Karolina Jakubczyk, Katarzyna Janda, Sylwia Szkyrpan, Izabela Gutowska, Jolanta Wolska


Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica L.) belongs to the family Urticaceae. It grows in the wild form in Asia, Europe, North America and North Africa. Stinging nettle is also a widespread ruderal plant found in Poland. Urtica dioica L., as a plant rich in biologically active compounds, is considered one of the most important plants used in phytotherapy. In vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated its antioxidant, antiplatelet, hypoglycaemic and hypocholesterolemic properties. Research conducted in recent years indicates the possibility of using nettle in chemoprevention, diabetes, benign prostatic hyperplasia and urologic diseases.


stinging nettle; health benefits; phytotherapy


Nowiński M.: Dzieje upraw i roślin leczniczych. PWRiL, Warszawa 1983, 59–60.

Leksykon roślin leczniczych. Ed.: A. Rumińska, A. Ożarowski. PWRiL, Warszawa 1990.

Grau J., Jung R., Münker B.: Leksykon przyrodniczy. Zioła i owoce leśne. Świat Książki, Warszawa 1996, 70, 252.

Činčura F., Ferákowá V., Májovský J., Šomšák L., Záborský J.: Pospolite rośliny środkowej Europy. PWRiL, Warszawa 1990, 140.

Nartowska J.: Pokrzywa zwyczajna. Panacea. 2007, 3 (20), 6–9.

Reaume T.: Stinging Nettle Urtica dioica, Urticaceae Nettle family. Nature Monitoba Grant, 2010 (21.01.2015).

Bisht S., Bhandari S., Bisht N.S.: Urtica dioica (L): an undervalued, economically important plant. Agric Sci Res J. 2012, 2 (5), 250–252.

Pieszak M., Mikołajczak P.Ł.: Właściwości lecznicze pokrzywy zwyczajnej (Urtica dioica L.). Postępy Fitoterapii. 2010, 4, 199–204.

Orčić D., Francišković M., Bekvalac K., Svirčev E., Beara I., Lesjak M. et al.: Quantitative determination of plant phenolics in Urtica dioica extracts by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometric detection. Food Chem. 2014, 15 (143), 48–53.

Uluata S., Özdemir N.: Antioxidant activities and oxidative stabilities of some unconventional oilseeds. J Am Oil Chem Soc. 2012, 89 (4), 551–559.

Akbay P., Basaran A.A, Undeger U., Basaran N.: In vitro immunomodulatory activity of flavonoid glycosides from Urtica dioica L. Phytother Res. 2003, 17 (1), 34–37.

Chrubasik J.E., Roufogalis B.D., Wagner H., Chrubasik S.A.: A comprehensive on nettle efect and efficacy profiles. Part I: herba urticae. Phytomedicine. 2007, 14 (6), 423–435.

Guil-Guerrero J.L., Rebolloso-Fuentesa M.M., TorijaIsasab M.E.: Fatty acids and carotenoids from Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica L.). J Food Composition Anal. 2003, 16 (2), 111–119.

Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC). Assessment report on Urtica dioica L., Urtica urens L., Urtica folium. Europen Medicines Agency. 2010

HMPC_assessment_report/2012/11/WC500134484.pdf. (21.01.2015).

Mihaljev Z., Zivkov-Balos M., Cupić Z., Jaksić S.: Levels of some microelements and essential heavy metals in herbal teas in Serbia. Acta Pol Pharm. 2014, 71 (3), 385–391.

Nowak R.: Natura – niedoceniane źródło kwasu askorbinowego. Postępy Fitoterapii. 2004, 1, 14–18.

Roschek Jr B., Fink R., McMichae M., Alberte R.: Nettle extract (Urtica dioica) affects key receptors and enzymes associated with allergic rhinitis. Phytother Res. 2009, 23 (7), 920–926.

Ayers S., Roschek B. Jr., Williams J.M., Alberte R.S.: Pharmacokinetic analysis of anti-allergy and anti-inflammation bioactives in a nettle (Urtica dioica) extract. J Pharmacol Pharmacokin. 2008, 5, 6–21.

Mittman P.: Randomized, double-blind study of freeze-dried Urtica dioica in the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Planta Medica. 1990, 56 (1), 44–47.

Randall C., Meethan K., Randall H., Dobbs F.: Nettle sting of Urtica dioica for joint pain – an exploratory study of this complementary therapy. Complement Ther Med. 1999, 7 (3), 126–131.

Shakibaei M., Allaway D., Nebrich S., Mobasheri A.: Botanical extracts from rosehip (Rosa canina), willow bark (Salix alba), and nettle leaf (Urtica dioica) suppress IL-1ß-induced NF-κB activation in canine articular chondrocytes. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012; 2012: 16.

Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC). Assessment report on Urtica dioica L., Urtica urens L., their hybrids or their mixtures, radix. Europen medicines agency. 2012.

Gutowska I., Jakubczyk K., Dec K., Baranowska-Bosiacka I., Drozd A., Janda K. et al.: Effect of the extract from nettle (Urtica dioica L.) fruit cluster on the synthesis of pro-inflammatory agents in hepatocytes treated with fluoride. Fluoride. 2014, 47 (1), 113–122.

Wagner H., Willer F., Kreher B.: Biologically active compounds from the aqueous extract of Urtica dioica. Planta Med. 1989, 55 (5), 452–454.

Chrubasik S., Enderlein W., Bauer R., Grabner W.: Evidence for antirheumatic effectiveness of HerbaUrticae dioica in acute arthritis: a pilot study. Phytomedicine. 1997, 4 (2), 105–108.

Riehemann K., Behnke B., Schulze-Osthoff K.: Plant extracts from stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), an antirheumatic remedy, inhibit the proinflammatory transcription factor NF-κB. FEBS Lett. 1999, 442 (1), 89–94.

Hajhashemi V., Klooshani V.: Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of Urtica dioica leaf extract in animal models. Avicenna J Phytomed. 2013, 3 (2), 193–200.

Schulze-Tanzil G., de Souza P., Behnke B., Klingelhoefer S., Scheid A., Shakibaei M.: Effects of the antirheumatic remedy Hox alpha – a new stinging nettle leaf extract – on matrix metalloproteinases in human chondrocytes in vitro. Histol Histopathol. 2002, 17 (2), 477–485.

Genc Z., Yarat A., Tunali-Akbay T., Sener G., Cetinel S., Pisiriciler R. et al.: The effect of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) seed oil on experimental colitis in rats. J Med Food. 2011, 14 (12), 1554–1561.

Namazi N., Esfanjani A.T., Heshmati J., Bahrami A., Nazemiyeh H.: A systematic review about effects of aerial portions of Urtica dioica (nettle) on some cardiovascular risk factors in diabetes mellitus. International Journal of Pharmacology. 2012, 8 (5), 306–313.

Toldy A., Stadler K., Sasvári M., Jakus J., Jung K.J., Chung H.Y. et al.: The effect of exercise and nettle supplementation on oxidative stress markers in the rat brain. Brain Res Bull. 2005, 65 (6), 487–493.

Yener Z., Celik I., Ilhan F., Bal R.: Effects of Urtica dioica L. seed on lipid peroxidation, antioxidants and liver pathology in aflatoxin-induced tissue injury in rats. Food Chem Toxicol. 2009, 47 (2), 418–424.

Kanter M., Coskun O., Budancamanak M.: Hepatoprotective effects of Nigella sativa L and Urtica dioica L on lipid peroxidation, antioxidant enzyme systems and liver enzymes in carbon tetrachloride-treated rats. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2005. 11 (42), 6684–6688.

Pierre S., Crosbie L., Duttaroy A.K.: Inhibitory effect of aqueous extracts of some herbs on human platelet aggregation in vitro. Platelets. 2005, 16 (8), 469–473.

El Haouari M., Bnouham M., Bendahou M., Aziz M., Ziyyat A., Legssyer A. et al.: Inhibition of rat platelet aggregation by Urtica dioica leaves extracts. Phytother Res. 2006, 20, 568–572.

Meral I., Kanter M.: Effects of L. and L. on selected mineral status and hematological values in CCl4-treated rats. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2003, 96 (1-3), 263–270.

Testai L., Chericoni S., Calderone V., Nencioni G., Nieri P., Morelli I. et al.: Cardiovascular effects of Urtica dioica L. (Urticaceae) roots extracts: in vitro and in vivo pharmacological studies. J Ethnopharmacol. 2002, 81 (1), 105–109.

Mobaseri M., Aliasgarzadeh A., Bahrami A., Zargami N., Tabrizi A.: Efficacy of the total extract of Urtica dioica on the glucose utilization by the human muscle cells. J Clin Diagn Res. 2012, 6 (3), 437–440.

Kianbakht S., Khalighi-Sigaroodi F., Dabaghian F.H.: Improved glycemic control in patients with advanced type 2 diabetes mellitus taking Urtica dioica leaf extract: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Clin Lab. 2013, 59 (9-10), 1071–1076.

Jahanshahi M., Golalipour M.J., Afshar M.: The effect of Urtica dioica extract on the number of astrocytes in the dentate gyrus of diabetic rats. Folia Morphologica. 2009, 68 (2), 93–97.

Golalipour M.J., Ghafari S., Latifimoghadam 41. M.H., Kaboli S.: Alteration of dentate gyrus astrocytes in diabetic rats: protective pole of Urtica dioica. Int J Morphol. 2011, 29 (4), 1307–1312.

Qujeq D., Tatar M., Feizi F., Parsian H., Faraji A.S., Halalkhor S.: Effect of Urtica dioica leaf alcoholic and aqueous extracts on the number and the diameter of the islets in diabetic rats. Int J Mol Cell Med. 2013, 2 (5), 21–26.

Qujeq D., Davary S., Moazzi Z., Mahjoub S.: Effect of Urtica dioica leaf extract on activities of nucleoside diphosphate kinase and acetyl coenzyme, a carboxylase, in normal and hyperglycemic rats. Afr J Pharm Pharmacol. 2011, 5 (6), 792–796.

Patel S.S., Udayabanu M.: Effect of Urtica dioica on memory dysfunction and hypoalgesia in an experimental model of diabetic neuropathy. Neurosci Lett. 2013, 552, 114–119.

Rahimzadeh M., Jahanshahi S., Moein S., Moein M.R.: Evaluation of alphaamylase inhibition by Urtica dioica and Juglans regia extracts. Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2014, 17, 465–469.

Nassiri-Asl M., Zamansoltani F., Abbasi E., Daneshi M.M., Zangivand A.A.: Effects of Urtica dioica extract on lipid profile in hypercholesterolemic rats. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2009, 7 (5), 428–433.

Shackebaei D., Godini A.A., Abolghazi M., Majnouni M.B., Hesari M.: Protection of ischemic and reperfused rat heart by aqueous extract of Urtica dioica. Iran Cardiovasc Res J. 2010, 4 (3), 107–111.

Hirano T., Homma M., Oka K.: Effects of stinging nettle root extracts and their steroidal components on the Na+, K(+)- ATPase of the benign prostatic hyperplasia. Planta Med. 1994, 60, 30–33.

Nawrot J.: Herbal medicine in benign prostatic hyperplasia. HerbaPolonica. 2009, 55 (4), 214–223.

Blumenthal M., Busse W.R., Goldberg A.: The Complete German Commission E Monographs. Austin, TX: American Botanical Council. Integr Med Com, Boston 1998.

ESCOP Monographs, The Scientific Foundation for Herbal Medicinal Products. Thieme, Stuttgart–New York 2003.

Vontobel H., Herzog R., Rutishauser G., Kres H.: Results of a double-blind study on the effectiveness of ERU (extractum radicis Urticae) capsules in conservative treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Urologe. 1985, 24 (1), 49–51.

Fischer M., Wilbert D.: Test of phytomedicine for treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). In: Benigne Prostahyperplasie III: Klinische und experimentelle Urologie. Vol 22. Ed. G. Rutishager. W. Zuckswerdt, New York 1992, 79–84.

Morovvati H., Najafzadehvarzi H., Rashidi K.: Effect of Urtica dioica extract on histological and histometrical changes of testis of hamster after testosterone administration. Zahedan J Res Med Sci. 2013, 15 (11), 4–8.

Jalili C., Salahshoor M.R., Naseri A.: Protective effect of Urtica dioica L against nicotine-induced damage on sperm parameters, testosterone and testis tissue in mice. Iran J Reprod Med. 2014, 12 (6), 401–408.

Zhang H., Li N., Li K., Li P.: Protective effect of Urtica dioica methanol extract against experimentally induced urinary calculi in rats. Mol Med Rep. 2014, 10 (6), 3157–3162.

Yesilada E., Honda G., Sezik E., Tabata M., Goto K., Ikeshiro Y.: Traditional medicine in Turkey. IV. Folk medicine in mediterranean Subdivision. J Ethnopharmacol. 1993, 39 (1), 31–38.

Lebedev A., Batakov E., Kurkin V.: The Antioxidative activity of a complex hepatoprotective preparation. silybokhol rastitel’nye resursy. 2001, 37 (2), 69–75.

Oguz S., Kanter M., Erboga M., Ibis C.: Protective effect of Urtica dioica on liver damage induced by biliary obstruction in rats. Toxicol Ind Health. 2013, 29 (9), 838–845.

Yilmaz B., Basar O., Aktas B., Altinbas A., Ekiz F., Büyükcam F. et al.: Effects of Urtica dioica extract on experimental acute pancreatitis model in rats. Int J ClinExp Med. 2014, 7 (5), 1313–1318.

Salehzadeh A., Asadpour L., Naeemi A.S., Houshmand E.: Antimicrobial activity of methanolic extracts of Sambucus ebulus and Urtica dioica against clinical isolates of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2014, 11 (5), 38–40.

Singh R., Hussain S., Verma R., Sharma P.: Anti-mycobacterial screening of five Indian medicinal plants and partial purification of active extracts of Cassia sophera and Urtica dioica. Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2013, 6 (5), 366–371.

Konrad L., Muller H.H., Lenz C., Laubinger H., Aumaller G., Lichius J.J.: Antiproliferative effect on human prostate cancer cells by a stinging nettle root (Urtica dioica) extract. Planta Med. 2000, 66 (1), 441–447.

Dathe G., Schmid H.: Phytotherapy of benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH); double-blind study with stinging nettle root extract (Extractum Radicis Urticae – ERU). Urologe. 1987, 27, 223–226.

Fattahi S., Ardekani A.M., Zabihi E., Abedian Z., Mostafazadeh A., Pourbagher R. et al.: Antioxidant and apoptotic effects of an aqueous extract of Urtica dioica on the MCF-7 human breast cancer cell line. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013, 14 (9), 5317–5323.

Di Sotto A., Mazzanti G., Savickiene N., Staršelskytė R., Baksenskaite V., Di Giacomo S. et al.: Antimutagenic and antioxidant activity of a protein fraction from aerial parts of Urtica dioica. Pharm Biol. 2015, 53 (6), 935–938.

Johnson T., Sohn J., Inman W.D., Bjeldanes L.F., Rayburn K.: Lipophilic stinging nettle extracts possess potent anti-inflammatory activity, are not cytotoxic and may be superior to traditional tinctures for treating inflammatory disorders. Phytomedicine. 2013, 20 (2), 143–147.


Copyright (c) 2015 Karolina Jakubczyk, Katarzyna Janda, Sylwia Szkyrpan, Izabela Gutowska, Jolanta Wolska

License URL: