Used as a folk remedy for thousands of years, nettle tea is now seeing a resurgence in popularity due to its high nutrient content and ability to combat inflammation. Discover the benefits of nettle tea in our latest blog post.
Common hedgerow plants, stinging nettles are also found in woodlands, fields, meadows, and gardens across the UK. They may be an unwelcome guest in the garden, due to the sting that gives them their name, but insects and birds alike love these plants.
It isn’t just wildlife that benefits from having nettles nearby either. Nettles have been used in herbal medicine for many centuries, most often as tea.
From combatting hay fever to soothing inflamed joints, there are plenty of benefits of nettle tea. Packed with nutrients and full of antioxidants, this herb is definitely worth a second look, despite its reputation as a trap for unwary children (and adults).
What Is Nettle Tea?
Nettle tea is made from the dried leaves of the stinging nettle. While they are growing, the stems and tooth-edged leaves of the stinging nettle are covered in fine hairs. When we brush against them, these hairs act like needles, injecting irritants into our skin and leaving behind a painful bumpy rash.
That sting is a powerful deterrent, and you might be wondering why on earth you’d want to drink a tea made from such a plant. Don’t worry though – once picked and dried, the leaves lose their sting and are perfectly safe to ingest.
The dried leaves can be used loose or packed into a tea bag. After the leaves have been infused in hot water for a few minutes, they are discarded, leaving behind nettle tea.
What Is Nettle Tea Good For?
There are several benefits of drinking nettle tea. Its traditional uses include treating hay fever and seasonal allergies, managing inflammation and joint pain, and protecting against urinary tract infections.
Let’s look at the benefits in more detail:
1. Reduces Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is involved in many serious health conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. However, the compounds found in nettles can significantly reduce the production of inflammatory hormones, helping to protect against chronic inflammation.
2. Protects the Urinary Tract
A natural diuretic and antimicrobial, nettle is a traditional remedy for urinary tract infections. By helping to increase the volume of urine, nettle tea may help to flush bacteria through the urinary tract and prevent problems.
More recently, evidence has shown that nettle can also help reduce the symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland – a common condition in older men that can cause discomfort and difficulty urinating. Patients who took nettle over a 6-month period found these symptoms reduced when compared with a placebo.
3. Treats the Symptoms of Hay Fever
Anyone who suffers from hay fever knows how seasonal allergies can make the summer months a misery. Fortunately, nettle is here to help. This herb contains compounds that act as natural antihistamines, helping to calm your body’s reaction to pollen.
4. Lowers Blood Pressure
Nettle tea may also benefit your cardiovascular health. High blood pressure is a common condition, but nettles can help to combat this. They stimulate the production of nitric oxide, a vasodilator, which helps blood flow more easily through the blood vessels.
Nettles also contain compounds that block calcium channels. In turn, this can help to relax our hearts and reduce our blood pressure.
5. Supports Healthy Joints and Bones
Another traditional use of nettle tea is treating the symptoms of arthritis and other joint pain. This effect is likely down to the nettle’s anti-inflammatory properties, which have been shown to be beneficial for the treatment of pain associated with osteoarthritis.
Nettles are also a source of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These minerals help to build healthy joints and bones, keeping us strong and mobile.
6. High in Nutrients
Nettles aren’t just a great source of essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. They are also packed with other nutrients. These include vitamins A, B, C, and K, iron, phosphorous, several healthy fatty acids, and plenty of amino acids too.
As a result, nettle tea is a wonderful choice as a daily support for your overall health and wellness. Getting a wide range of nutrients in your diet is essential if you want to stay well and drinking nettle tea may help you get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
Is Nettle Tea Safe?
Nettle tea has been widely used as a herbal remedy throughout human history and most people can drink it safely. Occasionally, drinking nettle tea can cause mild stomach issues – if this is the case for you, stop drinking the tea and see a doctor if symptoms continue.
You should also consult your doctor before starting any new herbal remedy if you are on medication or have any health conditions.
There’s also not a lot of research into whether nettle tea is safe during pregnancy or when breastfeeding, so exercise caution if either of these applies to you.
Otherwise, it’s unlikely that you’ll have issues from drinking nettle tea, and it is generally safe to drink.
How to Make Nettle Tea
If you like the DIY approach, you can make your own nettle tea at home by gathering stinging nettles (don’t forget to wear gloves), drying the leaves, and then storing them in an airtight container to use for loose-leaf tea.
However, you can also make nettle tea using a premade tea bag, which is our preferred approach. Not only is this significantly quicker and less messy, but it also means you can easily combine nettle with other beneficial herbs. For example, we use nettle in our NutraBone blend alongside other herbs that help protect your bones and joints.
You’ll also find nettle in NutraRelease, our premium tea aimed at supporting the health of your urinary tract.
For those struggling with gout or arthritis, our NutraUric blend features nettle and other natural diuretics to manage swelling and minimise inflammation.
When you’ve chosen your preferred blend, all you need to do is pop the tea bag in your favourite mug, boil the kettle, and steep the tea for 4-5 minutes.
Give the bag a good squeeze to get every drop of goodness out, then sit back and enjoy your tea.