You are probably surprised to know that stinging nettle is a great tea ingredient. While the leaves are irritating for the skin, nettle tea benefits range from reducing inflammation to alleviating allergic symptoms.
You must prepare the nettle leaves properly to consume them safely, but the results are not disappointing.
What is Nettle Leaf Tea?
Nettle tea comes from stinging nettles (Urtica diocia), a perennial plant with soft hair on their leaves. The hair injects chemicals that cause a stinging sensation when you touch the leaves.
However, when the leaves are boiled and crushed, the hair loses its stinging ability, making the tea safe for consumption.
What is nettle tea good for? Under the stinging hair, nettle leaves are full of vitamins, amino acids, and various important minerals. Nettle leaves also contain antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and acetic acid.
The young leaves are popular for traditional medicines and cooking, especially in Europe, American continents, and some parts of Asia.
Nettles have hypoglycemic, antibacterial, antifungal, astringent, and antiinflammation qualities. Austrian traditional medicines use nettles for these qualities, both fresh and as herbal tea.
Nine Herb Charms, an Old-English invocation from the 10th century, mentioned nettle leaves as one of the main ingredients in a healing salve.
Benefits of Nettle Tea
Nettle tea nutrition offers numerous benefits with regular consumption. They are:
Reducing the Blood Pressure
Nettle tea nutrition contains a blood vessel relaxant quality. It helps to reduce blood pressure, minimizing the risks of stroke and other cardiovascular conditions.
Keeping the Blood Sugar Neutral
Nettle leaves contain peptides, components that can increase the insulin sensitivity level. It reduces the blood sugar level and keeps it stable.
Reducing Symptoms of Respiratory Conditions
Nettles have antiinflammation and histamine-blocking qualities, which reduce the symptoms of asthma, bronchitis, and allergic reactions.
Drinking nettle tea for allergies helps to alleviate coughing, chronic sneezing, blocked nostrils, and sore throat.
Reducing Menstrual Pain
Nettle tea contains analgesic properties, which help to reduce menstrual pain. The leaves can also reduce excessive bleeding during a heavy period.
Reducing the Presence of Acne
Nettle leaves contain various properties to combat acne, such as antibacterial and antiinflammation. They also contain a lot of chlorophyll, an alkaline compound.
Washing the face with nettle tea can speed up the acne healing process.
Increasing the Production of Breast Milk
If you have a problem with the lack of breast milk production, try using nettle leaves as the home remedies. Nettle leaves have been used in traditional European medicines as a natural galactagogue.
However, you must consult with your doctor first before trying it with the other remedies.
Relieving the UTI
Nettle leaves contain compounds that reduce the symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). The water retention effect in the leaves reduces the urge to urinate.
They also inhibit the growth of pathogens that cause the UTI and other related conditions, such as kidney stones.
Keeping the Hair Thick and Lustrous
Nettle tea benefits for hair include reducing dandruff and hair loss. Nettle leaves are also home remedies for a lice problem.
Overall, the antioxidant levels in nettle tea help boosting the immune system. The result is better defense toward free radicals, especially from stress and pollution.
Side Effects of Nettle Tea
The obvious side effect of nettle tea is the irritant hair on the leaves. You must boil them properly to prevent irritation and rash. However, there are also several concerns about drinking nettle tea, such as:
Nettle leaves may interfere with certain drugs, such as blood thinner, hypertension medications, diuretic, lithium, and antiinflammation drugs (the non-steroid variants).
People with high sensitivity toward herbal drinks may experience nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain after consuming nettle tea.
Hypoglycemia and Hypotension
If you have low blood sugar, drinking nettle tea may cause hypoglycemic symptoms, such as dizziness, trembling, and even coma. The same caution applies to people with low blood pressure (hypotension).
Nettle tea is also not recommended for pregnant and nursing women. Make sure to consult with your doctor before drinking any herbal drinks, including nettle tea.
Easy Nettle Tea Recipes
The nettle tea taste is earthy and a little bit bitter, with light notes of hay and cucumber. You can mix it with sweetener or something acidic, like lemon or lime juice, to improve the flavor.
If you make nettle tea from fresh leaves, make sure to harvest young leaves, since the older ones contain compounds that cause kidney stones.
Simple Hot Nettle Tea
This simple recipe is made with fresh leaves. The standard measurement is one cup of leaves for two cups of water.
- Boil water in the saucepan.
- Reduce the heat and pour the leaves.
- Let the water simmer for five minutes.
- Strain the tea with a fine mesh cloth to catch the small bits.
- Add honey or a little lemon juice.
Nettle “Latte” with Spices
This recipe uses dried nettle leaves, which save you the trouble of removing the stinging hair from their surface.
- Grind 1 tablespoon of dried nettle in a food processor.
- Pour 1 large cup of almond milk (or other milk of your choice) into a saucepan.
- Turn on the stove on low heat. Wait until the milk starts to slightly bubble.
- Add the nettle powder into the milk.
- Add ¼ teaspoon of cardamom powder, ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil.
- Stir the mixture evenly.
- Pour the mixture into a blender. Turn it on until frothy. Add sweeteners such as honey or stevia.
Recommended Nettle Tea Brands
Save the trouble of harvesting and cooking nettle leaves by buying tea. Many brands sell nettle tea in practical bags, allowing you to drink safely.
Traditional Medicinals Nettle Leaf is a practical bag tea product, with organic, non-GMO, and kosher ingredients.
Alvita Nettle Tea offers similar qualities and flavor profile, with organic ingredients for a guilt-free tea drinking.
If you want the sensation of making tea from loose leaves, try Frontier or Starwest Botanicals. These brands sell loose nettle leaves that have been selected and sifted. They come from organic farms and offer great flavors.
Stinging nettle leaves offer various health benefits after proper preparations. However, you must consult with the doctor before consuming it, especially if you have specific health conditions or taking drugs.
Get nettle tea benefits by consuming it maximum two cups per day.