I have been drinking tea since I was ten years old. My mom would always put a kettle of tea on when I came home from school when I was growing up. It has been a daily habit of mine ever since. I drink it daily, consistently and repeatedly. Sipping on tea comforts me much like a warm blanket. In the winter, tea nourishes me, warms me and gets me through every minute intellectual task that I must do whether it be reading, studying, or researching. It somehow makes the tasks more tolerable.
Tea has many medicinal benefits as well. Teas are not a strong form of medicine- encapsulated forms of herbs and liquid herbs like tinctures are stronger than teas however if you want to get a mild benefit from a specific herb and you like to get more water into your body teas can be a good choice. Teas can be made from the leaves, stems or flowers of herbs. In this case, to extract the medicinal benefit, the plant parts are steeped in water that has previously been bought to a boil and then has been turned off. It may be steeped for 10 minutes or longer depending on the strength that you desire of the particular herb.
The root is another component of the plant that can be used to extract medicinal benefits from. When a root is used, to extract the medicinal substance, it is necessary to bring the root that has been sliced up to a boil and then simmer for up to 20 minutes. Common roots that are used in this method of extraction include licorice root, dandelion root and echinacea root.
Teas are rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutritive substances which nourish the body. I used to drink nettle tea when I went to Bastyr university and got my degree in naturopathic medicine. I drank nettle tea because it is a great mineral rich tonic for the body. Stinging nettles are a common weed that grow worldwide. Nettles get their name from the fine hairs on their leaves and stems that can cause skin irritation on contact. Nettle tea is rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron and vitamins such as vitamin A, C, K, and sulfur. I feel drinking nettle tea can bring a little color to your skin tone if you are pale. It is a good tea to drink if you have skin disorders such as eczema or acne. It is a blood purifier and thus conducive to detoxification.
Some of the medicinal benefits of nettle tea include it’s antihistamine effects due to its flavonoid content (quercitin) in the roots and leaves. Thus it is useful for people that suffer from allergies or inflammatory disorders like asthma. It is anti-styptic, thus reduces bleeding both internally and externally. It has some effect on reducing rheumatism through its minimal reduction of uric acid. It is thought to have some diuretic action supporting the action of the kidneys. It may provide benefit to men that suffer from BPH and help increase urine output. Because of its tannic acid content it can act as an astringent in the case of diarrhea. These are just a few reasons why I love to drink nettle tea. Steep one to two tsp in 2-4 cups of water for 10 minutes for basic preparation.
General recommendation-Herbal Teas should be avoided in pregnancy. If you are on medication, check in with your doctor to ensure there are no interactions with your meds and the tea you are drinking. Teas should not be consumed daily for long periods of times (> 2 months) without switching herbs. As with most substances, moderation is key for best results.