Stinging nettles are found all over the world, and bloom every year. It’s almost impossible to get away from the invasive plant. It’s the weed that most of us pull and throw out. But here is the tricky part: unlike the irritating and burning sensation it gives you from touching, when digested in the form of tea, nettle is a wonderful health-boosting herb that should never be dowsed with weed-killer, but plucked and dried to make into an herbal panacea that could make the local pharmacy go bankrupt.
Stinging nettle, urtica dioica, is the origin of nettle tea. The histamines and chemicals that cause irritation to the skin are neutralized by soaking the weed in water, so you can enjoy this beneficial herb. The weed is quite rich in calcium and magnesium, as well as flavonoids, carotenoids and vitamins. Nettle tea can be very strong, having a rapid impact on human body. The antioxidant concentration alone can be the main reason to acknowledge it as a healthy herb. Health benefits of nettle tea, that have been discovered over the years, are countless and can’t be ignored.
1. Kidneys and Prostate
Nettle tea is a powerful diuretic. It can help people have steady urination and flow rate and reduce the binding effect of sex hormones by globulin. These benefits can improve the symptoms associated with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). Improving levels of testosterone and eliminating the symptoms can help you put your sex life back on track. According to the book “Campbell-Walsh Urology,” the compounds found in the roots of the weed can alter growth factors, regulate lipid peroxidation, protect the bladder with the muscles that control its function.
2. Skin and Hair Care
Although further research is needed in this particular area, nettle tea has been used for treating the symptoms of acne and eczema in many parts of the world. The anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of the plant can relieve the stress caused from these skin conditions. The anti-oxidant rich nature of the plant can help reducing the scarring on skin and speed healing. It is often applied topically.
3. Digestive Health Benefits
Stinging nettle is rich in anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory chemicals. These ingredients makes nettle tea perfect for handling digestive problems, such as constipation, diarrhea and IBS. Nettle tea can kill the harmful bacteria and parasites while helping the growth of beneficial bacteria in the guts.
4. Blood Pressure
Still lacking in human research, animal studies show that nettle tea has a reducing effect on blood pressure. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center reports that most likely due to its diuretic impact on the body, the plant reduces systolic blood pressure. The anti-inflammatory components, as well as the potassium within the plant can both help reduce tension in arteries and blood vessel.
5. Pain Relief
Throughout history, analgesic and anti-inflammatory compounds found in the plant made it popular. The pain relief from a headache and pulled muscle is immediate with the nettle tea.
6. Allergic Reactions
The plant itself is the reason for reaction on skin after contact. However, after soaking it in water, the effects are reversed: it acts as a healer to allergic reaction. When consumed in tea form, it works as an antihistamine without the drowsiness.
Calcium, potassium and iron are found in huge amounts in stinging nettle. These minerals make nettle tea an option for people suffering from iron deficiency anemia. These minerals also help your body fight the gradual breakdown of bone mineral density.
Warnings and Dosage
Always ask your doctor before adding the nettle tea into your diet. For women who are pregnant, there are concerns that nettle tea can cause hormonal fluctuations which can be dangerous for fetal development. Try not to abuse the dosage limits of consumption, which is 3-4 cups per day, but you should always drink additional water along with the tea. The dry leaf used for making a cup of tea is 2-4 grams.