Many all-natural herbals on the market claim to prevent hair loss or help re-grow hair that has been lost. Stinging nettle is one such plant that is touted for its ability to prevent hair loss. Its effectiveness has been compared to all-natural saw palmetto and pygeum africanum for hair loss. Unfortunately, whether the claims are true or not, herbals are not regulated by the FDA so there are no standardized tests to prove or disprove their effectiveness. Hair loss can be distressing to the sufferer, and herbals are often an inexpensive and safe approach to many minor medical problems.
Root Versus Leaf
When considering the entire stinging nettle plant, one must not confuse the healing properties of the leaf versus that of the root. Each part of the plant is touted as having entirely different medicinal effects inside the body. The root of the plant is said to prevent further hair loss, or re-grow new hair. The leaf has been proposed to help with inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammation of the urinary tract or kidneys. The root and the leaf should not be confused when considering which product to buy for hair re-growth.
Method of Action
Stinging nettle is said to prevent hereditary hair loss, called androgenetic alopecia, which accounts for 95 percent of all hair loss. Proponents of stinging nettle claim it is safe and effective in reducing hair loss caused by androgenetic alopecia, or the conversion of testosterone into follicle-harming dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
There have been no clinical studies on the effects of stinging nettle on hair growth, and therefore, claims of its effectiveness cannot be legitimized. Still, there are enough claims on its effectiveness that someone who suffers from premature hair loss might consider looking into natural approaches such as stinging nettle. It is proven that androgenetic alopecia is caused by the excess conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is understood as the root cause of follicle damage, and eventually death. It stands to reason that if stinging nettle blocks DHT, it may be effective for hair loss.
Dosing and Regulation
The FDA has not started regulating and testing herbals for safety and efficacy, therefore no standardized dosing is available. In this instance, one must consider it is possible to receive too little active ingredient to be effective, or too much active ingredient, which could cause harmful side effects. Herbals are used the world over and are safe and effective for many conditions; however, it is wise to use caution and consult a homeopathic practitioner before you try stinging nettle for hair loss.