The idea that stinging nettles could increase testosterone makes sense in a weird way. You get an image of crazy Vikings covering themselves in stinging nettles and then charging off to battle … or maybe that’s just us. Any plant that can cause a grown man to weep has to have some testosterone boosting properties, right? We’ll see as we examine:
- What stinging nettle extract is and how to obtain it
- Whether nettles do increase testosterone
- If they have any other benefits
- Whether they’re worth your time
What is Stinging Nettle Extract?Luckily, thanks to modern science (and common sense) it is not necessary to consume stinging nettles straight out of the ground. Not only would that be less effective than using the extract, it would also be insanely painful! Dipping nettles in water or boiling them can prevent stinging as it washes away the chemicals (histamine, serotonin, and choline) . The scientific name for stinging nettles is Urtica dioica, something to search for on the ingredients list. Though stinging nettles are often seen as a weed, they actually can be harvested and used for food. Stinging nettle soup is a well-known dish in Europe.
Does Stinging Nettle Increase Testosterone?Considering how many people and products swear blind that stinging nettle increases testosterone, there are surprisingly few studies that have examined this. The only one we could find was published in 2005 in the Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy . The study was six-months long and involved 620 subjects in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The researchers found that there was absolutely no effect on testosterone levels. There aren’t really any studies that dispute this. Therefore, it is easy to disprove this myth. Stinging nettle does not increase testosterone at all.
Are There Any Benefits to Stinging Nettle Extract?Sadly, there aren’t many benefits of stinging nettle that are scientifically proven. There may be one or two benefits, and we’ll take a brief look at them here, but the evidence is far from compelling. This is yet another example of a supplement ingredient that really needs more investigation. One possible benefit of stinging nettle extract is that it may work as a nasal decongestant. A 1990 study found that freeze-dried stinging nettle was significantly more effective than a placebo at treating allergic rhinitis . Rather than looking at stinging nettles as a supplement ingredient, we can take a look at it as a food. For example, did you know that the stinging nettle is made up of 25% protein?  That’s ridiculously high for a plant. A serving (100g) of stinging nettles contains 40% of your RDA for Vitamin A, and 48% of your RDA for Calcium. It contains 7g of fibre, 14% RDA of Magnesium, 5% Vitamin B-6, and is also a source of Potassium.
Final Thoughts On Stinging Nettles and TestosteroneAs a supplement ingredient, stinging nettle extract is pretty useless. Any benefits it might offer are unverified at this moment, and can be provided by better ingredients. As a food, stinging nettles are a healthy choice that rivals many dark green leafy vegetables. Does stinging nettle increase testosterone? No, nor does it really do anything as a supplement. However, you could benefit from including more stinging nettle in your diet. Just remember to wash or boil it first!