A stinging nettle is a herbaceous flowering plant that originates from Europe. However, nowadays, it’s cultivated globally.
Known under the scientific name Urtica dioica, stinging nettle is part of the Urticaceae family.
This plant boasts noticeable rhizomes and stolons which grow widely and have a bright yellow color, similar to the roots.
The stems and leaves have tiny stinging hairs which inject several chemicals when you touch them, including serotonin, histamine, and formic acid. As a result, our skin becomes irritated, swollen, and red.
The leaves of stinging nettle are often brewed to make tea and this tea is praised for a long list of health advantages.
What’s more, the oil extracted from nettle stems has been used for topical application to relieve hair loss and encourage hair growth since ancient times.
Stinging nettle has been used throughout the centuries to treat gout, painful muscles, anemia, and eczema. And, it has long been a staple in alternative medicine for the treatment of back pain, and its use dates to ancient Egypt.
If you’re still unsure why you should include stinging nettle tea in your diet, keep reading to learn more. We’ll share the 13 best health advantages this plant has to offer!
The 13 Scientific Health Advantages of Stinging Nettle Tea
- Betters your eye health
Stinging nettle is abundant with vitamin A and beta-carotene. These two nutrients are pivotal for optimal eye health and help reduce the risk of eye illnesses.
A study published in Food Science and Nutrition found that the leaves of nettle contain ten times the amount of beta-carotene found in barley and wheat. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant present in red and orange foods.
It keeps our eyesight healthy by maintaining the cornea moist and healthy. Vitamin A is also essential for a healthy and clear cornea which helps us see better even when the light conditions aren’t ideal.
- Lowers inflammation
Inflammation is part of the healing process of the body. The inflammatory cells go to the injured area where there is a virus or bacteria and release white blood cells to fight against the infection.
But, the problem happens when the inflammatory cells stay in that place for too long and contribute to chronic inflammation.
This type of inflammation has been associated with numerous health issues like joint aches, rheumatoid arthritis, and eczema. Stinging nettle can help with excessive inflammation and numerous animal and human studies have found it beneficial against inflammation.
This is because it possesses anti-inflammatory compounds and can decrease inflammatory hormones and alleviate pain and discomfort, especially when topically applied to painful areas.
- Encourages detoxification
Stinging nettle tea has a lot of great compounds inside that promote body detoxification. As it acts like a diuretic, it will help you remove neutralized toxins easier.
What’s more, nettle tea consumption will help your gut absorb nutrients better and optimize the digestive processes.
This is important because a healthy and well-functioning digestive system lowers the risk of buildup of toxins.
- Protects the female health
Nettle tea contains active compounds that are good for female health.
The astringent properties decrease the blood flow during menstruation and stinging nettle consumption also helps alleviate cramps and bloating during menstrual bleeding.
What’s more, it can be of aid for women in menopause because it alleviates the transition and eases the hormonal pressure in the body.
- Alleviates aches
The tea from stinging nettle may help you relieve pain because it possesses anti-inflammatory characteristics. You can also drink stinging nettle tea to relieve headaches and chronic joint aches caused by arthritis.
Topical application of stinging nettle may also help with pain. Namely, in a study done with 27 patients with osteoarthritis pain, the group who applied a stinging nettle leaf onto the painful area every day for seven days experienced less pain than the placebo group.
- May be of aid for enlarged prostate
Enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia is a common problem for a lot of elderly men.
This health issue isn’t cancerous and it doesn’t increase the chances of prostate cancer.
In an animal study, stinging nettle was found to be able to prevent the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone and reduce the symptoms associated with enlarged prostate.
Dihydrotestosterone is a potent form of testosterone that has been associated with hair loss and other health issues.
- Decreases the risk of infections
Thanks to the antibacterial, antiulcer, and antimicrobial characteristics, stinging nettle may help lower infections.
Consuming stinging nettle tea was found to be effective in reducing the risk of infections, according to a study published in Ethnopharmacology.
- May avert kidney stones
As it’s a potent diuretic, stinging nettle may be of aid for the prevention of kidney stones and may alleviate other urinary health problems.
Flavonoids, anthocyanins, and saponins are antioxidants that are known to possess anti-inflammatory advantages.
These compounds can also lower the formation of oxalate and calcium deposits in the kidneys.
- May alleviate hay fever symptoms
Hay fever or allergic rhinitis is known for causing unpleasant symptoms like congestion, runny nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing.
People who suffer from seasonal allergies struggle with the symptoms the most when the seasons change, for example, when winter ends and spring begins.
The grass and trees and other plants are growing and tiny pollen particles are released into the air.
These particles cause irritation and inflammation in the nasal cavity of some people and this is known as seasonal allergy.
Stinging nettle tea may relieve the symptoms by averting the inflammation causing the symptoms. What’s more, it may also block the histamine receptors and avert the immune cells from making chemicals that promote allergic reactions.
- Protects the cardiovascular health
Stinging nettle tea, according to research, may keep the heart healthy by reducing the risk of blood clots and hypertension.
Science notes that the phenolic compounds in this tea are effective in preventing coronary illnesses. By consuming this tea on a regular basis, you will decrease heart strain and reduce blood pressure.
- Helps in the management of blood sugar
In animal and human studies, stinging nettle tea was found to be effective in the management of blood sugar levels.
This is because the stinging nettle plant contains certain compounds capable of mimicking the positive influence of insulin and decreasing blood glucose levels.
In one three-month study with 46 participants who took 500 mg of nettle extract three times per day, it was concluded that they had a more significant reduction in their blood sugar levels than those in the placebo group.
- Improves the health of the liver
Several studies have found that stinging nettle tea consumption may better the health of the liver.
This plant has antioxidant power which can prevent inflammatory damage of the liver from harmful toxins and heavy metals.
- Alleviates respiratory problems
In a clinical trial, nettle tea consumption on a regular basis was found to be helpful in relieving the symptoms of asthma in the participants.