Stinging Nettle are from the plant family of Urticaceae. Urtica urens and Urtica dioica are botanically very similar and are usually distributed together in the wild. Especially useful for men, nettle root plays a key role in promoting a healthful prostate and urinary tract function. Nettle root is used widely in Europe to treat BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia).
Stinging Nettle and Prostate Health
Nettle root has 5-alpha reductase enzyme blocking properties and is thus beneficial for conditions associated with an enlarged prostate, such as frequent or difficult urination. This enzyme converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, a strong androgen hormone associated with prostate enlargement, low testosterone levels in older men. Nettle root has been shown to inhibit the binding of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) to the prostate cell membrane. Several researches have showed a combination of nettle root, pygeum, saw palmetto, and pumpkin seed may be effective as an BPH therapy and in reducing post urination dripping, improving urinary flow, emptying the bladder completely, and decreasing frequent nighttime urination.
Lab experiments have shown stinging nettle to be comparable to finasteride (Proscar®) in slowing the growth of certain prostate cells. The polysaccharide fraction, of the 20 percent methanolic extract of nettle roots, was able to decrease the induced growth of prostate gland by 33 % in mice. Germany Universitätsklinik Essen formally investigated the efficacy of nettle root extract and found the antiphlogistic and antiproliferative properties of the nettle extract to provide a safe treatment option for enlarged prostate.
Since 1995, three clinical trials of a nettle/saw palmetto combination have been reported in German medical journals. The studies used two capsules per day of 120 mg nettle root extract and 160 mg saw palmetto extract. The Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy, 2005 published a study investigating nettle (Urtica dioica) for the therapy of BPH. It has been found that patients with BPH that underwent nettle therapy for six months showed an improved urinary flow rate, lower postvoid residual urine volume and smaller prostate gland size.
In a study in Poland 134 people with symptoms of BPH were assigned to receive 2 capsules of the standard dose of an nettle (300 mg) and pygeum africanum bark extract (25 mg) or two capsules containing half the standard dose, twice daily for 8 weeks. After 28 days of therapy, urine flow, residual urine, and nycturia were significantly decreased in both treatment groups. After 56 days of therapy, further significantly decreased in both treatment groups. Clinical studies held in the University Clinics of Cologne in Germany, for people suffering from LUTS (Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms), caused by BHP proved to have a higher success rate of 34% for those taking the roots of nettle (Urtica dioica) compared with the patients who took Tamsulosin drug.