Urtica dioica, also known as common nettle or stinging nettle, is a perennial plant that grows tall in the summer and dies down to the ground in winter.
The plant is native to Europe as well as certain regions of Asia and western North Africa, and, these days, it can even be found in particular locales in North America and New Zealand.
Traditionally, stinging nettle has been used to treat arthritis and lower back pain. It’s also been used in culinary fare, including pestos, soups, and cheese-making. Nettle has a flavor similar to spinach and is rich in numerous vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols, including kaempferol, quercetin, potassium, iron, calcium, and manganese as well as vitamins A & C.
Urtica dioica “earned” its painful-sounding moniker (stinging nettle) on account of the stinging, burning sensation that happens to the skin after touching the plant's spiky outgrowths.
Fortunately, the inflammation and irritation caused by the plant is easily fixed with the application of anti-itch creams, typically containing hydrocortisone or certain antihistamines.
Now, you might be wondering why we’re choosing to discuss a plant that can be mildly irritating to the skin.
Well, as it turns out this somewhat bothersome botanical actually has a number of benefits when dried, ground up and used as a dietary supplement.
May Help Reduce Inflammation
Stinging nettle contains a variety of compounds known to combat inflammation. Specifically, the plant is noted to help reduce inflammatory cytokine release as well as inflammatory biomarkers, including TNF-a and CRP.
These anti-inflammatory effects appear to be one of the reasons why the plant is commonly used to help relieve nasal congestion, allergies, and arthritis.
Supports Prostate Health
Prostate health isn’t a sexy topic to discuss, but it’s one all men need to be cognizant of, especially as they get older as research indicates that upwards of 50% of men over the age of 50 have an enlarged prostate.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia can lead to significant discomfort during urination.
Animal studies suggest that stinging nettle may help prevent the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and stopping this conversion may help reduce prostate size.[1,2]
Human studies involving men with BPH demonstrate that stinging nettle extracts may help treat urination problems associated with BPH without side effects.
Supports Nitric Oxide Production
One of the historical uses for stinging nettle was for high blood pressure.
As it turns out, modern studies indicate that nettle may help support cardiovascular health and lower blood pressure by stimulating nitric oxide production and functioning as calcium channel blockers, which relax the heart by reducing the force of contraction.
Where Can I Find Urtica Dioica?
Performax Labs top-rated hormone optimization and testosterone support matrix -- AlphaMax -- contains a heaping 1400mg urtica dioica (as DivaniMax™).
In addition to stinging nettle, AlphaMax also includes a formidable Free & Total Testosterone - Growth Hormone (supplying Mucuna Pruriens and Eurycoma Longifolia extract) as well as a Lean Mass Activator - 95 and Estrogen & Cortisol Control Complex to provide comprehensive natural hormone support formula to help you recover faster, train harder and last longer (no matter if you’re in the gym or the bedroom!).
- Nahata A, Dixit VK. Ameliorative effects of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) on testosterone-induced prostatic hyperplasia in rats. Andrologia. 2012 May;44 Suppl 1:396-409. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0272.2011.01197.x. Epub 2011 Aug 2. PMID: 21806658.
- Marks LS. 5alpha-reductase: history and clinical importance. Rev Urol. 2004;6 Suppl 9(Suppl 9):S11-21. PMID: 16985920; PMCID: PMC1472916.
- Safarinejad MR. Urtica dioica for treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia: a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. J Herb Pharmacother. 2005;5(4):1-11. PMID: 16635963.
- Qayyum R, Qamar HM, Khan S, Salma U, Khan T, Shah AJ. Mechanisms underlying the antihypertensive properties of Urtica dioica. J Transl Med. 2016 Sep 1;14(1):254. doi: 10.1186/s12967-016-1017-3. PMID: 27585814; PMCID: PMC5009491.