Stinging nettle's effect on obesity, elevated blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes


At the Department of Pharmacodynamics and Toxicology at the Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, in January 2022, an evaluation of various studies conducted on nettle's effect on Metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome includes overweight/abdominal obesity, elevated blood pressure, insulin resistance/disturbed glucose-insulin homeostasis and dyslipidemia.

Phytotherapy (herbal medicine) has long played an important role in the treatment of metabolic symptoms.

Brännnässlor (nettle leaf) is considered a valuable plant widely due to bioactive compounds such as formic acid and rich sources of flavonoids. The role of nettles as a medicinal plant in metabolic syndrome has several mechanisms proven valuable, such as changes in potassium and calcium channels that improve hypertension.

Lipid-lowering (also sometimes called hypolipidemic agents, cholesterol-lowering drugs, or antihyperlipidemic agents) properties of nettle are mediated by inhibition of HMGCoA reduction (3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reduction) and improvement of lipid peroxidation by means of its antioxidant effect.

One of the flavonoids in stinging nettle, quercetin, is also responsible for reducing total cholesterol. In addition, nettles have antidiabetic effects through processes such as increasing insulin secretion and pancreatic β-cell proliferation.

The evaluation was done on clinical studies done in vitro (experiments in test tubes) as well as in vivo (experiments on animals & humans) with regard to the beneficial effects of stinging nettles in the treatment of various symptoms of metabolic syndrome.

According to this evaluation, most of the studies showed relevance to nettle antidiabetic aspects.

Stinging nettles have shown various positive effects on high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia and diabetes. It was found that stinging nettles, among other things, reduce the tension in the blood vessel walls. Nettle is also a valuable plant in the treatment of hyperlipidemia (Hyperlipidemia is part of the metabolic syndrome which includes abdominal obesity, high TG, low HDL, elevated blood pressure and elevated fasting glucose or type 2 diabetes) because it stabilizes lipid peroxidation (The formation of lipid peroxides leads to the breakdown of the original fat and thereby reduces membrane defects) and increases the oxidation of fatty acids in the liver.

The conclusion of the evaluation is that stinging nettles be a useful natural remedy for any of the symptoms of the metabolic syndrome (overweight/abdominal obesity, elevated blood pressure, insulin resistance/impaired glucose-insulin homeostasis and lipid disorders)


Mashhad University of Medical Sciences

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