Have you ever heard of Nettles (also known as Stinging Nettle)? This amazing humble herb has been known to be helpful from everything from allergies, benign prostate enlargement and autoimmune disorders like Hashimoto's.
Nettle leaves are rich in minerals, vitamins and amino acids. They have also long been revered for their anti-allergic effects and have been taken by many to control seasonal allergies. Due to the high content of minerals and vitamins, many people report that their energy increases when taking nettles, and they may also have benefit for the immune system. This gentle tonic has been reported by many with chronic inflammatory conditions to improve pain and reduce inflammation.
Nettles leafs do not have caffeine and many children and adults alike report the taste to be "pleasant and herb-y". Because nettles are easy to find, mild in taste and simple to add into the diet, nettle tea is my go to allergy home remedy for kids when spring time allergy season starts! I also find it helpful for kids that have mild year round allergies. Nettles can be consumed hot or cold, and can also be mixed with other teas like peppermint or fruit teas to taste.
Nettle seeds can also be helpful to the thyroid glad as literature dating all the way back to the 1850's notes that "nettles are a key remedy for a big neck" and today nettle seeds are still used to help nourish the thyroid gland, reduce weight and help with goiters.
Nettle leafs are often much easier to find than nettle seeds, and I have had many patients over the years find that drinking nettle leaf tea is enjoyable and also helpful for their thyroid symptoms.
Nettle leaf tea is found at any health food store in prepackaged tea bags, however, you can make a stronger brew when you find the nettle leaf in bulk- often available at health food stores or herbal stores.
And, although nettle tea can be consumed hot, you will obtain the most nutrients from the tea if you let it steep overnight. After this process, you will notice the tea takes on a rich dark green colour due to the high mineral and nutrient content.
Nettle Tea Recipe
makes 1 litre
3-4 tbsp dried stinging nettle leaves
1 litre boiling water
The juice of 1/2 lemon (this helps to bring out the nutrients in the nettle, but this part is optional especially for kids that do not like the taste of lemon)
Put all ingredients in a large tea pot, clean coffee plunger or 1L glass jar (ensure it is heat proof!). Allow the mixture to steep overnight and then strain and drink at room temperature or re-heat on the stove top. After steeping the tea, you can store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.