Nettle Infusions For Asthma, Allergies, Constipation, Adrenal Fatigue And More!

Nettle infusions are simple to make, and a great way to provide your body with nutrients it desperately craves. There are so many nettle infusion benefits that you just have to make this nourishing herbal remedy a part of your normal routine!

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. The nettle infusion recipe is that simple–1 tbsp dried nettle leaves for each cup of water, steeped for 4+ hours. Click here to print the recipe.

In the morning, 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. You do not have to warm it, but we prefer warm tea.

Nettle Infusions Is A Natural Healer

Why we started drinking nettle infusions

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! (Click here to source dried stinging nettle leaves.)

Nettle Infusion Benefits

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 in your system wreaking havoc on your body. 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.

What can be done if I don’t like how nettle infusions taste?

You gotta just drink it anyway! Just kidding.

Nettle leaf infusions have an earthy flavor, but it is not overpowering. A great way to make nettle infusions more palatable if you’re not a huge fan of the taste is to mix with another tea. Peppermint and ginger are great choices. Of course, you can also sweeten with a little raw honey or maple syrup.

Conclusion

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!

Nettle Infusion Recipe

Course: Beverage, Natural Remedy
Keyword: Tea/Infusion
Servings: 1 person
Author: nourishingtime.com

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp dried nettle leaves

Instructions

  • Bring water to boil in a small saucepan.
  • Add dried nettle leaves
  • Cover and allow to steep at least 4 hours, and up to 8 hours.

Notes

Using fresh nettle leaves: If you are lucky enough to be able to source fresh nettles, you can use approximately 1/4 cup and steep for a bit less time if desired.
Drinking hot vs. cold: This is purely a personal preference. I prefer warm tea so re-heat before drinking. Some people prefer cooled tea, or even iced tea.
Sweetener: I drink my infusion unsweetened, but you can add raw honey, maple syrup, or other suitable sweetener if you prefer.
You can also add another herb for flavor, such as peppermint, spearmint, ginger, etc.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Milk Kefir: Food From The Gods

I have read about milk kefir extensively and consider it something that we should all have in our daily lives, barring an allergy/intolerance of course. Milk kefir when fermented properly is very low in lactose, my son who is still lactose intolerance can drink it without issue. It may also be OK for some who are intolerant to dairy proteins, as the proteins are pre-digested by the kefir grains and easy for our bodies to absorb properly.

Milk kefir has a very interesting story and no one is really sure where it came from. A story has been passed down for generations that it was given to the people who inhabited the Caucasus Mountains by Mohammed, who also taught them how to use the culture.

Since beginning to drink kefir, I have experienced sounder sleep, increased energy, better elimination and an overall feeling of well-being.

Milk Kefir In Mason Jar

Highlights Of Milk Kefir

It is a potent probiotic capable of strengthening the immune system

It contains many strains of beneficial bacteria and yeasts that are especially helpful in rebalancing the gut and creating vitamins like biotin, folate and B6, as well as K2. Probiotics help us naturally cleanse our systems and absorb nutrients better. It can greatly help with digestive disorders including IBS and Chron’s. Probiotics are also known for helping with depression, ADHD and autism.

It has anti-cancerous properties

It is high in essential vitamins and minerals necessary for the body to repair itself, reduces tumors1 and has the antioxidant CLA which is a very beneficial also higher in grass-fed milk2. CLA has been noted for its effects on breast tissue, and therefore kefir should be a regular part of anyone’s diet who is at increased risk for breast cancer.

It has the correct form of folate

Folate deficiencies have been getting quite a bit of attention lately, and with good cause. The folic acid in fortified grains are not healthy, and those with MTHFR mutations may experience severe health issues from including these unhealthy products in their diet. It actually tricks the body into thinking it has real folate and can complicate the body systems that need it, including the detoxification system. This is one of the factors that leads to lip ties, tongue ties and even autism. The folate in milk kefir can further be increased by doing a 2nd ferment.

It is a great source of healthy, saturated fat and protein

It is full of essential amino acids that are very easy for our bodies to absorb. The saturated fats and cholesterol in healthy animal foods such as dairy are important for fertility and proper brain development. For this reason, it is best to make kefir with full-fat milk… I even add extra cream! Animal fats are the best sources of vitamins A, D, E and K2, which are essential for healthy babies and optimal health.

The minerals it contains are bioavailable

It is primarily high in calcium and magnesium, which are necessary for many important functions in the body. Vegans will argue that the best source of calcium is spinach and nuts, but this simply is not true. Much of the minerals in plant foods are bound to anti-nutrients such as oxalates, which can actually cause kidney stones and a whole host of other issues, including tooth decay. Especially when not getting enough K2–which is difficult without animal fats!

It is very EASY to make!

All you need are kefir grains, a glass jar and milk. It doesn’t even have to be raw milk, but preferably it will be FULL FAT, NON-UHT milk.

Sources: 1, 2

My Thoughts on Fermenting Anaerobically

When I discovered WAPF about a year and a half ago, the concept of traditional foods really clicked. I knew instinctively that this sort of lifestyle was the best to give my son a healthy start in life. I was not familiar with fermenting foods and don’t think I had even tried any other than yogurt. Unless you want to count faux-ferment vinegar pickles! But I got my Nourishing Traditions book and I was ready to get started! I tried beet kvass and shredded ginger carrots in 1/2 gallon mason jars and because we were dairy-free at the time, I added extra salt. Even with the extra salt, I don’t think things went right. Funky smells, awful textures, kahm yeast on top…yuck. I searched far and wide for information that would help me make ferments that we’d actually be happy to eat. Around the same time, all the talk of anaerobic fermentation came about, and I said, “hmm… could that be my problem?” I didn’t know, but I decided to start saving for some of those Pickl-It jars.

In the meantime, a kind lady in my local mom’s group gave me a gift of water kefir grains. I made water kefir with a paper towel on top. It didn’t smell particularly good (very yeasty) and I had to flavor it to be able to drink it, but I figured our health was worth it. As soon as I could afford the fancy jars, I bought 3 of them. I tried making beet kvass and shredded ginger carrots again. They didn’t smell bad, but I didn’t particularly like them. My son loved the ginger carrots. I have a sister who has actually had ginger carrots before so I let her try it and she said, “Mmm, these are the best!” I quickly branched out to fermenting other things, and pretty much all of them have been a success. I also started brewing our water kefir anaerobically…and it smells, tastes and fizzes much better!

When you begin to love fermenting things like I do, you might start running out of jars all too often. This was the case several times. Our local Marshall’s started selling Fido jars for a relatively good price, so I bought a few more. I’ve brewed water kefir with a regular Fido lid, and I’ve also made dill carrots and sauerkraut with it. I much prefer both with an airlock! The water kefir was very bubbly, but smelled stinky. The dill carrots didn’t smell very pleasant and tasted “off,” so I just stuck them in the fridge–they did eventually smell and taste better. The sauerkraut I left to ferment for 12 weeks. It smelled horrible and it was mushy! The sauerkraut I make with an airlock smells and tastes great and has an awesome crunch, just like the day I put it in the jar.

I was lucky enough to get to try a Boss Pickler recently, and have nothing but rave reviews. I’ve been limited with what I can ferment and store because of the 2- and 3-piece airlocks. I was only able to hold up to a 2L jar with the mini airlock, or a 1L jar with the large airlock in ONE part of the fridge. Because the Boss Pickler’s airlock valves are so small, I am able to hold a 3L in the area of the fridge I used to use for fermenting, 1L jars in THREE(!!!) other sections!

Many bloggers have stated fermenting anaerobically is the way to go for optimal nutrition. It is a big source of debate, but I would choose fermenting this way based on taste and having virtually no spoilage any day! I love the confidence that my ferment will not spoil even though I’m in hot and humid Florida with house temps averaging 80oF!