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Mankind is checking out virtually every plant source possible to find what type of uses its element may contain. Even the nasty nettle plant, with its unwanted stinging aspect, has other beneficial aspects for the human body in general and the bodybuilder in particular. Interestingly, many of the plants that have harmful exteriors (nettle, puncture weed) have some hot stuff inside - stuff to build up the muscles.
Use of the nettle plant's properties (a.k.a. urtica dioica) is divided into two areas - the root and the above ground portion of the plant. The above ground portion of the plant are used in treating a variety of disorders, including stomach issues, diabetes, enlarged spleen, anemia asthma, wound healing and poor circulation. This powerful plant has even shown some potential as a cancer fighting agent.
For the bodybuilder, the "wound healing" properties are of interest as the same capabilities that help repair also help build and facilitate growth. Any plant that has these capabilities needs to be taken serious as healing and growing go hand in hand.
The root of the nettle has benefits as well. The root is used to treat enlarged prostate issues (benign prostatic hyperplasia [BPH]) and other related problems such as too frequent urination, painful urination, inability to urinate, nighttime urination and irritable bladder. The root of the stinging nettle root is also employed for joint ailments, and can be used as a diuretic.
For the bodybuilder, the joint help is always appreciated, and that becomes a bigger issue the longer you have trained. But the big deal with nettle extract is its anabolic ability as elements in it increase free testosterone in the body. This supplement can benefit your testosterone levels naturally. Additionally, nettle extract also keeps the body's testosterone from being converted to dihydrotestosterone. Nettle extract also has anti aromatase properties as it suppresses sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). Livestrong.com notes "According to Bastyr University, nettle extract binds to SHBG by taking the place of testosterone, which is then free to roam."
It is the root portion - the same part of the plant that benefits the prostate - that has the prime testosterone elements. Bodybuilders primarily aim at the testosterone factor when using supplements and when a natural source such as nettle extract is employed, there can be additional benefits (such as joint relief) that go along with it. And many natural supplements, including nettle extract, are considered safe for use in the human body. For using nettle extract as a supplement, a typical range is 100 to 500 mg twice a day on empty stomach will do the trick. Make sure it is a root source nettle, or all inclusive, including the root.
Disclaimer: This information is for entertainment purposes only. We strongly recommend that you consult a physician before beginning any exercise program. MuscleNet.com is not a licensed medical care provider. The reader should understand that participating in any exercise program can result in physical injury and agrees to do so at his own risk. The findings and opinions of authors expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily state or reflect those of MuscleNet.com.