Herbal Teas – Part 4

Urtica dioica

Constituents: Histimine, formic acid, acetylcholine, serotonin, glucoquinones, many minerals (incl. silica), vitamins A, B, C, tannins.

Actions: Astrigent, diuretic, tonic, nutritive, stops bleeding, circulatory stimulant, promotes milk flow, lowers blood sugar levels, prevents scurvy.

Nettles take minerals, including iron, from the soil and the aerial parts are a good tonic for anemia; high vitamin C content in the plant helps ensure that the iron is properly absorbed. Clears uric acid from the system to relieve gout and arthritis, and the astringency stops bleeding. (131) CGTMH

Said to reduce Rheumatic problems, stimulates the digestive system and promotes milk flow in breastfeeding women. Used for excessive menstruation flow and blood in urine. (191) THB

Good for asthma, chronic and acute urinary complaints, urinary stones, nephritis, and cystitis. Nettle also used for helping with diarrhea, dysentery, hemorrhoids and chronic arthritis and rheumatic problems. (202) TWOH

Nettle is considered to be an herb that is “rich” in calcium, iron, and numerous other vitamins and minerals.  It is an herb that is recommended for pregnant women who have low energy or suffer from chronic fatigue.  Nettle aids as a diuretic, to eliminate excess water from the body. This herb is considered a pregnancy “Tonic”, which stems from Native American usage as a pregnancy tonic, a preventative of hemorrhaging after birthing, and energy restoration after childbirth . (177) HHFW

It is an anemia preventative, reduces varicosities, and decreases the likelihood of hemorrhaging during childbirth. TNPB

Nettle will expel phlem from the lungs and stomach; clean the urinary canal, valuable for diarrhea, dysentery, piles, as well as inflammation of the kidneys.  IHONA

Nettle is known to increase male and female fertility, will assist in the rebuilding of kidney function as well as kidney stone removal. Eases leg cramps and muscle spasms.  High in Calcium, vitamin K. WWHCBY

VITAMINS AND MINERALS: The tea is a good source of Iron, Calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Vitamin A


Gladstar, Rosemary. (1993) Herbal Healing for Women. Fireside Books: New York.

Hutchens, Alma R. (1991) Indian Herbalogy of North America. Shambhala: Boston.

Lust, John. (1983) The Herb Book. Bantam Books, NY

Ody, Penelope. (2000) Natural Health: Complete Guide to Medicinal Herbs. Dorling/Kindersley Lmt.: London.

Romm, Aviva Jill.  (2003) The Natural Pregnancy Book: herbs, nutrition, and other holistic choices. Celestial Arts: Berkeley

Tierra, Michael. (1990) The Way of Herbs. Pocket Books: New York

Weed, Susan S. (1986) The Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year. Ashtree Publishing; Woodstock NY

Herbal Teas – Part 1


Herbal infusions are made with the “aerial parts”  of the plant. This would be the leaves, flowers, or “fruits”.  Generally, for most infusions you would heat your water to boiling, then add your plant matter to the water.  At this point, you would cover and let it steep 5-15 minutes.

For herbs used in pregnancy, the time allotted is a bit different.  You would want to let it steep a minimum of 2 hours. Some teas are better having been allowed to steep up to 8 hours.

If you can afford it, buy a good 4-6 cup teapot.  It makes this longer brewing process much easier.  You can also buy or make a “tea cozy” (a padded warmer for the tea pot) or wrap the teapot with a heavy kitchen towel. It will keep the hot water warm for a longer period of time, to allow for the longer steeping time frame.

If you are making a brew with roots, bark, nuts or seeds…you would bring the water to a boil and then turn down the heat. Let it simmer for at least 30 minutes or until 1/4 to 1/3 of the water is gone.  This allows for the hot water to extract the portion of the roots, bark, or seeds that you need. This is called a: decoction.

For this set of discussions, you are going to use the infusion method.  This method works best for the teas I will be discussing in the next four blogs. The next four blogs will be information on the teas most recommended for women during the childbearing years. They are highly recommended for pregnancy, but can be a beverage to drink before and after pregnancy as well.

All the herbs recommended are packed with nourishing vitamin content.  The herbs are good for the body and good for the growing baby!

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