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11 Benefits of Nettle Tea and How to Prepare it

 11 Benefits of Nettle Tea and How to Prepare it

“When in doubt, usage nettle.” Spoken by renowned herbalist David Hoffman, this bit of wisdom has benefitted my family more times than we can count. ( Read Gladstar, Rosemary (2012)) categorized as Nature’s Multivitamin since it contains so many nourishing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) supports a wide variety of essential functions in our body system".

Now, if you’ve ever encountered it in the open, you may possibly not be sure you want nettle in your kitchen. As an individual who regularly felt its sting growing up, I have it, however in this article, I’ll dive into why I now consider it an essential part of my First Aid + Natural Remedy Kit, and why you should also.

Let me as always,  point out that none of these statements have been evaluated by the FDA, this article is maybe not medical advice, and it is not designed to diagnose or treat any condition. Please talk along with your healthcare provider about any herbs you are looking at. Now that we’ve taken care of that, let’s dive in.

What is nettle?

Stinging nettle’s scientific name, Urtica dioica, originates from the Latin word uro, which means “to burn,” because it’s covered in tiny, stiff hairs that cause a short-term burning sensation when it gets in contact with skin.

Happily for us, cooking or drying out nettle deactivates the formic acid that causes the stinging sensation, making us to only use the other nutritive compounds that it consists of. That’s not to imply that the formic acid isn’t considered therapeutic by some – studies have shown that it can be used topically to relieve joint discomfort. ( Read Johnson, Tyler  et. al. (2013)(Rayburn, Keith et. al. (2009))

Originally indigenous to Europe, Asia, and North Africa, nettle is now discovered globally including  North America and New Zealand. The leaves and roots have a long history of use as conventional medication, food, and natural product for making textiles.

11 Benefits of Nettle Leaf Tea

Despite nettle’s sting, most herbalists will search relentlessly for a yearly supply with this valuable organic tonic.” JJ Pursell, The Herbal Apothecary

Nettle contains so many beneficial compounds that it’s impossible to list them all here, but here are some most noteworthy ones and exactly how they benefit the human body:

#1. Mineral Rich Support for Healthy Hair, Bones & More

Minerals are the spark plugs of our body system. They operate as cofactors for enzyme reactions, contract and relax muscles, transfer nutritional elements into our cells and conduct messages from our nerves along side other jobs like forming the framework of our bones and regulating the body PH.

Nettles leaves contain a multitude of minerals including magnesium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, chromium, manganese, copper, selenium and silica. (Read  Pedersen, M. (1987). Nutritional herbology: A reference guide to herbs.)

Because  it contains vital cofactors for building bone – nutrients D and K, for instance – it’s often recommended by herbal healthcare specialists to support strong, healthy bones.

“Nettle is filled with nutrients which can be important for healthy hair, bones, and teeth,” writes Rosalee de la Foret, writer of Alchemy of Herbs. She adds that it has “approximately 2,900 mg of calcium for each 100 grams of the dried leaf” that is “easily absorbed by our anatomies (that is not the situation in regards to calcium supplements.)”

When my son broke his wrist, I made him a Bone Support Tea with nettle, another mineral-rich herb called oatstraw, and peppermint leaf (for flavoring) to help him recover fast and completely.

#2. Contains Antioxidants that Help counteract Oxidative Stress

We all know that excessive quantities of free radicals – which our bodies produce as byproducts of metabolism – cause oxidative anxiety that can lead to accelerated aging and several infection processes. Luckily, as this Live Science article places it,

"Antioxidants are able to offer an electron to a free radical without becoming destabilized by themselves, therefore stopping the free radical chain reaction. ‘Antioxidants are natural substances whose job is always to clean up free radicals. Just like fiber cleans up waste products into the intestines, antioxidants clean up the free radical waste in the cells,’ said Wright.”

Nettle is rich in a wide variety of constituents that operate as antioxidants, including lutein, Vit C, polyphenols (caffeic acid, kaempferol, quercetin, coumarins), and pigments (provitamin A beta-carotene, luteoxanthin along with other carotenoids). (Read: Upton, Roy (2012) Stinging nettles leaf (Urtica dioica L.): Extraordinary vegetable medicine )

Studies indicate that consumption can in fact raise blood levels of antioxidants. (Read:Behzadi, Alidad Amiri  et. al. (2016) Effects of Urtica dioica supplementation on blood lipids, hepatic enzymes and nitric oxide levels in type 2 diabetic patients )(Read: Telo, Selda et, al. (2017) Effects of Stinging Nettle (Urtica Dioica L.,) on Antioxidant Enzyme Activities in Rat Model)

#3. Body System Detoxification

Many individuals think of detoxing as one thing you do on rare occasions, perhaps utilizing the help of green smoothies and a restrictive diet. In truth, detoxing is a critical function that takes place every moment of each day within the cells of your body. The easiest method to promote healthy detoxing is to give regular support to your major detox organs e.g, the liver, and the kidney to do their work well.

Nettle supports many detoxification organ systems, including the liver, lungs, and urinary tract.” Rosalee de la Foret, Alchemy of Herbs (Read: De la Foret, Rosalee (2017) Alchemy of Herbs)

Medical herbalist David Hoffman agrees, saying that “Throughout Europe, nettle is utilized as a spring tonic and general detoxifying treatment.” (Read: Hoffman, David (2003) Medical Herbalism)

#4. Nettle as Energy Giver

Herbalists often recommend using nettle regularly to help increase energy levels. While nettle assuredly works in numerous means, I surmise that its high nutrient level is really what helps create more power.” (Read: De la Foret, Rosalee (2017) Alchemy of Herbs)

#5. Combating Seasonal Allergy Discomforts

Nettle is abundant with flavonoids like quercetin, which studies suggest may help the stabilization of mast cells (the immune cells that release histamine). (Read: Horowitz, Randy (2018) Integrative Medicine)

You’ve probably heard about antihistamines before – the over-the-counter medications which are sold to relieve sensitivity symptoms (sometimes called hay fever or sensitive rhinitis).

To comprehend just how histamines work, think about your human anatomy as being a bath tub, histamines as water as well as your ability to break them down as the drain.

When our bodies encounter lawn, cedar, pollen, mold, ragweed, pet dander, dust mites along with other airborne substances, our immune system often see them as invaders or toxic irritants that need to be dealt with. It then induces the release of histamines which increases blood flow to the affected region, causing inflammation, symptoms like sneezing, and often the production of mucus.

The sneezing/coughing/mucus mechanism helps clear the irritant away and histamines job is done, so that your body breaks it down . . . . frequently.

Sometimes, though, the body’s drain is clogged or the human body over-produces histamine. By supporting the stabilization of mast cells (which produce histamine) and assisting with detoxification (more on that below), nettle is known as a go-to by numerous herbalists for easing seasonal discomfort.

In addition, it includes an alkaloid compound called synephrine that is used in conventional Chinese herbal medication for seasonal ailments. (Read: Bakhshaee, Mehdi et al. (2017) Efficacy of supportive therapy of allergic rhinitis by stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) root extract)

#6. Reproductive Health Booster

“Because of its nutritive properties and positive results on the liver, nettle can be an excellent tonic for the reproductive system of both gents and ladies.” (Read: Gladstar, Rosemary (2012) Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs)

Nettle is definitely used to nourish the adrenal glands, which are often put to the test through the pregnancy and postpartum period.

It’s also thought to decrease the discomfort of labor and birth and nourish the kidneys, which have the effect of cleaning the extra blood required to sustain maternity. (Read: Susun Weed. Herbal Allies for Pregnancy Problems )  

JJ Pursell, author of the Herbal Apothecary, also lists it as a galactagogue, or herb that boosts breastmilk production.

Note: Some sources state that nettle shouldn't be consumed by expecting females because it can cause uterine contractions. However, The Botanical Safety Handbook – which really is a trusted source for evidence-based herbal information – lists it as having “no identified concerns to be used during pregnancy or lactation.”

Many midwives and herbalists actively encourage nettle leaf intake during pregnancy simply because they believe it nourishes and tones the uterus in preparation for birth. It’s included in many pregnancy teas offered by respected organic companies.

#7. Nettle as Immune Booster

Nettle supports the production of both red and white blood cells, which help keep the blood, body, and immune system functioning well. (Read: Franciskovic, Marina et al.. (2017) Chemical Composition and Immuno-Modulatory Effects of Urtica dioica Extracts)

It’s also rich in vitamin C, which based on this study supports “various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system.”

Our bodies don’t make vitamin C, therefore the only way to optimize amounts is through nutritional intake. Heat typically destroys it, but this study found that steeping stinging nettle leaves for ten minutes in water at a temperature of 122 - 140°F  optimally removed the vitamin C while keeping it intact.

#8. Helps in Carbohydrate Metabolism

Nettle plants have an ingredient called urticin that aids blood glucose metabolism. In animal studies, it’s been proven to optimize the capacity to handle blood sugar spikes throughout a glucose challenge test, leading to more balanced blood sugar levels. (Read: Dar, Sabzar Ahmad (2013) Pharmacological and toxicological evaluation of Urtica dioica)

Studies in humans have found similar effects. (Read:Kianbakht, Saeed (2013) Improved glycemic control in patients with advanced type 2 diabetes mellitus taking Urtica dioica leaf extract )

#9. Healthy Heart Functionality and Blood Pressure Control

Nettle is a rich supply of potassium, which helps maintain healthy blood pressure by stimulating the release of sodium via urine and easing tension within the walls of bloodstream vessels. (Read: Medical News Today. What can people do to lower diastolic blood pressure?)

A study showed the use of nettle for eight weeks had a positive effect on HDL cholesterol levels (the “good kind”l) and nitric oxide levels. (Read: Behzadi, Alidad Amiri et. al. (2016) Effects of Urtica dioica supplementation on blood lipids, hepatic enzymes and nitric oxide levels in type 2 diabetic patients)

Nitric oxide is just a vasodilator, which means that it relaxes the inner muscles of your blood vessels, causing them to widen. This vasorelaxation effect increases blood flow and lowers tension within blood vessel walls.

#10. Natural Skin Treatment

Nettle is used both internally (as tea or a health supplement) and externally (as a topical skin infusion) to soothe skin irritations, especially in acne-prone or eczema-prone skin.

The nettle tea recipe below may be dabbed on the skin having a cotton ball into the in an identical way that you would apply an astringent. However, as with all skincare services and products, it’s recommended that you apply it up to a small area of hidden skin area, until you're sure you don't have skin sensitivity or allergic reaction to nettle before applying it on a more conspicuous area.

#11. Hair Rinse

Because of its high mineral content (especially silica) and ability to encourage blood flow, nettle leaf tea may also be utilized as a hair rinse to encourage thickness and shine.

In order to use it, brew the tea below and allow it to cool, then pour it over your own hair after shampooing. Wrap your head in a towel and invite it to infuse for 15-20 minutes, then rinse and condition if desired.

Does Nettle Tea Have Any Part Effects?

Despite its ‘sting,’ which can most absolutely leave big, sore welts, nettle is generally speaking considered an incredibly safe, edible medicinal plant.” – Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs

In line with the Botanical Safety Handbook, 2nd version, it’s a Safety Class 1A herb – the safest rating feasible. It's been described as:

  • “Herbs that may be safely consumed when used appropriately.
  • Reputation for safe traditional usage
  • No case reports of significant adverse events with a big probability of causality
  • No significant adverse events in medical studies
  • No identified issues for use during pregnancy or lactation
  • No innately toxic constituents

Poisoning related to excessive use is not a basis for exclusion using this class.

Minor or self-limiting negative effects are not bases for exclusion with this class”

The handbook notes that no medication or supplement interactions was identified (during the time of the book) in clinical trials, situation reports or animal trials. I don't know of any that have been identified after publication, either, but some herbalists think it might possibly interact with some medications.

As an example, in Medical Herbalism David Hoffman writes that “Internal use may theoretically decrease the efficacy of anticoagulant medications.” (8)

Also, it may raise the effect of some medications. Nettle is known as a mild diuretic, this means it helps the body get rid of excess fluid and salt (aka water retention). If you’re on a prescription diuretic, nettle may enhance its results and potentially lead to dehydration.

Bottom line: If you’re on blood thinners, hypertension medication, diuretics, diabetes medicine, or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), talk with a doctor if you’re considering nettle. (Read: St. Luke’s Hospital. Possible Interactions With Stinging Nettle)

Also, if you’re using  fresh nettle leaves, consider that “It is not suggested that nettle leaves be eaten after the plant has gone to flower/seed.” (8)

Nettle Leaf Tea Recipe (Nettle Infusion)

Nature's Multivitamin – nettle tea – contains antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that support detox, energy, seasonal allergy relief & more.

Prep Time 5 minutes

Steeping Time 15 minutes

Total Time 20 minutes

Servings 1 cup

Calories 2kcal


1 cup water

1-3 tsp dried nettle leaf (or 1-3 tablespoons fresh nettle leaf)


Place your tea in an infuser basket – I love this mug because it comes with an infuser basket and a lid. It holds 16 ounces, so if you happen to pick one up you'll want to double the recipe.

I don't have an infuser basket, no problem. Make the infusion, then strain the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into your mug.

Boil the water and pour it over the herbs. Cover with a small plate (or a tea cover if you have one) afterward, allow the tea to infuse for 10-15 minutes.

Remove the infuser basket and sweeten the tea with honey, maple syrup, as you desire.


David Hoffman, the author of Medical Herbalism, recommends that you prepare nettle infusions by steeping the herb in boiling water for 10-15 minutes. With this approach, you will be able to optimally extract some of the hard-to-get beneficial compounds such like tannins.

However, if you want to focus on preserving vitamin C content, use water did not boil, between 122 -150°F (boiling is 212°F), and steep for 10 minutes.

As a person, I get vitamin C from a wide variety of sources, so I focus more on extracting the other polyphenols, amino acids, minerals, and pigments that are present.

Long Infusion Instructions

To prepare an infusion that extracts more of the minerals, fill a quart-sized heat-proof jar about 1/4 full of dried nettle. Pour boiling water into the jar until the nettle is covered and the jar is mostly full. Stir, cover with a lid and let steep for 4-8 hours, then strain and drink.


Calories: 2kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 16mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 99IU | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg

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