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Bring in the Tea Season w/ a Sting!: Nutrition Packed Nettle

September 4, 2012
The fall is approaching and I’ve  been getting that familiar urge I always get around this time of year which gets me through the coming winter months; it’s tea time! So I knew it was time to write about one of my favorite herbs ever, Stinging nettle!
 
A prehistoric plant that has received critical acclaim, Stinging nettle (Urtic Diocia), has been used for ages for a number of different uses.  A flowering plant of the Urtica family, the stinging nettle is naturally found in Europe, Africa, Asia, and North America. Urtica Dioica specifically is the most commonly recognized and used species of nettle. It has been used as the material for the uniforms of German soldiers in the first world war, as well being used worldwide in many rituals and superstitions for health, luck, and protection.

Nettles have incredibly powerful and beneficial medicinal and dietary properties, and are very nutritionally dense.  Not only is it very rich in chlorophyll (great for overall health), but nettles are abundant with fatty acids and amino acids. As far as minerals , nettles has calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sulfur, and zinc for a powerful combination of minerals that are vital to the body’s functions.  A vitamin B powerhouse, nettles contain vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 along with vitamins C, E, K and folate.  Nettles are packed with a host of essential phytonutrients such as lycopene, beta-carotene, caffeic acid, acetic acid, and betaine.

These naturally occurring plant compounds (phytonutrients) help prevent and treat many of the diseases in humans by preventing and reducing free-radical-induced damage to your cells and DNA.  With these nutritionally powerful properties, there’s no wonder nettles carries a sharp reputation for overall good health as a dietary supplement (pun intended because they can actually sting).

There is a saying that goes: “The sting of the nettle is but nothing compared to the pains that it heals.”  Indeed this herb has healing power. As a tea, nettles can be used to treat a number of diseases and inflammations of the urinary system.  Nettles can be used to treat anemia, asthma, allergies such as hay fever and allergic rhinitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia, cancer, diabetes, goiter, kidney problems, and malabsorption syndrome. It’s great for the kidneys, helping to expel gravel from the bladder, and dissolve kidney stones.  Nettles stimulates the kidneys to excrete more water, helping to purify the blood of toxins, metabolic wastes, eliminating viruses and bacterial infections.  Also, due to the decreases the tea causes in blood sugar levels, and subsequently the glycemic level, it is great as a tea for diabetics. The tea actually cleans out the entire intestinal tract, and activates the body’s natural defense mechanisms.  Other uses and benefits include helping with high blood pressure, anemia, skin inflammation, and more. With all of the apparent uses for nettles, there’s no wonder why this herb is such a hit with so many people who are aware of its benefits- and even more- it tastes great! Below are a few ways  you can use nettles to add great flavor and abundant health to your life one tea cup at a time. – XoXo Nicola, Signing in for Raw Girl
  • Herbal tea/tisane:  Soak fresh or dried nettle leaves in boiled water.  For a more concentrated, infused drink, use more nettles and make sure they are finely crushed, then let them sit while covered and boiling for a good ten minutes.  This can be served either hot or cold.
  • Nettle Tincture:  For a healthy and youthful hair and scalp, 6-7 fresh leaves or 2 spoons of dried plant in a half a liter of alcohol for 10 days will make a concoction that will revitalize your hair, eliminating dandruff and leaving hair silky and fresh.  Rub this at the root of the scalp.
  • Nettle Juice:For a powerful addition to your daily routine, nettle juice will provide a host of healthy and powerful benefits if added to your juicing regiment.  Just take the leaves and the stem and place them in the juicer.  Filter the paste that results from this process and you will be left with a juice that is to be kept cold in the fridge in a dark container.  Consume a half a glass before the most important meals of the day to regulate arterial pressure and straighten the blood vessels.  If you suffer from renal insufficiency and you want those kidneys to kick it back into high gear, drink one glass of this every day after waking up for 20-30 days and you’ll be feeling a major change.  Drink 1-2 glasses of nettle juice every day for 2 weeks if you suffer from anemia and de-mineralization.
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2 comments

  1. Thanks so much for this post. I’ve been making a nettle hair rinse for many years now, but I’ve never tried tea and this post inspired me to add nettles to my juice as well.



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