The purpose of this site is to collect lab research by medical doctors about herbs that are proven to treat illnesses and counter the false attacks on herbs by the medical industry and false claims by alternative medicine. I let the science tell the facts.
 
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Nettle Date Written 2007
Author Joe Holmes Date Revised July 11,2010

The first three articles are from general herbal web sites without research sources. #4 is Wickipedias information on hyperpalasia. and #5 and after are scientific research reports. Note the botitinacal name for nettle is Urtica dioica and it is important to use the botitinacal name when seeking scientific research on nettle or its common name of stinging nettle. Second is the abreviation in several of the of (BPH), which stands for (benign prostate hyperplasia). see report #4 for definition.

1. "Nettle is native to temperate regions of Europe and Asia. Nettle is now widely distributed throughout the world. Nettle is a member of the Urticaceae family, which includes as many as 500 species worldwide. Many species of Nettle are tropical. The stinging Nettle - Urtica dioica grows wild in nitrogen-rich soil. It grows abundantly in waste ground, hedgerows, ditches and gardens. Often considered a nuisance and weed it is important to the life cycle of many insects and holds great value as a “Natural Healer”. Nettles have a long history of use in the home as a herbal remedy and nutritious addition to the diet.

The Nettle has long been valued as a medicinal and nutritional treasure. Nettle is rich in chlorophyll, and a good source of beta carotene; vitamins A, C, and E; tannins; iron; calcium; phosphates; and various other minerals, especially silica. Nettle has astringent, expectorant, galactagogue milk producing, tonic, anti-inflammatory, homeostatic, and diuretic properties. The active ingredients of Nettle include water-soluble polysaccharides that stimulate the immune system, and large protein-sugar molecules known as lectins. The entire plant of Nettle may be used in various medicinal preparations.

The active constituents in Nettle are many and include 5-hydroxytryptamine, histamine, formic acid and gallic acid, plus much readily assimilable iron. Research by Drs Herrmann and Neumann established that an increased metabolic rate took place over a period which lasted from the sixth to the twenty-second hour after taking a glassful. They said that Nettle is very helpful when used in conjunction with therapies for removing -toxins from the blood, and for rheumatism. Bioflavonoids in Nettle leaves and roots are generally anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine. The magnesium in Nettle may help upper respiratory symptoms, if asthmatics are magnesium-deficient. Magnesium relieves bronchial muscle spasms and reduces the histamine response. The boron in Nettle may be helpful in treating osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), because it helps the bones retain calcium and influences the body's endocrine system since hormones play a crucial role in helping the body maintain healthy bones and joints.
Uses & Benefits Of Nettle Herb

Nettle has a long history of medical use. The Romans used to rub the leaves of Nettle on their bodies to restore circulation to limbs numbed by the winters. Nettle also contains vitamin C and iron, and increases the absorption of the latter. This makes it useful in cases of iron deficiency related illnesses according to research. Studies show that nettle is a circulatory stimulant, helps prevent haemorrhaging and can be used in treating nose bleeds. Nettle tea offers great relief to hay fever symptoms. This is probably due to the nettles antihistamine qualities. Nettle is also been known to mildly lower blood sugar levels.

Nettle root blocks two enzymes, 5a-reductase, which makes the dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and aromatase enzyme, which makes estrogens. Studies showed that Nettle root extract was efficient in inhibiting these two enzymes. An infusion of the plant is very valuable in stemming internal bleeding. Nettle is also used to treat anaemia, excessive menstruation, hemorrhoids, arthritis, rheumatism and skin complaints, especially eczema. Externally, the plant is used to treat skin complaints, arthritic pain, gout, sciatica, neuralgia, hemorrhoids and hair problems. The fresh leaves of Nettle have been rubbed or beaten onto the skin in the treatment of rheumatism. This practice, called urtification, causes intense irritation to the skin as it is stung by the Nettle. The formic acid from the Nettle is believed to have a beneficial effect upon the rheumatic joints. For medicinal purposes, the plant is best harvested in May or June as it is coming into flower and dried for later use.

Nettle leaf has recently become a popular treatment for allergies based on one preliminary study. Nettle leaf is highly nutritious, and in cooked form may be used as a general dietary supplement.
Today the herbal practitioner has found many uses for the humble Nettle. The extract of Nettle with alcohol is a stimulating hair tonic. Urtication, or beating with nettles, is sometimes used as a counter irritant for rheumatic sufferers. Nettle is given to lessen bleeding in the mouth, in the form of a juice, and the juice will apparently greatly relieve painful piles or haemorrhoids.

*Nettle is particularly helpful for treating urinary tract problems.
*Nettle has also been used internally to stop bleeding.
*Nettle has been used for increasing urination and for kidney/bladder problems.
*Nettle root has been shown to have a beneficial effect upon enlarged prostate glands.
*German research suggests that active ingredients in the Nettle root may reduce prostate swelling.
*Nettle helps control diarrhea and is at the same time act as a diuretic which aids the elimination of uric acid.
*Fresh Nettle herb was thrashed across the skin to induce a stinging, burning sensation used to relieve the deeper pain of rheumatism.
*Clinical studies have confirmed Nettle's benefit to men in reducing symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland.
*Nettle used to combat and relieve allergy symptoms especially hay fever, as a general health tonic, blood-builder and purifier, anti-arthritis or anti-rheumatic agent, to relieve benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory, as a lung tonic for ex-smokers, to help skin heal from eczema, for hives, bursitis, tendinitis, laryngitis, kidney stones, as a diuretic, to lower blood sugar naturally, even to relieve the symptoms of sciatica and PMS.

Effects Of Nettle

Nettle may cause irritation to the urinary tract. Do not self-treat for what can be potentially medically dangerous conditions, including prostate problems, without the advice of a competent healthcare provider. Possible side effects of Nettle include decreased urine flow, hives, stomach irritation, diarrhea & swelling. Nettle also can cause digestive tract irritation. Allergic reactions to Nettle are rare. However, when contact is made with the skin, fresh nettles can cause a rash.

Disclaimer

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent any disease." http://www.nutrovita.com/info/nettle-herb.html

2. "Nettle may help people with arthritis to reduce their dosage of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which have been found to cause stomach upset and gastrointestinal bleeding with overuse. In one German study, people eating stewed nettle leaves needed only one-fourth as much NSAID as those taking drugs alone to experience the same pain relief. Nettle also contains large amounts of boron and silicon, two minerals that help ease symptoms of arthritis, bursitis, and tendonitis.

Nettle is also a natural diuretic. It helps the body eliminate uric acid and bacteria that cause urinary tract infections (UTIs) and kidney stones. The diuretic action of nettle may also help lower blood pressure and relive premenstrual bloating.

Nettle is known for its ability to relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), a condition in which the prostate becomes enlarged and causes men to develop problems with urination. Nettle helps men to urinate more successfully during the day, and thus helps eliminate another annoying symptom of BPH—frequent nighttime urination. Nettle keeps the body from converting testosterone into 5-alpha-reductase, an enzyme that causes the prostate gland to begin growing again in middle age. Taking nettle in combination with either pygeum bark extract or saw palmetto may be to be at least as effective against BPH as the prescription drug finasteride. Commission E also approves the use of nettle to treat BPH." http://www.vitaminstuff.com/herbs-nettle.html

3. "Suggested medicinal indications of nettle include the following:

* Anti-inflammatory effects caused by prostaglandins
* May benefit men with mild forms of BPH
* Reduce sneezing
* Reduce itching

Historically, nettle has been applied topically to relieve pain associated with arthritis. While applying this stinging nettle to the skin has not been proven therapeutically effective, it is considered safe, yet a bit painful.

Dosage and Administration

Two to three 300 mg nettle leaf capsules or tablets or 2-4 ml tincture can be taken three times per day for to reduce allergies during allergy season. For mild BPH in men, 120 mg of a concentrated root extract in capsules can be taken two times per day.

Many products for BPH will combine nettle root with saw palmetto or pygeum extracts." http://www.nutrasanus.com/nettle.html

4. "Hyperplasia (or "hypergenesis") is a general term referring to the proliferation of cells within an organ or tissue beyond that which is ordinarily seen. Hyperplasia may result in the gross enlargement of an organ and the term is sometimes mixed with benign neoplasia/ benign tumor.

Hyperplasia is a common preneoplastic response to stimulus. Microscopically cells resemble normal cells but are increased in numbers. Sometimes cells may be also increased in size (hypertrofia)[1]. Hyperplasia is different from hypertrophy in that the adaptive cell change in hypertrophy is an increase in cell size, whereas hyperplasia involves an increase in the number of cells.
Simple illustration to show the difference between hyperplasia and hypertrophy.
Contents
[hide]
* 1 Difference from neoplasia
* 2 Causes
* 3 Examples in human biology and disease
* 4 References
* 5 External links

Difference from neoplasia

Hyperplasia is considered to be a physiological (normal) response to a specific stimulus, and the cells of a hyperplastic growth remain subject to normal regulatory control mechanisms. This stands in contrast to neoplasia (the process underlying cancer and benign tumors), in which genetically abnormal cells proliferate in a non-physiological manner which is unresponsive to normal stimuli.[2]

As seen in examples below, such physiological proliferation of cells may in fact be secondarily due to a pathological cause. Still, the proliferation itself is a normal response to another abnormal condition, in contrast to neoplasia, where the proliferation in itself is abnormal.

Causes

Hyperplasia may be due to any number of causes, including increased demand (for example, proliferation of basal layer of epidermis to compensate skin loss), chronic inflammatory response, hormonal dysfunctions, or compensation for damage or disease elsewhere.Hyperplasia may be harmless and occur on a particular tissue. An example of a normal hyperplastic response would be the growth and multiplication of milk-secreting glandular cells in the breast as a response to pregnancy, thus preparing for future breast feeding.

Hyperplasia may also be induced artificially by injecting hormones such as IGF-1 and human growth hormone. Perhaps the most interesting and potent effect IGF has on the human body is its ability to cause hyperplasia, which is an actual splitting of cells.[original research?] Hypertrophy, on the other hand, is what occurs during weight training and steroid use and is simply an increase in the size of muscle cells. With IGF use, one is able to cause this hyperplasia which actually increases the number of muscle cells present in the tissue. Weight training with or without anabolic steroid use enables these new cells to mature in size and strength. In addition, animal tests have shown that stretching a muscle can trigger hyperplasia, though this phenomenon has yet to be confirmed in humans. Hyperplasia may also be induced through specific power output training for athletic performance, thus increasing the number of muscle fibers instead of increasing the size of a single fiber. [3]

Hyperplasia may also occur abnormally, and is associated with a variety of clinical diseases. Wickipedia

5. "Urtica dioica for treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia: a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Safarinejad MR. Department of Urology, Urology Nephrology Research Center, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. safarinejad@unrc.ir

PURPOSE: To determine the effects of therapy with Urtica dioica for symptomatic relief of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) secondary to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). MATERIAL AND METHODS: A 6-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, partial crossover, comparative trial of Urtica dioica with placebo in 620 patients was conducted. Patients were evaluated using the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), the maximum urinary flow rate (Qmax), postvoid residual urine volume (PVR), Serum Prostatic- Specific Antigen (PSA), testosterone levels, and prostate size. At the end of 6-month trial, unblinding revealed that patients who initially received the placebo were switched to Urtica dioica. Both groups continued the medication up to 18 months. RESULTS: 558 patients (90%) completed the study (287/305, 91% in the Urtica dioica group, and 271/315, 86% in the placebo group). By intention- to-treat analysis, at the end of 6-month trial, 232 (81%) of 287 patients in the Urtica dioica group reported improved LUTS compared with 43 (16%) of 271 patients in the placebo group (P < 0.001). Both IPSS and Qmax showed greater improvement with drug than with placebo. The IPSS went from 19.8 down to 11.8 with Urtica dioica and from 19.2 to 17.7 with placebo (P = 0.002). Peak flow rates improved by 3.4 mL/s for placebo recipients and by 8.2 mL/s for treated patients (P < 0.05). In Urtica dioica group, PVR decreased from an initial value of 73 to 36 mL (P < 0.05). No appreciable change was seen in the placebo group. Serum PSA and testosterone levels were unchanged in both groups. A modest decrease in prostate size as measured by transrectal ultrasonography (TRUS) was seen in Urtica dioica group (from 40.1 cc initially to 36.3 cc; P < 0.001). There was no change in the prostate volume at the end of study with placebo. At 18-month follow-up, only patients who continued therapy, had a favorable treatment variables value. No side effects were identified in either group. CONCLUSION: In the present study, Urtica dioica have beneficial effects in the treatment of symptomatic BPH. Further clinical trials should be conducted to confirm these results before concluding that Urtica dioica is effective. PMID: 16635963

 

6. "Vahlensieck W Jr, Fabricius PG, Hell U.(Germany)
Abstract

BPH patients with Vahlensieck stage II or III disease are suitable for drug treatment. The points of attack are reduction of testosterone, conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, conversion of testosterone to estrogen using GnRH analogues, antiandrogens and alpha reductase inhibitors or aromatose inhibitors. Furthermore a reduction in obstruction is achieved through the use of phytopharmaceuticals containing 5-lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase inhibitors. At present, Curcurbitae pepo seeds, Urtica dioica root, Pollinis siccae extract and Sabal serrulata seed extract are approved for the treatment of prostatic diseases in Germany. The use of alpha-1-sympathicolytic treatment may reduce muscular tone in the prostate. Combination of the various modes of action may also offer an effective form of treatment.PMID: 9036092

 
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