The herbal monograph selects and summarises scientific studies and textbooks regarding efficacy, dosage and safety to support the therapeutic uses of nettle root.
The botanical definition of the herbal drug is nettle root consists of the whole, or fragmented, underground parts of Urtica dioica L., Urtica urens L., their hybrids or mixtures of these.
Studies with its main characteristic constituents lectins, glucans, sterols, lignans and phenylpropanes are included.
The therapeutic indication is symptomatic treatment of micturition disorders (dysuria, pollakiuria, nocturia, urine retention) in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Administration of nettle root addresses dosage; its duration of use; contra-indications; special warnings; special precautions for use; interactions with other medicinal products; other forms of interaction; in pregnancy and lactation; its effects on ability to drive; undesirable effects; overdose.
In vitro experiments with nettle root extracts or its constituents, indicated prostatic tissue-receptor-binding and anti-proliferative properties.
In vivo experiments in animals showed reduction of prostate growth.
Pharmacological studies in humans concern changes in smooth muscle cells and epithelial cells of the prostate.
Controlled clinical studies with an extract of nettle root demonstrated its use for the improvement of BPH-related complaints in patients with BPH.
Pharmacokinetics of orally administered Urtica dioica agglutinin (UDA) was assessed in humans and confirmed the stability of UDA in the digestive tract.
Safety data were assessed in clinical studies with over 16,000 patients, where the incidence of adverse events was very low.
The selection of literature cited in the monograph is aimed at bringing together relevant information about the possible physiological roles of nettle root and its major constituents. Examples are given below.
- Urtica dioica L., Urtica urens L.
- Urticae radix
- Nettle Root
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH); Micturition disorders
EXAMPLE OF REFERENCES:
– Beintema JJ, Peumans WJ. The primary structure of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) agglutinin. A two-domain member of the hevein family. FEBS Lett 1992;299:131-4. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0014-5793(92)80231-5.
– Bracher F. Phytotherapie der benignen Prostatahyperplasie. Urologe A 1997;36:10-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s001200050061.
– Broekaert WF, Van Parijs J, Leyns F, Joos H, Peumans WJ. A chitin-binding lectin from stinging nettle rhizomes with antifungal properties. Science 1989;245:1100-2. http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.245.4922.1100.
– Ganßer D, Spiteller G. Plant constituents interfering with human sex hormone-binding globulin. Evaluation of a test method and its application to Urtica dioica root extracts. Z Naturforsch 1995a;50c:98-104.
– Ganzéra M, Piereder D, Sturm S, Erdelmeier C, Stuppner H. Urtica dioica agglutinin: separation, identification, and quantitation of individual isolectins by capillary electrophoresis and capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry. Isolectine Electrophoresis 2005;26:1724-31. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/elps.200410369.