30- Nov-2017

Nettle Leaf Herb: Decoction or Tea Bag?*

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Dt. Pooja Maheshwari
Dt. Pooja Maheshwari
Research Dietician, CDE, N.D.D.Y.

For centuries, Nettle leaf is used globally for its medicinal & nutritional properties, especially its benefits for hair. This article will tell you the best way to have Nettle leaf, whether brewed as a herbal tea decoction or as a simple tea bag.

Nettle leaf is quiet familiar to health conscious people due to its amazing benefits and healing properties. This natural diuretic regulates proper fluid flow through the kidneys and bladder, hence preventing kidney stones, collection of toxins (creatinine, urea) and urinary tract infection. Thus, it helps in lowering serum creatinine and urea levels in the body. According to a review article by Jinous, published in the Journal of medicinal plants research 2012, Nettle leaf provides benefits for conditions such as seasonal allergy, hair health, rheumatoid arthritis (acting as an anti-inflammatory), nephroprotective (acting as a diuretic), benign prostatic hyperplasia (inhibiting production of 5-a-reductase), hepatoprotective (by increasing tissue catalase) and also promoting the anti-oxidant defence system.

If Nettle leaf is consumed in the right way, it offers a number of nutrients such as polyphenols, vitamins A, C, D, E, K, riboflavin (B2), thiamine (B1) and minerals. The polyphenols content give nettle leaf its property to act as a diuretic. The entire Nettle plant including the leaves, roots, stems and flowers have nutritional properties. However, the young leaf is especially nutritive.

The importance of daily consumption of Nettle leaf is due to its benefits of being good for systemic fitness,along with its concurrent benefits for healthy hair scalp and maintaining hair volume. According to a review article by Patil SM, published in the Research Journal of Pharmaceutical, Biological and Chemical 2010, Nettle leaf herb offers benefits by blocking the conversion of testosterone into DHT, which is the main cause of hair loss in many men and some women as well.

Generally, people consume Nettle leaf as an herb in soups, salads, and curries,but the best way to derive all the plant benefits is in an herbal tea. For herbal tea preparation,nettle leaf is available in two forms – loose dry herb & tea bag. From many years, a lot of discussion has focused on what is the healthier way to gain all the benefits of nettle leaf herbal tea –as a tea bag or as a loose-leaf decoction?Although we all know that using tea bags is an easier way to prepare herbal tea, as a trained dietician, I advise my clients to steep full leaves as this is the best way to use Nettle leaf herbal tea.

The leaves used in tea bags are usually the powder and fannings of broken leaves. This is a big step down in comparison to the benefits from good quality full leaf herbal tea. Likewise,the tea bag’s cover also absorbs nutrients, implying that we are losing nutrients in the tea bag cover. Moreover, the tea bag is always filled with smaller parts of the herb, causing a loss of essential oils along with providing less flavour. On the other hand,a direct leaf decoction is made of uncut, whole leaves, which contain of all the nutrients, essential oils, flavour and aroma of the leaf. With these points, you can understand how the whole leaf is more concentrated in nutrients than the tea bag.This shows how Nettle leaf decoction is better than the tea bag version. That is why I always endorse Nettle leaf tea or herbal tea by BestSource Nutrition, as the leaves in this product are young and come in a loose form pouch for direct herbal tea decoction. Along with this, the manufacturing process plays important role.As BestSource Nutrition’s Nettle leaf development is cautiously managed, it provides assurance of preserving medicinal and nutritional properties to provide high quality Nettle Leaf herbal tea.

Therefore, instead of being confused between the quick fix tea bags and direct leaf decoction, choose Nettle leaf Herb by BestSource Nutrition for best benefits to hair, skin and the entire health system.

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