Stinging Nettle Tea – the “Healing Fire” – Focul Vindecator

Witch jar with dried nettle leaves and nettle smudge for ritual use.

While the health benefits of the stinging nettle have been scientifically proven in modern times, this plant has been used in herbal medicine, especially by witches, for thousands of years. Photo: Flickr CC.

We began our journey into the world of plants in Romanian lore and tradition, as well as in contemporary witchcraft, by learning about the Stinging Nettle and its distinct significance and properties. But practice is what makes this journey remarkable, so here is a first and easy way to use your knowledge on The Stinging Nettle – the fire in the garden to make a traditional Romanian elixir called The Healing Fire or in Romanian: Focul Vindecator.

The coming of spring brings forth renewal and return to Nature as it reawakens. As opposed to winter, which in many regards is a time of conservation, spring is a time of dynamic purging, it’s about attuning your spirit to your body and allowing that to flow outwards to the world outside of you. This dynamic purging specific to spring is very much connected to the energy of Mars, the war god, whose element is fire.

Fire, according to my favorite philosopher of Antiquity (Heraclitus) is the essence of the universe and of life. It is the primordial element of renewal, change, and becoming. The process of becoming, especially in a time of renewal, can be quite challenging and you may not always feel prepared for it. Perhaps that’s why nettles peek through the snow during this time, to help you purge and heal. Their sting is only a reminder that the war god is on your side, that fire can burn, but it can also heal and renew.

Nettle – What is inside the Plant?

  • Histamine
  • Acetylcholine
  • Serotonin
  • Minerals (Silica)
  • Formic acid
  • Vitamins A, B2, B6, K, C
  • beta-Carotene
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Protein
  • Potassium

Stinging Nettle tea is truly a healing potion for those suffering from depression, spring asthenia, hair loss, and more. Even though the stinging nettle is not the friendliest plant to your skin, it has wonderful benefits for your health. The tea made from this plant is known as the “healing fire”, which is inspired by the Latin name for the stinging nettle (Urtica dioica). It originates from the word “urere” which means “burning”, similar to the stinging sensation of a nettle’s touch.

This healing fire burns away physical weakness and various ailments while restoring your health to better functions. It was used internally in Antiquity, Middle Ages, as well as in modern times to treat arthritis, cough, tuberculosis, as well as externally to stimulate hair growth. Nettles are dense in protein, iron and essential minerals.

Benefits of the Healing Fire Nettle Tea

Infusion of nettle leaves in bowl with hot water.

The Healing Fire tea has its name not only from the healing properties of the stinging nettle but also from the plant’s association with the lord of fire, Mars. Photo: Yesica.

Because it is so rich in natural and healthy compounds, the Healing Fire tea helps boost immunity, ward off the common flu, and help detoxify your body. A diet with stinging nettle tea is a natural way to mineralize yourself, balance your immune system, and avoid spring-related anemia. It is often used to promote better female health, but it also naturally boosts testosterone, thus increasing vitality in males. Additionally, it speeds up wound healing, it has analgesic properties, alleviates pain caused by fibromyalgia, reduces arthritis symptoms, and much more.

Internal use:

  • helps detoxify the body
  • promotes health restoration
  • strengthens the immune system
  • wards off spring-related anemia
  • alleviates arthritis symptoms
  • promotes faster wound healing
  • helps relieve pain caused by fibromyalgia
  • it has analgesic properties
  • it can be used as a female tonic
  • helps stabilize blood-sugar levels

External use:

  • Helps regenerate and epithelialize skin tissues
  • Improves skin health
  • Combats dandruff and strengthens the hair

How to prepare the Healing Fire Nettle Tea

Brewed nettle tea in cups. Beautifully decorated with nettle leaves and wood.

Nettle tea is great as a health boost for overall well-being, especially in spring. You can drink it hot, cold, or in combination with any other tea you desire. Photo: George Wesley & Bonita Dannell 

As with most teas, the stinging nettle tea can be obtained through scalding or infusing. This is the best way to prepare the healing fire so that the stinging nettle can retain its healing properties. For a larger quantity of tea you will need:

  • 5 spoons of dried stinging nettle leaves
  • 1 liter of boiling water

Simply pour the boiling water over the nettle leaves and allow it to cool for 10 minutes. You should drink up to 4 cups of this tea a day for about 30 days. This will help heal you from the inside out. If you want to, you can mix the nettle leaves with dried yarrow to help tone your stomach.

If you are on professional medical treatment, make sure you consult your medical care provider before attempting to detoxify with nettle tea. Some drugs may react negatively with the stinging nettle, and it’s best to be safe than sorry. Some people may experience stomach discomfort and females may also experience womb contractions. And that’s one of the reasons why pregnant women should avoid stinging nettle tea. Furthermore, if you suffer from allergic reactions to nettles, you shouldn’t rinse your hair with this tea or allow it to touch your skin.

Purging Nettle Tea for Spring

Stinging Nettle or common Nettle against sunset

Known as the “fire in the garden”, the stinging nettle is associated with the element of fire and with god Mars. While its sting can burn, its healing power can purge away weakness, pain, and rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit. Photo: Ray Wewerka

Stinging nettles usually appear in spring which makes them the right choice for a spring detox in both body and spirit. It doesn’t only have an effect on your body, but it also helps focus your mind on maintaining the ritualistic habit of drinking the Healing Fire. It may sound simple, but it does take a little bit of discipline to master.

Additionally, if you think of the magickal implications of the stinging nettle, the Healing Fire is a ritualistic beverage that reconciles the fire within, the energy of the war god Mars, and it attunes oneself to the energy of Baba Dochia (Old Dokia), the goddess, as she dies and is reborn in the spring month of March, the month of the war god.

The Healing Fire burns away pain and weakness while turning your inner fire into a positive force that is reborn at once with Nature. The mere gathering of the nettles on the first days of March (Old Dokia’s days, 1st-9th March) is a sacred process that celebrates the coming of spring and the reawakening of Nature. Just make sure you wear gloves when you go nettle picking, or else it might sting!

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  • I found this article very informative. Amazing how everything in nature and life is related to the elements
    I have been drinking this tea for 2months and have definitely experienced a difference .