At Rising Dawn, we strive to use a mixture of traditional and unique ingredients. You might be familiar with herbs such as hibiscus, but what about less familiar ones? Part of the purpose of the RDT blog will be to share why we choose some of our less traditional ingredients. 

Today we'll be talking about Stinging Nettle. What's that, you say? A weed? Sure, but it's also much, much more! (And not all of the varieties "sting".) Urtica dioica - also known as Common Nettle, Stinging Nettle, or Nettle Leaf - is a perennial flowering plant native to Western North America, Europe, parts of Asia, and parts of Northern Africa.

I first discovered Stinging Nettle when my Reiki teacher handed out a tea she'd made to all of her students at the end of a class. My first thought was, "Okay...this is...really green. What is it?" So I looked it up and discovered that various cultures have been using the plant for hundreds of years for various uses. But, you don't have to take my word for it! (Bonus points if you get that reference.)

 From the University of Maryland Medical Center:

Stinging nettle has been used for hundreds of years to treat painful muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis, gout, and anemia. Today, many people use it to treat urinary problems during the early stages of an enlarged prostate (called benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH). It is also used for urinary tract infections, hay fever (allergic rhinitis), or in compresses or creams for treating joint pain, sprains and strains, tendonitis, and insect bites.

By including Stinging Nettle in our blends, we hope to provide a tasty AND useful component to the teas we're so happy to be able to share. Happy drinking!

-Alyson