In a radio program a physician once pointed out that the Stinging Nettle is one of our most valuable herbs. Mankind does not realize how valuable it is or it would plant Stinging Nettles (common name is Greater Nettle) only. 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. Do not boil the tea, it would destroy valuable substances. Drink 1 cup a day all year round as a prophylactic. For the winter supply the Stinging Nettles gathered in May are best. 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!
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.