Nettle - Nettles - Urtica dioica - Nettles - Urtica dioica Nettle - Nettles - Urtica dioica - Nettles - Urtica dioica

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(Urtica dioica)

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Nettle - Nettles - Urtica dioica - Nettles - Urtica dioica


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  • Family: Urticaceae
    Genus: Urtica
    Species: dioica
    Synonyms: Urtica galeopsifolia
    Common Names: Nettle, big string nettle, common nettle, stinging nettle, gerrais, isirgan, kazink, nabat al nar, ortiga, grande ortie, ortie, urtiga, chichicaste, brennessel, gross d’ortie, racine d’ortie
    Parts Used: Root, leaves

    From The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs:

    Main Actions Other Actions Standard Dosage
  • reduces allergies
  • stimulates digestion
  • Leaves, root
  • cleanses blood
  • aids lactation
  • Infusion: 1 cup 2-3
  • reduces inflammtion
  • promotes menstruation
  • times daily
  • relieves pain
  • kills germs
  • Capsules: 2 g 2-3
  • stops hair loss
  • lowers body temperature
  • times daily
  • increases urination
  •   Tincture: 2-3 ml 2-3
  • stops bleeding
  •   times daily
  • dilates blood vessels
  • lowers blood pressure
  • heals wounds

    Nettle, or stinging nettle, is a perennial plant growing in temperate and tropical wasteland areas around the world. The plant has been naturalized in Brazil and other parts of South America. It grows 2 to 4 meters high and produces pointed leaves and white to yellowish flowers. Nettle has a well-known reputation for giving a savage sting when the skin touches the hairs and bristles on the leaves and stems. The genus name Urtica comes from the Latin verb urere, meaning 'to burn,' because of these stinging hairs. The species name dioica means 'two houses' because the plant usually contains either male or female flowers.


    In folk medicine nettle plants have been used as a diuretic, to build the blood, for arthritis and rheumatism. Externally it has been used to improve the appearance of the hair, and is said to be a remedy against oily hair and dandruff.

    The plant has been widely used by herbalists around the world for centuries. In the first century, Greek physicians Dioscorides and Galen reported the leaf of nettle had diuretic and laxative properties and was useful for asthma, pleurisy and spleen illnesses. Bandages soaked in a leaf and stem infusion were used in early American medicine to stop the bleeding of wounds; an account of this use was recorded by Dr. Francis P. Procher, a surgeon and physician in the Southern Confederacy during the Civil War. Nettle leaves were also recommended as a nutritious food and as a weight loss aid by the famous American plant forager and naturalist, Euell Gibbons.

    In Brazilian herbal medicine the entire plant is used for excessive menstrual bleeding, diarrhea, diabetes, urinary disorders and respiratory problems including allergies. Externally, an infusion is used for skin problems. In Peru nettle is used against a variety of complaints such as muscular and arthritis pain, eczema, ulcers, asthma, diabetes, intestinal inflammation, nosebleeds and rheumatism. Externally it is used for inflammations, sciatica, wounds and head lice. In Germany today stinging nettle is sold as an herbal drug for prostate diseases and as a diuretic. It is a common ingredient in other herbal drugs produced in Germany for rheumatic complaints and inflammatory conditions (especially for the lower urinary tract and prostate). In the United States many remarkable healing properties are attributed to nettle and the leaf is utilized for different problems than the root. The leaf is used here as a diuretic, for arthritis, prostatitis, rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure and allergic rhinitis. The root is recommended as a diuretic, for relief of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and other prostate problems, and as a natural remedy to treat or prevent baldness.


    The stinging sensation of the leaf hairs is caused by several plant chemicals including formic acid, histamine, serotonin, and choline. In addition to these chemicals, nettle leaf is rich in minerals, chlorophyll, amino acids, lecithin, carotenoids, flavonoids, sterols, tannins and vitamins. The root of the plant has other chemicals such as scopoletin, sterols, fatty acids, polysaccharides and isolectins. Several of nettle's lectin chemicals have demonstrated marked antiviral actions (against HIV and several common upper respiratory viruses). Other chemicals (flavonoids in the leaves and a lectin in the root) have been documented with interesting immune stimulant actions in preliminary research which led researchers to suggest that the lectin might be useful in the treatment of systemic lupus.

    Nettle's main plant chemicals include: acetophenone, acetylcholine, agglutinins, alkaloids, astragalin, butyric acid, caffeic acids, carbonic acid, chlorogenic acid, chlorophyll, choline, coumaric acid, folacin, formic acid, friedelins, histamine, kaempherols, koproporphyrin, lectins, lecithin, lignans, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, neoolivil, palmitic acid, pantothenic acid, quercetin, quinic acid, scopoletin, secoisolariciresinol, serotonin, sitosterols, stigmasterol, succinic acid, terpenes, violaxanthin, and xanthophylls.


    Nettle's long-standing use as an anti-inflammatory aid for rheumatism and arthritis has been confirmed with clinical research. In several clinical studies (including a randomized double-blind placebo trial) nettle leaf extracts were documented with anti-inflammatory actions as well as to be beneficial (and better than placebo) at relieving arthritis pain and inflammation in humans. Research suggests that nettle's anti-inflammatory actions are attributed to its ability to interrupt the production and actions of inflammation-producing immune cells in the body (cytokines, prostaglandins and leukotreines). Another randomized double-blind study was performed on nettle in 1990 which confirmed its traditional uses for allergies and rhinitis (a common inflammatory disorder causing sneezing, nasal congestion and discharge and itchy skin and often triggered by allergies). In this study with 69 patients, nettle extract again rated higher than placebo: 58% reported it relieved most all their symptoms and 48% stated it was more effective than other over-the-counter medications. It was still being confirmed as a beneficial treatment for rhinitis 10 years later when researchers then suggested the same sort of inflammatory immune cell suppression was responsible for the documented effects.

    Other recent animal studies with rats (in 2000 and 2002) reported that water extracts of nettle lowered blood pressure, reduced heart rate, and had notable diuretic actions. One of the studies reported that a nettle root extract performed better than the control drug they used (furosemide) at reducing blood pressure, increasing urine output, and increasing sodium excretion. Earlier studies reported nettle had no effect on blood pressure in rats but demonstrated a notable hypotensive effect in cats. It was also shown to have an pain-relieving effect in mice, a sedative effect in rats and mice, as well as to inhibit drug-induced convulsions and lower the body temperature of rats.

    The last area of research on nettle focuses on its usefulness for prostate inflammation (prostatitis) and benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). In more than 20 clinical studies thus far, nettle root (and nettle combined with other herbs) has demonstrated an improvement of clinical symptoms in BPH and prostatitis. (Prostatitis is the inflammation of the prostate gland and surrounding tissues usually caused by a bacteria. BPH is an age-related non-malignant enlargement of the prostate gland due to increased numbers of cells triggered to grow in the prostate.) While nettle's benefit for prostatitis is most probably related to its documented anti-inflammatory properties demonstrated in the arthritis and rhinitis research, it's effect on BPH is quite different - it works on a hormonal level.

    BPH, the most common disease of the prostate that generally affects men starting from the age of 40, actually occurs on a hormonal level. Androgens like testosterone as well as estrogens (such as estradiol and estrone) have been shown to cause BPH in animal studies. While testosterone plays a role in BPH, it is rather the conversion of testosterone to the extremely potent dihydrotestosterone that is the problem (and this conversion naturally increases as men age for some unexplained reason). In excess, dihydrotestosterone causes pathological prostate growth. Estrogens, which also increases as men age, influences prostate tissue by stimulating prostate-cell growth. These main hormones travel around the body in a free state, as well as bound to proteins. One such protein is called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG); its role is to maintain a dynamic hormonal balance in the body. SHBG binds or attaches to hormones and carries them to different receptor sites on cell membranes throughout the body where they can be utilized in different ways. The effect it has depends on which hormone it binds to and which receptor site it is carried to. For instance, in men, estrogen and dihydrotestosterone bound to SHBG, are usually carried to the receptor sites on the prostate gland and once there in excessive amounts, it can stimulate prostate tissue cells to divide and grow rapidly - resulting in BPH.

    Some of the more recent research on BPH and nettles indicates that nettle can interfere with or block a number these hormone-related chemical processes in the body that are implicated in the development of BPH. In clinical research, nettle has demonstrated the ability to stop the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (by inhibiting an enzyme required for the conversion), as well as to directly bind to SHBG itself - thereby preventing SHBG from binding to other hormones. Other research also reveals that nettles can prevent SHBG that has already bound to a hormone from attaching to the receptor sites on the prostate, as well as to decrease the production of estrogens (estradiol and estrone) by inhibiting an enzyme required for their production.

    It all sounds a bit complicated, but basically, most all of the complex intercellular processes required to trigger the prostate to grow new cells and enlarge seems to be inhibited by nettle. This is great news for men suffering from BPH (and there are millions)! Human and animal studies have confirmed these effects and benefits. In one study, a nettle root extract was shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cells by 30% in five days; another reported it inhibited BPH in mice by 51.4% (which suggested it could be used as a preventative as well as a treatment). In a study with 134 men with BPH, 300 mg of nettle root (with 25 mg of another plant called Pygeum) reduced retained urine (blocked by enlarged prostates) and reduced frequent urination at night (a bothersome symptom of BPH) in 28 days. A randomized double-blind clinical trial was conducted with 543 BPH patients who were given a combination of saw palmetto and nettle root or a drug called finasteride. The average urine flow increased in both groups, while urinary urgency and frequency decreased in both groups. Other BPH symptoms also decreased in both groups, and, as usual; fewer side effects were reported by those taking the herbal combination than those taking the drug.

    It also should be noted that these same androgen hormones have profound effects on scalp and body hair in both males and females. Hair loss in both men and women has been linked to excessive dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels. While no clinical studies have been conducted yet on the use of nettle in treating DHT-related hair loss and male pattern balding, research does indicate that nettle root can prevent the conversion of testosterone to DHT. Interestingly, a U.S. patent has recently been filed on an herbal combination containing nettle root for the treatment of male pattern baldness. More research is sure to follow as this is a highly popular and profitable area of research.


    Over the last several years, more consumers and practitioners have been learning of nettle's many uses for prostate problems, arthritis and inflammation in general, allergies and hair loss and it follows that more nettle products are showing up on the shelves in stores. Nettle root, nettle leaf and whole herb (leaf, stem and root) products in tablets, capsules, and tinctures are now widely available at most health food stores at very reasonable prices. Consumers just need to remember that the root is much better for BPH and hair loss, while the leaf is better for inflammation (including prostatitis), allergies, and as a natural diuretic for people with hypertension.

    Unfortunately, consumers (and even natural product manufacturers) overlook these important distinctions between the root and leaf when searching for natural remedies and products. Nettle is now an ingredient in many herbal formulas for prostate health which are sold in the U.S. market. Pay close attention to the ingredients stated on the labels however; the root is needed for BPH, and the leaves will provide much better results for prostatitis. As a general preventative to prostate problems, for maintaining healthy prostate functions as well as male hormonal levels; clinical research suggests the root will work better than the leaf as well.

    Main Preparation Method: infusion or capsules

    Main Actions (in order):
    anti-allergic, anti-anaphylactic, anti-inflammatory, decongestant, diuretic

    Main Uses:

    1. for seasonal allergies, rhinitis, and sinusitis
    2. for BPH and prostatitis
    3. for arthritis, rheumatism and other inflammatory conditions
    4. for high blood pressure
    5. for hair loss
    Properties/Actions Documented by Research:
    analgesic (pain-reliever), anti-allergy, anti-anaphylatic, anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antihistamine, decongestant, diuretic, hypotensive (lowers blood pressure), immunomodulator (selectively modulates overactive immune cells)

    Other Properties/Actions Documented by Traditional Use:
    anti-asthmatic, antibacterial, antidiabetic, antihemorrhagic (reduces bleeding), anti-rheumatic, astringent, blood cleanser, diaphoretic (promotes sweating), febrifuge (reduces fever), laxative, menstrual stimulant, wound healer

    Cautions: It may lower blood pressure and heart rate. Avoid chronic use due to its diuretic effects.

    Traditional Preparation: Both the root and the leaves are traditionally prepared as infusions. Dosages depend on what one is taking it for. In herbal medicine systems, as a healthy prevention to prostate difficulties or to maintain prostate health, one-half cup of a root infusion 2-3 times weekly is recommended (2-3 ml of a root tincture or 2-3 g of powdered root in capsules or tablets can be substituted if desired). The natural remedy for BPH is one-half cup of a root infusion 2-3 times daily for 30-90 days. (2-3 ml of a root tincture or 2-3 g in capsules or tablets 2-3 times daily can be substituted if desired.) For allergies, inflammation, and hypertension: one cup of a leaf infusion is taken twice daily in traditional medicine systems. This also can be substituted by taking 3-4 g of leaf tablets/capsules twice daily.


    • Nettle has been documented in animal studies to lower blood pressure and heart rate. Those with heart conditions should seek the advice and supervision of a health practitioner to determine if nettle is suitable for their condition and to monitor its effects.
    • Nettle has been documented to have diuretic effects. Chronic use of this plant may be contraindicated in various medical conditions where diuretics are not advised. Chronic long-term use of any diuretic can cause electrolyte and mineral imbalances. Consult your doctor if you choose to use this plant chronically for longer than 30 days concerning possible side effects of long term diuretic use.

    Drug Interactions:

    • May potentiate heart medications.
    • May potentiate diuretic drugs.

    Country Uses
    Belize childbirth, diarrhea, dysentery, prostate problems, rashes, skin problems, sores
    Brazil for asthma, bronchitis, cough, bleeding, diabetes, diarrhea, dysentery, fever, liver support, lung problems, menstrual disorders, pneumonia, skin disorders, ulcers, urinary problems, and to increase perspiration
    Cuba for bruises, burns, flu, hemorrhoids, urinary insufficiency, wounds
    for dysentery, fertility (veterinary), lung problems, and to increase perspiration
    Germany for arthritis, inflammation, prostate diseases, rheumatism, urinary insufficiency, urinary tract disorders
    Greece for asthma, inflammation, laxative, pleurisy, spleen disorders, urinary insufficiency
    Guatemala for bruises, dermatitis, erysipelas, fever, gonorrhea, kidney disease, skin disease, skin irritation/eruptions, sores, ulcers, wounds, and to increase perspiration
    Haiti for blood purification, coughs, diarrhea, digestive problems, fever, flu, fractures, scurvy, skin problems, wounds
    India for eczema, nosebleeds, skin eruptions, uterine hemorrhages
    Mexico for asthma, chest problems, childbirth, constipation, diarrhea, dysentery, elephantiasis, fever, gastrointestinal disorders, hemorrhages, kidney problems, leprosy, malaria, rashes, skin problems, syphilis, uterine disorders, wounds
    Peru for arthritis, asthma, bleeding, diabetes, diuretic, dysentery, expectorant, hair, head lice, hemorrhoids, inflammation, intestinal inflammation, kidney stones, liver disease, muscle pain, nasal ulcers, pain, respiratory problems, rheumatism, sciatica, swelling, urinary insufficiency, wounds, and to increase perspiration
    U.S. for allergies, arthritis, BPH, bleeding, hair loss, hypertension, inflammation, prostatitis, rhinitis, sinusitis, urinary insufficiency, wounds
    Venezuela for syphilis, and wounds, and to lower body temperature, and increase perspiration
    Elsewhere for aches, allergic rhinitis, asthma, bacterial infections, baldness, bleeding, bronchitis, bruises, burns, cancer, catarrh, chest problems, childbirth, cholecystitis, constipation, cough, dandruff, diarrhea, dyspnea, edema, elephantiasis, epilepsy, fever, gout, hair loss, hemorrhages, hypertension, insanity, iron-deficiency anemia, kidney stones, leprosy, liver diseases, lung problems, menstrual disorders, neuralgia, obesity, osteoarthritis, pain, paralysis, prostate disorders, rheumatism, skin diseases, sprains, stomach problems, swelling, tumors, uterine disorders, urinary insufficiency, urinary problems, worms, wounds, and to promote perspiration

    The above text has been printed from The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs by Leslie Taylor, copyrighted © 2005 All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, including websites, without written permission.

    A complete Technical Data Report is available for this plant.

    † The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information contained in this plant database file is intended for education, entertainment and information purposes only. This information is not intended to be used to diagnose, prescribe or replace proper medical care. The plant described herein is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, mitigate or prevent any disease. Please refer to our Conditions of Use for using this plant database file and web site.

    Third-Party Research on Nettle

    All available third-party published research on nettle be found at PubMed. A partial listing of the third-party published research on nettle is shown below:

    Anti-Allergy Actions:
    Roschek, B., et al. "Nettle extract (Urtica dioica) affects key receptors and enzymes associated with allergic rhinitis." Phytother Res. 2009 Jul;23(7):920-6.
    Helms, S., et al. "Natural treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis." Altern. Med. Rev. 2006 Sept; 11(3): 196-207.
    Thornhill, S. M., et al. “Natural treatment of perennial allergic rhinitis.” Altern. Med. Rev. 2000; 5(5): 448-54.
    Galelli, A., et al. “Urtica dioica agglutinin. A superantigenic lectin from stinging nettle rhizome.” J. Immunol. 1993; 151(4): 1821-31.
    Mittman, P. “Randomized, double-blind study of freeze-dried Urtica dioica in the treatment of allergic rhinitis.” Planta Med. 1990; 56(1): 44-7.

    Hormonal Modulation & Anti-BPH Action:
    Azimi, H., et al. "A review of animal and human studies for management of benign prostatic hyperplasia with natural products: perspective of new pharmacological agents." Inflamm Allergy Drug Targets. 2012 Jun;11(3):207-21
    Nahata, A., et al. "Ameliorative effects of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) on testosterone-induced prostatic hyperplasia in rats." Andrologia. 2012 May;44 Suppl 1:396-409.
    Popa, G., et al. "[The importance of phytotherapy for benign prostatic syndrome]." Pharm Unserer Zeit. 2008;37(4):322-8.
    Lopatkin, N. A., et al. "Combined extract of Sabal palm and nettle in the treatment of patients with lower urinary tract symptoms in double blind, placebo-controlled trial." Urologiia. 2006 Mar-Apr; 12(2): 14-9.
    Safarinejad, M. R., "Urtica dioica for treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia: a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study." J. Herb Pharmacother. 2005; 5(4): 1-11.
    Popa, G., et al. “Efficacy of a combined Sabal-urtica preparation in the symptomatic treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Results of a placebo-controlled double-blind study.” MMW Fortschr. Med. 2005 Oct; 147 Suppl 3:103-8.
    Lopatkin, N., et al. “Long-term efficacy and safety of a combination of sabal and urtica extract for lower urinary tract symptoms--a placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicenter trial.” World J. Urol. 2005 Jun; 23(2): 139-46.
    Walther, C., et al. "Benign prostatic syndrome. Urinary urgency and micturition frequency reduced with plant preparation." MMW Fortschr. Med. 2005 Oct; 147(40): 52-3.
    Popa, G., et al. “Benign prostate syndrome: urinary tract symptoms can be eased with phytotherapy.” MMW Fortschr. Med. 2005 Aug; 147(33-34):42.
    Schneider, T., et al. “Stinging nettle root extract (Bazoton-uno) in long term treatment of benign prostatic syndrome (BPS). Results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled multicenter study after 12 months” Urologe A. 2004 Mar;43(3):302-6.
    Durak I, et al. “Aqueous extract of Urtica dioica makes significant inhibition on adenosine deaminase activity in prostate tissue from patients with prostate cancer.” Cancer Biol. Ther. 2004; 3(9): 855-7.
    Carson, C., et al. “The role of dihydrotestosterone in benign prostatic hyperplasia.” Urology. 2003; 61(4 Suppl 1): 2-7.
    Melo, E. A., et al. “Evaluating the efficiency of a combination of Pygeum africanum and stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) extracts in treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH): double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled trial.” Int. Braz. J. Urol. 2002 Sep-Oct; 28(5): 418-25.
    Koch, E. “Extracts from fruits of saw palmetto (Sabal serrulata) and roots of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica): viable alternatives in the medical treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia and associated lower urinary tracts symptoms.” Planta Med. 2001; 67: 489-500.
    Sokeland, J. “Combined sabal and urtica extract compared with finasteride in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia: analysis of prostate volume and therapeutic outcome.” B. J. U. Int. 2000; 86(4): 439-42.
    Schottner, M., et al. “Lignans from the roots of Urtica dioica and their metabolites bind to human sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG).” Planta Med. 1997; 63(6): 529-32.
    Lichius, J. J., et al. “The inhibiting effects of Urtica dioica root extracts on experimentally induced prostatic hyperplasia in the mouse.” Planta Med. 1997; 63(4): 307-10.
    Hryb, D. J., et al. “The effect of extracts of the roots of the stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) on the interaction of SHBG with its receptor on human prostatic membranes.” Planta Med. 1995; 61(1): 31-2.
    Koch E. and A. Biber. "Pharmacological effects of saw palmetto and urtica extracts for benign prostatic hyperplasia." Urologe 1994; 34(2): 90-95.
    Krzeski, T., et al. “Combined extracts of Urtica dioica and Pygeum africanum in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia: double-blind comparison of two doses.” Clin. Ther. 1993; 15(6): 1011-20.

    Immune Modulation Actions:
    Shakibaei, M., et al. "Botanical Extracts from Rosehip (Rosa canina), Willow Bark (Salix alba), and Nettle Leaf (Urtica dioica) Suppress IL-1a-Induced NF-?B Activation in Canine Articular Chondrocytes." Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:509383.
    Daoudi, A., et al. "Screening of immunomodulatory activity of total and protein extracts of some Moroccan medicinal plants." Toxicol Ind Health. 2012 Feb 2. [Epub ahead of print]
    Borsuk, O., et al. "Effects of drugs of plant origin on the development of the immune response." Bull Exp Biol Med. 2011 Jun;151(2):194-6.
    Denzler, K., et al. "Regulation of inflammatory gene expression in PBMCs by immunostimulatory botanicals." PLoS One. 2010 Sep 3;5(9):e12561.
    Ozen, T., et al. "The effects of Urtica dioica L. leaf extract on aniline 4-hydroxylase in mice." Acta Pol Pharm. 2009 May-Jun;66(3):305-9.
    Harput, U.S., et al. “Stimulation of lymphocyte proliferation and inhibition of nitric oxide production by aqueous Urtica dioica extract.” Phytother. Res. 2005; 19(4): 346-8.
    Akbay, P., et al. “In vitro immunomodulatory activity of flavonoid glycosides from Urtica dioica L." Phytother. Res. 2003; 17(1): 34-7.
    Teucher, T., et al. “Cytokine secretion in whole blood of healthy subjects following oral administration of Urtica dioica L. plant extract.” Arzneimittelforschung. 1996; 46(9): 906-10.
    Wagner, H., et al. “Biologically active compounds from the aqueous extract of Urtica dioica.” Planta Med. 1989; 55(5): 452-4.
    Le Moal, M. A., et al. “Urtica dioica agglutinin, a new mitogen for murine T lymphocytes: unaltered interleukin-1 production but late interleukin 2-mediated proliferation.” Cell Immunol. 1988; 115(1): 24-35.

    Anti-inflammatory, Pain-relieving & Anti-arthritic Actions:
    Johnson, T., et al. "Lipophilic stinging nettle extracts possess potent anti-inflammatory activity, are not cytotoxic and may be superior to traditional tinctures for treating inflammatory disorders." Phytomedicine. 2012 Oct 20.
    Dar, S., et al. "Pharmacological and toxicological evaluation of Urtica dioica." Pharm Biol. 2012 Oct 5. [Epub ahead of print]
    Yang, C., et al. "Scientific Basis of Botanical Medicine as Alternative Remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis." Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2012 Jun 15. [Epub ahead of print]
    Genc, Z., et al. "The effect of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) seed oil on experimental colitis in rats." J Med Food. 2011 Dec;14(12):1554-61.
    White, A., et al. "Patient consensus on mode of use of nettle sting for musculoskeletal pain." Complement Ther Med. 2011 Aug;19(4):179-86.
    Rayburn, K., et al. "Stinging nettle cream for osteoarthritis." Altern Ther Health Med. 2009 Jul-Aug;15(4):60-1.
    Randall, C., et al. "Nettle sting for chronic knee pain: a randomised controlled pilot study." Complement Ther Med. 2008 Apr;16(2):66-72.
    Konrad, A., et al. “Ameliorative effect of IDS 30, a stinging nettle leaf extract, on chronic colitis.” Int. J. Colorectal Dis. 2005; 20(1): 9-17.
    Gulcin, I., et al. “Antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiulcer and analgesic activities of nettle (Urtica dioica L.).” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2004; 90(2-3): 205-15.
    Schulze-Tanzil, G., et al. “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): 477-85.
    Randall, C., et al. “Randomized controlled trial of nettle sting for treatment of base-of-thumb pain.” J. R. Soc. Med. 2000; 93(6): 305-9.
    Obertreis, B., et al. ‘Anti-inflammatory effect of Urtica dioica folia extract in comparison to caffeic malic acid.” Arzneimittelforschung 1996; 46(1): 52-6.
    Riehemann, K., et al. “Plant extracts from stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), an antirheumatic remedy, inhibit the proinflammatory transcription factor NF-kappaB.” FEBS Lett. 1999; 442(1): 89-94.

    Hypoglycemic, Anti-diabetic & Anti-cholesterol Actions:
    Ahangarpour, A., et al. "Antidiabetic effect of hydroalcholic urticadioica leaf extract in male rats with fructose-induced insulin resistance." Iran J Med Sci. 2012 Sep;37(3):181-6.
    Ozkol, H, et al. "Therapeutic Potential of Some Plant Extracts Used in Turkish Traditional Medicine on Streptozocin-Induced Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus in Rats." J Membr Biol. 2012 Oct 11. [Epub ahead of print]
    Dar, S., et al. "Pharmacological and toxicological evaluation of Urtica dioica." Pharm Biol. 2012 Oct 5. [Epub ahead of print]
    Namazi, N., et al. "The effect of hydro alcoholic nettle (Urtica dioica) extract on oxidative stress in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized double-blind clinical trial." Pak J Biol Sci. 2012 Jan 15;15(2):98-102.
    Ghafari,, S., et al. "Effect of Urtica dioica L. (Urticaceae) on testicular tissue in STZ-induced diabetic rats." Pak J Biol Sci. 2011 Aug 15;14(16):798-804.
    Namazi, N., et al. "The effect of hydro alcoholic Nettle (Urtica dioica) extracts on insulin sensitivity and some inflammatory indicators in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized double-blind control trial." Pak J Biol Sci. 2011 Aug 1;14(15):775-9.
    Golalipour, M., et al. "Protective role of Urtica dioica L. (Urticaceae) extract on hepatocytes morphometric changes in STZ diabetic Wistar rats." Turk J Gastroenterol. 2010 Sep;21(3):262-9.
    Bnouham, M., et al. "Antidiabetic effect of some medicinal plants of Oriental Morocco in neonatal non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus rats." Hum Exp Toxicol. 2010 Oct;29(10):865-71.
    Domola, M., et al. "Insulin mimetics in Urtica dioica: structural and computational analyses of Urtica dioica extracts." Phytother Res. 2010 Jun;24 Suppl 2:S175-82.
    Simões-Pires, C., et al. "A TLC bioautographic method for the detection of alpha- and beta-glucosidase inhibitors in plant extracts." Phytochem Anal. 2009 Nov-Dec;20(6):511-5.
    Jahanshahi, M., et al. "The effect of Urtica dioica extract on the number of astrocytes in the dentate gyrus of diabetic rats." Folia Morphol (Warsz). 2009 May;68(2):93-7.
    Yener, Z., et al. "Effects of Urtica dioica L. seed on lipid peroxidation, antioxidants and liver pathology in aflatoxin-induced tissue injury in rats." Food Chem Toxicol. 2009 Feb;47(2):418-24.
    Edgcumbe, D., et al. "Hypoglycaemia related to ingestion of a herbal remedy." Eur J Emerg Med. 2008 Aug;15(4):236-7
    Fazeli, S., et al. "The granule cell density of the dentate gyrus following administration of Urtica dioica extract to young diabetic rats." Folia Morphol (Warsz). 2008 Aug;67(3):196-204.
    Golalipour, M., et al. "Effect of Urtica dioica on morphometric indices of kidney in streptozotocin diabetic rats--a stereological study." Pak J Biol Sci. 2007 Nov 1;10(21):3875-9.
    Otoom, S. A., et al. "The use of medicinal herbs by diabetic Jordanian patients." J. Herb. Pharmacother. 2006; 6(2): 31-41.
    Nassiri-Asl, M., et al. "Effects of Urtica dioica extract on lipid profile in hypercholesterolemic rats." Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2009 May;7(5):428-33.
    Rau, O., et al. "Screening of herbal extracts for activation of the human peroxisome proliferator- activated receptor." Pharmazie. 2006; 61(11): 952-6.
    Avci, G., et al. "Antihypercholesterolaemic and antioxidant activity assessment of some plants used as remedy in Turkish folk medicine." J. Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Oct; 107(3): 418-23.
    Daher, C. F., et al. "Effect of Urtica dioica extract intake upon blood lipid profile in the rats." Fitoterapia. 2006 Apr; 77(3): 183-8.
    Onal, S., et al. “Inhibition of alpha-glucosidase by aqueous extracts of some potent antidiabetic medicinal herbs.” Prep. Biochem. Biotechnol. 2005; 35(1):29-36.
    Bnouham, M., et al. “Antihyperglycemic activity of the aqueous extract of Urtica dioica.” Fitoterapia. 2003 Dec; 74(7-8): 677-8
    Farzami, B., et al. “Induction of insulin secretion by a component of Urtica dioica leave extract in perifused Islets of Langerhans and its in vivo effects in normal and streptozotocin diabetic rats.” J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Nov;89(1):47-53.

    Hypotensive & Cardiovascular Actions:
    El Haouari, M., et al. "Inhibition of rat platelet aggregation by Urtica dioica leaves extracts." Phytother. Res. 2006; 20(7): 568-72.
    Legssyer, A., et al. “Cardiovascular effects of Urtica dioica L. in the isolated rat heart and aorta.” Phytother. Res. 2002; 16(6): 503-7.
    Testai, L., et al. “Cardiovascular effects of Urtica dioica L. (Urticaceae) roots extracts: in vitro and in vivo pharmacological studies.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2002; 81(1): 105-9.
    Tahri, A., et al. “Acute diuretic, natriuretic and hypotensive effects of a continuous perfusion of aqueous extract of Urtica dioica in the rat.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2000; 73(1-2): 95-100.
    Brocano, F. J., et al. “Etude de l’effet sure le centre cardiovasulaire de quelques prepartions de l’Urtica diocia L.” Planta Med. 1983; 17: 222-9.

    Liver-, Kidney-, & Gastro-Protective and Other Cellular Protective Actions:
    Sayhan, M., et al. "Protective effect of Urtica dioica L. on renal ischemia/reperfusion injury in rat." J Mol Histol. 2012 Dec;43(6):691-8.
    Oguz, S., et al. "Protective effect of Urtica dioica on liver damage induced by biliary obstruction in rats." Toxicol Ind Health. 2012 May 14. [Epub ahead of print]
    Ozkol, H., et al. "Ameliorative influence of Urtica dioica L against cisplatin-induced toxicity in mice bearing Ehrlich ascites carcinoma." Drug Chem Toxicol. 2012 Jul;35(3):251-7.
    Burkova, V., et al. "[Gastroprotective action of the nettle extract in experimental peptic ulcer]." Eksp Klin Farmakol. 2011;74(1):24-7.
    Kandis, H., et al. "Effects of Urtica dioica on hepatic ischemia-reperfusion injury in rats." Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2010;65(12):1357-61.
    Golalipour, M., et al. "Protective role of Urtica dioica L. (Urticaceae) extract on hepatocytes morphometric changes in STZ diabetic Wistar rats." Turk J Gastroenterol. 2010 Sep;21(3):262-9.
    Yener, Z., et al. "Effects of Urtica dioica L. seed on lipid peroxidation, antioxidants and liver pathology in aflatoxin-induced tissue injury in rats." Food Chem Toxicol. 2009 Feb;47(2):418-24.
    Toldy, A., et al. "The beneficial effects of nettle supplementation and exercise on brain lesion and memory in rat." J Nutr Biochem. 2009 Dec;20(12):974-81.
    Kanter, M., et al. “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 J. Gastroenterol. 2005 Nov; 11(42): 6684-8.
    Turkdogan, M.K., et al. “The role of Urtica dioica and Nigella sativa in the prevention of carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity in rats.” Phytother. Res. 2003 Sep; 17(8): 942-6.

    Antioxidant Actions:
    Otles, S., et al. "Phenolic compounds analysis of root, stalk, and leaves of nettle." ScientificWorldJournal. 2012;2012:564367.
    Namazi, N., et al. "The effect of hydro alcoholic nettle (Urtica dioica) extract on oxidative stress in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized double-blind clinical trial." Pak J Biol Sci. 2012 Jan 15;15(2):98-102.
    Komes, D., et al. "Phenolic composition and antioxidant properties of some traditionally used medicinal plants affected by the extraction time and hydrolysis." Phytochem Anal. 2011 Mar-Apr;22(2):172-80.
    Gullcin, I., et al. “Purification and characterization of polyphenol oxidase from nettle (Urtica dioica L.) and inhibitory effects of some chemicals on enzyme activity.” J. Enzyme Inhib. Med. Chem. 2005 Jun; 20(3): 297-302.
    Cetinus, E., et al. “The role of Urtica dioica (Urticaceae) in the prevention of oxidative stress caused by tourniquet application in rats.” Tohoku. J. Exp. Med. 2005; 205(3): 215-21.
    Toldy, A., et al. “The effect of exercise and nettle supplementation on oxidative stress markers in the rat brain.” Brain Res. Bull. 2005 May; 65(6): 487-93.
    Gulcin, I., et al. “Antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiulcer and analgesic activities of nettle (Urtica dioica L.).” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2004; 90(2-3): 205-15.
    Kanter, M., et al. “Effects of Nigella sativa L. and Urtica dioica L. on lipid peroxidation, antioxidant enzyme systems and some liver enzymes in CCl4-treated rats.” J. Vet. Med. A. Physiol. Pathol. Clin. Med. 2003 Jun; 50(5): 264-8.
    Ozen, T., et al. “Modulatory effect of Urtica dioica L. (Urticaceae) leaf extract on biotransformation enzyme systems, antioxidant enzymes, lactate dehydrogenase and lipid peroxidation in mice.” Phytomedicine. 2003; 10(5): 405-15.

    Cytotoxic & Anticancerous Actions:
    Gozum, S., et al. “Complementary alternative treatments used by patients with cancer in eastern Turkey.” Cancer Nurs. 2003 Jun; 26(3): 230-6.
    Konrad, L., et al. “Antiproliferative effect on human prostate cancer cells by a stinging nettle root (Urtica dioica) extract.” Planta Med. 2000; 66(1): 44-7.

    Antimicrobial Actions:
    Korpe, D., et al. "High-antibacterial activity of Urtica spp. seed extracts on food and plant pathogenic bacteria." Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2012 Oct 16. [Epub ahead of print]
    Dar, S., et al. "Pharmacological and toxicological evaluation of Urtica dioica." Pharm Biol. 2012 Oct 5. [Epub ahead of print]
    Wojnicz, D., et al. "Medicinal plants extracts affect virulence factors expression and biofilm formation by the uropathogenic Escherichia coli." Urol Res. 2012 Dec;40(6):683-97.
    Knipping, K., et al. "An evaluation of the inhibitory effects against rotavirus infection of edible plant extracts." Virol J. 2012 Jul 26;9:137.
    Stanciuc, A., et al. "In vitro antimicrobial activity of Romanian medicinal plants hydroalcoholic extracts on planktonic and adhered cells." Roum Arch Microbiol Immunol. 2011 Jan-Mar;70(1):11-4.
    Kumaki, Y., et al. "Inhibition of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus replication in a lethal SARS-CoV BALB/c mouse model by stinging nettle lectin, Urtica dioica agglutinin." Antiviral Res. 2011 Apr;90(1):22-32.
    Hadizadeh, I., et al. "Antifungal activity of nettle (Urtica dioica L.), colocynth (Citrullus colocynthis L. Schrad), oleander (Nerium oleander L.) and konar (Ziziphus spina-christi L.) extracts on plants pathogenic fungi." Pak J Biol Sci. 2009 Jan 1;12(1):58-63.
    Yigit, D., et al. "An investigation on the anticandidal activity of some traditional medicinal plants in Turkey." Mycoses. 2009 Mar;52(2):135-40.
    Balestrieri, E., et al. "Inhibition of cell-to-cell transmission of human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 in vitro by carbohydrate-binding agents." Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2008 Aug;52(8):2771-9.
    Auwerx, J., et la. "Glycan deletions in the HIV-1 gp120 V1/V2 domain compromise viral infectivity, sensitize the mutant virus strains to carbohydrate-binding agents and represent a specific target for therapeutic intervention." Virology. 2008 Dec 5;382(1):10-9.
    Francois, K., et al. "Simian immunodeficiency virus is susceptible to inhibition by carbohydrate-binding agents in a manner similar to that of HIV: implications for further preclinical drug development." Mol Pharmacol. 2008 Aug;74(2):330-7.
    Balzarini, J., et al. "Carbohydrate-binding agents efficiently prevent dendritic cell-specific intercellular adhesion molecule-3-grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN)-directed HIV-1 transmission to T lymphocytes." Mol. Pharmacol. 2007; 71(1):3-11.
    Balzarini, J., et al. "Carbohydrate-binding agents cause deletions of highly conserved glycosylation sites in HIV GP120: a new therapeutic concept to hit the achilles heel of HIV." J. Biol. Chem. 2005 Dec; 280(49): 41005-14.
    Turville, S. G., et al. ”Sugar-binding proteins potently inhibit dendritic cell human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection and dendritic-cell-directed HIV-1 transfer. J. Virol. 2005 Nov; 79(21): 13519-27.
    Uncini Manganelli, R. E., et al. “Antiviral activity in vitro of Urtica dioica L., Parietaria diffusa M. and Sambucus nigra L.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Apr; 98(3): 323-7.
    Gul, N., et al. “Inhibition of the protease activity of the light chain of type A botulinum neurotoxin by aqueous extract from stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) leaf.” Basic Clin. Pharmacol. Toxicol. 2004 Nov;95(5):215-9.
    Gulcin, I., et al. “Antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiulcer and analgesic activities of nettle (Urtica dioica L.).” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2004; 90(2-3): 205-15.
    De Clercq, E. “Current lead natural products for the chemotherapy of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.“ Med. Res. Rev. 2000; 20(5): 323-49.
    Balzarini, J., et al. “The mannose-specific plant lectins from Cymbidium hybrid and Epipactis helleborine and the (N-acetylglucosamine)n-specific plant lectin from Urtica dioica are potent and selective inhibitors of human immunodeficiency virus and cytomegalovirus replication in vitro." Antiviral Res. 1992; 18(2): 191-207.

    Toxicity Studies:
    Gul, S., et al. "Chemical composition and in vitro cytotoxic, genotoxic effects of essential oil from Urtica dioica L." Bull Environ Contam Toxicol. 2012 May;88(5):666-71.

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    Last updated 12-18-2012