When consuming herbs for their medicinal value, it is always important to consider the side effects. While herbs are a great source of nutrition and can be used to treat medical ailments, they sometimes come with short-lived, undesired effects. Nettle is no exception. As a herbalist and naturopath, I believe the nettle tea side effects are induced by part of its medicinal value. But nonetheless, they are a little uncomfortable.
There are always two sides to the coin.
Even drinking alcohol – which almost everybody in the world loves to do – comes with the dreaded hangover. So – we pay a price for everything.
Let’s have a look at some nettle tea side effects you can expect from drinking it.
In another article, we talked about the detoxifying effects of nettle. That is because it does a lot of work in the kidneys, bladder and gastrointestinal tract.
Which means that if you’re using higher doses of it, you might experience mild stomach pain and nausea. If this is the case, decrease the dosage to a point that you feel comfortable with. In any case, there is no reason for alarm. The body is simply expelling unnecessary metabolic waste.
Nettle really is a powerful herb for detox. So much so, it can put you on the toilet quickly. If you have a lot of waste building up in your insides, nettle is going to help you flush it out. Diarrhea is one of those unwanted symptoms that are part of its healing power.
Don’t be deterred.
Some people use nettle as a laxative, so it’s not unusual to experience this symptom. Don’t let it deter you from the detox that is coming to your body.
Miscarriage: Not likely, but possible
Nettle makes it into just about every pregnancy tonic on the market because it is loaded with nutritional benefits that are great for pregnant women.
There is the possibility of uterine contractions when consuming nettle, which can lead to a miscarriage. In any case, it is extremely unlikely to miscarry because of nettle use.
Some specialists recommend using nettle in the last two trimesters of pregnancy rather than in the first when everything is still quite sensitive. If you have any doubts, wait until after pregnancy to use nettle – it is a great nutritional source once the baby is born!
Lowers blood pressure
One of the components of nettle is potassium. It dilates the blood vessels, making blood flow easier through the tiny capillaries. However, for those who already experience low blood pressure, the consumption of nettle tea can exacerbate it.
Be mindful of your general blood pressure status before using nettle. Those who have normal or high blood pressure are not at risk of this issue.
The most obvious side effect of touching fresh nettle?
It’s not called stinging nettle for no reason, fellow herb lovers. If you’re handling fresh nettle, be very careful. The little hairs on the back of the leaf sting when touched and can cause redness, swelling, itchiness and a rash.
This issue is easily mitigated. If you’re using fresh nettle in cooking, simply wear gloves while you are handling it. Once it’s blanched or boiled in tea, the sting is removed.
Having said that, there are some indigenous tribes in South America that use the sting for therapy. The gentle tapping of nettle on the skin is used remedially, treating the affected area in a kind of unusual way.
So don’t worry, the sting won’t last for too long, and any swelling or itchiness will subside within a couple of days.
Always be aware of your health condition before using a herb and consider for what reason you are using it. You might find that the side effects are signs that the herb is doing exactly its job.