10 Incredible Nettle Tea Benefits
Who would’ve thought that nettles, the plant we all love to hate, could offer amazing Nettle Tea benefits? Before anyone thinks otherwise, we’re, indeed, talking about stinging nettle benefits - as in the nettle that stings. Confused? Allow us to explain in the blog below.
The following article will answer some of your searing, burning questions. This includes “is Nettle Tea good for you?”, as well as “what is Nettle Tea good for?”.
Additionally, we will look into how one avoids the sting of a stinging nettle while appreciating Nettle Tea benefits.
Are you ready? Let’s get exploring.
What is Nettle Tea?
Though cursed by hikers, gardeners and children alike, the perennial, flowering Urtica dioica plant has earned its place in the world. It belongs to the Urticaceae family and flourishes nearly everywhere except the Arctic, the Antarctic and Africa.
Within the Urticaceae family, there are three main genera. Of the Urtica genus, there are an estimated 80 species. In the British Isles alone, there are three known species of the nettle plant.
These are Urtica dioica (Common Nettle), Urtica urens (Dwarf Nettle) and Urtica pilulifera (Roman Nettle). We use the Common Nettle when it comes to our Nettle Leaf Tea.
The name “Nettle” comes from the Anglo-Saxon word “Noedl”, which means “needle”. This likely came from the ‘needle-like’ pain of the plant’s sting. The name “Urtica dioica”, meanwhile, is twofold: “Urtica” derives from the Latin words for “sting” or sometimes “burn”. “Dioica” means “two houses”. This term refers to the way in which male and female flowers grow on separate nettle plants.
These flowers bloom between July and September. The plant itself consists of a hairy, single stalk with deeply serrated leaves of dark green on top and of pale green on the underside.
Overall, it grows to heights of up to 1.2 metres (4 feet). The size of the leaves, meanwhile, averages at 15 centimetres (approx 6 inches). Underground, the plant has a yellow rhizome found very near the surface of the soil.
Why Do You Get Stung by the Stinging Nettle?
This plant has developed hollow hairs stiffened by silica with a swollen base that contains three chemicals. These are histamine, which irritates the skin; acetylcholine, which causes a burning sensation; and serotonin, which enables the two other chemicals to react.
The tip of these chemical-filled hairs is very brittle. When brushed against, no matter how lightly, they break off, exposing a sharp point that penetrates the skin. This ensures that the nettle has suitable protection against grazing animals (and, indeed, humans).
Despite this, the leaves host over 40 species of insects that are immune to the sting. This includes many butterfly and moth species. When it comes to butterflies, in particular, species include the Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta, the Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae (note the Latin name), the European Peacock Aglais io and the Comma Polygonia c-album.
When it comes to moths, it includes the Burnished Brass Diachrysia chrysitis; the Spectacle Abrostola triplasia; and the Nettle Top Anthophila fabriciana (again, note the latter species). But enough about other animals. We’re here to tell you about Nettle Tea benefits for humans!
Nettle Tea Nutritional Facts
Did you know that Nettle Tea benefits are predominantly the product of a wealth of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants?
These chemical compounds, found in a plethora of food items, are essential nutrients. Acting in concert, they perform a multitude of supportive roles in the body.
Below is a table showcasing just some of the beneficial constituents found in Nettle Tea:
Nettle Tea Vitamins and Minerals
|Sulphur||Vitamin A||Vitamin B1 (thiamine)|
|Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)||Vitamin B3 (niacin)||Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)|
|Vitamin C||Vitamin D||Vitamin E|
While some of these constituents are only found in trace amounts in this infusion, all of them can improve life in small yet significant ways.
But what, exactly, can they do? Keep reading to find out more about Nettle Tea benefits and how they can positively influence your health and wellbeing.
Nettle Tea Benefits
Of all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in this Herbal Tea, the latter components are arguably the most important. This is because antioxidants combat free radicals in the body, the product of natural, though harmful, human oxidation.
In doing this, Nettle Tea benefits can reduce the risk of developing a multitude of severe chronic conditions. What more could you want from your morning cuppa?
As it turns out, there is, indeed, much more on offer. This infusion, when enjoyed as part of an already-healthy and active lifestyle, can alleviate hay fever and improve kidney function.
It might also offer anti-inflammatory properties while supporting blood circulation and promoting weight loss. And if that wasn’t enough, it helps with acne, colds, anxiety, hair, gout and diabetes.
But don’t just take our word for it. Read the science behind it all! Below, you will find further details on Nettle Tea benefits accompanied by evidence.
1. Helps Ease Hayfever
According to some sources, hayfever is on the rise here in the UK. In 2017 alone, 31% of adult Britons self-reported that they experienced hay fever in the past 12 months. If this trend continues into 2020, then Nettle Tea benefits might at least offer some support.
In one preliminary human-based study published by the University of Maryland Medical Center, researchers suggested that nettle capsules helped reduce itching and sneezing in participants with hay fever.
In another study, 57% of test subjects rated nettles as effective in relieving their allergies, while 48% considered nettles more effective than some allergy medications.
And that isn’t the only allergy this Tea can tackle. Bewilderingly, it is also an antidote to its own sting! We’re told as children to use dock leaves when stung by a stinging nettle.
However, there is another option in the form of this delicious Herbal Tea. Although the nettle sting is highly irritant, once boiled and dried to neutralise the acid, the leaves act as a natural antihistamine.
2. Improved Kidney Function
Many people in the west, particularly among the elderly, suffer from Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BHP). In its most severe cases, BPH can lead to infection, bladder damage or, indeed, kidney damage.
It can also cause symptoms such as frequent urination, the inability to urinate and loss of bladder control.
In clinical trials held at the University of Medical Sciences in Iran, Nettle Tea reduced symptoms associated with BHP. It saw 287 patients given nettle over six months. Following this, subjects said they noticed a significant improvement in their symptoms.
Nettle Tea benefits kidney pain, generally speaking, a potentially good choice. However, until we know more, The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company advises caution.
Most will know already, after all, that maintaining kidney health is vital. And for this reason, it’s always best to listen to your doctor or another medical professional before drinking this beverage for this purpose.
3. Improved Blood Circulation
Would you believe that Nettle Tea benefits might improve blood circulation? The primary reason for this is its abundance in iron, an essential mineral that can support health and wellbeing in a plethora of ways.
In the context of improved blood circulation, iron in Nettle Tea can aid in alleviating anaemia and even general fatigue. Additionally, its wealth in potassium might help, too.
Similar to iron, potassium is an all-important mineral with many incredible abilities - including its capacity to improve blood circulation. Indeed, it can reduce tension in the arteries and blood vessels, thus reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes (albeit only minimally).
Partly related to this particular benefit is the fact that Nettle Tea can also lower blood pressure. This is according to one study that recognised how it stimulated nitric oxide production.
Nitric oxide, in turn, acts as a vasodilator, which ultimately relaxes the muscle of blood vessels, helping them to widen.
4. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
The Nettle Tea Benefits go further still thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation can affect many parts of the body, including the cardiovascular and digestive systems. Most notably, inflammation can worsen arthritis. Could Nettle Tea be the answer? Maybe.
A German Study established that an extract of nettle leaves, known as hox alpha, can suppress several cytokines in inflammatory joint diseases. This includes arthritis.
Furthermore, a 2013 study published in Phytomedicine found that stinging nettles, including the root, can reduce inflammation.
Additionally, Nettle Tea has anti-microbial, antiulcer and analgesic properties capable of supporting digestion, in particular. It can aid with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) while relieving constipation, diarrhoea and other stomach-related issues.
5. Ability to Improve Hair Health
There are some suggestions (although little evidence) that Nettle Tea benefits extend to hair health. A handful of personal accounts note that using this herb can, among other qualities, make your hair look shinier and thicker.
According to most of these sources, the way to achieve this is by applying it directly to the scalp. In other words, in the same way you would use any other shampoo.
But how does it (supposedly) work? If proven, it’s likely something to do with its anti-inflammatory properties. One preliminary study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology can offer at least a few answers.
It noted that chronic inflammation leads to the cells in your scalp activating a so-called ‘self-destructive’ mechanism that causes damages. However, Nettle Tea can counter these effects.
That said, and as mentioned previously, few reputable scientific projects exist regarding this particular nettle tea benefit. As such, until more studies take place, we as a company do not endorse Nettle Tea for this purpose. Instead, we support ongoing research.
6. Known to Help with Gout
Gout is a particularly complex and often most agonising form of arthritis. It is characterised by sudden, severe pain attacks, as well as redness and tenderness in joints.
Although most commonly associated with men, women become increasingly susceptible to gout after menopause. In the UK, around two in every 100 people suffer from gout. In the United States, meanwhile, it affects 8.3 million Americans.
But what are its causes? And how can Nettle Tea benefits help? For starters, it’s worth noting that Gout was once known as the “Disease of Kings”.
This term refers to the fact that many used to believe it was caused by overindulgence in rich food and drink. The sort of food and drink only affordable by the wealthiest of people. However, it’s a little more complicated than that.
In reality, gout occurs when urate crystals accumulate in the joints, thus causing inflammation, swelling and intense pain. While diets high in red meat, shellfish, alcohol and sugary drinks have a part to play, there are also over factors that result in gout. This includes obesity, high blood pressure, family history and as a side effect of several different medications.
We’ve already established that this beverage can treat ‘regular’ arthritis. And the good news is that it can help alleviate gout, too. Again, the primary reason this works is Nettle Leaf Teas anti-inflammatory properties, which reduce swelling and provide mild pain relief and is one of the well known Nettle Tea benefits.
7. Reduced Diabetes Risks
Some scientists and researchers claim that Nettle Tea could reduce the risks of developing type-2 diabetes. The preliminary evidence (emphasis on “preliminary”) suggests that it might lower blood sugar levels due to its ability to mimic the effects of insulin. It may also improve cholesterol, which can likewise reduce diabetic and prediabetic complications.
One Iranian clinical trial saw 46 participants take 500 mg of nettle extract three times daily. The results showed significantly lower blood sugar levels compared to a placebo.
However, despite these promising findings, there are still too few human studies on nettle tea benefit. For this reason, The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company cannot endorse Nettle Tea for reduced diabetes risks.
8. Can Aid Lose Weight
What is Nettle Tea good for when it comes to fitting into your favourite pair of jeans? There is a possibility, although not proven, that it could boost the metabolism of fat cells.
First off, it’s worth noting that every time you eat, enzymes in the body’s cells break down food and turn it into energy. Broady, metabolism is the process of food-energy conversion responsible for this.
The faster the metabolism runs, the easier it is for the body to burn calories. And the more calories burnt, the easier it is to drop those pesky pounds!
Providing you eat well and exercise frequently, this incredible infusion might be able to help the process along. This could mean the body burns fat quicker and more efficiently. In other words, it supports metabolism in its essential work.
9. Helps Acne and Skin Health
While Nettle Tea’s anti-inflammatory properties play a significant role in improving skin health, there are also other factors worth noting. Indeed, in addition to being anti-inflammatory, this Tea boasts antihistamine and anti-microbial qualities.
Most notably, Nettle Tea can reduce the severity of acne. It can also bring down redness and swelling while simultaneously soothing itching.
We recommend drinking Nettle Tea as opposed to applying it topically for this benefit. Although some choose otherwise, there have been reports of allergic skin reactions to its external use.
If you have any concerns, be sure to consult a doctor or another health professional. The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company care most about the welfare of our customers.
10. Can Help Rid Your Cold
This herb contains several immune-boosting compounds, including flavonoids, carotenoids and, perhaps most notably, vitamins A and C. These constituents help protect immune cells against damage that can weaken immune function.
In other words, they stop illnesses such as colds and the flu from manifesting in the first place. But is there any evidence it works?
Researchers at Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey, discovered that nettles stimulate the T-cells of the immune system. This, in turn, helps to fight infection and other disease-causing pathogens in the body.
Additionally, this plant boasts antibacterial and antifungal properties, which also support the body’s capacity to ward off minor illnesses.
Nettle Tea and Pregnancy
Is Nettle Tea safe during pregnancy? It depends who you ask. Some health professionals suggest drinking Nettle Leaf Tea during the second and third trimesters.
Most, however, claim that any infusion made from these leaves can cause uterine contractions or lead to even more severe side effects. Sometimes, it’s best to err on the side of caution. And that’s why we don’t recommend this Tea while pregnant.
What about breastfeeding mothers? Again, it depends who you ask. Historically, women have used this herb after childbirth to treat anaemia and as a galactagogue to help make more breastmilk.
Yet it’s important to note that when taken immediately after childbirth, it might cause an overabundant supply of breastmilk. Furthermore, there is a risk of breast engorgement and mastitis. For these reasons, we again advise caution when drinking Nettle Tea while breastfeeding.
Is Nettle Tea a Diuretic?
First off, let’s explore the meaning of “diuretic”. This term refers to promoting the formation of urine (lovely, we know), which thus enables someone to excrete excess water in several ways.
It could mean, for instance, inhibiting the kidney’s ability to reabsorb sodium. This, in turn, enhances the loss of sodium and consequently, water in the urine.
Diuretic qualities in Herbal Tea have their benefits. This is because extra fluid in the body makes it hard for the heart and several other parts of the body to work properly.
By enabling the excretion of excess fluid, you are taking the strain off numerous organs. Indeed, people with high blood pressure, heart failure, swollen tissues and kidney disease often use Diuretic Tea to treat such conditions.
Dr Robert Kachko, President of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, says: “Nettle is diuretic, it increases urine output and removal of uric acid.”
Potential Side Effects of Nettle Tea
As most people know already, before harvesting, nettles have a tendency to sting! This is because they contain formic acid and histamine, which can irritate the skin while causing stinging, itching and redness.
To avoid this, steer clear from this weed in the wild and instead buy from The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. It’s as simple as that!
But what about side effects associated with the Tea itself? Although mostly considered safe, there have, in the past, been reports of Nettle Leaf Tea having a negative impact on health.
Potential side effects include mild stomach upset, fluid retention, sweating, diarrhoea, hives or rashes. If you experience any of these conditions, it’s essential for you to seek medical consultation.
Is There Caffeine in Nettle Tea
Nettle Tea contains no leaves from the Camellia sinensis (Tea) plant. This means that it is not technically a “Tea” in the conventional sense.
Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, the lack of ‘real’ Tea leaves means it’s an entirely caffeine-free infusion. While some other beverages such as Coffee and Yerba Mate contain caffeine, this particular brew isn’t one of them.
But how does this play out when it comes to Nettle Tea benefits? It’s worth recognising the fact that some people, particularly caffeine-sensitive individuals, experience side effects from caffeine such as jitteriness and sleeplessness.
With Nettle Tea, however, you don’t have to worry. As such, this makes it an unmistakably excellent choice of Tea before bed.
How to Make Nettle Tea
When it comes to “how to make Nettle Tea”, you have two options. Either you buy our quality-assured Nettle Tea or opt for harvesting your own.
While the latter choice sounds easy enough, it’s essential to note that there’s always a chance you’ll get stung in the process. For this reason (and many more!), going with The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company will always ensure safety.
Whatever you decide, follow these steps:
- When using harvested nettles, cut the leaves with as little stem as possible.
- Either put freshly cut nettles into a saucepan or, if using our Tea, into a Filter.
- Pour fresh water into the saucepan and bring to a boil. This eventually removes the sting. Alternatively, use a kettle when making our simple and easy Herbal Tea.
- With fresh nettles, allow it to infuse for 5 to 10 minutes before straining and pouring into a cup. With Nettle Leaf Tea, infuse for the same time.
Upon your first sip, expect a sublime herbaceous taste with minty hints. Although some choose to add lemon or even blend it with Peppermint Tea, most serve it without any accompaniments.
All that’s left, then, is to sit back, relax and enjoy your brew, all the while experiencing Nettle Tea benefits.
Where Can I Get Nettle Tea?
Now that you know the facts, it’s time to taste the Tea! But did you know there are choices? Indeed, here at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, we stock several blends to include nettle leaves.
Detox Fruit Tea is one such example, an infusion of unparalleled character and charm. Its ingredients include Mulberry, Milk Thistle Tea, Sencha Green Tea, Ginger, Dandelion, Lavender, Rose and Lemongrass, as well as a handful of fruits.
Combined, they make for a match made in heaven. What’s more, and as the name suggests, this beverage has detoxifying abilities.
Then there is Free and Easy Tea, which is another excellent choice. As well as boasting Nettle Tea, it consists of Fennel, Strawberry Leaves, Camomile, Orange Peel, Apple Pieces, Ginger, Cinnamon, Lime Blossoms, Orange Blossoms and Cloves. Best of all, it tastes as good as it sounds!
Finally, we have our delicious, invigorating Feng Shui Tea. This particular blend is harmony in a cup. Among other ingredients, it has Apple Pieces, Goji Berries, Dragon Fruit, Lemongrass, Orange Peel, Carrot Flakes, Cornflowers and Marigold, as well as Blackberry, Eucalyptus and Nettle Leaves.