Nettle Tea is a concoction made from the leaves of the stinging nettle brewed in hot water known for its many health benefits and especially, considered to be absolutely safe for children. The use of the tea was well known in the medieval ages although the origin can be traced back to the Bronze Ages. The stinging nettle and its uses in the form of a tea had been documented by the Anglo Saxons while the court physician of King James I was believed to have used it as an antidote for poisoning.
The plant is also found growing wild in many parts of the United States although it is commonly believed to have been introduced to the country. The Nettle tea is used for curing fevers and chills and as an expectorant as well as a restorative drug for kidney ailments along with the expulsion of worms from the body.
Commonly Used Ingredients and Preparation of Nettle Teas
The dried leaves of the Nettle plant or ready-to-use tea bags are usually used to make the tea. However, the benefits along with the taste and aroma are much more pronounced when the tea is infused with fresh leaves.
Boiling hot water is usually poured on a handful of Nettle leaves and the tea is brewed for about 10 minutes. It is then strained into individual cups and served without any kind of sweeteners added o it.
Serving Suggestions for Maximizing Nettle Tea Benefits
The hot tea is served ideally without any sweetening agent. However, a teaspoonful of honey can be used according to individual preferences.
Brewing Nettle tea with spring or distilled water is recommended in order to avoid contamination by chlorine which is often present in tap water.
Iced tea infused with Nettle leaves is refreshing in summers. A stronger tea can be brewed by allowing the liquid to remain infused with the leaves overnight before straining and consuming it.
Common Nettle Tea Benefits
- Lowering blood pressure - Tea made with nettle leaves is recommended as a diuretic and for decreasing hypertension. The tea along with other herbs is often prescribed by physicians in Germany and other European countries to lower high blood pressure.
- Common Cold & Influenza- Nettle tea has proved to be extremely beneficial in clearing up chest congestion and runny noses during common cold. A hot cup of the tea can also alleviate the symptoms of influenza and has a soothing effect on sore throat.
- Prostrate Enlargement- the tea brewed with Nettle leaves or root can be very effective in treating prostrate enlargement. It is an approved form of treatment in Germany.
Side Effects of Tea with Nettles
- Adverse Drug Reactions- It is not recommended to be consumed along with diuretic drugs, codeine or acetaminophens as it can cause depression, sedation and excessive lowering of blood pressure. It is particularly dangerous when taken with lithium as it may cause toxicity.
- Allergy- The tea may cause irritation of the gastric lining in people with ulcers. It may also cause allergic reaction in some people especially those who suffer from ragweed allergies.
- Blood related Problems- The tea contains of Vitamin K which may cause the blood to coagulate if consumed in excess.
Nettle tea was believed to be a fertility drug during the Medieval Ages.