Right before bed, I usually boil a cup or two of water, add 1-2 tbsp of dried nettle leaves, turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let steep until I wake up in the morning. Then I warm it slightly and share a mug of the resulting infusion with my almost-four-year-old son. This routine has gone on for well over a year now, although we aren’t as habitual as we were at first.
I came across the idea of drinking nettle infusions to support health on the Heal Thyself! website. It was at a time when my son was suffering from constant asthma attacks and taking multiple meds, still often ending up in the hospital. Along with asthma, he suffered from digestive issues, multiple allergies, and adrenal fatigue.
The adrenal fatigue was undoubtedly from me–his nursing mama. I could barely get out of bed in the mornings, required daily naps, was overtired before his bedtime, and yet I could rarely ever fall asleep before 1-2AM in the morning. I was also struggling to keep weight on, which for me was a big problem.
I knew that many of our health issues at the time pointed to a need for more minerals. We were drinking bone broth regularly, although not daily. We were dairy-free at the time and ate plenty of vegetables, including fermented foods, but it just didn’t seem like it was enough. Our bodies needed more minerals and B Vitamins and reading about nettle infusions was like finding a long-lost friend!
The Benefits of Nettle Infusions
Two cups of nettle infusion has all the vitamins and minerals you need for a day. And, it’s in their natural, effective, complex forms; not synthetic and broken up like in pills. – Pat, Heal Thyself! (Source 1)
Nettle, also known as Urtica dioica, has been treasured for its medicinal properties for ages. It is most prized for its ability to fight inflammation and histamine. Inflammation and histamine is at the root of many conditions we typically face these days, whether it is respiratory such as with asthma, related to the muscles and joints such as with rheumatoid arthritis, or gastrointestinal, such as with IBS, Chron’s and related diseases.
Nettle leaf infusions contain a variety of B vitamins, vitamin K, and many minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese. It also has nutrients such as choline and betaine, Lutein and zeaxanthin.
It is especially high in calcium and manganese. Manganese is worth pointing out because it is another mineral we are often lacking in. Low manganese levels are associated with symptomatic asthma, PMS, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, infertility and epilepsy. It helps with calcium absorption, which is one of several reasons nettle infusions are great for those struggling with tooth decay.
Manganese is a trace mineral that is present in tiny amounts in the body. It is found mostly in bones, the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. Manganese helps the body form connective tissue, bones, blood clotting factors, and sex hormones. It also plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar regulation. Manganese is also necessary for normal brain and nerve function. – Manganese | University of Maryland Medical Center (Source 4)
Betaine is made up of choline along with three methyl groups. These nutrients are important for keeping homocysteine levels low and fighting inflammation. High homocysteine levels are strongly correlated with many health issues such as atherosclerosis, blood clots, kidney disease, thyroid problems, impaired memory and psoriasis. Elevated homocysteine levels are more common in people with the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene mutation, which affects folate processing and is further impaired by synthetic folate supplements.
The magnesium from nettle, as well as the properties that aid in fat digestion, help to promote bowel regularity. Constipation is a condition that we should make our best efforts to avoid because it means that toxins are backed up. Put simply, constipation promotes disease. It can also be a result of adrenal fatigue! When my son is constipated, I find he has a lowered tolerance of histamine foods, possibly because of an overgrowth of histamine-producing bacteria.
As a result of making nettle leaf infusions a regular part of our lives, we have experienced much less asthma, constipation, allergy and adrenal fatigue symptoms. This means that my son’s nose doesn’t get irritated and sneezy as much, so bloody noses happen much less often. It means that our blood sugar is more balanced so I don’t have those crazy crashes and his behavior is a bit more controlled. In general, it means that life is more enjoyable!
Need more information on Adrenal Fatigue? I recommend this book:
PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.