Nettles are traditionally used for support for seasonal allergies, and I find them a great pick-me-up. But I don’t love their flavor on their own. When paired with peppermint, this easy tea makes a wonderful hot OR iced tea.
There is a wealth of foods and herbs that have been traditionally used to boost health and nutrition. I’ve long found both the research and the traditional wisdom found with herbalists fascinating. I’m always inspired to include more herbs after reading up on their benefits.
The people in my family report that nettles really do seem to be helpful for calming down their seasonal allergies, though we use supplements as well.
Three supplements we use are: (As always, talk to your health care provider about supplements/dietary concerns)
- This homeopathic remedy
- Chewable Quercetin (for the kids)
- Aller-Essentials (A friend’s health care provider suggested this, and it seems to really work!)
I have been thankful to work with an herbalist years ago, and then more recently an N.D. who used herbs to treat certain health issues I was having. I found it really helpful. In those cases, I was taking them in strong supplement form. Today, I want to share a gentler version, not for treating anything but simply getting some of the nutritious benefits of one super-herb, nettles.
Nettles (that is, stinging nettles, or common nettles) have been used for centuries. According to WebMD, it is used for anything from nosebleeds, internal bleeding, to treat anemia, poor circulation, enlarged spleen, diabetes, stomach acid, asthma, lung congestion, and more. I’m not sure how valid all of those uses are considering studies are rarely done on herbs, but we do know this is a very nutritious plant.
Infusions (in the form of herbal teas, or overnight infusions) is not only one of the simplest ways to enjoy herbs, but it’s also effective and gentle. Plus, I love knowing that this method of using herbs has been used for centuries. And nettles are a great place to start for those wanting to get their feet wet in the herbal world.
I use my French Press coffee maker to make herbal teas. It makes the process so easy!
Other Healthy Tea Recipes:
- Another traditional herbal tea is this one using Rosehips and Hibiscus, which have their own benefits!
- Lemon Mint Tea — This recipe using whole lemons and gives a zap of flavor
- Lavender Lemon Balm Tea — Perfect for stressful times.
- For on the go herbal teas, you can try out these herbal tea crystals from Pique Tea. These are also great for bringing on vacation! Use my partner code: NourishingGourmet for 5% off.
By the way, I also share a nettle broth in my cookbook, Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons that uses fresh nettles too.
- I like to make my tea in this press (which we use for coffee too). It makes it all very simple! If you are using a jar, using heat-safe ones are a must.
Cautions (Source: WebMD): As always talking to your health care provider is always a good idea. Nettles may cause uterine contractions, so isn’t advised for pregnant women. It can lower blood sugar; so if you already have low blood sugar, or have diabetes, you may need to monitor your levels and talk to your doctor. Likewise, it may lower blood pressure, so if you have any issues there, talk to your doctor because consuming on a regular basis. It’s also a diuretic, so kidney issues are a concern. If you are on any medications, please check this interaction list. For the peppermint, it can decrease milk supply in nursing mothers. However, nettles were traditionally used to support and increase milk supply.
To Make it Iced: You make it double strength, steep for the same amount of time, then pour over ice. My kids like this recipe iced with a drizzle of honey and cream.
- 2 tablespoons of dried nettles
- 2 tablespoons of dried peppermint leaves
- Pour 4 cups of hot water over the nettles and peppermint. Steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain and enjoy. I find it best plain.
- 1 ounce of dried nettles
- Place nettles in a quart sized jar. Pour over hot water and lid. Let steep for 4 hours, to overnight. Strain well, squeezing nettles to remove the extra liquid. Refrigerate. Will keep for a couple of days.
Other beverages on TheNourishingGourmet:
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“When in doubt, use nettles” – herbalist David Hoffman. There are not too many studies done on nettles but the evidence presented forth by both herbalists and the everyday user is astounding. Nettles pack a punch. You don’t need webmd to tell you that 😉 I was recently at a talk by Susun Weed where she sang high praise of the plant and reinvigorated my love of it. It is an ally for women and humans in general!
I love that! “When in doubt, use nettles.”. I certainly feel the happy effects of them! Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂
Can fresh nettles be used?
Janice, You can steep fresh nettles, for sure. You do need to make sure that you steep for at least ten minutes though, to get rid of the “sting”. 🙂
judee @gluten free A-Z Blog
This is a great article. Thanks for all of the informative information. Unfortunately, I am prone to low blood sugar and low blood pressure so I might be afraid to try it.. It looks delicious though..
Thank you for your informative responsible and thorough post, unfortunately I am in the same boat as Judee, I have scary low blood pressure and wild blood sugar fluctuations so I would be too worried to try Nettle Tea. I was so interested in them after hearing Susun Weed share how wonderful they were. Now I know they are not for me. I am very grateful for all that you shared, you cared enough about us to not only share on side. Thank you.