Phytochemicals and Constituents of Nettle.Urtica dioica L.,Urticae radix.


Phytochemicals and Constituents of Nettle.Urtica dioica L.,Urticae radix.

Nettle Urtica Dioica Urticae radix Stinging Nettle  Nettle contains histamine, formic acid, acetylcholine, serotonin, glucoquinones, many minerals (inc. silica), vitamins A, B, C, tannins.

 There has been a great deal of controversy regarding the identity of nettle's active constituents. Currently, it is thought that polysaccharides (complex sugars) and lectins are probably the active constituents. Test tube studies suggest the leaf has anti-inflammatory actions. This is thought to be caused by nettle preventing the body from making inflammatory chemicals known as prostaglandins. Nettle's root affects hormones and proteins that carry sex hormones (such as testosterone or estrogen) in the human body. This may explain why it helps benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Although less frequently used alone like saw palmetto or pygeum, some limited clinical trials suggest benefit of nettle root extract for men with milder forms of BPH.


 The constituents profile of Nettle is said to vary depending upon the plant part.As far as the roots are concerned,the principle chemicals of interest are the sterols and steryl glycosides,including beta-sitosterol.Nettle root also contains lignans(e.g. secoisolariciresinol) and six isolectins collectively refered to as UDA(Urtica dioica agglutinin).Other constituents in the root include phenylpropanes,polyphenols,polysaccharides,tannins and the coumarin scopoletin.The fresh leaf contains a similar range of constituents,with smaller amounts of plant sterols, but proportionally higher levels of flavonal glycosides such as quercitin, as well as carotenoids,chlorophyll,acids(e.g.carbonic and formic acid),vitamins (C,B and K) and minerals (e.g.calcium,magnesium,and pottassium.The stinging trichomes are stated to be fashioned primarily from silica,and contain a mixture including formic acid,acetylcholine,histamine and serotonin.There is no data for constituents in the seeds,although the flowers are also stated to posses scopoletin(Mills and Bone 2000,491;Bergner 1997,245;Newall et al 1996,201;Weiss 1988,261).

 Nettle Leaves: Flavonoids (isoquercitin, rutin); acrid components, particularly in the stinging hairs (including histamine and 5-hydroxytryptamine(serotonin),formic acid, volatile and resinous acids); silica, glucoquinone, tannins, ascorbic acid and other minerals and vitamins in appreciable levels.

 Nettle Root: polysaccharides, sterols and sterol glucosides, lignans, ceramides, fatty acids, monoterpene diols and glucosides.

 Constituents Additional Note:More than 100 chemical components have been identified in the hairs, roots, leaves and rhizomes of nettle.

 Amines, such as acetylcholine, 5-hydroxytriptamine (serotonin) and histamine are found in the stinging hairs;adrenaline and noradrenaline are in the chloroplasts.

 Acetyltransferase is responsible for the synthesis of acetylcholine in the stinging hairs of the nettle throughout the life of the leaf, and has optimum activity at 40 degree centigrade.

 Carboxylic acids, such as formic acid, acetic acid, butylic acid, carbonic acid, tartaric acid, silicilic acid, cinnamic acid and other aromatic fatty acids, are found in small quantities in the hairs, in which the amines mentioned above are dissolved.

 Carotenoids, such as chlorophyll, xanthophyll and beta-carotene have been identified in the herbage of fresh and dried plants.

 An aqueous extract of nettle was shown to contain ammonium, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulfur. Vitamins A, B1, B2, B9, C, E and K have been identified from fresh and/or dried plant sources.

 Sitosterol, sitosterol-beta-D-glucoside, and six sterol derivatives have been isolated from the roots. Phytosterins have been found in the leaves. Steroids closely related to sitosterol were also isolated from Urtica dioica. At least seven flavonol glycoside structures have been isolated from the flowers of Urtica dioica.

 Tannic acid appears to be the dominant type of tannin. Gallic acid has also been reported to be present. The roots of the plant contain more tannins than the leaves.

 Caffeic acids, such as caffeoylmalic acid and chlorogenic acid were identified in dried flowers from the female plant.

 Eighteen phenolic compounds have been identified in root extracts; some of the compounds identified include homovanillyl alcohol, vanillin, vanillic acid and phenylpropanes.

 Nineteen ligands have been identified in the roots; these compounds include isolaric, iresinol, secoisolariciresinol and neoolivil. A glycoprotein similar to the one found in Cannabis sativa has been identified.

 At least 11 different isolectins have been identified with carbohydrate-binding specificity and agglutination properties. Urtica dioica agglutinin (UGA) has been isolated and is the smallest known plant lectin. Scopoletin, a coumarin derivative, has been identified from the roots and flowers of nettle.

 Other components, such as cytokinnins, leukotrienes, scopoletin, volatile oils, rutin, ketones, ceramides, amino acids, glucokinins, mucilages, phospholipids (betaine, choline, lecithin) and glucoquinones have all been identified in nettle preparations.

Nutritions and Contents of Nettle.

 Nettle Urtica Dioica Urticae radix Stinging NettleNumerous analyses of nettle have revealed the presence of more than twenty different chemical constituents; few of them would provide any pronounced therapeutic activity from the plant when taken internally. Although the local irritation produced by the stinging hairs is real enough, there is just no evidence to show that nettle is effective in treating rheumatism or growing hair on bald heads. The principles in the hairs thought to be responsible for this irritant action include histamine, acetylcholine, and 5-hydroxytryptamine. However, studies on plants of the closely related, but more toxic, genus Laportea have cast doubt on this, and the identity of the compound responsible for the pain from contact with nettle remains to be established.

 Nettle is rich in chlorophyll and serves as a readily available commercial source of that pigment. Young nettle shoots are edible when cooked and contain approximately the same amounts of carotene (provitamin A) and vitamin C as spinach or other similar greens. The diuretic properties of nettle leaf have long been recognized, and several pharmaceutical preparations incorporating it are currently marketed in Europe for this purpose. In addition, an extract of nettle root has become quite popular there in recent years for the treatment of urinary retention brought on by benign prostatic hypertrophy (enlargement of the prostate gland not due to cancer). Some clinical evidence attests to its effectiveness, including eight open and observational studies and two placebo-controlled, double-blind studies. Therefore, German health authorities now allow it to be used for this condition. Additional studies are needed to verify this or any other traditional medical use of nettle.

 Nettles are highly nutritious, high in vitamins and minerals, particularly iron, silica and potassium, and have been used for centuries as a nourishing tonic for weakness and debility, convalescence and anemia. Through their stimulating action on the bladder and kidneys, nettles help to cleanse the body of toxins and wastes. Nettles relieve fluid retention, bladder infections, stones and gravel. By aiding excretion of uric acid they make an excellent remedy for gout and arthritis as well as skin problems.

 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.


  • 1.Nettle.Stinging nettle,Nettle leaf,Nettle root,Common Stinging Nettle?Therapeutics and Pharmacology,Historical or traditional use of Nettle.

♥The article and literature were edited by Herbalist of MDidea Extracts Professional.It runs a range of descriptions about the titled herb and related phytochemicals, including comprehensive information related, summarized updating discoveries from findings of herbalists and clinical scientists from this field.The electronic data information published at our official website and, we tried to update it to latest and exact as possible.
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Available Product
  • Name:Nettle Extract
  • Serie No:R018.
  • Specifications:4:1 TLC Silica 1%UV; Beta-Sterols 1%UV
  • EINECS/ELINCS No.:281-685-5
  • CAS:84012-40-8
  • Chem/IUPAC Name:Urtica Dioica Extract is an extract of the aerial parts of the nettle,Urtica dioica,Urticaceae
  • Other Names:Uritca Dioica Extract.Urtica Galeopsifolia Extract.Urticae Herba Extract.Urticae Radix Extract.Uritca dioica,Urtica galeopsifolia,Urtica.gracilis,Urtica.lyallii,U.gracilis,U.lyallii,Urticae herba,Urticae radix,Stinging nettle,nettle leaf,nettle root,Common Nettle,Great Stinging Nettle,Hsieh-tzu-ts'ao,Grande ortie,Grosse brandnetel,Ortiga,Grande ortica,Gerrais,Isirgan,Kazink,Nabat Al Nar,Ortie,Urtiga,Chichicaste,Brennessel,Gross d Ortie,Racine d Ortie,Grote Brandnetel,Ortiga Mayor,Devils Leaf.Xun Ma.

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Nettle Extract INCI Name Urtica Dioica Extract EINECS ELINCS No 281-685-5 CAS 84012-40-8 Urticae radix Extracts Nettle Root Extract

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