Natural nettle tea has been used in medicine and cosmetics for several thousand years. In many cultures, nettle was also attributed magical effects. Today, nettle infusions are successfully used to treat urinary tract problems, infections and as a weight loss aid, even by pregnant women. Discover the benefits of nettle tea and how to make a homemade hair rinse from dried nettle leaves.
Nettle grows wild on nearly every continent. It is most often found in thickets and moist woodlands, but it has also adapted to rooting in more fertile soils transformed by man. The highest growing nettle can be found in the Himalayas at 4800 m above sea level.
Apart from cases of severe allergies, nettle burns are not dangerous to health, but only unpleasant. Nettle is a European native plant that has become naturalized throughout the United States.
Since ancient times, nettle has been used in medicine and cosmetics. According to Roman mythology, powdered nettle seeds mixed with honey and drunk with wine were supposed to act as an aphrodisiac, while nettle whipping for rich men was supposed to restore their will to live.
Nettle appeared in almost every culture. It protected Vikings as well as 19th-century Polish peasants from lightning, evil spirits, and witches. It also protected against diseases and evil looks and was said to provide male offspring.
What do nettle tea infusions help with? Applications
Today, nettle tea is just as popular, although its effects are much better researched and tested. Nettle tea is recommended for all kinds of inflammation, infections, allergies (except for nettle allergies, of course), kidney disease, and inflammation of the urinary system, as it has a diuretic and cleansing effect.
It speeds up metabolism, so the tea infusion is readily used as a natural weight loss aid. Besides, nettle contains plenty of minerals and vitamins, so it is used to strengthen hair and nails, both in liquid and tablet form.
Stinging nettle contains:
- Vitamin A
- B vitamins
- vitamin C
- Vitamin K
Can you drink nettle tea infusions while pregnant?
Nettle may be contraindicated during pregnancy. A 2015 study notes that nettle may affect your menstrual cycle and could contribute to miscarriage. The BirthCenter.com however reports that when combined with red raspberries it may be safe. Raspberry prevents miscarriage and hemorrhage, decreases morning sickness, and reduces pain in labor by toning the muscles of the uterus.
Interestingly, nettle infusions are also indicated after childbirth – the tea stimulates milk production. In addition, it helps remove water from the body faster and speeds up metabolism, so young mothers can get back to their weight faster and safely.
Nevertheless, every pregnant or breastfeeding woman should consult her doctor about whether there are any contraindications to using this natural booster. Nettle is also used to combat menopausal complaints.
Where to buy nettle tea?
Although you can buy express nettle tea in almost every supermarket, it is worth remembering that the richest in vitamins and minerals are teas brewed directly from dried leaves. Where to buy nettle for tea? Dried leaves are available at better herb stores and online tea or herb stores.
The price of nettle tea is not exorbitant. For a 100 g portion of dried nettle, we pay from 10 to 20 PLN, depending on the origin of the leaves and the manufacturer’s prices. Such a portion is enough for about 40 cups of brew.
Nettle can also be harvested on its own, but it is important to choose a suitable location away from car traffic and other human activities because, like other plants, nettle also absorbs lead and other harmful substances. The leaves are harvested in April and May when the plants are still young and full of valuable ingredients. After washing, spread them out on paper in a dry, airy place. Depending on the conditions, drying can take several days.
How to brew nettle tea?
Pour 2 teaspoons of dried leaves per 200 ml of water into a teapot. Pour water at a temperature of about 95 degrees Celsius and leave it covered for about 5-6 minutes. After this time, separate the leaves from the infusion.
Not everyone immediately likes the taste of nettle tea, so you can improve it a bit by adding your favorite additives – sugar, honey, lemon, or fruit, or by brewing together with a small amount of another intense herb, such as – mint or licorice.
Nettle tea for hair – rinse recipe
Nettle infusions applied regularly directly to the hair reduce their greasiness, give them shine, and strengthen them. Pour 200 ml of water over two tablespoons of dried mint leaves and set aside to brew for 5 minutes. Separate the leaves from the infusion and set them aside to cool.
After washing, towel-dry your hair and then pour the nettle rinse over it, while gently kneading it to allow the infusion to be better absorbed. Do not rinse your hair. Wrap a towel around your hair for a few minutes, comb your hair and leave it to dry naturally. The rinse should be used twice a week.