Background and Objective: Urtica dioica (stinging nettle), a member of the Urticaceae family, has been used in various traditional systems of medicines since ancient times especially for joint pain, arthritis and prostate problems. Its roots and leaves contain a wide variety of bioactive constituents like sterols, fatty acids, lectins terpenes, phenylpropanes, lignans and coumarins. The leaves and root extract shows various activities like hypoglycemic, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, antioxidant, hypolipemic, antirheumatic, anticarcinogenic and antiviral activity. It shows its effects through the inhibition of aromatase, 5 α-reductase, cell proliferation and Na+, K+-ATPase inhibition.
Conclusion: The article reviews the phytochemistry and phytopharmacology of the plant.