It's estimated that at least half of men over 60 suffer from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).1 As with most pharmacological treatments, side effects are common and can be quite bothersome, leading to noncompliance. That's why natural alternatives for relieving BPH are in high demand. This clinical trial took a closer look at the potential benefits of stinging nettle for BPH.
The trial recruited 80 men with BPH seeking treatment at a urology clinic in Kashan, Iran. They were divided into two groups: the treatment group taking nettle root extract tablets and the control group taking starch-containing placebo tablets. Tablets were taken twice a day for eight weeks.
Researchers wanted to see how nettle root extract supplementation affects a variety of parameters, including urinary problems, prostatic specific antigen levels, and prostate volume in men with BPH. They published their findings in the Journal of Herbal Medicine.
After eight weeks, men in the treatment group experienced decreased severity of various BPH symptoms, including urinary frequency, urinary urgency, and nocturia.
There were no significant changes in other measured parameters, such as prostate specific antigen levels, prostate volume, feeling of incomplete emptying, and quality of life, among others. Treatment was well tolerated and did not cause serious side effects.
What Does this Mean?
As can be seen in the results of this clinical trial, nettle is effective for reducing symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, namely those related to urinary problems.
While more research is conducted on the effects of nettle on BPH and its potential applications, the authors of the study encourage patients and their healthcare providers to nettle as a complementary treatment of BPH in combination with conventional options.
Other herbs that may be beneficial for men's health include maca, saw palmetto, and ashwagandha.
- Journal of Herbal Medicine, The effect of nettle root extract on urinary problems in older men with benign prostatic hyperplasia: A randomized clinical trial, 2022
- The Lancet. (2022). The global, regional, and national burden of benign prostatic hyperplasia in 204 countries and territories from 2000 to 2019: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019. Retrieved March 16, 2023, from https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanhl/article/PIIS2666-7568(22)00213-6/fulltext