Added/Modified on July 6, 2014
Also Known As: Urtica dioica, stinging nettle, common nettle, burn nettle, burn weed, and burn hazel.
There are between 30-45 species of flowering herbaceous perennial plants known commonly as Nettle.
The most prominent member of this plant group is the stinging nettle Urtica dioica.
Native to Europe, Asia, northern Africa, and North America, the stinging nettle can grow as high as three to seven feet in the summer. This plant will die down to the ground in winter.
The Nettle leaves and stems are extremely hairy. The hairs are a combination of both non-stinging and stinging hairs.
The stinging hairs are called trichomes. The tips of the trichomes may come off when touched, turning it into a needle that will inject several chemicals into the skin. These chemicals cause a painful sting.
What is Nettle Tea? Nettle tea is made from the tips of the plant leaves. The lighter green leaves should be sniped off at the very top of the nettle. If you use more of the plant the tea will have a more bitter taste.
The tea can be made from fresh leaves, or dried. Commercially it comes in tea bags and as bulk tea. Nettle tea has a very grassy taste.
Nettle Tea Preparation:
If you use Nettle teabags, you don’t need to worry about the sting as the histamine and formic acids have been dried out of the plant. If you harvest fresh leaves, make sure to harvest from areas without pesticides or car and diesel fumes.
These things might coat the plants. Wear gloves when collecting. Once you have the leaves, rough chop with a pair of clean scissors and place in pot or teapot.
Pour boiling water over leaves and let steep for AT LEAST ten minutes so the sting will be removed. Then strain and drink the tea.
For tea bags or commercially prepared tea, steep for 5 minutes before drinking.
Home Remedies Using Nettle Tea:
Traditional use of Nettle tea includes making the tea from the leaves and roots of the plant. This tea was used to treat intestinal weakness, diarrhea, and malnutrition. It was a folk remedy for hay fever.
Today Nettle tea is still used in the treatment of intestinal weakness, diarrhea, and malnutrition. It is also used to treat urinary tract infections and as a potent diuretic.
It is useful in the treatment of kidney, and bladder infections. Nettle tea is helpful in preventing Kidney stones.
Nettle tea is full of anti-inflammatory flavonoids, it also contains high levels of vital nutrients that include vitamin D, vitamins C and A, and minerals like iron, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
This is why Nettle tea is an effective treatment for malnutrition, anemia, rickets, and will speed the healing of broken bones and wounds.
Nettle tea is recommended as an overall healthy tonic. It is believed to help blood cells build, function and circulate properly. It is a treatment for Hypotension, increasing Blood Pressure. It is used to help the body eliminate Intestinal Parasites, and works as a mild diuretic.
Research on Nettle leaf includes, “Test tube studies suggest the leaf has anti-inflammatory actions. This is thought to be caused by nettle preventing the body from making inflammatory chemicals known as prostaglandins.”
Side Effects of Nettle Tea:
Nettle extract taken internally is considered very safe, even for children and pregnant women. Topical application should not be used by children or pregnant women. Watch for allergic reactions if Nettle extract is used topically.
Do not use nettle to treat an acute kidney stone attack or a bladder infection without close monitoring by your healthcare provider. These serious conditions should not be treated by Nettle alone.
In the beginning it is suggested that you only have one cup of Nettle tea per day for a week and then you can increase to two or three cups a day. Without moderated use you might get sudden diarrhea or painful gas, because your body isn’t used to the nettle tea.
If you develop a rash, itchiness, nausea or trouble breathing, stop drinking the tea and call the doctor. You’re having an allergic reaction.
Hypertension (high Blood Pressure) patients should not consume Nettle as it further raises Blood Pressure.
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