Stinging Nettle

© Copyright Bee Wilder, December 13, 2011

Historical Uses of Stinging Nettle

Stinging Nettle tea is a treatment used for urinary tract infections, urinary, bladder and kidney problems, urinary difficulties associated with prostate conditions, excessive bleeding of the uterus, infant diarrhea, and hemorrhoids. The root has been found to be mildly effective in treating an enlarged prostate and it was also used to treat women who did not get their periods.

Indian women drank nettle tea during pregnancy to strengthen the fetus. Also, eating the young leaves is said to improve skin complexion.

Nettle has also been effective against arthritis, and it helps gout inflammation by lowering the amount of uric acid in the blood. Nettle tea has also been suggested as an alternative to antihistamines for use against hay fever.

The dried, crushed leaf was sniffed to cure nosebleeds. Settlers also drink the tea to increase mother’s production of breast milk and as an expectorant (helps get mucus out) to treat coughs and tuberculosis. Dried nettle leaves were smoked to ease asthma attacks.

Nettle was best known as a diuretic and spring tonic, and both uses were noted by Culpeper: "Nettle tops eaten in the spring consume phlegmatic (mucous) superfluities in the body of man…"

What is Nettle?

Nettle is a common weed, which causes stinging and itching when the skin is brushed against it. Known as ‘stinging nettle,’ it has leaves with downy hairs that inject irritant chemicals under the skin.

However when the leaves are dried or cooked they lose their sting, becoming a source of a pleasant tea and nutritious cooked greens.

It is best to use fresh stinging nettle, including the stems, to make a tea, but protect your hands from the stinging while you are cutting it up. If you cannot obtain fresh nettle, use good dried nettle from the health food store.

But if you can get the roots as well it will make treatments more helpful. Drink 4 cups per day for 7 days to help urinary tract infections. Your symptoms will greatly decrease after 3 days, but continue for 4 more days.

How to make Stinging Nettle Tea

  • Boil 4 cups of filtered water.
  • Remove the water from the heat.
  • Mince (cut up finely) 4 heaping teaspoons of fresh stinging nettle (including stems, & roots if you can get them).
  • Steep 20 minutes and strain it.
  • Drink hot or cold, and it may be reheated without harming it. It will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days.
  • Drink 4 cups throughout the course of one day for 7 days, but not any longer—read the Caution below.

Caution—Do Not Drink Too Much Tea for Long Periods of Time

Do not continue drinking 4 cups of tea for long periods of time, past 7 days, since it is diuretic, meaning it makes your body lose water along with important minerals. Ensure you are getting plenty of minerals by having at least 1 teaspoon of ocean sea salt (that contains over 84 minerals) per day.

Ensure your drinking water and water used for cooking is from a natural source like "true" Spring water or regular tap water filtered by a charcoal filter like Brita or PUR, that filters out chlorine and other contaminants but not all of the natural minerals from Nature.

Do not drink distilled or reverse osmosis water since all of the natural minerals are removed and they can leach minerals from the body. Also, do not drink softened water since it is high in sodium that is extremely diuretic, making your body lose water along with important minerals.