Doctor's Note

I’m sorry this video had to be cut at the last minute from my volume 12 Latest in Nutrition DVD—I ran out of room!

My go-to herbal tea is hibiscus. See my previous video, Herbal Tea Update: Hibiscus, and my earlier video, Better Than Green Tea? Mint would also be an excellent choice: Antioxidants in a Pinch.

That micrograph of the nettle spicule made me think of the Migrating Fish Bones video—I think I’d take the nettles any day!

The fact that so much nutrition leaches into the water in nettle tea is a reason we don’t want to boil greens, unless we’re making soup or something where we’re consuming the cooking water. See Best Cooking Method for more tips on preserving nutrients.

Also, for more context, be sure to check out my associated blog post: Rooibos & Nettle Tea.

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  • Veganrunner

    Good morning Dr Greger,

    Update! My sisters cardiologist agreed to work with her going vegan as an alternative to the angiogram and stint. As you would expect he said, “but that’s really hard to do.”

    Thanks again for giving my sister the needed encouragement.

    • Pat G.

      What’s to hard…? Cracking open and pulling apart the chest, which is next, of flooding the kitchen countertops and fridge with fruits and veggies, so the choice is evident? Carl Esselsteyn MD has achieved amazing results with putting all his patients on veg lifestyle. If you need help, go to PETA’s website and see if cruelty wil be convincing. It make take your whole being to make the switch, but it’s only for your WELL being.

      • Veganrunner

        Most doctors will say going vegan is hard to do. But we all know better.

    • Thea

      Veganrunner: Thanks for the update. The cardiologist may not be fully educated or 100% on-board, but it sounds like a good start. Better than other doctors out there. Good luck to your sister!

      • Veganrunner

        She wrote him a letter with all the experts referenced, including this website. How could he disagree!

        • Thea

          That’s SO cool. Good for your sister.

    • Put it in a nutshell, today’s health care is disease care. It treats your symptoms, not causes.

  • Thea

    This is very good news about rooibus as I really, really like it. Thanks!

  • I think JUiCING nettle tea will deliver much more minerals ?!

    • Tree Ethington

      I bet that would taste GHASTLY….

    • sf_jeff

      Do you have to worry about stingers?

  • galvanni

    What about the Fluoride levels?

  • Isabelle Langevin

    Thank you Dr Greger for giving us those sources of informations.

    Your impact travels aroud the wold.

    • basconesfalk

      i’m not so sure–a friend reported this morning that the lectures, Dr. Greger’s annual summaries of nutrition research are no longer on YouTube.

  • Isabelle Langevin

    In the video Herbal Tea Update: Rooibos & Nettle. Nettle leaf is the concern but is nettle roots (as it is given to man with prostate problem) the same action???

  • jenniferhope

    My Grandmother’s caregiver is from the Philippines and mentioned Guyabano fruit, saying that it is antibacterial, anti inflammatory and inhibits cancer cell growth. The fruit is expensive and a little hard to find. Was wondering if the tea offered health benefits.

    • Jay M

      Nearly every plant has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-pathogen, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer activity.
      Besides exotic and expensive ones, check out all those available at your local grocer.

  • LumLum2500

    I brag about this website so much, my friends made me a refrigerator magnet that says “WWMGE?” (What would Michael Greger eat).

    • Thea

      Too funny! Thanks for sharing.

    • Ooh, I want a picture! :)

    • balconesfalk


  • Nina Olofsson

    Im curious how the different infusions are made? Im talking about V1, H2 and K2? Assuming they are different types of infusions and not just same method done three times… Might as well make it the most powerfull way if I’m gonna get some minerals from it :)

  • Maria

    Dr. Greger,
    Could you do some investigating on nettle leaf tea for allergies? It is concerning that this type of tea might have estrogenic effects. thanks!

  • Lou Gaspard

    Is a little olive oil okay in a vegan diet? I am talking about a table spoon, maybe two table spoons daily.

    • Toxins

      1 tablespoon = 120 calories
      2 tablespoons = 240 calories
      You can see how this quickly can add up. Not to mention, olive oil is quite barren in nutritional value containing no fiber, minerals, vitamins or antioxidants.

      Would simply adding a small serving of olives suffice?

    • Jasmin

      Olive oil is absolutely fine. You don’t need to worry about its caloric content if you are not overweight and not overeating or gaining weight. It has a higher omega-3 content than many other vegetable oils too, which is great on a vegan diet.

      • JacquieRN

        Using 1-2 tablespoons/daily of any oil – depends on your health goals and health status. Why use any oil? Oil not only adds calories but is a source of inflammation therefore it wanting to avoid/arrest/reverse heart disease – the less oil the better.

  • Ann H

    Good Morning Dr. Greger,
    I live in Columbia, Marylalnd area. I am looking for Doctors who practice or are open to preventive health care using diet for CAD/ Heart disease. I have read Dr. Esselstyn/ Dr. Dean Ornish Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease. I have read their books and am changing my diet to reap the benefits. I have many questions. Please Help me find doctors in this area that I can work with.
    Ann H.

    • Dr. McDougall has a list:

    • I would also check with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington DC to see if they have members in the Columbia area who might be able to help. Your health plan may be able to help either through the internet (when I worked at Kaiser Permanente I had a website which provided information about my interest in working with patients on a whole food plant based diet) or member services. Good luck.

    • Susun Slatky

      Neil Barnard has a new medical clinic in Washington, DC. I believe it’s called the Barnard Medical Center, and it opened late 2015/early 2016.

  • Amy

    Good Afternoon, Dr. Greger,
    As a woman of 34 with Addison’s Disease (Adrenal Insufficiency), I’m concluding that based on this research, I should avoid drinking Rooibos Tea and other red teas. Would you agree, and if so do you have any further recommendations regarding adrenal support through nutrition.
    After considering your evidence to support Hibiscus tea, I’ve been drinking it daily. One tea bag a bedtime in a Nalgene bottle of water in the fridge, and enjoy it in the morning. Our kids prefer I dilute their apple juice by 50% with mixed berry zinger, as opposed to just using water.
    Thank you for supporting my families health with good, solid research.
    May your tribe increase.
    Washington State

  • CrazyMonkey CrazyMonkey

    How quickly do you have to drink the ice tea before antioxidants start to decrease or do they not decrease?

  • Tracy Taub

    The trouble with many scientific studies of medicinal plants is that they pay little or no attention to the traditional methods of gathering and steeping different teas for different purposes. Tests are run for nutritional values based on improper steeping methods.

    Nettles are supposed to be gathered in the Spring before flowering, steeped for four to eight hours a dry leaf-to-water ratio of one dry ounce of leaves (about 1-1/4C) per quart of water.

    Any word on the nutritional content of nettles gathered and steeped properly?

    • Susun Slatky

      Great points, Tracy Taub! After listening to the video, I’ve been thinking along those same lines. I truly would love to see more research on the topic of traditional herbalism, where the studies are set up and done properly, based on traditional methods, like you mentioned above. : )

  • Naomi D

    I had breast cancer in 2006, now i am very healthy, and i like to drink tea, and recently i bought rooibos tea, but someone told me theat its not good for people who had breast cancer. Is that true Dr Greger ?

    • Jay M

      If you search for “rooibos cancer”, it returns 8 abstracts related to it’s anti-cancer effects.

  • foodman999

    I would be most interested to see a report on B17/amygdalin/laetrile/apricot pits.

    This book seemed pretty convincing to me:

    World Without Cancer: The Story of Vitamin B17
    by G. Edward Griffin (Author)

    Thanks for your great service!

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Hi foodman999. Thanks for reposting your question. I did a search, as I recall another member talking about apricot pits for cancer treatments and this vitamin B17 arose from discussion. I would take serous caution here. Just don’t think the science is there. This is old but relevant review discussing the lack evidence for vitamin B17. If I hear of more info or I see more data I will surely reconsider.


    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Found a better citation, here. Thanks to one of our members :-)

      Hope that helps.

  • Wade Patton

    Uh, you don’t get Nettles confused with other plants in the wild. One might when looking at photographs, but there’s a really really easy way to “test” your selection in the wild. ANY adventuresome (not always on the manicured park and trails type) who has recreated near a river or stream in short pants in this part of the world well knows the signature sensation of nettles stinging his/her legs. And yes I’ve eaten the green leaves raw. It’s all about the technique and selecting the youngest leaves from the plant. A bit of a sting won’t kill you, ask me how i know.

    • Susun Slatky

      Wade: My sentiments, exactly! There are also applications for harnessing the power of the sting of stinging nettles, such as beating some of the leaves on arthritic joints, which worked for me. I’m hoping that someone finds some research on long-steeped nettle infusions, to tease out fact from fiction.

  • Susun Slatky

    I’m a big fan, Dr. G! I’m also a big fan of herbal infusions (long steeped) for some herbs, as opposed to just herbal teas (short steeped). Are there any studies on these kinds of herbal infusions, a la Susun Weed, that you know of? Try making an infusion of nettles and you’ll see the difference in concentration and, I would believe, nutrients.

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