Nettle Tea Benefits & Side Effects
People tend to have a lot of questions about Nettle Tea benefits. It has become increasingly popular in recent years, not only because of its remarkable taste but also its well-documented ability to support your health and wellness. It is perhaps of little surprise, then, that one question has taken the limelight above all others: What does this Tea do? This is what we’ll be exploring in the following article.
Table of Contents
- Nettle Tea Properties and Nutrition
- Stinging Nettle Tea Benefits
- Nettle Tea Benefits for Skin Health
- Drinking Nettle Tea and Weight Loss
- Tea Iron Content for Anaemia and Thyroid Issues
- Stinging Nettle Tea for Hayfever
- Nettle Tea for Liver Health
- Nettle Tea Hair Benefits
- Drink Nettle Tea Before Bed
- Nettle Tea Blood Pressure Benefits
- Nettle Tea for Colds and the Flu
- Nettle Tea and Gout and Joint Inflammation
- Is Nettle Tea Good for Diabetes?
- Nettle Tea for Acid Reflux
- Nettle Tea for Arthritis
- Is Nettle Tea Good for Asthma?
- Nettle Tea Helps with a UTI
- Nettle Tea Side Effects
- Is Nettle Tea a Diuretic?
- Nettle Tea Pregnancy Considerations
Despite our love-hate relationship with the plant, the infusion it creates could soon be as widespread as Peppermint, Camomile and Hibiscus Tea. Anyone curious to try it needn’t look any further than The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. Our family-run business packs its products by hand and fresh to order, ensuring quality and consistency. But now is the time to examine the benefits of Nettle Tea.
Nettle Tea Properties and Nutrition
You’re probably all too familiar with the Nettle plant in its natural form. Cursed by hikers, gardeners and children alike, it is a perennial of the Urticaceae family that, when brushed against, causes a stinging sensation. The irritating feeling comes from a group of chemicals, including histamine, acetylcholine and serotonin. However, brewing it removes the sting and promotes the nutritional value.
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)||Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||Vitamin B3 (Niacin)|
The potassium in Nettle Tea is in particular abundance, as is its Vitamin K content. These beneficial constituents combined function on a molecular level to combat free radicals in the body. Doing so slows oxidative stress and, ultimately, after frequent consumption over an extended period, reduces the risk of developing a multitude of chronic conditions. But where is the concrete evidence?
Stinging Nettle Tea Benefits
It’s all fair and well highlighting the claims surrounding Stinging Nettle Tea benefits. There are, after all, quite a few to mention. The trouble is that without research to back these claims, it is challenging to know what is true and what is merely speculation. Where possible, and where the information is available, we aim to support the below benefits with the latest scientific studies. And we’ll tell you when we can’t.
The rest of our article will be dedicated to answering your most pressing questions. Is it iron, and good for digestion, and evenr inflammation? All will be revealed in due course, so please keep reading to find out the most up-to-date facts and figures. Just remember that we aren’t experts, and we will always recommend seeking medical consultation if you have concerns.
Nettle Tea Benefits for Skin Health
Acne is a skin condition brought about by hair follicles becoming clogged with dead skin cells and oil. Developing on the shoulders, upper back, forehead and face, a common misconception is that it affects only teenagers when, in fact, it happens in people of all ages. Treatments include over-the-counter gels and creams or prescribed medicines and antibiotics. Does stinging Nettle Tea help acne as well?
Anecdotal evidence (emphasis on anecdotal, meaning based on personal accounts rather than clinical trials) suggests that for acne is an excellent choice. Several of the vitamins and minerals in this Tea have potent anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, when applied topically (directly to the skin), its ability to reduce inflammation - alongside its antimicrobial properties - alleviates mild acne.
Drinking Nettle Tea and Weight Loss
Does Nettle Tea help with weight loss? It would seem quite likely. What remains certain is that it is a low-calorie option at a negligible one calorie per serving. Compare that to the average cola drink (approx. 40 calories) or milkshake (upwards of 100 calories), and you’ll realise that putting the kettle on is a viable alternative. And there’s more still to the health benefits for your waistline.
A study conducted at the University of Maryland, USA, discovered that mice consuming a high-fat diet for 12 weeks gained less weight when they had it. According to American researchers, the reason is that the extract activates a hormone in cells called FIAF (standing for “fasting induced adipose factor”), which boosts the metabolism of fat cells. It also protects vital organs from absorbing too many fatty acids.
Tea Iron Content for Anaemia and Thyroid Issues
Iron deficiency anaemia is when the body cannot produce enough red blood cells because of a lack of iron in your blood. Symptoms can occur gradually over time, ranging from shortness of breath to fatigue. Doctors and health practitioners recommend that people with anaemia take iron supplements and eat iron-rich foods. Is Drinking Nettle Tea good for iron deficiency? You can count on it.
As established in the above section, an 8-oz cup of the Herbal Tea contains a considerable amount of iron. It’s worth noting, too, that iron plays a vital role in a fully functioning thyroid, a small butterfly-shaped neck gland that influences your heart rate and body temperature. And good for thyroid health like it is for anaemia? Absolutely.
Stinging Nettle Tea for Hayfever
Statistics indicate that there has been a significant increase in hay fever cases across Britain. A total of 31% of UK adults endured an allergic reaction to pollen in 2017 alone. Its symptoms include sneezing, itching and a blocked or runny nose. Of course, over-the-counter antihistamine medication should be the first port of call. But does Nettle Leaf Tea help with hayfever? In other words, is it good for allergies?
According to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Phytotherapy Research, an extract of the plant inhibits inflammation that triggers seasonal allergies. It demonstrated that the Tea blocked histamine receptors and prevented immune cells from releasing chemicals that prompt symptoms. This is perhaps somewhat strange considering that Stinging Nettle promote histamine before making an infusion out of them!
Nettle Tea for Liver Health
We move on to the next question: Is Nettle Tea good for your liver? This cone-shaped organ, located in the upper right-hand portion of the abdominal cavity and roughly above the stomach, has five primary functions. These are to filter blood and break down harmful bodies; aid digestion; synthesise proteins; store vitamins and minerals; and metabolise and detoxify foreign substances such as alcohol.
It is the latter ability we’ll be discussing here. Preliminary research (emphasis on “preliminary”, referring to it being in its early stages) shows that the health benefits of Nettle Tea extend to supporting detoxification. Also known as Detox Tea, the belief is that it works with the liver to remove these unwanted substances. However, large swathes of the scientific community are sceptical.
Nettle Tea Hair Benefits
Individuals lose roughly 50 to 100 hairs on a daily basis. An estimated 85% of men will experience balding (alopecia) by 50-years-old. Meanwhile, more than 50% of women will face similar issues. Hair loss affects not only your physical appearance but also your confidence and self-esteem. Some consider it a source of great embarrassment, despite typically it being a natural occurrence.
The good news is that we’re not just talking about the benefits for men. We’re talking about benefits for hair loss, regardless of sex. There are several ways it can provide assistance. For starters, its anti-inflammatory properties reduce inflammation of the scalp - long recognised as an instigator of chronic hair loss. Furthermore, according to a 2010 study, the minerals in Nettle Tea increase hair growth.
Drink Nettle Tea Before Bed
So-called “real” Tea (anything from the Camellia sinensis plant, including Black, Green, White and Oolong) contains caffeine. This stimulating constituent most famously boosts energy levels upon consumption - probably the last thing you need before bed. Does Nettle Tea help you sleep? It does insofar as it is 100% void of caffeine and won’t perk you up prior to nodding off.
Additionally, it could alleviate mild anxiety, a condition that could, in turn, cause insomnia. Anxiety is characterised as an oft-occurring feeling of nervousness, fear or worry. Around one in ten people live with it in the UK. This could be offset - albeit minimally - with Herbal Tea, which might have a soothing effect on the nervous system. Few studies have been conducted to back the claim.
Nettle Tea Blood Pressure Benefits
About 40% of the world’s population has experienced high blood pressure (hypertension) at one stage or another. This is where the pressure in your blood vessels becomes too high and, as a result, increases the risk of heart disease, strokes, dementia and other complications. Drinking Nettle Tea for high blood pressure, though, could be a worthwhile endeavour - at least according to a 2016 study.
Published in the Journal of Translational Medicine, the evidence recognises that the Tea stimulates nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide acts as a vasodilator (something that opens or dilates blood vessels), relaxing muscles and helping blood vessels to widen. Moreover, one animal-based study established that it lowers blood pressure levels at the same time as it increases the heart’s antioxidant defences.
Nettle Tea for Colds and the Flu
Since we’ve briefly touched on defences above, allow us to delve deep into the wonders of the immune system. Considered the body’s, well, bodyguard, the immune system is a comprehensive network of tissues, proteins, organs and cells working in unison to protect you from pathogens. In its absence, you’d be constantly under attack from viruses, parasites and harmful bacteria.
Is Nettle Tea good for a cold, influenza (flu), and other minor illnesses? Its wealth in nutrients - notably Vitamin A and C - supports your defence network in its vital work. There is also evidence from a study conducted at Hacettepe University in Ankara that seems promising. Turkish researchers concluded that the Herbal Tea stimulates the disease-fighting T-cells in the immune system.
Nettle Tea and Gout and Joint Inflammation
Gout is a form of arthritis that manifests itself as sudden and severe pain attacks, as well as redness and tenderness in the joints. It was once dubbed the “disease of kings” due to its association with overindulgence. Now, we know it forms when urate crystals accumulate in the joints, causing inflammation, swelling and intense pain. Here we are again: Is Nettle Tea good for gout?
A German study demonstrated that one of the advantages of it suppressed several cytokines in inflammatory joint diseases, including gout. Similar findings came from a 2013 study published in the Journal of Phytomedicine, which found that it reduced joint inflammation overall. We’ll return to inflammation to discuss its role in combating arthritis after examining its influence on diabetes.
Is Nettle Tea Good for Diabetes?
One in sixteen Britons lives with diabetes, amounting to an estimated four million people in the country or about 6% of the national population. The disease impacts the efficiency of the pancreas to produce insulin, leading to an excessive quantity of glucose (blood sugar) staying in your system. Symptoms of too much blood sugar include shortness of breath, stomach pain, nausea and fatigue.
Drinking Nettle Tea for diabetes might lower blood sugar levels because of its potential ability to mimic the effects of insulin. It may likewise improve cholesterol, which reduces the chance of diabetic and prediabetic complications. One clinical trial saw 46 volunteers receive 500-mg of extract three times daily. The results determined that participants had lower blood sugar levels than the placebo group.
Nettle Tea for Acid Reflux
We believe a brief recap is in order. We now know it will promote weight loss, relieve hayfever, increase hair growth, lower blood pressure, support the immune system, prevent gout and mimic insulin for diabetes. Additionally, anecdotal reports point to it enhancing the skin’s vitality, maintaining iron levels for anaemia and thyroid problems, and serving as a liver detox tea.
It’s time for another question: Is Nettle Tea good for acid reflux? This digestive complaint is easily recognisable by burning pain in the lower chest area. It happens due to acid in the stomach flowing back into the food pipe (oesophagus). Utilising the anti-inflammatory properties of for digestion before, during or after a meal could be ideal. However, research is minimal.
Nettle Tea for Arthritis
Picking up where we left off with Nettle Tea for inflammation, we can see whether it helps with arthritis. Those who live with the condition will recognise it as chronic pain and inflammation in a joint, which, contrary to popular belief, can affect people of all ages. Nevertheless, it is most prevalent in people in their mid-40s or older. Gout is one type, as are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Of all the Tea varieties to treat arthritis in its numerous forms, Turmeric Tea ranks the highest (although that’s another story - and another article!). Is Nettle Tea good for arthritis? The Arthritis Foundation thinks so. Furthermore, according to a 2000 study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, its topical application reduces pain significantly compared to a placebo group.
Is Nettle Tea Good for Asthma?
Nettle Tea and asthma could be a match made in heaven. This respiratory disease causes intermittent breathing problems, including wheezing and shortness of breath. It happens because of inflammation of the tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs, occasionally triggered by factors such as allergies or smoking. Using inhalers to treat asthma is as important as ever. But Tea could be an accompaniment.
According to a 2017 preliminary study published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Biology, Stinging Nettle Tea assists in relieving pulmonary inflammation. It does so after preventing inflammatory cells from entering the lungs. The chances are you know why and how it works: The Herbal Tea’s potent anti-inflammatory properties, which we’ve showcased at great length
Nettle Tea Helps with a UTI
A UTI (urinary tract infection) is an infection that affects your bladder, kidneys or the tubes connected to them. It can often lead to a sudden need to pee and pain or a burning sensation while urinating. The most common treatments are pain relievers, drinking plenty of fluids, and, if the issue persists, visiting a doctor who may prescribe antibiotics. Enter Nettle Tea benefits for the last time in our article.
The condition often goes hand in hand with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), where the prostate is bigger than usual, limiting urine flow and increasing infection risks. In one clinical trial, 287 BPH patients who had been treated with it showed a significant reduction in prostate size. Its diuretic activity, too, could positively influence UTI symptoms (more on that later).
Nettle Tea Side Effects
Anyone making homemade Herbal Tea from Nettles in the garden should be wary of handling the leaves and how long they are boiled to remove their sting. Remember that the hair-like barbs harm your skin when touched, releasing histamine, acetylcholine and serotonin, as well as leukotrienes and formic acid. Your safest option, therefore, is to buy Loose Tea from The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company.
Even then, there could still be a small risk of experiencing side effects. In the rarest of instances, people have reported it causing headaches, mild stomach upset, fluid retention, sweating, diarrhoea, hives or rashes. If you suffer from any of these issues, regardless of the severity, it is paramount that you avoid consumption and seek medical consultation immediately.
Is Nettle Tea a Diuretic?
Diuretic activity refers to encouraging urine function in the body, allowing an individual to pass excess water. Bewildering though it may come across at first glance, it has its purposes, particularly for those with high blood pressure, heart failure, swollen tissues and kidney disease. But does consuming it for water retention have a way of supporting these ailments in practice?
Robert Kachko, the former President of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), says: “Nettle is diuretic; it increases urine output and removal of uric acid.” The bottom line is that it is good for kidneys, the heart and more. Other choices for Diuretic Tea include - but are not limited to - Milk Thistle Tea and Fennel Seeds Tea.
Nettle Tea Pregnancy Considerations
Is Nettle Tea safe in pregnancy? Is it advisable? The vast majority of medical professionals believe that any infusion created with Stinging Nettles can cause uterine contractions. Worse still, similar to the likes of Vervain, Sage and Thyme Tea, there is a reasonable chance of it leading to miscarriage. It is crucial that all expecting mothers avoid it. Consider instead Raspberry Leaf Tea during the third trimester.
How about Nettle Tea for breastfeeding? It depends on whom you ask. Historically, women after childbirth had the beverage to treat anaemia and as a galactagogue - something that promotes breast milk production. Nowadays, health experts believe that it can cause breast engorgement and mastitis. The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company would urge breastfeeding mothers against it.