November 14


The Effects of Stinging Nettle on Glucose Readings

By Gabriela

November 14, 2017

Stinging nettle has a long medicinal history. Even though it’s most famous for causing stinging irritation on the skin, it’s been used for hundreds of years to treat different health problems.

Some of them are joint and muscle pain, arthritis, allergy, eczema, gout, UTI, anemia, hay fever, tendonitis, etc.

The products from this plant, also known as Urtica dioica, are made from the stems, leaves, and roots. So, all parts possess some medicinal properties.

But, is stinging nettle beneficial for people with diabetes as well? Does it affect blood glucose levels positively or negatively?

Stinging Nettles and Diabetes

Studies suggest that Urtica dioica leaf extract can reduce blood glucose levels. This makes it beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes.

There are even recommendations to avoid this plant if you already take diabetes medication to avoid a sudden drop in blood glucose.

As we probably know, low blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, or hypoglycemia, is also dangerous as it can cause seizures and loss of consciousness.

Nettle leaves have PPARgamma agonistic, secretagogue, and alpha-glucosidase inhibitory effects. Also, traditional medicine uses them as an anti-hyperglycemic agent for treating type 2 diabetes.

Using Stinging Nettles in the Treatment of Diabetes

There are some minor studies which suggest the opposite – that stinging nettle might raise blood glucose in some people with diabetes.

It turns out the effects of this plant in the treatment of diabetes are individual, so it’s best to consult a doctor before considering using it.

Still, if you do decide to use it, make sure you monitor your blood glucose levels throughout the whole process, especially if you take other diabetes medication. Once you see how it affects your blood glucose, you can then include them in your diet.

Another thing to have in mind is that not all stinging nettle extracts affect blood glucose. For now, only the above-ground parts have shown to be beneficial.

On the other hand, stinging nettle roots might treat benign prostatic hyperplasia and boost testosterone in bodybuilders.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you consult your doctor first and closely monitor your blood glucose levels.

Note – Don’t confuse stinging nettle with white dead nettle.


  • Gabriela

    Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Health Page, Fitness trainer and instructor has dedicated her career to educating and informing people for over 10 years. As one of the most passionate diabetes advocates, Gabi has worked tirelessly to ensure that those people receive the education and support they need to properly manage their diabetes and achieve their health, fitness and weight loss goals.

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