Stinging nettle or Urtica dioica is a common perennial flowering plant, used in Western medicine. Stinging nettle is a source of phytochemicals and vitamins and has properties that can reduce blood pressure as well as anti-diabetic effects.
- The in vitro evidence shows that a herbal extract containing stinging nettle amongst other ingredients was able to reduce levels of the inflammatory marker IL-1α, which some studies have shown to be upregulated in the serum of people with alopecia areata. Furthermore, in keratinocytes, stinging nettle has been found to reduce the gene expression of the 5α-reductase which may be beneficial to patients with androgenetic alopecia – however this hasn’t been shown specifically in humans.
- The clinical evidence shows that stinging nettle extract beneficially reduces prostate hyperplasia, reducing systemic DHT production without altering testosterone production, suggesting that it may also reduce DHT in the scalp.
- Further clinical evidence utilized stinging nettle as part of a proprietary combination of ingredients within a shampoo and herbal solution and found that shampoo and solution together increased the number of total hairs however this was only a mild increase (~217 total hairs for placebo shampoo and solution compared to ~225 total hairs for the proprietary shampoo and solution). Furthermore, this study was published in a journal with a low impact factor indicating that the quality of evidence may not be as high as data published in a high-impact factor journal.
- Our experience tracking members: Stinging nettle by itself is not enough to improve hair loss outcomes