Nettle Tea

NETTLE TEA: INTRO

Nettle Tea is an extremely healthy herbal tea that is made with the leaves of the nettle plant.  The nettle plant, also known as the stinging nettle or nettle leaf plant, is a flowering plant that is the member of the Urticaceae family.  The stinging nettle name is due to the the plant’s small hairs that inject histamine and other natural compounds that produce a stinging sensation.  This occurs when humans or other animals come into contact with the nettle’s stems or leaves.  The nettle plant has been used for hundreds of years in medicine and food.  This post is dedicated to Nettle Tea.

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Consuming herbal tea is not recommended for pregnant women and babies.  Make sure to consult with your primary healthcare official prior to consuming any form of herbal tea, including nettle tea.  Nettle tea can interact with certain prescription medications.

Discover the Benefits of Nettle Tea.

NETTLE TEA: ULTIMATE GUIDE

nettle tea facts
This is a picture of the nettle plant, which is used to make Nettle Tea.  Notice the jagged and pointy leaves.

Nettle Plant Facts and Appearance

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The nettle plant is a perennial plant that usually grows to a height of 3 – 7 feet tall.  The plant survives the winter by dying down to the ground.  The green leaves are pronounced and are up to 6 inches long.  The leaves have a jagged appearance.  The stems and leaves are covered with small hairs, many of which are non-stinging.  There are hundreds of larger hairs that are stinging.  They function as needles and break off from the plant when they come into contact with human or animal skin.  These stinging needles hold a mixture of chemicals including histamine and serotonin.  These compounds are designed to inflict an unpleasant stinging sensation.  The plant uses this as a defense mechanism.

The nettle plant thrives in northern Europe and is usually found in the open countryside.  It is also found in the United States and Canada, and it grows abundantly in the Pacific Northwest.  The nettle enjoys moist soil and areas with high annual rainfall.

Method of Treating Nettle Plant Stings

Since the nettle plant injects histamines into human skin, anti-itch creams are an excellent way to treat nettle stings.  Any antihistamine or hydrocortisone creams can help provide relief from the most severe symptoms.  Many people suggest the use of multiple treatments due to the injection of several chemicals during the stinging.  Calamine lotion has shown some promise, and there are many other folk remedies.

Nettle Tea History

The nettle plant has been used for hundreds of years for medicinal purposes and as a source of food.  Burial materials containing nettle plant compounds have been unearthed that date back to ~ 2500 BC.  The Native Americans commonly used fibers derived from the nettle plant to make clothing and several tools including ropes and fishing nets.  The resourceful Germans used the nettle fabric instead of cotton during the shortages that occurred during WWI.  The high chlorophyll content of the leaves make it an ideal green dye.  It has been used for this purpose for centuries.

Hippocrates used the nettle for 61 remedies including use as a laxative, wound healing, nose bleeding, and mouth sores.  It has always been regarded for its nutritional value, and it is extremely healthy.  The nettle was historically used to “stimulate slow winter blood.”

The medicinal uses for the nettle plant are not very different from the ancient past.  It has been studied and is useful in treating many different ailments including anemia, eczema, and arthritis.  It can also be used to help reduce the severity of allergic reactions.  You can read more about the current benefits and uses of Nettle Tea in the next section.

You can read more about the detailed history on this outside website.

List of Nettle Tea Benefits & Uses

Nettle tea is known as an extremely healthy herbal tea that can be used to promote overall health and wellness.  I have included several specific benefits below, but it is important to remember that each individual is unique.  As a result, not everyone will experience the same beneficial effects in the same way.  the only way to know how it will affect you is to try a nice cup of Nettle Tea!

BPH and Urinary Issues

BPH affects men due to their enlarged prostates.  Their prostate gland presses up against the urethra, which can cause several urinary issues. Luckily, nettle tea affects kidneys directly and increases urine output.  It is a diuretic, which means that it can help aid the body’s removal of toxins.

Allergy Relief

Nettle tea is extremely effective in controlling the symptoms associated with hay fever.  Hay fever is a general allergic reaction that occurs when your body’s immune system overreacts to allergens in the air.  The symptoms include a runny or itchy nose, watery eyes, sneezing, and itchy skin.  Severe allergic reactions can result in hives.  Consuming nettle tea reduces or eliminates these allergy symptoms. A recent study completed by the National College of Naturopathic Medicine found that 58% of participants given frozen nettle leaf had a significant reduction in symptoms.  It is a great natural alternative for people that are sensitive to OTC antihistamines.

Decreased Blood Pressure

Some recent studies have shown that consuming nettle leaves can lower blood pressure.  This has been studied extensively in animals, but more research is necessary on human subjects.  Experts believe that the decrease in blood pressure is linked to the diuretic effects.

Assist Weight Loss

Since nettle tea is a diuretic and helps rid the body of waste, it can also help aid in weight loss.  Nettle tea has been shown to boost metabolism in order to help the body function more efficiently.  The tea also helps eliminate stored waste in muscle tissue.

Increased Testosterone

A recent study completed in 2014 that was focused on showing the negative impacts of nicotine on sperm ended up finding that nettle reversed the negative effects.  Consumption of nettle boosted the health and number of sperm.  Nettle extracts have been touted for bodybuilders because they appear to impact the level of testosterone in the body. There are several reports that nettle can boost and replace testosterone that has been reduced due to high intensity workouts.  This has led to many bodybuilders consuming nettle tea after their workouts.  More studies need to be completed on humans to completely verify this effect. Many people consume nettle tea due to the increase in libido.

Possible Side Effects of Nettle Tea

There aren’t very many side effects present for nettle tea.  Don’t drink nettle tea if you are pregnant or are expecting to become pregnant.  It is a very safe herbal tea.  It is always a good idea to speak with your healthcare provider before consuming any forms of herbal tea.  They may interact with prescription medications.

Nettle Tea Taste

Many people compare the taste of nettle tea to green tea, as it can be fairly mild and refreshing.  The tea can be fairly dark green, and it has an earthy taste.  Some tea drinkers prefer to add milk, honey, or sugar to help make the flavor more palatable.  I find the tea has a pleasant taste by itself, but you can definitely tell that it tastes healthy!

Nettle Tea Recipe

nettle tea cup

As stated above, the nettle plant can be found all over the United States and Canada, especially in the Pacific Northwest.   If you plan on using nettle plants from the wild, make sure that they haven’t been treated with any chemicals or pesticides.  I would also verify that animals have not recently defecated or urinated in the area, unless you want those unpleasant flavors added to your tea.  Make sure to wear gloves when you are collecting the nettle leaves.  There is a reason it is called “stinging nettle,” and you don’t want to suffer.  If you don’t want to use all of the nettle leaves at once, you can dehydrate them or allow them to dry, and store them for later.  One they are dehydrated, they lose their sting.  They also lose their sting when they are boiled.  I suggest buying loose leaf nettle tea online.  I have included one of my favorite brands below:

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Wonderful Aroma and Taste!

Check out my post containing more Nettle Tea Recipes

Simple Nettle Tea Recipe

This recipe is perfect for either winter or summer, because it can be served hot or cold.

Ingredients for 2 Servings

  • 1 Cup of Nettle Leaves (check out my list of the Best Nettle Tea)
  • 3 Cups of Boiling Water
  • 1/2 Lemon, Juiced (you will only need the juice)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Honey (or desired sweetener)

Step 1: Gather 1 Cup of Nettle Leaves and place them in a colander.  Now, rinse them under the sink with cool water to remove dirt and debris.  Wear gloves to avoid being stung!

Step 2:  Pour 3 Cups of water into your teapot and bring to a boil.  Carefully pour the boiling water into a medium/large pot.

Step 3:   Add the 1 Cup of Nettle Leaves to the water pot, and allow to steep for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  This is where the preparation steps differ depending on whether you are serving hot or iced tea.  Proceed to the appropriate steps below:

Steps for Consuming Hot Tea

Step 4:  Use a strainer and pour the mixture into your desired tea cups.  The strainer will remove the debris and soppy leaves from your tea.

Step 5: Add lime juice and honey (or desired sweetener).  Now your tea is complete, enjoy!

Steps for Consuming Cold Tea

Step 4:  Add the honey (or desired sweetener) and lime juice to the pot and continue to steep and stir for 1 minute.

Step 5:  Allow the pot to cool for 10 minutes, and use a strainer to pour the mixture into a pitcher or other container.  The strainer will remove the debris and flowers from the tea.

Step 6: Place the pitcher or other container in the fridge and allow it to cool for 1-2 hours.  The tea is now ready to serve with ice (optional).  Now your tea is complete, enjoy!

Nettle Tea: Conclusion

I hope that this post has helped you discover some of the main facts about the wonderful Nettle Tea.  There is a reason why this tea is becoming increasingly popular.  Start drinking Nettle Tea and improve your health today!

Nettle Tea Comments

Do you have any information or experiences dealing with nettle tea?  Please share your knowledge in the Comments section below.

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