As the world transitions to an increasing usage of herbal teas or remedies, it is good to know the many different herbal tea trends that may be doing their rounds on the internet lately.
Of late, there has been one such plant that has caught the attention of many herbal tea enthusiasts— and that is the Stinging Nettle plant.
Yes. You heard that right. The stingy plant which we once considered to be nothing but a nuisance growing in our gardens, is now one of the most extensively used plant in herbal tea remedies.
Let us learn more about nettle tea.
Nettle tea is one of the most widely consumed herbal teas in the world right now. It is made from the leaves of the Urtica dioica plant or the Stinging Nettle plant. A feisty yet highly beneficial plant, most people are still oblivious of this stinging plant’s potency, but some are already maximizing its benefits in the form of herbal tea.
Nettle tea is prepared by brewing or steeping the nettle leaves in a pot or kettle. It is important to remember that applying heat to the leaves is important as this numbs the toxins present in the needles or trichomes, thus making the herbal tea drinkable.
Nettle tea a perfect herbal remedy to ward off toxins in your body and it is also known to treat certain ailments pertaining to the urinary tract, among other benefits.
Nettle Tea Benefits
This wonder plant has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb and with time it has gradually found its way back in the form of Nettle Tea. Listed below are some of the benefits associated with Nettle tea:
Nettle tea is known to be quite excellent in handling ailments related to the urinary tract of the body. It is known to expel any hints of bacteria that may be present in the urinary tract.
However, it is always advisable to consult your doctor before consuming nettle tea as it is prone to possible side effects.
Known to maintain blood sugar
Drinking nettle tea is also known to really aid in controlling blood sugar levels in people with high blood sugar.
According to a 2013 study, in a controlled clinical trial, patients with type 2 diabetes were given extracts of nettle and showed improved glycemic control.
Relieves Arthritis, Joint Pain, and Inflammation
Using stinging nettle to relieve certain ailments such as arthritis dates back as far as the Ancient Egyptians.
As a result of its anti-inflammatory properties, drinking nettle tea may help relive some of the stress that comes with joint pain or muscle pain.
Relieves Oxidative Stress
Free radicals are known to be the direct cause for oxidative stress of the body and the answer to eliminating them lies in antioxidants. Like most herbal teas out there, stinging nettle is also known to pack in quite a punch when it comes to these cell-protecting compounds.
The stinging nettle is also known to promote good eyesight due to the presence of an organic compound known as beta carotene. This compound is what gives certain fruits and vegetables that red and yellow colour.
The beta carotene converts itself into vitamin A in the body. And we all know vitamin A is known to be very beneficial in aiding good eye health.
Nettle has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties which renders it effective in preventing infections.
Possible Side Effects of Nettle
While this plant may be wondrous for many, it is important to take heed of its possible side effects.
For instance, the stinging nettle is known to be considered as a blood thinner as a result of high vitamin A and K. Since it also reduces blood sugar levels in the body, it is advisable to not mix the nettle tea with blood sugar regulating medications.
It is not advisable for pregnant women to consume nettle tea as well as it may interfere with the birthing cycle.
How to make Nettle Tea
Nettle tea can be consumed both hot and cold. You either have to use the dried leaves or powdered form of the plant or you can simply brew the fresh leaves as well. Remember to always burn the trichomes first though.
Steeped Nettle Tea
Steeping the nettle leaves is probably the most common ways to make nettle tea. and the simple steps are given below:
- Boil a glass of water in a container.
- Let it cool for a few minutes.
- Then add a heap of dried nettle leaves to it.
- Let it steep for 3-5 minutes or longer if you like it strong.
- Give it a good mix and strain it.
- Add some honey for a hint of sweetness.
- Enjoy it warm or chilled at any hour of the day!
If you can’t get a hold of some fresh or dried leaves, Zizira has a dedicated Nettle Tea blend that you can try out.
Iced Nettle Tea
If you’re a fan of iced tea, then this recipe will definitely trigger your taste buds. Coupled with some dehydrated pineapples and some honey, iced nettle tea blend should definitely be your next recipe.
4 cups water
3 bunches of Nettle leaves (dried or fresh) or 1 tablespoon Stinging Nettle Powder (Bichu buti)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh fennel (Known as saunf in Hindi)
10 – 12 fresh mint leaves (Known as pudina in Hindi)
3 tablespoons raw honey
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Boil the water in a pot/kettle.
- Add the nettle leaves/powder to the hot water. Allow them steep for 10 minutes.
- Add the fennel and mint. Stir in the honey.
- Let the mixture cool to room temperature, then chill it in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
- Strain into a pitcher and stir in the lemon juice.
- Serve with ice.
Nettle tea might have taken the western world by storm, but it is still moving at a considerably slow pace here in India. Although people in India are using it in different ways, many are yet to discover the benefits nettle tea has on their health. But it is only a matter of time, don’t you think?