We all know what testosterone is, right? It is the sex hormone responsible for manliness; that makes men muscular, have a deep voice, have hair on their chins, broad muscles and all that. Most importantly, testosterone makes a man have sexual desire and also be able to perform well under the bed sheets.
And if there is one thing that a man would never part with—it is his ability to deeply desire sex and excellently perform in it, right?
On hitting the ages of 30-40 though, most men experience a reduction in their testosterone levels and instead their estrogen levels go up [Estrogen is the female hormone and has been attributed to fats]. What does this mean? That the man will not be able to perform as excellently as he did earlier in bed. That he starts balding. That he loses his muscles and they are replaced with fat tissues. It is because of this reason why you will see so many commercial adverts purporting to help men increase their testosterone levels.
Most of the solutions sold in the adverts are expensive and at times ineffective. In this post, I will tell you about stinging nettle (Urtica dioica or thafai in my local language) and how it can help you increase your testosterone levels as well as reduce prostate problems.
Figure 1: Stinging nettle leaves
Now stinging nettle mostly occurs as a weed on Kenyan highlands. [I live in Lari constituency and the plant grows as a herb along the Arberdare Forest where men urinate on it or pass by it without a fuss.] If the hairy leaves have ever come into contact with your hand, then you know how fiery the irritation can get.
Most local herbalists in Kenya use it as a cure for:
- Alopecia (hair loss)
How to increase testosterone with stinging nettle
Before I explain how stinging nettle increases testosterone, I need to point out that there are two forms of testosterone hormone in your body; free and total testosterone.
Figure 2: Testosterone
According to Webmd, a health website that seeks to explore almost all diseases, total testosterone is the total amount of testosterone in your body while free testosterone is that which flows freely in your blood. [If you were to go for a testosterone blood test, the results would show the free testosterone but not the total testosterone].
The remainder is bound by body proteins such as albumin and Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) protein.
So how does stinging nettle increase testosterone?
- Stinging nettle frees up testosterone in your body by binding itself with the sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). So when stinging nettle binds itself up with the SHBG, the testosterone that was bound by this SHBG moves freely into your blood stream bringing all the fiery attributes of the hormone in you.
- Stinging nettle is an aromatase inhibitor. Now according to the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, aromatase are compounds that convert free testosterone to estrogen. This is not a good thing for a man because we said that testosterone makes a man look manly while estrogen would make you seem femalish.
Now when you add stinging nettle in the mix, the aromatase is inhibited (its action is stopped) and therefore your body get more free testosterone.
Stinging nettle and benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH)
Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) is a condition in which the prostate gland swells pressing the urethra, in this way making urination a difficult and painful process. A study by the University of Maryland showed that many people in Europe have used stinging nettle to treat BPH with positive results.