Last updated: August 10, 2021

Welcome to our large nettle test 2021. Here we present all the nettle products that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best nettle for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy nettle.




The most important facts

  • Nettle is avoided because of its stinging hairs, but it is a useful medicinal plant. It has a blood purifying and anti-inflammatory effect. It also supports the metabolism and hair growth and helps against urinary tract diseases.
  • All parts of the plant can be eaten. The most popular parts are the leaves, roots and seeds of the nettle.
  • Nettle is available in the form of tea, hair tonic, capsules, tablets, oil and plant juice.

Thee Best Nettle: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying nettles

What is nettle?

Nettles are a genus in the nettle family (Urticaceae). They can be found all over the world, except in Antarctica.

There are 30 species of Urtica, 14 of which are found in China. They grow in areas of the northern and southern hemispheres, but there are also species in the tropics.

In Germany, the greater stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) and the lesser stinging nettle (Urtica urens) are common, but also the reed nettle (Urtica kioviensis) and the pill nettle (Urtica pilulifera).

The stinging nettle is known for its stinging hairs, which cause itchy and painful pustules when touched.

However, it also has a healing effect, depending on whether you use the leaves, the roots or the herb.

What does nettle look like?

Nettles are annual or perennial herbaceous plants. In Europe, the plants grow 10 to 300 centimetres high, depending on the species and location. The green parts of the plant have stinging and bristly hairs.

The stinging nettle is a indicator plant for nitrogen-rich soils, so the soil should not be fertilised with nitrogen. Otherwise it can lead to over-acidification and increased susceptibility to pests (Image source: unsplash.com/ Paul M)

The stem is usually square and can be branched or unbranched, upright, ascending or spreading.

The stem leaves are stalked. The leaf blades can be elliptical, lanceolate, ovate or circular and have three to seven leaf veins. The leaf edge is sharply serrated.

What does the stinging nettle do?

You can use the green parts of the plant, the underground parts and the seeds of different species.

The young nettle has a high content of flavonoids, magnesium, calcium and silicon, vitamins A and C, iron and protein. To be precise, the nettle contains about twice as much vitamin C as oranges.

100 g of fresh nettle leaves contain almost as much protein as the same amount of fresh legumes, up to about 8g.

Ingredient Values per 100gNettle
Iron 4.12 mg
Potassium 475 mg
Magnesium 80 mg
Vitamin A 400 μg
Vitamin C 333 mg
Protein 7370 mg

Nettle leaves are used for flushing in inflammatory diseases of the draining urinary organs and for the treatment of rheumatism. The leaves of the stinging nettle contain an active substance that inhibits the growth of bacteria.

Since nettles have an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effect, they are also said to help with gout, but this has not yet been scientifically proven.

Nettle supports the blood circulation of the scalp. This supplies the hair roots with nutrients and can promote hair growth.

What does nettle taste like?

The taste is similar to spinach, but a little stronger and more acidic.

Which parts of the nettle are edible?

Basically, every part of the stinging nettle is edible. The most commonly used parts are the roots, leaves, shoot tips, flowers and seeds. Ripe and immature seeds can be used.

What does nettle cost?

The cost depends on the type of nettle product. The price ranges from about 3 to 30 euros, with tea being the cheapest and vegan products being more expensive.

What are the alternatives to nettle?

Arnica is a rare medicinal herb and has an anti-inflammatory effect both externally and internally. Unlike nettle, arnica is a protected species, so you are not allowed to pick it yourself.

There are tinctures in the pharmacy that you can apply to bruises, injuries, sprains and strains.

Internally, it can fight germs, relieve pain and counteract inflammation. This is due to the sesquiterpene lactones, especially the ingredient helenalin. It inhibits the formation of substances that trigger inflammation.

Sage is used for colds because it has an antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory effect.

The plant also has an antiperspirant effect. Sage is used for fever, gum inflammation, laryngitis, diseases of the urinary organs, headaches and night sweats.

Frankincense contains boswellic acids and essential oil. These substances promote cardiovascular functions and alleviate joint pain. It also helps with inflammation and supports general well-being. Rheumatism and chronic inflammatory bowel diseases are treated with Indian frankincense. Ointments made from frankincense are used for dry and irritated skin.

Name effect against
Arnica bruises, injuries, sprains, pain, inflammations
Sage colds, fever, gingivitis, headaches, night sweats
Frankincense joint pain, chronic intestinal diseases, arthrosis, asthma

Decision: What kind of nettle is there and which one is right for you?

What distinguishes nettle tea and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Nettle tea is considered a household remedy for bladder infections and is said to strengthen the immune system. The dried nettle tea leaves are poured over with water.

Advantages
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to prepare
  • Vegan and vegetarian
Disadvantages
  • Not exact dosage
  • Unusual taste

You let the tea steep and then drink it. Larger quantities of leaves can be bought at a fairly reasonable price and preparation is easy. In addition, the tea is vegetarian and vegan.

What distinguishes nettle capsules and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Nettle capsules contain nettle extract. They are taken with a glass of water at mealtime.

Advantages
  • Compact
  • Exact dosage
  • Tasteless
Disadvantages
  • Rather expensive
  • May contain additives
  • Large price differences

The capsules can be taken anywhere and consumed quickly. The nettle capsules are neutral in taste and suitable for people who do not like the taste of nettle tea.

What distinguishes nettle hair tonic and hair balm and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Nettle hair tonic and hair balm are made from the nettle root. They have a positive effect on hair growth. The hair tonic is massaged into the scalp with the fingertips. It is not rinsed out.

Advantages
  • Rather inexpensive
  • Often benefits from additional plant extracts
  • Easy to use
Disadvantages
  • May contain additives
  • Not highly concentrated

Hair balm is suitable for sensitive scalps and can also be applied to towel-dried hair after shampooing. There is a large selection and many are in the lower price segment.

What are the characteristics of nettle seeds and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Nettle seeds contain many important vitamins and have a slightly nutty taste and can be sprinkled on mueslis, salads, pasta and yoghurts.

Advantages
  • Nutty taste
  • Many vitamins
  • Vegan and vegetarian
Disadvantages
  • Expensive
  • Not available everywhere

They are also used in smoothies. If you mix them with salt in a 1:1 ratio, you can make your own herbal salt. The price of the seeds is usually higher.

What distinguishes nettle plant juice and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The plant juice is a pressed juice from the nettle plant. It is drunk three times a day undiluted or with a little water. The juice is easy to dose, but it is usually more expensive than capsules.

Advantages
  • Mostly highly concentrated
  • Easy to dose
  • Mostly natural
Disadvantages
  • Expensive
  • Not available everywhere
  • Unusual taste

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate nettle products

We will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible nettle products.

The criteria you can use to compare nettle products include:

  • Effect
  • Dosage
  • Additive
  • Vegan

In the following paragraphs, we will explain what is important in the individual criteria.

Effect

Each nettle product has its own effect. It therefore depends on what you want to treat.

As already mentioned, nettle tea helps against cystitis. It is also used to purify and detoxify the liver and gall bladder.

It is also said to have an anti-inflammatory and blood pressure-lowering effect. Nettle tea is also said to relieve stomach complaints.

In addition to the benefits of nettle tea, nettle juice is also used to purify the blood and improve minor joint pain. It is also used for drinking cures.

When drinking nettle juice or tea, make sure that you drink plenty of water, as they have a purifying effect and remove water from your body.

Nettle capsules are said to support well-being and help with water retention. Nettle seeds contain plant hormones, minerals, vitamins and protein, which is why they are used for fatigue, exhaustion and poor performance.

The seeds are therefore particularly suitable for athletes. Furthermore, nettle seeds are said to strengthen the hair and support vision.

Nettle hair tonic and hair balm stimulate hair growth and help against dandruff. They care for the scalp and remove impurities. They have a moisturising effect and help against itching.

Dosage

Pure juice of the nettle is highly concentrated. Most capsules also contain pure nettle extract and are highly dosed, but this depends on the particular capsule. There are also capsules that combine extracts of other plants. In hair tonics and hair balms, extracts of other plants are sometimes added to strengthen the conditioning effect.

Additive

Especially with hair products, more and more consumers are looking at whether they are free of parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), sodium laureth sulphate (SLES), PEGs, mineral oils and silicones. Nettle capsules and nettle juices should be free of additives as far as possible. High quality nettle leaves and seeds are natural.

Vegan

Pure dried nettle or its parts are vegan. This is not necessarily the case with hair tonic or capsules, but most nettle products are suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

Many capsules are also gluten-free, sugar-free and lactose-free. Hair products are also often free from animal testing.

Facts worth knowing about stinging nettle

Which animals eat nettle?

Nettle is added to the feed of chicks, piglets and calves to make them grow faster.

In organic farming, whole plants are given to domestic pigs as supplementary feed. Some goats eat nettle and butterflies use nettle as a food plant for their caterpillars.

Where does stinging nettle burn?

The stinging hairs of the stinging nettle are located on the upper side of the leaf and are supposed to protect against predators.

They are long tubes that are as brittle as glass. The lower end is filled with stinging fluid. The hairs prick the skin, causing a burning pain and wheals.

In the past, nettle poison was thought to contain formic acid. However, it is a histamine-like ingredient that is so strong that only a hundredth of a milligram is needed to cause wheals.

What helps against the burning sensation of stinging nettles?

First of all, you should clean the wound with water after the nettle poison has dried up.

Soak a towel with cold water and put it on the spot or
apply aloe vera cream and leave it on for ten minutes. If the burning is severe, a cold shower or a cold compress will help.

Which butterfly needs stinging nettle?

Nettle is considered the most important food plant for caterpillars. While the adult butterflies feed on the nectar of the flowers, their caterpillars eat flowers, twigs, wood, roots and the leaves.

The moths lay their eggs on freshly growing nettles. The caterpillars of the small fox eat almost only large nettles. (Image source: pixabay.com / ariesa66)

50 butterfly species are dependent on the stinging nettle, including the small fox, peacock butterfly, admiral and countryside hawk moth.

They can only lay their eggs on nettles. The C butterfly prefers the stinging nettle as a host plant.

Picture source: 123rf.com / 88483130

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