It's important to read up on possible nettle tea side effects and precautions if you've been thinking of adding this flavorful, healthful herbal tea to your (or your family's) day.
Nourishing nettle tea offers a multitude of wellness benefits and is a strengthening tonic for our bodies and minds. Whether you're looking to balance your mood, ease hay fever symptoms, show your hair some love, or provide your body with a boost in antioxidants, vitamins, or minerals, nettle tea may be a great choice for you.
Teas (both traditional and herbal) are such enjoyable, beneficial beverages, we tend to forget that not every tea is necessarily the best choice for each of us. Be sure to stay informed about the wellness benefits, as well as any potential concerns, of any new-to-you tea (including stinging nettle tea).
Here are some potential nettle tea side effects and precautions it's good to be aware of.
As with any tea you're just getting to know, introduce nettle tea to your diet slowly, until you know whether it's a good fit for you. Some people do experience tummy troubles (like upset stomach or diarrhea) or another mild reaction to nettles, so start out with a small portion of nettle tea, and watch for any indications that your body doesn't like or want this tea (like runny nose, itchy skin, or watery eyes).
There is a very good reason why nettle is also called "stinging nettle" or "burn nettle" - both humans and animals experience moderate to severe skin irritation, itch, inflammation, and even blisters when coming into direct skin contact with fresh nettle leaves.
So, if you're harvesting (or if you've been given) some nice fresh nettle leaves for making nettle tea, please ensure you wear thick gloves and long sleeves while you're handling it. If you are stung by a nettle plant, try to resist the urge to scratch. Instead, wash the area gently with water and soap, and apply a soothing, natural anti-itch treatment (like calendula cream or a chamomile tea bath or compress) to calm the irritation.
Once fresh nettle has been soaked, cooked, or dried, it loses its stinging chemicals and can be handled and eaten safely. (Don't ingest the fresh plant.)
| Related: Harvesting Peppermint for Tea
Already a nettle-tea lover, or thinking of adding this nutritious herbal tea to your tea routine? If you're currently taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications or other herbal remedies, have a chat with your primary care provider first about any potential nettle tea side effects or possible interactions. (This is especially important if you're being treated or are taking any medications for diabetes, blood pressure, or kidney concerns.)
Also, nettle tea is well-known as an effective remedy for various respiratory concerns, such as hay fever, allergies, and mild asthma, but it's important that you check with your naturopathic doctor or another healthcare provider before adding nettle tea to your asthma or allergy treatment routine.
While some sources recommend nettle tea as a beneficial pregnancy tonic, other sources indicate that nettle tea should be avoided during pregnancy, as it may stimulate uterine contractions (potentially bringing on a miscarriage).
If you are expecting a little one, please pay a visit to your primary care provider and have a chat with her or him about any potential cautions and concerns with teas (including nettle tea) while you're pregnant, just to ensure you're keeping yourself and your baby safe and healthy.
| Related: Tea for Moms and Tots on Pinterest
Various sources suggest that nettle tea may promote lactation. If you're a parent or parent-to-be with questions about breastfeeding, check with your trusted healthcare professional about whether nettle tea is a safe, beneficial choice for you and your baby.
Herbal teas (like nettle) are such delightful, healthful beverages... Chockfull of benefits, they can support and enhance good physical, mental, and emotional wellness in a multitude of ways.
Even with all those wellness benefits, when you're adding a new tea to your day (simply for enjoyment or as part of a specific treatment plan or wellness goal), be sure to stay informed about the tea and use your good common sense, too. And, of course, your qualified herbalist, naturopath, or another healthcare provider is a great source of information for any questions you may have (about potential nettle tea side effects and concerns, for example).
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