Nettle tea is a popular herbal remedy for a wide variety of illnesses. An advantage of brewing tea out of this healthy plant is that you can get nettle right out of your own backyard in many places.
Nettle tea is a good herbal tea for alleviating lung disorders, easing pregnancy and childbirth, and providing essential nutrients to the body. Nettle tea can also help reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure. Nettle tea can be purchased commercially or foraged and made fresh at home.
Stinging nettle is one of the most versatile herbal supplements you can make into a healing tea. Keep reading to learn more about the medicinal properties of nettle tea and other ways you can use it to improve your health.
What Is Stinging Nettle?
Stinging nettle (also known as common nettle) is a perennial flowering weed that originally grew in Europe, Africa, and Asia. After being imported to the New World by immigrants, stinging nettle can now be found in temperate areas worldwide.
Stinging nettle found its way around the globe because this plant is prized for its use both in medicine and in cooking. Along with serving as the main ingredient in a nutritious tea, this plant can also be cooked or served raw in salads.
What Does Nettle Tea Taste Like?
Like many herbal teas, nettle tea has a deep, grassy flavor reminiscent of green tea. This makes it a neutral flavor to act as a backdrop for other tea flavors in a blended mix, such as raspberry or rose.
Benefits of Nettle Tea
Nettle tea is good for taking as an herbal supplement because even if you don’t take it for specific medical reasons, it’s still valuable for the nutrients and vitamins it provides. Here are some of the major essential minerals and vitamins that can be found in nettle tea:
- Vitamins A, B, C, and K: Stinging nettle is considered a superfood because it has a high ratio of your daily essential vitamins and minerals. These nutrients are vital for maintaining good health and preventing a wide range of diseases.
- Calcium: Calcium is important for the formation of bones and teeth, and also aids the body in the absorption of Vitamin D. The heart and nervous system also need calcium for proper function.
- Iron: Iron is used by the body for growth and development. It’s the major component of hemoglobin, which blood cells use to transport oxygen throughout the body.)
- Magnesium: Magnesium is used by the body in many vital functions such as muscle function, nerve function, and the production of cellular energy.
Nettle tea doesn’t have to be a remedy you only drink when you’re feeling ill. Drinking nettle tea regularly can give you a nutritional boost that can positively impact your overall health even if you’re already well.
Does Nettle Tea Help With Weight Loss?
Nettle tea can help with weight loss, but not necessarily in burning off fat and calories. Instead, nettle tea can act as a diuretic to help you drop any water weight you might be retaining due to a sodium-high diet or bloating. Even though this won’t result in burned calories or fat, drinking nettle tea can still have a slimming effect by helping you drop this extra water weight.
Nettle Tea Use in Herbal Medicine
Along with the nutritional benefits of drinking nettle tea, nettle tea is also used in herbal medicine to treat several different medical disorders and conditions. Here are a few of the uses that nettle tea has in herbal medicine:
- Lung disorders: Nettle tea has been used as a tonic to alleviate the symptoms of lung disorders for centuries. These conditions include asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, flu, and the common cold.
- Pregnancy/childbirth: In pregnancy, nettle tea is used to help stimulate contractions of the uterus. For this reason, nettle tea is only recommended for women who have a delayed birth or are having abnormally slow labor.
- Inflammation: Nettle tea is used in herbal medicine to help reduce inflammation throughout systems in the body. This can help treat and prevent inflammation-related illnesses such as arthritis, lupus, and cardiovascular disease.
Nettle tea is very safe as far as herbal teas go, and most adults shouldn’t experience any negative side effects from drinking it. However, it’s better to take care when handling raw nettle. As its “stinging” name suggests, this herb can cause a painful allergic reaction if it comes in contact with your bare skin.
Can You Grow Nettle for Tea?
If you’re interested in growing stinging nettle for your own tea garden, stinging nettle is easy to grow in many areas of the world. This hardy weed can grow in Zones 3-10, which means it can grow practically anywhere people live.
To grow your own nettle for tea, follow these gardening suggestions:
- Sow nettle seeds in peat pots in late winter if you plan to start them indoors. Stinging nettle takes approximately two weeks to germinate.
- Transplant nettle seedlings in early spring, as soon as the ground is warm enough to be worked with a trowel. Place plants roughly eight inches apart, as the plants will grow large and sprawl across the ground.
- If you’d rather not transplant, nettle can be sowed directly in the spring garden. Broadcast seeds lightly over the surface of the soil and brush dirt lightly over the top of them (around 1/4 inch of soil). Once the seedlings reach a few inches too, thin them out.
How to Make Nettle Tea
Making a pot of nettle tea is a simple process whether you use fresh nettle out of your yard or you use nettle that has been grown commercially and packaged in tea bags. Technically, nettle tea is what is known as a tisane. This means that it’s created using an infusion of boiling water and leaves.
To create nettle tea, simply put nettle leaves in a pot and add water, then bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Boil the leaves for 5-10 minutes, then remove the mixture from the heat and strain out the leaves. Serve the remaining liquor hot.
Nettle Is a Useful Healing Herb
If you’re interested in getting into herbal teas for their nutritional and medicinal benefits, brewing nettle tea is a great way to get into the swing of things. This tea doesn’t pose many risks when used as herbal medicine, but provides many benefits to those who commit to drinking it regularly.
There are so many herbal teas to choose from, check out this collection of herbal tea articles to discover more delicious options.