Nettles (Urtica dioica) are a type of plant (herbaceous perennial flowering plant) that grows all over the world. There are around 500-recorded species of nettles in the family Urticaceae and they owe their name in part to the Latin word ‘to burn.’ Asany outdoor enthusiast or gardener can attest, you can find stinging nettles just about anywhere. Frequently considered an annoying weed due to how they create a painful sensation on the skin when touched, commonly referred to as stinging nettle rash. Due to its relation of a common weed and its stinging properties the health benefits of stinging nettles have mostly been forgotten in recent history.
Stinging nettles can be easily grown in most climates in the United States and require nothing more than soil, light, and water. People grow the nettle plant because of its versatility. For example, you can simmer down and eat the leaves (fantastic in stir fry.) You can brew a tea from the leaves or roots. You can also turn the fiber of the plant into a textile. There have been periods of time throughout history where nettle fiber has been used in substitute of things like wool as a sturdy, dependable fiber for clothing. At the moment however, people primarily use as a tea due to its numerous health benefits.
Most Common Nettle Tea Benefits
Taken as a tea, Nettles help to reduce irritation on the skin. While it may not aid in curing the underlying skin infection or condition, it will help the skin be healthier and heal faster from whatever else is happening. In addition, it has been shown to help clear up persistent problems like acne.
Nettle tea is reported to help stimulate digestive glands in the stomach, liver, and intestines. It also helps to decrease water retention in the body, making it a great diuretic in aid of getting excess water out of your system.
Those looking for a detox diet should consider nettle tea more specifically roots of the nettle plant. Both leaves and roots fill the system with minerals and vitamins, aiding in your body’s ability to be healthy and efficient.
Nettle tea has a proven history of helping to reduce inflammation caused by allergies. As long as you are not allergic to the common nettle (which some people sadly are,) you can use it to help reduce the symptoms of allergies like mucus congestion. This is especially helpful during the spring months when blooming plants cause tremendous inconvenience for those with bad allergies.
The mineral content as well as the anti-inflammatory properties of nettle tea aids your immune system.
Nettle root tea has a number of benefits on urination and the prostate. In general, it helps to reduce inflammation around the urinary tract.
High In Minerals
The mineral content of nettle tea is high. This makes it great as a way to boost your overall nutrients; especially if your diet is either lacking or you are exerting yourself a lot.
Nettle tea helps flow of fluids from the body, making it incredibly useful as a beverage when dealing with kidney stones. It aids in passing kidney stones making it a must. Additional benefits and explanation can be found at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16635963.
Other Ways of Gaining The Health Benefits From Nettles
The most common way to consume nettles is through teas. There are teas available that are either leaves or roots. Tea is often considered one of the best ways to gain the benefits of the plant. Getting into a schedule where you drink nettle tea frequently can improve the results. However, other ways of gaining the benefits of nettle tea can be through:
Creams, Tinctures & Extracts – Most effective for skin conditions and as a pain relief. Anyone with arthritis and joint pain can simply apply the cream or tincture to the irritated area and feel the benefits. Eczema, insect bites, bleeding and rashes also benefit best by applying directly.
Tablets & Capsules – For a fast paced life a fast and effective way of gaining nettle benefits is through tablets. Quickly consumed orally you don’t have to take time trying to cook or brew up some tea. However, if you have the time to brew some tea then we recommend it as tablets are preserved and not the freshest top-notch quality.
Shampoos – Stinging nettles are a great way to help hair growth and in keep healthy hair. Many of today’s shampoos add many chemicals, some of which actually decrease the result in which they try to provide. That’s why natural nettle shampoo is a great way to help with healthy hair. Look out for all natural ingredients or make your very own. Brew up some tea making sure the sting is gone, let it cool down and rinse through your hair!
Taking Caution – Nettle Tea Side Effects
There are several side effects that you should be aware of. Knowledge of these proven effects makes positivity for health.
Skin Irritations/Allergies First, you will need gloves when handling unprocessed nettles, as they will irritate the skin. For those who are allergic to nettles, this skin irritation can quickly swell and take some time to go away. Be aware that contact with nettles will also result in prolonged itchiness around the area of contact. By drinking a cup of nettle tea allergy implications may result such as swelling or nausea.
Pregnancy For those trying to get pregnant be aware that nettle tea is considered generally unsafe. Tea from the roots should be avoided altogther where leaves are safer but still should be avoided. With a diuretic effect on the body this makes nettle tea not 100% safe during pregnancy.
Diabetes Diabetes patients are recommended to monitor sugar levels when taking nettle tea. Research has seen a slight increase in the chance of getting low blood sugar levels.
Blood Pressure Anyone who is prone to recieving low blood pressure should seek medical advice.
Not all health foods are benefical to everyone. But there is something for everyone to gain benefits from.
Where Can I Buy Nettle Tea
What is nettle tea? Herbal drink containing health benefits, primarily for joint pain.
Where can I buy nettle tea? Above we have linked high quality nettle products.
How to treat stinging nettle rash? Some methods: Apply dock leaves, antihistamines, cool temperatures such as water.
Can I grow my own supply of nettles? Most definitely.
Safe during pregnancy? We recommend not to drink this herbal tea if you are pregnant. Generally tea made from leaves are safer than from the root, however is not scientifically been proven to be 100% safe during pregnancy. Nettles are a diuretic and bring about a detox of the body, which is not healthy when pregnant.