Nettle tea is made from a flowering plant from a family of herbaceous flowering plants, Urticaceae. There are thirty or forty various plants in this family. These plants usually grow as perennials, but some of the species grow as an annual.
Stinging nettle, also known as Urtica dioica is closely related to Urtica urens. This plant is the most prominent member of this family. This specific plant, in the Nettle family, should not be confused with the other members. Stinging nettle, Urtica dioica, is one of the natural healing herbs that are historically used in medicine, written about in folklore and used in cooking.
Not all plants in the nettle family will exhibit the same properties. It is important that you do not eat or drink tea from any plant you have not fully studied and identified properly. You may want to consult with your local herbalist or botanist before using herbs you are not familiar with. Stinging nettle has a long history of being utilized for medicinal purposes. In medieval Europe, it was made into a tea to rid the body of excess water and to alleviate joint pain.
Identifying the right plant for stinging nettle tea
So how do you identify the right nettle, the stinging nettle? The stinging nettle plant is happy in nitrogen-rich soil. It blooms between June and September, and usually reaches 2 - 4 feet high. The stems grow upright and rigid. The heart-shaped leaves are finely toothed, and tapered at the ends. The flowers are yellow or pink. The plant is covered with tiny spike like hairs that are found on the underside of the leaves and stems. If you would like to grow nettle or other herbs you will need to find seeds (type the words nettle seeds into the search box). Order your herbal seeds early as I find that they sell out fast.
These contain irritating chemicals. These chemicals are released when the plant comes in contact with the skin. The spiny needles of the stinging nettle are normally very painful to the touch. Although when these spines come into contact with a part of the body that is experiencing pain, it has been found that a decrease in pain occurs. That sounds like an oxymoron to me , but researchers believe that the stinging nettle does this by decreasing the levels of chemicals in the body that contribute to inflammation.
It is also thought that it also interferes with the way the body transmits pain signals. It is important that when harvesting the stinging nettle it is done in the early spring, before flowers begin to appear and while the plants are young and tender.
Consuming more mature plants may cause damage to your kidneys. In the fall, new nettles can be harvested, before they are killed by frost. So, now that we know there are many plants in the nettle family but the plant we want is stinging nettle , lets find out what about the health benefits of the natural healing herbs of the stinging nettle tea.
More articles on herbs
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