Top 10 Stinging Nettle Tea Benefits

Stinging Nettle Tea Benefits

Stinging nettle is named quite accurately. The small plant with fierce looking leaves is found in parts of North America, Africa, and Asia and is covered in tiny hairs that inject chemicals when touched, producing an uncomfortable sensation of stinging. Despite this obvious hazard, the plant has long been used for both food and medicine and is considered a good source of fiber. Its spinach like flavor and powerful punch of beneficial nutrients such as A vitamins, potassium and more have led to its widespread use in pestos and pastas amongst other things. Stinging nettle tea benefits for health involve brewing, not eating, the plant’s tender leaves.

Stinging nettle can be found in some stores or available to purchase online. But, it’s also easy to find for people living in parts of the world where the plant grows. Harvesting the nettles requires careful care however, and gloves and clippers or scissors should be used to avoid getting stung. Once the leaves have been collected, they can be used in a wide variety of herbal tea recipes that are easy to make. Though popular when combined with other herbs and spices, many prefer a simple, stinging nettle tea recipe involving little more than the nettles and water. A handful of the leaves can be brought to a boil and then simmered for about five minutes. The mixture should be strained before enjoying. The little stinging hairs the plant is known for will be removed during the simmering process.

There are naturally occurring chemical compounds in stinging nettle that are thought to have anti inflammatory and diuretic properties. The leaves also contain a component called mucilage which has numerous applications throughout the body. This compound, along with carbonic acid, ammonia and formic acid all likely are responsible for the long list of supposed stinging nettle tea benefits, ten of which can be found here.

1. Urinary Tract Infections: Perhaps one of the best known uses of stinging nettle is in urinary tract infections, where the plant’s diuretic properties may help flush the urinary system by producing more volume and encouraging evacuation. The plant is certainly considered a natural diuretic, but its true treatment capabilities on UTIs are still unproven.

2. Osteoarthritis: Surprisingly, the single application that stinging nettle has been studied and proven in may be the one most people have never heard about. Stinging nettle tea benefits may include inflammation reduction, and it’s likely this action that has led to the herb’s success in studies involving people with osteoarthritis who found a reduction in pain when using the herb, some to the point of requiring fewer medications.

3. Hay Fever: When the tiny hairs on the stinging nettle unleash their force on the skin of an unwilling victim, they inject a chemical called histamine. Perhaps this explains the herbal remedies’ past use for hay fever and other allergies, although there is not enough evidence to support the plant’s use in this purpose.

4. Diabetes: It may be the purported circulation effects that have led to the use of stinging nettle in persons with diabetes, or the plant’s supposed effects on blood control levels. Whatever the source, stinging nettle tea benefits have long been thought to include some use in diabetics. However at this time, there is no scientific evidence to support this notion, just a history of alternative and anecdotal usage.

5. BPH (Benign prostatic hyperplasia): There has actually been extensive study into the effectiveness of stinging nettle on BPH, but results have been largely conflicting. Some have found a symptom reduction as a result of including the constituents of the plant in treatment, while others have found the opposite. With more research however, it’s not unlikely that some stinging nettle tea benefits for BPH may be uncovered, likely related to the plant’s effects on the urinary tract.

6. Bronchitis: The use of stinging nettle in cases of bronchitis and laryngitis are probably related to the plant’s contained mucilage. This element is thought to help soothe and coat the mucous membranes of the body which can reduce irritation and inflammation. There are many natural mucilaginous compounds found in nature, and historically they have been used for a wide variety of respiratory ails.

7. Tendonitis: Although there is little to no evidence to support the use of stinging nettle in cases of tendonitis, the thought that the plant might be effective does have some medical basis. Since stinging nettle tea benefits include reducing inflammation, it’s not too farfetched to understand how these effects may positively impact the condition.

8. PMS: The way in which stinging nettle may affect the symptoms of menstruation are unclear, but it is thought that chemicals in the plant may interfere with chemical and hormone production within the body. Much more study will be needed however to fully understand these effects and why the plant has been used in folkloric medicine to treat PMS symptoms.

9. Water Retention: Stinging nettle is a known, natural diuretic which is what has led to the plant’s use in a wide variety of urinary and kidney related conditions and ailments, most of which lack supportive scientific credibility. However, as a simple, natural diuretic used to reduce excess body water, the plant is thought to be a mild and effective alternative to over the counter products.

10. Skin Problems: Most of the use of stinging nettle in dermal related issues relates to external application of poultices or salves made with the leaves. But, stinging nettle tea benefits do have some properties that may benefit the skin when taken orally, which may include certain skin conditions that are characterized by inflammation.