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Nettles – nature’s hormone balancers

HORMONAL IMBALANCES CAN MAKE LIFE MISERABLE FOR BOTH MEN AND WOMEN. If you are suffering from hormonal imbalance stinging nettles have a lot to offer.

As well as being full of nutrition, thanks to their long tap roots and growing mostly in unadulterated soil, the leaves are good for skin, hair and nail health. When nettles are younger (the time to harvest is in the spring), the leaves can be sautéed, a bit like spinach, or used in soups.  You can also make your own nettle tea.

At other times of the year you can buy both nettle leaf tea and nettle root tea. Nettle root has been shown to have  significant hormone balancing properties. In small scale studies it has been shown to reduce both total and free testosterone. It blocks the formation of the more potent form of testosterone – dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – by inhibiting the action of the enzyme 5 alpha reductase which converts testosterone into this form. 

Excess testosterone, especially DHT, causes many of the symptoms associated with PCOS such as hirsutism, acne and male pattern baldness.

Nettle root also acts as an oestrogen blocker and may be helpful for both men and women with symptoms of oestrogen dominance. (NB ask your physician before taking any new herb or supplement).