Allergy season seems to be especially bad this spring with more and more people suffering from allergies even while on allergy medications that are supposed to block symptoms and offer relief. So I decided to do a little bit of research to find alternative methods that are said to offer relief from seasonal allergies. One particularly interesting home remedy that I discovered and plan to try is stinging nettles. Nettle leaves can be steamed and eaten in salads and pastas or used in teas. Folklore has long praised their healing powers. Due to the natural composition of nettle, drinking stinging nettle tea can actually relieve allergic reactions to common pollen as well as relieve hives caused by allergic reactions to plants. Stinging nettles tea is often used to treat respiratory and urinary problems as well as aid in the recovery of conditions such as eczema, asthma, sinusitis and rhinitis and can help to diminish susceptibility to the common cold.
To create a tea comprised of stinging nettle leaves, prepare as you would any other herbal or loose leaf tea and pour 6-8 oz. of boiling water over one Tablespoon of dried organic nettle leaves. Allow to steep 10-15 minutes, sweeten if desired and enjoy. To create an infusion, boil one quart of water and pour over 1oz. of dried nettle leaves allowing to steep four hours to overnight, then strain and consume. Alternately, you can also purchase a natural nettle extract made with a 2:1 ratio from fresh nettle leaves. Or you can buy nettle leaf capsules if you dislike the taste of stinging nettle.
Even more interesting than helping to reduce nasal allergies, is the assumption that nettles can also help to naturally prevent osteoporosis. It’s believed that the silicone naturally present in stinging nettle helps to increase bone density. Crafting a hand blended tea using equal parts horsetail, oat straw, alfalfa and stinging nettle and drinking a cup everyday can offer preventative care. Simply steep one Tablespoon of blended herbs in 6-8 oz. of boiling water for 10 – 15 minutes, strain, sweeten if desired – I love the natural sweetness of the stevia plant – and drink.
Overall however, nettle leaves are rich in nutrients our bodies need and contain many essential minerals including iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Nettle is approved by the German Commission E for internal and external use in the support of inflammation. It is prized for it’s diuretic properties and it’s support of the lower urinary tract and can help to prevent and treat urinary tract infections. However, as with any herb, you should avoid stinging nettles if pregnant. As stinging nettle does act as a diuretic and can lower blood pressure, you should consult a doctor before using stinging nettle if you are taking diuretics or other drugs meant to lower blood pressure.
Also be sure to try my natural home remedy for nasal congestion by crafting your own natural Breathe Easier Salve.