Its scientific name, Urtica dioica, comes from the Latin word 'uro'', which means 'to burn' because its leaves can cause a temporary burning sensation upon contact. The leaves have hair-like structures that sting and also produce itching, redness, and swelling.
However, once it is processed into a supplement, dried, freeze-dried, or cooked, stinging nettle can be safely consumed.
Stinging nettle’s leaves and root provide a wide variety of nutrients, including:
- Vitamins: Vitamins A, C, and K, as well as several B vitamins
- Minerals: Calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium
- Fats: Linoleic acid, linolenic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and oleic acid
- Amino acids: All of the essential amino acids
- Polyphenols: Kaempferol, quercetin, caffeic acid, coumarins and other flavonoids
- Pigments: Beta-carotene, lutein, luteoxanthin, and other carotenoids
What’s more, many of these nutrients act as antioxidants inside your body. Antioxidants are molecules that help defend your cells against damage from free radicals.
Urtica dioica helps to keep testosterone from converting to dihydrotestosterone. Dihydrotestosterone has a lot of negative effects on the body, most notably the growth or enlargement of the prostate. Urtica dioica has also been shown to increase testosterone levels which stimulates the growth of muscle tissue.
Urtica dioica keeps the testosterone in your body free of steroid hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). SHBG acts as a roadblock for testosterone as it makes its way to your muscles to stimulate muscle growth and recovery.