The benefits of nettle tea have been long appreciated. They have a rich tradition of medicinal use.
They are sometimes called stinging nettles which alludes to the plants tiny stinging hairs. This sometimes scares people away from using the plant. However, once you understand the important benefits of nettle tea, you will become as hooked as the rest of us.
The species most often sought after is Urtica dioica although Urtica urens is sometimes used as well.
They can be incorporated into food and taken as a tincture, but most often they are dried and made into a tea. The tea makes a dark rich herbal beverage that may take some getting used to. Although once you do, you will love drinking it. You can actually feel the nourishment feeding your body with every sip.
Nettles are beloved by herbalists for many reasons. Benefits of nettle tea include strengthening and supporting the whole body, building energy.
They are highly nourishing with abundant vitamins and minerals especially calcium, and protein. With high iron content, nettles are one of the preferred herbs used for anemia and corresponding fatigue.
They are most appreciated for their ability to help build and restore the liver. This is important as our livers encounter so many toxins from our environment through our air, food, water, cleaning products and household furnishings.
Since nettles nourish the liver, they subsequently are beneficial for the skin, in particular for acne and eczema. Nourishing the liver is also beneficial for those with seasonal allergies such as hay fever. Some believe this is also due to the histamine content.
Nettles tonify the reproductive system too. This is helpful for PMS symptoms as well as menopausal symptoms. Nettles also tonify the kidneys making them a beneficial herb any time the kidneys or the urinary tract is compromised. In particular, nettles have a diuretic effect, helping to remove excess water and congested fluids from the body.
Nettles are frequently employed for joint pain. Their anti-inflammatory properties assist with gout and arthritis. This is helpful for growing pains in children as well. Many purposely sting their joints with the fresh plant, however an internal tea should be taken simultaneously.
Finally, a very strong tea has been used as a wash to darken hair color.
Caution should be taken if harvesting from the wild due to the stinging hairs on the leaves and stems. This makes them one of the easiest plants to identify for harvest in the wild. They can also be grown and most often, nettles are purchased from any herb supplier or co-op.
Nettles are one of safest herbs with no contraindications, side effects or drug interactions.
To make the tea:
For every cup of tea, add a heaping teaspoon of dried herb, or heaping tablespoon of fresh herb.
- Heat water in a pan until it just starts to boil and remove from heat
- Add the herb and cover the pan
- Let steep for 10 minutes
- Strain and serve
Feel free to leave any comments or questions below. If you would like to learn more about herbal medicine, check out the Home Herb School at www.homeherbschool.com