Polyphenols in Nettle

Nettles (Urtica dioica) are a rich source of nutrients which may explain their medicinal effects. Nettles belong to the Urticaceae family and grow wild in a number of regions including Asia, Europe, North America and parts of Africa. The leaves, stem and roots can all be used medicinally, and the roots can be used as a food as they are rich in carbohydrate. Nettles contain a number of phytochemicals that confer significant antioxidant protection and some of these are vitamins such as vitamin C and vitamin A. However, nettles are also a good source of polyphenols which may be responsible for the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of the aerial parts of the plant. Studies have investigated the polyphenol concentrations of nettles and found that as with many plants, growing conditions greatly affect the concentrations within the tissues of the plant. The highest yield of polyphenols appear to be present in nettles just before the plant flowers, possibly because some of the polyphenols are used as pigments in the flowers. 

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Repajić, M., Cegledi, E., Zorić, Z., Pedisić, S., Elez Garofulić, I., Radman, S., Palcic, I. and Dragović-Uzelac, V. 2021. Bioactive Compounds in Wild Nettle (Urtica dioica L.) Leaves and Stalks: Polyphenols and Pigments upon Seasonal and Habitat Variations. 10(1): 190

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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