purple dead nettle tea

Purple Dead Nettle Tea: Brewing the Perfect Cup

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Making tea from purple dead nettle is a delightful way to enjoy the benefits of this often overlooked plant. It’s a simple process that connects us to the tradition of using local, wildcrafted herbs for health and pleasure. 

This article will walk you through making purple dead nettle tea from harvesting, methods of preparation, benefits, and precautions. You’ll find everything you need to brew the perfect cup.

If you’re interested in the broader uses of purple dead nettle, you might find my other article, “Wildcrafting Purple Dead Nettle for Food and Medicine,” useful and informative. In this article, I delve deeper into the many ways this plant can be incorporated into our lives.

purple dead nettle - purple dead nettle tea

Harvesting Purple Dead Nettle

The best time to harvest purple dead nettle is in early spring when the plants are young and vibrant, just before or during their flowering stage. This is when the leaves are most tender and the medicinal properties are at their peak. Look for lush, green plants with vibrant purple tops. Always harvest from clean, unpolluted areas, well away from roadsides and chemical-treated lawns.

When harvesting, gently pinch off the top two to three inches of the plant. This part is the most tender and flavorful, ideal for making tea. Be mindful as you forage, taking only what you need and leaving plenty behind for the bees and for the plant to continue its growth cycle.

purple dead nettle

Benefits or Purple Dead Nettle Tea

Purple dead nettle tea, with its subtle, earthy flavor, is not just a delight to the senses but also a boon to our well-being. This humble “weed” packs a surprising array of benefits that can support our health in various ways. Let’s explore some of the wonderful advantages of incorporating purple dead nettle tea into our routines:

  1. Natural Antihistamine Properties: One of the most celebrated benefits of purple dead nettle is its ability to act as a natural antihistamine. This makes it a valuable ally during allergy season, helping to ease symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose. Its gentle action supports the body without the drowsiness often associated with over-the-counter allergy medications.

  2. Anti-inflammatory Effects: The anti-inflammatory properties of purple dead nettle can help soothe internal inflammation, which is at the root of many chronic conditions. Drinking the tea may provide relief from conditions like arthritis, where inflammation plays a key role in pain and discomfort.

  3. Supports Digestive Health: Purple dead nettle tea is known to be gentle on the digestive system, making it a great choice for soothing an upset stomach. It can help alleviate minor digestive issues like bloating, gas, and indigestion, promoting overall digestive wellness.

  4. Rich in Nutrients: This plant is a treasure trove of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C, iron, and fiber. Drinking the tea can be a simple way to introduce these essential nutrients into your diet, supporting overall health and vitality.

  5. Antimicrobial Properties: Research suggests that purple dead nettle possesses antimicrobial properties, which can help the body fight off certain types of bacteria and fungi. This makes the tea a supportive drink for the immune system, especially during cold and flu season.

  6. Skin Health: The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects of purple dead nettle extend to skin health as well. While drinking the tea can provide internal support, using the tea topically as a rinse or in skincare formulations can help soothe skin irritations, acne, and other minor skin issues.

  7. Supports Women’s Health: Anecdotal evidence suggests that purple dead nettle may have benefits for women’s health, particularly in regulating menstrual cycles and easing premenstrual symptoms. However, more research is needed in this area to fully understand its effects.

  8. Detoxifying Properties: Purple dead nettle is believed to have mild diuretic properties, which can aid in flushing toxins from the body. This gentle detoxification can support kidney health and contribute to a feeling of overall well-being.

  9. Calming Effects: Like many herbal teas, purple dead nettle tea can have a calming effect on the mind and body. It’s a wonderful beverage to enjoy in the evening to unwind after a busy day, promoting relaxation and a sense of calm.

It’s important to remember that while purple dead nettle tea offers many benefits, it should be consumed in moderation and not as a substitute for medical treatment. As with any herbal remedy, individual responses can vary, so it’s wise to listen to your body and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or pre-existing health conditions.

purple dead nettle tea

Preparing Purple Dead Nettle Tea

You can make purple dead nettle tea with either fresh or dried leaves and/or flowers. The process is quite simple and, for me, a way to connect with the natural rhythms of the season.

Using Fresh Leaves & Flowers

  1. Rinse the Leaves: Gently wash the harvested nettle leaves and flowers under cool, running water to remove any dirt or small insects.
  2. Steep: Place a handful of fresh leaves and flowering tops (about one cup) into a teapot or directly into a mug. Pour boiling water over the leaves, enough to cover them completely (about one to two cups).
  3. Infuse: Let the leaves steep for about 10 to 15 minutes. The longer you steep, the more potent the flavor and herbal properties will be.
  4. Strain and Serve: Strain the tea into a cup to remove the plant material. If desired, you can sweeten the tea with a bit of honey or enjoy it plain to savor the subtle, earthy flavor.

Using Dried Leaves and/or flowering tops

  1. Dry the Leaves: If you’re starting with fresh leaves and/or flowers, you can dry them by laying them out in a single layer on a clean surface, away from direct sunlight. Allow them to air dry until completely devoid of moisture, which can take a few days.
  2. Store: Once dried, store the leaves and flowers in an airtight container, away from light and moisture.
  3. Brew: To make tea from dried leaves and/or flowers, use about one tablespoon of dried leaves per cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 to 15 minutes, then strain and enjoy.
purple dead nettle tea

Consumption and Precautions

Purple dead nettle tea can be enjoyed daily, especially during the spring months when allergies are prevalent, thanks to its natural antihistamine properties. However, as with any herbal remedy, it’s wise to listen to your body and give it breaks now and then.

While purple dead nettle is generally considered safe for most people, it’s always prudent to start with small amounts to see how your body responds. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult with a healthcare provider before adding new herbal teas to their routine.

Final Thoughts

Making and enjoying purple dead nettle tea is a wonderful way to connect with the cycles of nature and incorporate the healing power of wild plants into your life. Remember to harvest responsibly and with gratitude for the gifts these plants offer us. Whether you’re sipping this tea for its health benefits or simply for the joy of trying something new, you’re participating in the age-old tradition of living in harmony with the natural world.

Grab Your FREE Purple Dead Nettle Monograph Pages

purple dead nettle monograph

Disclaimer: outdoorapothecary.com is informational in nature and is not to be regarded as a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. While we strive to be 100% accurate, it is solely up to the reader to ensure proper plant identification. 

Some wild plants are poisonous or can have serious adverse health effects. We are not health professionals, medical doctors, nor are we nutritionists. It is up to the reader to verify nutritional information and health benefits with qualified professionals for all edible plants listed in this website.  The information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the guidance of your qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.

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