As a tea-lover, I’m always on the hunt for a new aromatic blend that I might not have heard of before — and it offers some worthwhile health benefits, even better! Nettle tea in particular has been on my radar lately because besides tasting delicious, it helps reduce inflammation and control blood sugar.
What is nettle tea good for?
As you might guess, nettle tea is made using, well, nettle (also called Urtica dioica)! A perennial herb that’s native to North America, Europe, South America, and Asia, nettle is made into tea by steeping its leaves for around five minutes. The result? A powerful health-boosting brew!
Nettle tea is loaded with antioxidants, and over time, drinking it can really pay off. A 2018 review of studies published in the journal Molecules found that nettle leaves contain natural compounds including α-linolenic acids, tannins, and carbohydrates. Those are responsible for helping to boost the antioxidant activity in nettles — a key benefit that helps eliminate disease-causing free radicals from your body.
Research published in the International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences also notes that the natural compounds found in nettle leaves have anti-inflammatory properties. The study authors say that because of this, nettle leaves are often used to treat inflammation-related conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism, and allergic rhinitis.
A heaping helping of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory protection in a tasty drink sounds like a win-win. But the benefits of drinking nettle tea don’t stop there! A 2013 study published in Clinical Laboratory suggests nettle tea can also help control blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes. Participants took one 500 mg. nettle extract capsule every eight hours for three months alongside their traditional blood glucose medicine. Researchers credit the nettle extract for improving participants’ blood sugar levels by the end of the study period.
Can’t wait to try nettle tea? It’s important to keep a couple things in mind before brewing up a mug of this warming drink.
What are the side effects of nettle tea?
You can buy nettle tea in stores and online. (One to try: Good Nature Organic Nettle Tea, Buy from Amazon, $4.99). But first, consult with your doctor to ensure that you don’t have a nettle allergy. The experts at Medical News Today say a severe allergic reaction may lead to anaphylactic shock, requiring immediate medical attention.
Symptoms of anaphylactic shock include the following:
- Swollen airways and tongue
- Difficulty breathing
- Rapid heartbeat
- Clammy skin
- Loss of consciousness
If your doctor gives you the go-ahead to sip nettle tea, go ahead and steep yourself a cup with a dash of honey to balance out the grassy and earthy flavor. (As an added bonus, you can use nettle tea to reverse hair thinning and boost the growth of your strands!)
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