Stinging nettle is a plant that has long been used medicinally for a variety of health concerns. Most people are familiar with the ability of stinging nettle leaf to relieve allergy symptoms and joint pain when taken as a supplement. But emerging research reveals stinging nettle may also have a powerful effect on metabolism.
In this article, we’ll explore the lesser-known benefits of stinging nettle leaf for increasing metabolic rate, burning fat, and supporting weight loss.
What Is Stinging Nettle?
Stinging nettle, also known by its botanical name Urtica dioica, is a flowering perennial plant found natively across North America, Europe, and Asia. The leaves and stems are covered in stinging hairs that release chemicals like histamine, acetylcholine, and serotonin when touched, causing a temporary stinging sensation.
Once harvested and processed properly, stinging nettle leaves can be consumed safely. They provide bioactive compounds like flavonoids, minerals, fatty acids, and vitamins that exert therapeutic effects in the body.
Traditionally, stinging nettle leaf has been used to treat inflammatory conditions like arthritis, gastrointestinal distress, skin irritations, and gout due to its antihistamine and anti-inflammatory actions. But emerging research highlights benefits for metabolism as well.
Metabolic Effects of Stinging Nettle
So how does stinging nettle work to increase metabolic rate? Here are some of the key mechanisms identified by scientific studies:
By influencing key hormones, enzymes, and pathways related to metabolism, stinging nettle enhances the body’s ability to utilize energy stores, control blood sugar, and burn excess fat.
Research Evidence for Nettle and Metabolism
A growing pool of studies validate the metabolic enhancing effects of stinging nettle leaf:
The supportive research helps confirm traditional uses of stinging nettle for supporting metabolic, cardiovascular, and hormonal health.
How To Use Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle leaf is available in several forms:
To fully leverage the metabolic enhancing effects of stinging nettle leaf, make sure to pair supplementation with a healthy diet, active lifestyle, and smart exercise program.
Beyond its better-known benefits for allergies and pain, emerging research highlights the ability of stinging nettle leaf to act as a metabolic booster. Nettle influences key hormones, enzymes, and pathways involved in blood sugar regulation, lipid metabolism, and fat burning.
Human trials demonstrate stinging nettle leaf in various supplemental forms SeroLean is one such instance.. can improve insulin sensitivity, slow fat absorption, increase fat breakdown, optimize testosterone, reduce inflammation, and amplify fat burning.
Although more studies are warranted, current evidence and traditional use suggest stinging nettle is a promising metabolic enhancer when combined with healthy lifestyle measures for supporting weight loss and wellness goals.
Research shows positive effects on blood sugar regulation, but diabetics should monitor levels closely and consult doctors before using nettle supplements. Medications may require dosing modifications.
Studies show improved blood glucose control, lipid profiles, and body composition in 4-8 weeks with regular stinging nettle supplementation alongside diet and exercise.
The leaves contain more favorable concentrations of the bioactive compounds. Roots more commonly used topically. Leaves offer optimal internal metabolic benefits.
Light cooking for up to 10 minutes preserves most nutrients in nettle leaves. But raw, freeze-dried, or gently heated preparations maximize medicinal effects.
No strict cycling is required, but taking breaks from nettle every few months allows the body to reset and maintains supplement effectiveness long-term.
- This study published in the National Library of Medicine evaluated stinging nettle’s effects on metabolic factors in patients with type 2 diabetes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6042097/
- The NIH Office of Dietary Supplements overview of stinging nettle indicates it can lower blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c based on clinical studies.
- Healthline references a human study showing 600mg of nettle leaf extract for 12 weeks caused lower triglycerides, blood pressure, and LDL cholesterol while raising HDL cholesterol.