Nettle Leaf Extract: How It Works, Benefits, Clinical Studies And Side Effects

Nettle Leaf in garden

What is Nettle Leaf Extract?

Nettle Leaf Extract

Scientific name: Urtica Dioica

Common names: Stinging nettle, burn weed or common nettle

Function: Serves a wide variety of functions ranging from medicinal uses to build muscle and burn fat.

Similar test boosting herbs: D-Aspartic Acid, Fenugreek, Panax Ginseng, Tribulus terrestris, etc.

Commonly called as stinging nettle, it is a weed plant whose leaves, flowers and stem are used for medicinal, food and herbal purposes. It has many active biological compounds such as flavonoids like quercetin that possess antioxidant properties. The consumption of nettle fights against different kinds of allergies and its leaves are dried to make an herbal tea. The leaves and roots of nettle are also used to make extracts which can be used for medicinal purposes. But it is strongly advised not to self-diagnose and self-treat any of your existing medical conditions and take the opinion of your doctor before starting on nettle leaf extract.

Benefits of Nettle Leaf Extract as Testosterone Booster

Nettle leaf extract is known for:

  • Boosting free testosterone levels
  • The increased testosterone leads to increased muscle mass
  • Increasing muscle strength
  • Enhancing exercise performance
  • Inhibiting the conversion of testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone)

How Does It Work?

Nettle increases the muscle mass and builds muscle by effecting the levels of testosterone in the body. Testosterone is normally bound to a protein called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) but in this arrangement, testosterone is of not much use. Nettle is believed to bind to SHBG, leaving the testosterone free to circulate and perform useful functions such as building muscle.

Other Benefits

Nettle leaf benefits

Other benefits of nettle leaf include:

  • Used in cheese making
  • For making herbal tea
  • Used in many recipes and cuisines in Asia and Europe
  • In making alcoholic nettle beer
  • Steeped nettle leaves are used for making drinks and beverages
  • Has been used in traditional medicine for gastrointestinal and cardiovascular disorders
  • Other conditions of kidneys, skin, haemorrhage, gout, rheumatism and influenza are also treated
  • Fiber from nettle is used for making clothes
  • It is also used to treat multiple allergies, pain and osteoarthritis
  • It is also used for skin care and hair growth
  • It may lead to weight loss
  • Possess anti-fungal and antibacterial properties
  • Detoxification of the body


In order to increase testosterone levels, the standard dosage of nettle extract is 400 to 1200 mg per day of a 95% nettle extract. Just make sure to consult your doctor before starting with this supplement.

Side Effects

Nettle leaf is safe to take as food and as medicine. However, in some people following mild side effects can occur:

  • Sweating
  • Skin irritation on touching the plant
  • Stomach complaints
  • Interference with other prescription drugs

A word of caution

For people having different medical conditions, nettle leaf is unsafe to use without consulting with a doctor or a health professional. For the following, it is best to avoid nettle leaf:

  • Pregnant and lactating women – It may stimulate premature uterine contractions leading to a miscarriage.
  • Hypo-tension – for people with low blood pressure, the blood pressure may fall too low. Never start on nettle leaf without consulting your doctor first.
  • Diabetics – Nettle leaf may decrease blood sugar levels and they may be too low if you don’t monitor your blood sugar regularly.
  • Kidney problems – Nettle leaf can increase urine flow. As kidneys are the organs that produce urine, taking nettle leaf while suffering from any kind of kidney problems may not be a wise decision. Consult your doctor before starting on nettle leaf.


Nettle leaf extract tea

More than fifty compounds have been isolated from the nettle plant. These compounds are responsible for the various health benefits of nettle extract. Apart from being used in food and medicine, the nettle leaf extract is also used to build muscle and enhance exercise performance. But like all supplements, there are side effects and contraindications for nettle extract as well. Make sure to consult your doctor before you start on nettle leaf extract to supplement your exercise routine to build muscle mass. If you have existing medical conditions, take extra caution and care while using nettle leaf extract and monitor your health regularly while taking the recommended dosage of nettle leaf extract.