Urtica dioica commonly referred to as common nettle or stinging nettle (although not all members of this species sting), is a perennial herbaceous flowering plant in the family Urticaceae.
The leaves of Urtica dioica L. contains flavonoids (kaempferol, crysoeriol, isorhamnetin, quercetin, catechin, amentoflavone, epicatechin and quercitrin), carotenoids (neoxanthin, violaxanthin, lutein, β-carotene and lycopene), terpenoids (3-Oxo-α-ionol and 3-Hydroxy-damascone), phenolic compounds (p-Hydroxybenzoic acid, vanillic acid, p-coumaric acid, ferulic acid, sinapic acid, caffeic acid, and protocatechuic acid), and vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine, folicacid and ascorbic acid) and choline.
The leaf of the stinging nettle has a long history of use. In ancient Greece, it was primarily used as a diuretic and laxative. It was proven that the preparations of stinging leaves are possibly effective for reducing blood sugar in type 2 diabetes and it might reduce pain in people with osteoarthritis.