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Stinging nettle, Urtica dioica L.: botanical, phytochemical and pharmacological overview

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Urtica dioica L. (Urticaceae), commonly known as stinging nettle, is an herbaceous perennial plant belonging to the group of phytoalimurgic vegetables, including the wild edible species that were all used in the past when there was a shortage of food. The plant is well known from everybody for the dermatitis it causes when touched, due to biochemical mediators such as histamine and acetylcholine. Recently there was a rediscovery of the plant as food and medicine because of the range of biological activities exhibited such as antirheumatic, anti-infective, immuno-modulatory, anti-hyperglycaemic, and allergy relief. This review, providing a botanical, phytochemical and pharmacological overview of the species, aims to contribute to arouse interest in the scientific community on this promising plant.

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The authors thank Kimberley Reekie, Abertay University, Dundee, for English mother language corrections.

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Correspondence to Virginia Lanzotti.

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Grauso, L., de Falco, B., Lanzotti, V. et al. Stinging nettle, Urtica dioica L.: botanical, phytochemical and pharmacological overview. Phytochem Rev 19, 1341–1377 (2020).

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