Despite sounding unpleasant, stinging nettle is a popular herb that has been used for centuries to support overall health.

The stinging nettle plant has grown across Northern America and Europe and is known for the sharp hairs on its leaves. The compounds in these hairs can irritate the skin, causing occasional itching and redness, but the hairs also contain nutrients that can benefit human health.

Health Benefits of Stinging Nettle

The stinging nettle leaves contain a host of essential nutrients that act as antioxidants in the body. Vitamins A, C, and K, along with healthy plant fats, amino acids, polyphenols, and several minerals, are all found in the leaves of this stinging plant.

Prostate and Urinary Tract Health

These compounds help reduce occasional oxidative stress to promote healthy cellular function. In doing so, doctor-formulated supplements containing stinging nettle can help promote healthy urinary tract function as well as bladder, kidney, and prostate health. 

The prostate is an important gland that supports reproductive health in men. The anatomical position is such that as the prostate grows with age, occasional urinary symptoms can develop. This is common in more than 50 percent of men over the age of 50. As prostate health is supported, stinging nettle can help with occasional urinary symptoms associated with normal aging.  

Stinging nettle also promotes healthy hormone levels to support quality of life in aging men and promotes the production of nitric oxide in the body. This molecule plays an important role in urinary tract health. Nitric oxide supports urinary muscle activity to help maintain a normal urination schedule. 

Additional Benefits of Stinging Nettle

In addition to promoting healthy prostate size, hormone levels, and a healthy urinary tract, stinging nettle supports other areas of the body.

Heart Health

The compounds in stinging nettle promote nitric oxide production, which is a vasodilator that relaxes blood vessels and supports proper heart muscle activity. In doing so, healthy blood pressure levels can be maintained for better heart health.

Liver Health

The antioxidant properties of stinging nettle can help reduce occasional oxidative stress in liver cells. As a gentle cleansing agent, stinging nettle helps to support the body’s natural detoxification processes to remove everyday toxins.

Joint Health

Stinging nettle can help reduce unwanted oxidative stress to the joints and inflammation associated with exercise exertion. Stinging nettle can be taken orally or applied topically to help support cartilage and joint function.  

How to Prepare Stinging Nettle

You want to do your best to avoid the hairy barbs. Look for stinging nettle that is already prepared for you in health food stores. Stinging nettle is available in dried or freeze-dried leaves, pills, capsules, and ointments. The dried leaves can be used to make tea or cooked into stews, soups, or sauces. 

There is currently no recommended dosage for stinging nettle, but it is considered safe for adult consumption and as recommended by a healthcare practitioner.

Risks and Side Effects of Stinging Nettle

Cooking and consuming stinging nettle is considered safe, but you need to take care and avoid the barbs when handling fresh nettle leaves. The hairy barbs on the nettle leaves contain acetylcholine, histamine, and leukotrienes, all of which can cause occasional skin irritation, particularly when used topically.

Before adding stinging nettle to your daily health routine, you always speak with your doctor before taking any new supplements, especially if you are currently taking any medications or have any serious health conditions.

The Bottom Line

Stinging nettles sound scary, but they can support your health in several ways. The antioxidant and cleansing properties of the nettle leaves promote urinary tract, bladder, kidney, and prostate health. Used for centuries, stinging nettle has found its place today to help promote quality of life in older men.