Nettle tea has been used to treat GI tract issues such as diarrhea but it also could potentially cause them as well.
Nettle, Urtica dioica, has a rich history and has been used for thousands of years, both as a medicine and as a source of fiber to make fabrics.
It originates from somewhere in Europe most likely, but has since spread to just about everywhere on earth.
It has been for years, and still is, used for many things such as...
- For diuretic effects
- Reducing inflammation
- Decreasing oxidative stress
- Treating hay fever
- Lowering blood pressure
- Balancing cholesterol
- Lowering blood sugar
... as well as digestive issues like...
Why It Could Help Treat Diarrhea
Much of the information able to be found on nettle's health benefits comes from medicinal use for thousands of years, rather than from scientific findings.
There is no doubt that a lack of proof exists when it comes it its many claimed benefits.
Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant properties
As a good source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, nettle may be somewhat effective in treating GI problems such as diarrhea, constipation and IBS.
It is also said to be good for gut bacteria and killing harmful parasites or worms in the gut.
But... There Is a Lack of Proof
Of course a lack of hard scientific proof doesn't meant that it doesn't work... It could just mean that it is understudied.
Nettle is generally considered safe, and even more so when it is brewed into a tea. So you should have nothing to worry about, generally speaking.
That said, there is some information out there that suggests rare side effects like upset stomach, sweating and diarrhea could occur, although very unlikely.
How Much Should You Drink?
Nettle has diuretic effects. What this means is that it helps your body rid itself of sodium and along with this goes water. This is why it is a common natural remedy for kidney health and for simulating proper urination.
Sodium pulls water out of the blood and this can reduce blood pressure, but of course you don't want too much water to leave your system.
You can drink 3-4 cups a day or more, just make sure you are drinking enough water in addition to the tea.
Tea Making Guide
1) Finding Leaves
Most people are probably going to just buy dried nettle leaves online, which is completely fine.
But if you are able to go out and pick some yourself, make sure to wear gloves and you might also want to pick the stems too, which add flavor and essential oils.
2) Preparing The Leaves
You can make the tea with dried leaves or fresh leaves. So if you've just picked some fresh leaves you are good to go. Or, if you have a bunch of leaves and want to store them for later you can let them dry and store them in a jar.
It's simple. Boil a cup of water and start out by adding about a tablespoon of nettle leaves. Let that steep for at least 3 minutes and see how you like the strength. More can be added as desired.
Is It Worth Trying?
As already mentioned, there really isn't much hard proof at all that nettle will be effective in the fight against diarrhea. However, you can choose what you want to believe. It has been traditionally used for thousands of years as a medicinal herb to treat many different problems, one of which includes GI issues like diarrhea.
The good thing is that you don't have to worry about any nasty side effects and it is extremely cheap. So it could be worth the try.
And if it doesn't work out as planned, at least you are going to benefit from it in other ways. Nettle is a good source of certain vitamins, calcium, iron and even has a fair amount of protein (Source: NutritionValue.org). Now of course you won't get the full benefit if you are just drinking tea, but you will get some!
And since you are into natural remedies to treat diarrhea, we also suggest taking a look at this list of common foods you can eat that might do the trick.