Nettle Tea – A Health TonicNettles, specifically stinging nettles (Urtica dioica), have all kinds of health benefits. Here are some healthful properties of nettles, and a recipe for making your own nettle tea.

Nutritional Profile

First of all, nettles are high in vitamins and minerals, including iron, chlorophyll, calcium, magnesium, silicon, zinc, potassium and phosphorus. They contain significant amounts of vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, as well as riboflavin (B2) and thiamine (B1). Nettles also have folic acid and amino acids.

Body Cleanser

Nettle tea stimulates the elimination of wastes from the body, making it a good choice for detoxification. It seems to have expelling action in various body systems, including the digestive and urinary systems. It has been used as a treatment for kidney stones and intestinal worms. Nettle tea acts to expel mucus from the lungs and nasal passages, making it a good choice for allergies and sinus congestion.

Anti-bacterial and Anti-viral

Nettle has been used to eliminate bacterial and viral infections from the body, and is ideal for respiratory infection accompanied by congestion.

Allergies

Nettles are often the treatment of choice among herbalists for clients who suffer from allergies. The vitamin C and zinc content in nettles may account for their ability to soothe allergy symptoms, as well as their anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, and expectorant properties.

Diabetes

Nettle has been shown to decrease blood sugar and glycemic levels, and can be of great help to those who suffer from this chronic disease.

Women’s Health

Nettle tea is traditionally used to stop post-partum bleeding, and any internal bleeding. It is also said to promote milk production after childbirth.

Bones

There have been personal testimonies of people whose arthritis, rheumatism, and osteoperosis were reversed or eliminated by consuming nettle tea.

Preparation of Nettle Tea

If you are harvesting nettles from the wild (and it is a common “weed”), wear gloves because of the sting. The tiny stinging hairs, though, will disappear when the leaves are dried or cooked. Choose young shoots whenever possible. You can also purchase dried nettle from your local health food store or online.

You can use a combination of dried root or aerial parts (stems and leaves) in your tea, but if you are harvesting nettle from the wild, cut it rather than pulling it up by the roots to preserve the plant. That way, you can harvest it several times a season, year after year. If you are using fresh nettle in your tea, wear gloves to chop it.

Simply pour 1 cup of boiling water over 4-5 teaspoons of dried (or 2-3 tablespoons of fresh) nettle. Steep it for 5-8 minutes. It is not the tastiest tea in the world, so you may want to add some lemon juice (it will turn the tea a pinkish color!) and sweeten it with raw honey or stevia. You can also blend it with more palatable herbs, such as peppermint, lemon balm, or stevia leaves.