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Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) grows in both hemispheres of the globe and is the most common plant on Earth. For centuries it has been used in phytotherapy. Both its roots and leaves contain a wide range of pharmacologically active substances that affect a number of physiological processes occurring in the body system and promote health and well-being.
Nettle contains many vitamins (A, B, C and K), minerals (potassium, calcium, magnesium, silicon, phosphorus, iodine, sodium and sulphur), organic acids (glycolic acid, formic acid and glyceric acid), phytosterols, carotenoids and flavonoids. Moreover, it contains also chlorophyll, histamine, serotonin and acetylcholine. Noteworthy is the presence of large amounts of iron in a form easily absorbable by the human body system.
Support for the urinary system
Nettle supports functioning of the urinary system and shows diuretic properties. It is helpful especially in the case of problems with urinary disorders, which are accompanied by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Studies have demonstrated that regular use of nettle helps to alleviate such symptoms as reduced urine flow, constant urge to urinate, inability to fully empty the bladder, oliguria or painful urination. The effectiveness of nettle is comparable to the action of finasteride, which is a common drug used in the BPH treatment. In contrary to finasteride, nettle does not cause side effects and does not lead to prostate reduction.
In this case, nettle action is explained by its ability to inhibit aromatase and 5 alpha reductase activities, which are two key enzymes for hormonal conversion. Moreover, the phytoestrogens contained in nettle reduce the synthesis of SHBG, sex hormone binding globulins in the blood plasma. Their presence contributes to an increase in the level of bioavailable hormones, which helps to reduce prostate hypertrophy. Research in rodents has proven the anti-androgens properties of nettle and its antagonistic effect on testosterone. Moreover, nettle improves the structure of nuclei and minimizes the histological changes caused by testosterone.
As a natural diuretic and antibacterial agent, nettle can be used as an alternative to the treatment of diseases of the bladder and urinary tract and kidney stones.
Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties
Nettle effectively protects the body system against the diseases resulting from large number of oxidizing compounds. Its leaves contain a significant amount of antioxidants and substances from the group of phenols. Nettle inhibits the production of ROS (reactive oxygen species) and contributes to their successful removal from the body system. Studies have demonstrated that the presence of nettle increases the total content of other antioxidants in the body system and the level of superoxide dismutase, an enzyme involved in the fight against free radicals and reactive oxygen species. This is due to elements present in the leaves of stinging nettle (zinc, selenium and copper), which are essential cofactors of antioxidant enzymes.
Nettle shows strong anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces the activity of inflammatory mediators, such as lipoxygenases and their derivatives or inflammatory cytokines. It stimulates levels of NF-kB, which is a protein complex that regulates the immune response to infection, and any abnormalities in its balance are associated with impaired immunity, severity of inflammation in the body system and autoimmune diseases. Anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of nettle are successfully used in the treatment of rheumatic diseases. Some studies suggest that the effectiveness of nettle is comparable with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Natural anti-allergic agent
Nettle can be successfully used to reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies, especially hay fever. It inhibits the activity of enzymes responsible for key inflammatory reactions that cause the symptoms of allergies, and tyrosine derivatives contained in nettle show antihistamines properties.
Improvement in detoxification
Due to diuretic properties, nettle helps to rid excessive water from the body system, and thus it improves the process of body system detoxification. It cleans the organism from toxins and helps to excrete uric acid.
Nettle protects the liver, the most important detoxification centre in our body system. It inhibits apoptosis and necrosis in hepatocytes, helps to reduce liver enzymes activity and lipid peroxidation.
Other health promoting properties
Stinging nettle has hematopoietic properties; it stimulates the production of red blood cells. It also contains easily absorbable iron, so it is especially recommended during periods of weakness and anaemia.
Nettle improves the condition of skin, hair and nails. What contributes to it is i.a. silicon contained in its leaves.
Nettle inhibits aggregation of platelets, which prevents formation of clots. This is important in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
Stinging nettle is recommended for people suffering from diabetes. It slightly reduces the level of glucose in the bloodstream and helps to increase the secretion of insulin. Moreover, it inhibits the activity of pancreatic alpha amylase enzyme; pharmacological treatment of diabetes is often based on the inhibition of this enzyme.
Nettle has a proven hypocholesterolemic activity. Studies in rodents have demonstrated that nettle extracts significantly reduce the level of bad cholesterol.
As a dietary supplement, take two capsules two times per day with water.
Now Foods is a company with years of experience in the industry that offers a wide range of nutrients and dietary supplements. Brand is known for its high-quality products designed for hair and nails and supplements supporting the immune system. The offer includes the antioxidant supplements, antibacterial supplements, reducing appetite supplements, products supporting the reduction of body fat and improving digestion. All products are made from natural ingredients.
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