, painful wheals. But if the stinging nettle did not fight back so vehemently, it would have been eradicated long ago - its leaves are so rich in vital substances. And: When used in a targeted way, stinging can even be healing, because it leads to better blood circulation, activates the muscle cells and improves mobility, as waste products are flushed out.
It is not without reason that the stinging nettle is one of the oldest medicinally used plants in the world. Already the Greek physician and pharmacologist Dioscorides, who lived in the 1st century, recommended it for arthritis, glandular swellings, eczema and gout. And to this day, treatment with nettles is practised for painful swollen knees and other joints, rheumatism, sciatica and paralysis.
"The stinging nettle: fierce demeanour but helpful heart", herbalist Johann Künzle
Majestic, proud, defiant and unbending - the stinging nettle, often called the "queen of medicinal plants", stands for a strong will, though also for aggression. But this is not necessarily negative. Originally, aggression is something positive, because it helps us to remove obstacles. It clears away the old, the used-up, the powerless and the overdue and thus creates space for the new. Homeopathically, the nettle gives "positive spines". With its help it is easier to overcome oneself, to develop a strong will and to take the lead in one's own life. If this will is lacking, people often cling to obstructive tendencies and attachments, which encourages the accumulation of mental and physical waste products. A lavish, protein-rich diet also leads to harmful metabolic products in the blood, which can trigger rheumatic and gout-like complaints. This is where the aggressive nettle helps by dynamically breaking up congealed structures.
Due to its extraordinarily high iron content, the defensible plant has many positive effects on the blood anyway. It purifies it, promotes blood formation and regulates blood pressure. In addition, nettle extract can naturally lower the blood sugar level in diabetics because it stimulates the pancreas. Furthermore, the draining nettle increases urine excretion and can therefore be used effectively against urinary tract infections to flush out harmful bacteria more quickly with the urine. The anti-inflammatory medicinal plant is also very effective against allergies, prostate and digestive complaints.
Spring cleaning in the body
If we are suffering from iron deficiency and spring fatigue, a cleansing nettle cure will help. To do this, drink three large cups of tea a day and add more nettle dishes to the diet. Depending on taste, the green iron miracle can be enjoyed as a salad or cooked like spinach.
The cure should be taken for at least two weeks, but no longer than six. And what better time to do it than spring, when everything old is going so that new things can emerge?