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Stinging Nettle And Prostate Health

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Stinging nettle might be considered a man’s herb because of its effect on prostate health. Although women may also benefit from using stinging nettle, some of the more effective properties of the herb are related to prostate health.

What Is Stinging Nettle?

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is an herb with anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties and a long history of use for urinary tract problems and arthritis. This combination of benefits places stinging nettle near the top of the list of natural remedies for prostate health problems, including enlarged prostate due to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostatitis and urinary tract infections. [1]

Stinging nettle gets its name from the fact its leaves and stems have tiny hairs that contain skin-irritating chemicals. However, if the hairs make contact with a painful area of the body, they can reduce the original pain.

When it comes to prostate problems, some men are turning to stinging nettle health benefits.

Stinging Nettle And Prostate Problems

Here are just a few of the studies that have explored the advantages of stinging nettle:

  • A total of 558 men with BPH participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in which they took either stinging nettle or placebo daily for six months. At the end of the trial, 81 percent of the men who took stinging nettle said their lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) had improved. Only 16 percent of men in the placebo group could make the same claim. LUTS include symptoms such as dribbling, excess urinary frequency, urinary urgency, the need to urinate frequently during the night and pain when urinating. [2]
  • A supplement that contained a combination of stinging nettle, soya oil and avocado was used in a study involving men with BPH and LUTS and who were surgical candidates. Half the men took the natural supplement, while the other half took nothing. At the end of six months, the men who took stinging nettle told researchers they had marked improvements in urine flow, better quality of life and less need to get up during the night to urinate. The men also said they didn’t experience any notable side effects. [3]
  • What happens when you combine stinging nettle and saw palmetto, another herb known for helping with prostate health? Two studies explored this herbal remedy combination in nearly 700 men with BPH. In one experiment, the men who took stinging nettle plus saw palmetto reported a significant improvement in LUTS when compared with men who took a placebo.[4] In the other study, the BPH drug finasteride (Proscar) was compared with the herbal remedy. Men in both groups experienced similar relief of symptoms, but the men who took the stinging nettle combination tolerated treatment better than did the men who took finasteride. [5]
  • The most recent study of stinging nettle and the prostate comes from India, where researchers evaluated the effect of the herb on mice with BPH induced by testosterone. After 28 days, the investigators reported that based on urinary factors, prostate weight, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels and examination of the prostates of the animals, stinging nettle “can be used as an effective drug for the management of BPH.” [6]

If you want to consider taking a stinging nettle supplement or a prostate formula that contains stinging nettle, first consult your healthcare provider. Stinging nettle is associated with only occasional, mild side effects such as rash, fluid retention and upset stomach.

For more information about men’s health and prostate health, see prostate.net.

Sources:

[1] University of Maryland: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/stinging-nettle-000275.htm

[2] Urtica dioica for treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia: a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16635963

[3] Analysis of the results obtained with a new phytotherapeutic association for LUTS versus control. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20931547

[4] Efficacy and safety of a combination of Sabal and Urtica extract in lower urinary tract symptoms — long-term follow-up of a placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicenter trial. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18038253

[5] Combined sabal and urtica extract compared with finasteride in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia: analysis of prostate volume and therapeutic outcome. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10971268

[6] Ameliorative effects of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) on testosterone-induced prostatic hyperplasia in rats. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21806658

Filed Under: Alternative MedicineEasy Health Digest™Men’s Health

About the Author: Dr. Geo Espinosa is the Director of the Integrative Urology Center at New York University Langone Medical Center and the Chief Science Officer at Prostate Research Labs. Before joining NYU, Dr. Espinosa was a clinician, researcher and director of clinical trials at the Center for Holistic Urology at Columbia University Medical Center. He is a licensed naturopathic doctor, licensed acupuncturist, a Certified Nutrition Specialist and a Registered Herbalist. Dr. Espinosa is an author of the naturopathic entry in 1000 Cures for 200 Ailments (Harper Collins, March, 2007) and “Prostate Cancer — Nutrients that may slow its progression,” Food and Nutrients in Disease Management (Maryland: Cadmus Publishing, 2009). Dr. Espinosa also serves on the editorial board of the Natural Medicine Journal. Dr Geo is a frequent speaker at universities, medical schools and conferences on Integrative Health, nutrition and natural treatments for prostate disease. Read more on Dr. Geo.

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