Herbal teas are one way to get a boost of healthy minerals into your daily diet. Common herbs like nettles, oatstraw, horsetail and alfalfa are all easy to purchase in teabag form or as loose herbs at your local health-food store, and pack a punch of crucial minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium and silica, which can support healthy skin, nails and hair as well as cardiovascular health. Other benefits to drinking herbal teas high in minerals include healthy teeth, proper thyroid function and relief from restless leg syndrome.
When it comes to teas high in minerals, you can't find a better choice than nettles – also known as stinging nettles. Nettles are chock full of minerals like calcium, selenium, sulfur, zinc, chromium and boron. In fact, a quart of nettle infusion contains a whopping 1,000 milligrams of calcium, according to master herbalist Susun Weed. Selenium is proven to have anti-cancer effects as well as playing an important role in thyroid hormone synthesis, sulfur is crucial to immune health, chromium can support healthy insulin metabolism and boron is important for bone health.
Oatstraw tea is another mineral-rich herbal concoction. Oatstraw tea is high in calcium – 300 milligrams in a quart infusion – plus large quantities of other minerals and trace elements, according to Weed. Naturophathic doctor and herbalist Sharol Tilgner recommends oatstraw tea for a variety of ailments such as stress, low libido and insomnia due to its high mineral content including iron, manganese, zinc, calcium and magnesium. Oatstraw is one of the main ingredients in master herbalist Dr. John R. Christopher's herbal calcium formula, which has been used to repair teeth, mend broken bones and treat muscle cramps and headaches.
Horsetail, also called shavegrass or equisetum, is another mineral-rich herbal tea, which has been used to promote bone health, along with strong nails and hair. Horsetail contains 5 to 8 percent silica along with potassium and manganese, according to Tilgner. Silica, also called silicon, is crucial for healthy formation of connective tissues, including collagen in the skin and arterial walls, ligaments, tendons and bones. Horsetail has been shown to benefit bone density and prevent osteoporosis – at least in one small Italian study, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Alfalfa – also called lucerne – is another nutritive herbal tea, due to its high concentration of minerals and trace elements. Alfalfa tea is a good source for minerals such as calcium, potassium, phosphorous and iron, according to MedLine Plus. A study published in the summer 2012 in the Polish journal ,“Food Science and Human Nutrition,” revealed that alfalfa tea also contains zinc and silica, and can be a useful treatment for anemia. It combines well with other nutritive herbs in tea, and is specific for increasing the quantity and quality of a mother's breast milk, according to Tilgner.