A balanced lifestyle is fast being replaced by a culture of “all work and no play “. Such a hectic lifestyle often gives rise to health issues. The most common response is to pop pills, but as a matter of fact, the key to healing ailments lie in imbibing natural herbs and spices.
Ayurveda has been extolling the virtues of using such herbs and spices to cure many health issues and one of the best ways of consuming herbs, is to prepare a concoction by steeping herbs in boiling water. This mixture is termed as “herb tea”.
Of late, there has been a lot of buzz around a most unusual herb called the “stinging nettle“, yet what is astonishing is that the use of nettle can be traced back to 3rd century BC. Though, it is usually regarded as an unwanted weed, nettle has many qualities that can help heal a plethora of health conditions.
What is Nettle?
The stinging nettle (UrticaDioica) is a plant and its leaves, though covered with prickly bristles are rich in vitamins and minerals including calcium, potassium,magnesium, iron, Vitamin A and Vitamin C(it contains 17 essential nutrients). It is commonly found in USA and Canada. The most convenient way to ingest nettle is to steep nettle leaves in boiling water and obtain a concoction similar to hot tea. Nettle leaves are available in health and natural food stores. It has been found to be an excellent blood purifier and also helps ease the symptoms of stomach and liver infections.
How to Brew Nettle Tea?
Nettle leaves (a handful for fresh nettle leaves and 2-3 tablespoons of dried nettle leaves) need to be steeped in 4 cups of boiling water for up to 10-15 minutes. The concoction should be strained and honey or sugar may be added to sweeten the brew.
10 Amazing Health Benefits of Nettle Tea:
1. Clears Nasal Congestion and soothes sore throats
The hot and soothing brew clears nasal passages and loosens the mucus buildup. Organic honey may be added to provide relief from sore throats.
2. Eases Allergy Symptoms
Nettle tea is an easy way to alleviate allergy symptoms like sneezing, itchy and watery eyes which are often associated with hay fever. Nettle has no side-effects that are usually induced by drugs.
3. Relieves Stress
The imbalance in the levels of calcium and magnesium in the body leads to stress. Nettle is an excellent source of both calcium and magnesium (more than even spinach), which help balance out any deficiencies and relieve stress.
4. Provides iron to combat Anemia
Nettle is a herb which functions like a green leafy vegetable. It contains ample amount of iron. Hence, nettle tea can help in balancing iron deficiencies.
5. Ensures a hefty dose of nutrients to lactating mothers
Nettle tea acts like an effective galactagogue. It supplies ample nutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals to the mother, which ensures nourishing milk for the infants. Nettle tea is also renowned for its properties of increasing the milk supply in lactating mothers.
6. Reduces water retention
Nettle tea acts as a blood purifier and helps ensure the flow of water to kidneys and the bladder. It alleviates water retention and also acts as a diuretic.
7. Subdues inflammation
Nettle tea is an elixir for lessening aches and pains associated with inflammation. Chronic inflammation has also been found to be the culprit for various cardiovascular diseases. Regular consumption of nettle tea reduces inflammation and helps prevent the onset of heart diseases.
Nettle tea is also beneficial for arthritis symptoms like swelling and stiffness of joints. Topical application of this tea is also effective for arthritis aches and pains.
8. Maintains Dental Health
Nettle contains vitamin C, which ensures that the epithelium or the gum lining remains healthy and bacteria free. It also helps in the production of collagen, which keeps the teeth stay tight to the gums.
9. Regularizes Kidney functions
Phosphorus in conjunction with Vitamin B ensures healthy kidneys. It helps in reducing stone crystals, dissolves kidney stones and lessens the incidence of urinary tract infections. Nettle is rich in phosphorous and the increased consumption of nettle tea will provide relief from the symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection or UTI and increase the production of urine.
10. Assuages Postmenopausal symptoms
The calcium contained in nettle tea helps relieve symptoms of bloating, pain and mood swings, which are the common post-menopausal symptoms.
While drinking nettle tea is extremely beneficial, it is essential to proceed cautiously prior to including nettle tea in the regular diet. It is always advisable to consult a doctor before consuming this tea, to rule out any risks associated with allergies, medical interactions and side effects.
– It has been observed in some instances that nettle may decrease the blood sugar for diabetes patients.
– Stinging nettle has also been observed to lower blood pressure and increase urine flow.
These conditions should be monitored closely.
– Nettle tea may interact with diabetes medicines and lower the blood sugar beyond acceptable levels.
– Similarly, it may also interact with Blood pressure medicine and lead to dangerously low blood pressure levels.
– Nettle tea also interacts with antidepressant medicines, diuretics and blood clotting medicines. It is essential to consult a practitioner to understand these interactions.
– Pregnant women and lactating mothers should practice caution before having any herbs and refer to a doctor for the safe dosage.
Nettle tea is extremely beneficial and packs a punch without any harmful side effects, yet the pros and cons of consumption of this tea need to be appraised. It is surely a delicious and convenient way of addressing any nutritional imbalances and deficiencies, as well as, providing safe remedies for common ailments.