Skip to main content

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica L.): a reservoir of nutrition and bioactive components with great functional potential

Abstract

In recent years a lot of the scientific interest has been concentrated on the identification of factors among low cost herbs that can be helpful in improving the health of humans. A shocking feature of herbal analysis has been that rarely any rare, exotic and exquisite plant has proved more fascinating. Typically some common, less familiar, and disdained weed have been discovered to possess undreamt of virtues. Urtica dioica is a weed and its seeds, leaves and even roots are used for medicinal purpose. It is a sensible reservoir of micronutrients and nutritional elements which leads us to focus our study on this herb. Despite of being wholesome, leaves are easily digested and high in minerals (especially iron), vitamin C and pro-vitamin A. U.dioica is used as both medicine and food in many countries particularly in Mediterranean region because of being widespread and having conjointly exceptional biological activities. This comprehensive review is an effort to summarise the recent data on nutrition, pharmacological and clinical effects of U. dioica keeping in view the increased demand by patients to use natural products with antioxidant activity, anti diabetic activity and having potential for treatment of inflammatory diseases. The review of nutritional properties is also an important aspect as every person needs general nutritional support in order to stay well or become optimally healthy. This review provides an overview of U. dioica in relation to antioxidant activity, anti diabetic activity, antimutagenic activity, antimicrobial activity, analgesic effect and treatment of inflammatory diseases that promotes its use.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

References

  1. 1.

    S.M.D.C. Thornhill, A.M.B.S. Kelly, Altern. Med. Rev. 5, 448–454 (2000)

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    A. Legssyer, A. Ziyyat, H. Mekhfi, M. Bnouham, A. Tahri, M. Serhrouchni, J. Hoerter, R. Fischmeister, Phytother. Res. 16, 503–507 (2002)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    A. Hartl, C. Vogl, Am. J. Altern. Agric. 17, 195–200 (2002)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    C.R. Vogl, A. Hartl, Am. J. Altern. Agric. 18, 119–128 (2003)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    S. Facciola, A. Cornucopia, Source book of edible plants. (Kampong Publications, Vista, 1998)

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    A. Tahri, S. Yamani, A. Legssyer, M. Aziz, H. Mekhfi, A.M. Bnouham, Ziyyat. J. Ethnopharmacol. 73, 95–100 (2000)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    P.A. Baeuerle, T. Henkel, Ann. Rev. Immunol. 12, 141–179 (1994)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    A.Z. Mercadante, D.B. Rodriguez-Amaya, Int. J. Food Sci. Tech. 25, 213–219 (1990)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    R.B. Shekelle, M. Lepper, S. Liu, C. Maliza, W.J. Raynor, A.H. Rossof, O. Paul, A.M. Shryock, J. Stamler, Lancet 2, 1185–1189 (1981)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    T. Javor, M. Bata, L. Lovasz, F. Moron, L. Nagy, I. Patty, J. Szabolcs, F. Tarnok, G. Toth, G. Mozsik, Int. J. Tissue React. 5, 289–296 (1983)

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    R.G. Cutler, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 81, 7627–7631 (1984)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    J.L. Guil-Guerrero, M.M. Rebolloso-Fuentes, M.E.T. Isasa, J. Food Compost. Anal. 16, 111–119 (2003)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    P.J. Whitney, G. Gibbs, Biologist (London) 53, 178–182 (2006)

    Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    S. Bisht, S. Bhandari, N.S. Bisht, Agric. Sci. Res. J. 2, 250–252 (2012)

    Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    S.B. McMahon, Biol. Sci. 351, 431–440 (1996)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    H. Wagner, F. Willer, R. Samtleben, G. Boos, Phytomedicine 1, 213–224 (1994)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    N. Emmelin, W. Feldberg, New Phytol. 48, 143–148 (1949)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    C.C. Baskin, J.M. Baskin, Seeds: ecology, biogeography, and evolution of dormancy and germination. (Academic Press, San Diego, 1998), pp. 666

    Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    M.H. Sajfrtová, H. Sovová, L. Opletal, M. Bártlová, J. Supercrit Fluids 35, 111–116 (2005)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    D. Orčić, M. Francišković, K. Bekvalac, E. Svirčev, I. Beara, M. Lesjak, N. Mimica-Dukić, Quantitative determination of plant phenolics in Urtica dioica extracts by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometric detection. Food Chem. 143, 48–53 (2013)

    Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    R. Ullah, I. Hussain, S. Ahmad, Arabian J. Chem. in press (2013)

  22. 22.

    E. Balestreri, R. Felicioli, R. Ficcanterri, R Fiorentini Acta Aliment 22, 211–221 (1993)

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    T. Fahrendorf, E. Beck, Planta 180, 237–244 (1990)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    I. Gullcin, I. Kufrevioglu, M. Oktay, J. Enzyme Inhib. Med. Chem. 20, 297–302 (2005)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    C.A. Simoes-Pires, B. Hmicha, A. Marston, K.A. Hostettmann, Phytochem. Anal. 20, 511–515 (2009)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    S.A. Dar, F.A. Ganai, A.R. Yousuf, M. Balkhi, T.M. Bhat, F.A. Bhat, Afr. J. Microbiol. Res. 6, 6893–6899 (2012)

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    A.M. Chahardehi, D. Ibrahim, S.F.J Sulaiman, Appl. Biol. Sci. 3, 27–31 (2009)

    Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    M.S. Kataki, V. Murugamani, A. Rajkumari, P.S. Mehra, D. Awasthi, R.S. Yadav Pharm, Crop 3, 38–46 (2012)

    Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    A. Güder, H. Korkmaz, Iran. J. Pharm. Res. 11, 913–923 (2012)

    Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    L. Moldovan, A. Gaspar, L. Toma, O. Craciunescu, C. Saviuc, Rev de Chim Bucharest 62, 299–303 (2011)

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    S. Dogan, M.E. Diken, M. Dogan, J. Med. Plant Res. 4, 2566–2573 (2010)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  32. 32.

    C. Proestos, I.S. Boziaris, J.E. Nychas, M. Komaitis, Food Chem. 95, 664–671 (2005

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    F. Pourmorad, S.J. Hosseinimehr, N. Shahabimajd, Afr. J. Biotechnol. 5, 1142–1145 (2006)

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  34. 34.

    H. Wetherilt, G. Kavalali (ed.) Nutritional Evaluation of Urtica Species. In: Urtica (Taylor & Francis, London and New York, 2003), pp. 84–92

  35. 35.

    P. DeLeo, A. Miceli, C. Antonaci, G. Vigna, J. Sci. Food Agric. 63, 391–395 (2006)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. 36.

    L.P. Lezhneva, I.A. Murav’ev, V.S. Cherevatyi. Rastitel’ nye Resursy 22, 255–257 (1986)

    Google Scholar 

  37. 37.

    B. Obertreis, K. Giller, T. Teucher Behnke, H. Schmitz, Arzneimittel Forschung 46, 52–56 (1996)

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  38. 38.

    N.S. Kavtaradze, M.D. Alaniya, Chem. Nat. Compd. 39, 315 (2003)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  39. 39.

    W.J. Peumans M. De Ley, W.F. Broekeart, FEBS Lett. 177, 99–103 (1984)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  40. 40.

    V. Rafajlovska, Z. Kavrakovski, J. Simonovska, M. Srbinoska, Qual. Life Res. 4, 26–30 (2013)

    Google Scholar 

  41. 41.

    E.S. Lapinskaya, Y.F. Kopyt’ko, E.A. Timokhina, B.A. Krapivkin, G.S. Levandovskii, T.D. Dargaeva, T.A. Sokol’skaya, Pharm. Chem. J. 42, 650–653 (2008)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  42. 42.

    A. Chevallier, Encyclopaedia of medicinal plants. (Dorling Kindersley, London, 1996)

    Google Scholar 

  43. 43.

    M. I Aksu, Turk. J. Vet. Anim. Sci. 27, 685–693. (2003)

    Google Scholar 

  44. 44.

    M.I. Aksu, M. Kaya, Food Control 15, 591–598 (2004)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. 45.

    M.A. G Maobe, R.M. Nyarango, World Appl. Sci. J. 21, 1128–1135 (2013)

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  46. 46.

    J. Balzarini, J. Neyts, D. Schols, M. Hosoya, E. Van Damme, W. Peumans, E. De Clercq, Antiviral Res. 18, 191–207 (1992)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  47. 47.

    B. Obertreis, T. Ruttkowski, T. Teucher, B. Behnke, H. Schmitz, Arzneimittel Forsch 46, 389–394 (1996)

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  48. 48.

    K.F. Dizaye, B.O. Alberzingi, S.R. Sulaiman, Iraqi. J. Vet. Sci. 27, 25–31 (2013)

    Google Scholar 

  49. 49.

    K.K. Ghaima, N.M. Hashim, S.A. Ali, J. App. Pharm. Sci. 3, 96–99 (2013)

    Google Scholar 

  50. 50.

    B.M. Sayhan, M. Kanter, S. Oguz, M. Erboga, Protective effect of Urtica dioica L. on renal ischemia/reperfusion injury in rat. J. Mol. Hist. 43, 691–698 (2012)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. 51.

    M. Das, B.P. Sarma, B. Rokeya, R. Parial, N. Nahar, M. Mosihuzzaman, A. Khan, L. Ali, J. Diabetol. 2, 1–6 (2011)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. 52.

    M. Monfared, A. Kamkar, S.G. Khaligh, A.J. Javan, F. Asadi, A.A. Basti, Antioxidative effects of Iranian Urtica dioica L. extracts on the oxidation of sunflower oil. J. Med. Plant Res. 5, 4438–4445 (2011)

    Google Scholar 

  53. 53.

    Y. Kan, I. Orhan, U. Koca, B. Özcelik, S. Aslan, M. Kartal, S. Küsmenoğlu, Turk. J. Pharm. Sci. 61, 21–30 (2009)

    Google Scholar 

  54. 54.

    I. Gülçin, M.E. KüfrevioğluÖİ, M. Oktay, Büyükokuroğlu. J. Ethnopharmacol. 90, 205–215 (2004)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. 55.

    E. Alp, M.I. Aksu, Meat Sci. 86, 468–473 (2010)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  56. 56.

    T.C. Matsingou, M. Kapsokefalou, A. Safiloglou, Free Radic Res. 35, 593–605 (2001)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  57. 57.

    K.C. Ofokansi, C.O. Esimone, C.K. Anele, Plant Prod. Res. J. 9, 23–27 (2005)

    Google Scholar 

  58. 58.

    A. Toldy, K. Stadler, M. Sasvári, J. Jakus, K.J. Jung, H. Y. Chung, Z. Radák, Brain Res. Bull. 65, 487–493 (2005))

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  59. 59.

    I. Hadizadeh, B. Peivastegan, M. Kolahi, Pak. J. Biol. Sci. 12, 58–63 (2009)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  60. 60.

    B. Roschek, R.C. Fink, R.S.M. McMichael, Alberte. Phytother. Res. 23, 920–926 (2009)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  61. 61.

    E. Koch, H.E.W. Jaggy, S.S. Chatterjee, N S Arch. Pharmacol. 351, R57 abstract 225 (1995)

    Google Scholar 

  62. 62.

    B. Starvic, Clin. Biochem. 27, 245–248 (1994)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  63. 63.

    A. Ghorbanibirgani, A. Khalili, L. Zamani, Iran Red. Crescent. Me 15, 9–10 (2012)

    Google Scholar 

  64. 64.

    J. Sokeland, J. Albrecht, Urologe A. 36, 327–333 (1997)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  65. 65.

    T. Hirano, M. Homma, K. Oka, Planta Med. 60, 30–33 (1992)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  66. 66.

    D.J. Hryb, M.S. Khan, W.N.A. Romas, Rosner. Planta Med. 61, 31–32 (1995)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  67. 67.

    K. Szentmihalyi, Á.M. Kéry, Then, B. Lakatos, Z. Sándor, P. Vinkler, Phytother. Res. 12, 163–166 (1998)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  68. 68.

    G. Kavalali, Londre. (Taylor & Francis, New York, 2003), pp. 83

    Google Scholar 

  69. 69.

    A. Ziyyat, A. Legssyer, H. Mekhfi, A. Dassouli, M. Serhrouchni, W. Benjelloun, J. Ethnopharmacol. 58, 45–54 (1997)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  70. 70.

    G. Brenner, Pharmacology, 1st edn. (Harcourt Health Science, San Diego (2001)

    Google Scholar 

  71. 71.

    K. Riehemann, B. Behnke, K. Schulze-Osthoff, FEBS Lett. 442, 89–94 (1999)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  72. 72.

    S. Klingelhoefer, B. Obertreis, S. Quast, B. Behnke, J. Rheumatol. 26, 2517–2522 (1999)

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  73. 73.

    D. Yigit, N. Yigit, U. Ozgen. Mycoses 52, 135–140 (2009)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  74. 74.

    U.D.O. Lopez-Aroche, P. Salinas-Sanchez, MendozadeGives, M.E. López-Arellano, E. Liébano-Hernández, G. Valladares-Cisneros, D.M. Arias-Ataide, V.J. Hernández-Velázquez Helminthol 82, 25–31 (2008)

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  75. 75.

    W.F. Broekaert, J. VAN Parijs, F. Leyns, H. Joos, W.J. Peumans, Science 245, 1100–1102 (1989)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  76. 76.

    V.N. Burkova, S.G. Boev, A.I. Vengerovskiĭ, N.V. Iudina, A.G. Arbuzov Eksp Klin Farmakol 74, 24–27 (2011)

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  77. 77.

    V.Z. Safari, M.P. Ngugi, G. Orinda, E.M. Njagi, Med. Aromat. Plants (2016)

  78. 78.

    L. Konrad, H.H. Muller, C. Lenz, H. Laubinger, G. Aumuller, J.J. Lichius, Planta Med. 66, 44–47 (2000)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  79. 79.

    M. Kanter, O. Coskun, M. Budancamanak, World J. Gastroenterol. 11, 6684–6688 (2005)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  80. 80.

    D. Farzami, S. Ahmadvand, F.J. Vardasbi, S. Majin, Khaghani. J. Ethnopharmacol. 89, 47–53 (2003)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  81. 81.

    M. Blumenthal, W.R. Busse, A. Goldberg, J. Gruenwald, T. Hall, C.W. Riggins, S. Klein, R.S. Rister, American Botanical Council 216, Austin, 1998, pp. 36–138

  82. 82.

    J. Gerard, The herbal or general history of plants. (Dover Publications, New York (NY), 1633), pp. 1631p (reprinted 1975)

    Book  Google Scholar 

  83. 83.

    M. Nassiri-Asl, F. Zamansoltani, E. Abbasi, M.M. Daneshi, A.A. Zangivand, Chin. J. Integr. Med. 7, 428–433 (2009)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Khan Nadiya Jan.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Jan, K.N., zarafshan, K. & Singh, S. Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica L.): a reservoir of nutrition and bioactive components with great functional potential. Food Measure 11, 423–433 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11694-016-9410-4

Download citation

Keywords

  • Urtica dioica
  • Nutritional properties
  • Antioxidant activity
  • Bioactive components
  • Functional aspects