Nettle seeds: effect, application and harvest

Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / LUM3N

Nettle seeds have many uses in traditional herbal medicine. The seeds are also a culinary enrichment. In this article you will learn how they work and what you should pay attention to when collecting the seeds.

The nettle is one of the strongest native medicinal plants, While the plant is just an annoying weed for some, others swear by the healing properties of the leaves and seeds.

In this article you will learn how to use nettle seeds, how they work and what you should pay attention to when harvesting seeds.

This is how nettle seeds work

Nettle seeds are widely used in folk medicine.
(Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / 8013345)
Nettle seeds are widely used in folk medicine.

Because of their health-promoting properties, nettle seeds are often considered regional superfood designated. In addition to nettle seeds, you can also use the leaves and roots of the plant for medicinal purposes.

In traditional herbal medicine, nettle seeds are used in different ways:

  • In general, the seeds are said to have a strengthening effect. That is why they are called revitalizing tonic used. After serious illnesses, they should support the body in regeneration. In folk medicine they are primarily used as a remedy against fatigue and exhaustion known.
  • You can use both the leaves and the seeds of the nettle as a home remedy for light bladder infections and apply prostate diseases.
  • Because of their easy draining effect can nettle leaves at the detoxification help. They are designed to help the body flush out harmful substances faster. The seeds are also used for this purpose. However, their drainage effect is not scientifically proven.
  • Nettle seeds are also a traditional natural remedy for rheumatism, gout or athritis. However, there is also no clear scientific evidence of their effectiveness.
  • The seeds are also considered aphrodisiac, Again Munich Mercury writes, they were forbidden to monks in the Middle Ages for this reason.

The effects of the nettle plant have now been extensively medically examined. However, there are only a few studies on nettle seeds in particular:

It’s in the healthy nettle seeds

The leaves and seeds of the plant contain in addition to proteins and fiber, many valuable vitamins and minerals. These include:

  • Beta-carotene
  • B vitamins
  • vitamin C
  • Vitamin E.
  • Vitamin K.
  • calcium
  • zinc
  • copper
  • antioxidants

The seeds contain up to 30 percent protein. That makes them valuable vegetable protein source, They also contain valuable oils.

Collect nettle seeds

You can easily collect nettle seeds yourself.
(Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / FixiPixi_deluxe)
You can easily collect nettle seeds yourself.

Nettle seeds are not only healthy, but also sustained, Even collected on meadows or in forests, the seeds are regional and seasonal and have not traveled long distances. From the end of August, nettles begin to develop their seeds. The best time to harvest nettle seeds is in September and October.

For the harvest to succeed, you should consider the following tips:

  • The nettle is a dioecious plant. That means there are male and female plants. The female spermatic strands are used for the healing effect. While the male spermatic strands are lighter and protrude more horizontally from the plant, the female spermatic strands are green and dense and hang down. The mature nettle seeds change color from green to brown, but this does not matter for the effect.
  • It’s best to collect the seeds on a sunny day.
  • Wear long trousers and a long-sleeved top to avoid unpleasant stitches. The best way to protect your hands is with gardening gloves.
  • You’ll also need secateurs and a cotton bag to collect the seeds.
  • Cut off the spermatic strands directly at the base. By holding the bag underneath, you prevent individual seeds from falling to the ground and being lost.
  • Spread the collected seeds at home on a piece of newspaper and let them dry for three to five days, depending on the temperature. Remove the dried seeds from the stem and pour them into a glass. In a cool and dark place, the nettle seeds can be kept for about a year.

Attention: You can eat the seeds fresh, but they are also covered by the fine nettle hairs that sit on the nettle leaves. These hairs can cause an uncomfortable burning sensation in the throat. To avoid this, you should dry or grind them beforehand.

How to use nettle seeds

You can make tea with nettle seeds, among other things.
(Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / Mareefe)
You can make tea with nettle seeds, among other things.

Due to their fine nutty taste, nettle seeds are an enrichment not only for health but also for culinary purposes. You can use the seeds in a variety of ways. Here are some ideas for inspiration:

  • You can use the dried seeds in a similar way to nuts or seeds. Sprinkle them on your cereal, for example, or mix them in the dough for a delicious one nut bread,
  • Nettle seeds are also an excellent base for Pesto,
  • You can make a special tea not only from the leaves, but also from the nettle seeds. First, roughly crush the seeds with a mortar. Pour about a teaspoon of the seeds in 250 milliliters of hot water and let the tea steep for ten minutes before removing the seeds.
  • Grind the nettle seeds into a fine powder in a mill or with a mortar. Mixed with salt, you get a delicious nettle salt. You can use it just like Seasoned Salt,
  • With nettle seeds you can also round off hearty dishes such as a vegetable pan or salads.
  • For extra bite, you can also garnish soups with the seeds.
  • With nettle seeds you can also increase the protein content of your smoothies.


  • Collecting, determining, eating wild herbs: 11 tips
  • These 7 medicinal plants are natural antibiotics and pain relievers
  • Nettle soup: a healthy recipe

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