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.