Stinging nettle tea has been used for centuries to treat pain in muscles and joints, arthritis, gout and anemia. The benefits of the plant are due to high levels of minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, silica, iodine, silicon, sodium, and sulfur. Nettles are rich in chlorophyll and tannin. They are also rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, and the B complex vitamins. Stinging nettles also contain high levels of readily absorbable amino acids. It is comprised of ten percent protein content, making this plant higher in content more than any other vegetable.
Take a look at that picture of the nettle plant on the right of the page. Most identify it as a weed. It can even be a bit scary. If you just grab it your going to get stung. Maybe that is how it got the name stinging . The plant is covered with tiny spike like hairs that are found on the underside of the leaves and stems. Touch these hairs at your own risk.
If you are able to harvest this plant you will find it has a pleasant rich flavor when brewed as a tea similar to green tea. Drinking this type of nettle tea as well as applying it to your hair has been found to make your hair brighter, thicker and shinier. Rinse your hair with the brewed tea and leave it in to dry. It will give your hair a well-conditioned and healthy appearance In fact, you will find nettle in skin care products and in commercial hair care products.
This tea can be applied to your pets fur as a natural conditioner too. Because of the cleansing and antiseptic properties of nettle the tea is good for facial steams. You can also use the tea to rinse your face to help fight acne, eczema and other skin conditions. Cosmetically, nettle tea is a great cleanser especially for oily skin.
Drinking this tea may help hay fever sufferers
Scientists have found that drinking nettle tea can help reduce the itching and watery eyes and sneezing caused by hay fever. It is believed that stinging nettles have the ability to decrease the amount of histamine that the body produces in response to the environmental allergens. It is important that if you are going to try these natural healing herbs, you make it an everyday habit to drink this tea before hay fever season begins.
Recent studies released have found that stinging nettle leaf tea aids in blood clotting and promotes the formation of hemoglobin, the oxygen carrying ability of the red blood cells. Nettle very high in potassium and flavonoids are believed to contribute to the diuretic action of this nutrient rich plant. In Europe, nettles are also used to help in the treatment of kidney infections. It is the diuretic component that scientists feel is responsible for the blood pressure lowering abilities of stinging nettle. Of course, more research studies need to be preformed to show evidence that this has the same effect in humans.
Using this type of nettle tea to treat males with enlarged prostates that experience a reduced urinary flow, the constant urge to urinate and the inability to effectively empty the bladder is widely used in Europe. This condition, benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) is common with aging males. It is important to note that stinging nettle has been found to be as effective as the drug, finestiride, (a drug commonly prescribed for BPH) in slowing the activity of growth in some prostrate cells. Research scientists are not sure how this occurs, as stinging nettles do not decrease the size of the prostate as the medication does. They believe that the stinging nettles may contain chemicals, sterols, that affect hormones (DTH a form of testosterone that increase the size of the prostate) that reduce the symptoms or it may directly act on the prostrate cells.
Before self treating BPH by drinking nettle tea, it is important to make sure that prostrate cancer has been ruled out. The stinging nettles have anti-inflammatory components along with the rich concentration of the minerals boron and silicon. This helps to ease the pain of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, tendinitis and bursitis.
In my opinion the best way to get nettle is to find it already gathered, dried, and prepared. I have found I can buy tea blends that contain nettle at Mountain Rose Herbs. It may take a little digging on your part but it will be worth the effort. You will have to type the word stinging nettle into their search box located at the upper left part of the page. They even offer seeds to grow the plant yourself. Hayfever sufferes may just want to do that.
How to brew this nettle tea
Pour one cup of boiling water over 3 - 4 tsp of dried stinging nettle leaves dried root and steep for 5 minutes. For medicinal purposes you should drink three to four cups per day. You can also make an infusion using fresh nettle leaves. Make sure you always consume additional water along with the tea. Nettle tea may be taken hot or cold. Many prefer it sweetened and flavored with lemon.
Disclaimer: Herbs can trigger side effects and can interact with other herbs, supplements, or prescribed and over the counter medications. For these reasons, herbs and medication should be taken with care. Always consult your health care practitioner.
Other herbs and herbal tea remedies
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