Known also as stinging nettle, nettle is a leafy plant that grows in most parts of the world. Being used extensively in herbal medicine, nettle has an inflammatory activity. Nettle root extract blocks weakly the enzyme 5 – alpha reductase, lowering the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
The active ingredients in nettle are lectins, polysaccharides, and a lignan named divanillyltetrahydrofuran, which occupies the binding sites of testosterone on the carrier protein SHBG (sex hormone – binding globulin) and leads to an increase in free testosterone levels.
Also it has been shown that nettle can help lower blood sugar level by improving the function of insulin.
Athletic Benefits of Nettle:
- It may boost testosterone level.
- It may protect from overtraining syndrome.
- It may delay fatigue.
- It may speed up recovery from sports injuries.
Non – Athletic Benefits of Nettle:
The following conditions may benefit from nettle:
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
- Hair loss.
- Low sex drive.
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Metabolic syndrome.
- Skin disorders: hay fever, dermatitis, and eczema.
- Kidney and urinary tract inflammation and infection.
Nettle root is available commercially in tablet, capsule, or liquid form either alone or in combination. The usual dosage is 250 – 500 mg a day.
Copyright© 2015 Canadian Academy of Sports Nutrition.