Sunday, September 23, 2012

Allergic Reaction to Nettle in Tea- Clipper's Organic Detox infusion

After much grief and suffering, I spent nearly a month hiving all over my arms, fingers, chest, stomach, inner thighs, and even parts of my face for an ingredient that is defined and associated with urtica.

http://www.sodalis.hu/img/OrganicDetox0.jpgI spent a month in Ireland and during this time, purchased some organic tea to help me sleep and detox. One was Clipper's chamomile infusion and the other was their organic detox infusion. Now I skim ingredients on tea because I've never had a problem with the word "organic" and my dietary restrictions. Sure, I'm allergic to dairy but you wouldn't find that in tea...

So one day, I start hiving after I get back home. I was minimally hiving here and there upon return but nothing serious-- I thought it was from the climate change. Then... persistent overly itchy blotchy skin surfaces full of hives and woe for me. The doctor couldn't figure it out, I took anti-histamines orally and got a shot for it. I was also told to take steroids for a week to balance out whatever problems I may be having.

Throughout this whole "healing" process, I drank tea thinking detoxing would be great. Let's flush out all those bad toxins in me. Well... it turned out a main ingredient in my tea called "nettle" was what was causing the hiving.

Yes... The very herbal and natural cure that I went for was actually the cause of my suffering. It was  allowing these hives to go wild... and I was in the end, feeding my body poison.

Nettle is a plant... makes sense... tea is herbal.. yada yada.
As wiki put very nicely for me:
"Nettles constitute between 24 and 39 species of flowering plants of the genus Urtica in the family Urticaceae, with a cosmopolitan though mainly temperate distribution. They are mostly herbaceous perennial plants, but some are annual and a few are shrubby. Most of the species have stinging hairs on the stems and leaves."

I'm skimming here and there and I'm like... wait a minute.  Urtica?!
I click to make sure...
"Urticaria (from the Latin urtica, nettle (whence It. ortica, Sp. ortiga, Pg. urtiga, Fr. ortie) urere, to burn),[1] commonly referred to as hives, is a kind of skin rash notable for pale red, raised, itchy bumps. Hives are frequently caused by allergic reactions; however, there are many non-allergic causes. Most cases of hives lasting less than six weeks (acute urticaria) are the result of an allergic trigger. Chronic urticaria (hives lasting longer than six weeks) is rarely due to an allergy."

Are you serious.... hives?! WHY IS THIS IN MY TEA!?

Apparently, it's rarely serious to receive hiving from nettle but the detox tea had somewhere between 20-30% nettle in it.

I wasn't sure how I should feel about this... angry that there was no possible warning of this happening on the box or angry at myself for not looking into nettle. But seriously guys, an organic tea? There are plenty of ingredients in food daily that I do not know how to pronounce and sure, if it sounds anything like lactaid or milk, I will put it down. But nettle? Geez. There were like 4 ingredients and I figured if it's all natural, I wouldn't have a problem.

Turns out... I'm one of the rare serious cases of nettle... I just don't understand because hiving is likely to occur when you touch the plant itself as it gives off histamine to protect itself.

After the anti-histamines and steroids were done, I went straight back to the doctor for esophageal inflammation from too much pill swallowing. I had to have another steroid shot and went on new medication to calm down the acid reflux.

I basically went through $400 worth of trouble over nettle.

This was part of my email to them:
"I know that food and drug laws are different by country but please be advised that this could happen to another one of your customers. I don't have the original box anymore so if you box does state a warning for nettle, please make it more visible. I recall reading it over thoroughly because I have a very weak body and not seeing any warnings about nettle. It was a truly awful experience for me. I thought I would soon need anxiety pills to take care of the stress. I was hiving all around. Now that I'm dealing with a new set of poison in my system, I'm hoping it goes away accordingly since I won't be drinking more tea."

I don't really know what else to say. Maybe nettle teas are more common in the UK and Ireland. Maybe your vendors can be told to warn people about nettle as well. I sill don't understand why you would use a plant that releases histamine. I truly don't. It frightens me just thinking about it. "

Yes. I am pissed.
Yes. I am relieved that I figured this out.
Yes. I am contacting clipper to make sure that their box covers this. OMG.


Lesson on the day... cause and effect is super super difficult to pinpoint...

and allergies need to get allergies to know how it feels dangit.

In woe and sorrow and little bit of self-pitied laughter,


  1. I am wondering if my sleepless night and sore mouth was caused by Twinings nettle and fennell tea. I already had an allergic reation to their Chai tea this week, which now has flavourings in it - it never used to and I missed the small print. (Since moving their production to Poland - land of the chemical sausage - I no longer trust their products)

  2. hi guys i have just had a major reaction to twinings tea containing nettle really bad infact to the point where i was gonna pass out severe sweating heart rate up and couldnt stay off the toiletvery dizzy like nothing i have experienced before im female 38 and have gallstone and lots od digestion problems because of it ,my face still feels numb and tingly now as i am typing ;(

  3. Oh geebus Claire!

    I just read your comment. I hope you are feeling better. That's SO terrible! It makes me cringe thinking about how sick I got from it and how you must have felt. :( Best wishes.

  4. I had the same things and just finding out that I am not alone!
    That's mad!

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