When attempting to improve testosterone levels, most people’s first impulse is to jump on the internet and immediately start researching “the perfect testosterone supplement” that will skyrocket their T to unimaginable levels.
The reality is that perhaps the most potent, sustainable way to increase testosterone levels, and hormonal health in general, is by mastering the other core aspects of your health. Eating a healthy diet consisting of regular meals, getting plenty of quality sleep, and performing consistent exercise (particularly in the form of resistance training) will likely do more to benefit your testosterone levels than any natural supplement would.
That said, if you’re already well on your way to optimizing these things and want another tool for improving your hormonal health, Nettle Root is one of the best herbal choices you can make. In this article I’ll explain why I value Nettle so much, but before we get started, let’s examine why we should care about testosterone levels in the first place.
Why does testosterone matter? Health benefits associated with testosterone
We all know the stereotype of the gym bro obsessed with optimizing his testosterone. But stereotypes aside, having adequate hormone health is something we should all strive for. This is because healthy levels of testosterone and other hormones tend to be closely correlated with overall health as a whole. Low testosterone is often associated with depression, irritability, and fatigue. Healthy testosterone levels on the other hand, are associated with the following benefits:
Our Estrogenic Environment
The field of environmental endocrine disruption is a very young one, but more and more scientists are realizing that “many chemicals with diverse chemical structures, some of which are common environmental contaminants, have been endowed with ‘estrogenic’ properties’.” These chemicals are known as xeno-estrogens or environmental estrogens, and include things like plastics, fertilizers/pesticides, and chemicals found in treated water. Abnormally high estrogen levels have been linked to breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.
How Nettle Decreases Estrogen and Boosts Testosterone
In the human body, there are two types of testosterone, bound testosterone and free testosterone. Once the testosterone is bound, it cannot be used, and on average, only about 2% of testosterone in the body is free testosterone.
The reason Nettle Root is such a supreme hormone tonic, is because it grants testosterone more freedom in the male body by releasing its bind to the glycoprotein sex hormone binding globulin, SHBG. Nettle binds to SHBG, thus allowing the testosterone increased freedom and utilization.
Not only can nettle increase testosterone in this way, but it can also help protect from environmental estrogens, because one of the ways these xeno-estrogens increase estrogen in the body is by increasing production of SHBG: “These xeno-estrogens increase the host production of SHBG, reduce pituitary stimulation of androgen product and result in a shift to estrogen dominance.” In other words, Nettle Root can protect you from the means by which environmental estrogens increase estrogen in the body, and thus help keep a male body testosterone-dominant.
Other benefits of Nettle Root include: