PRELIMINARY RESEARCH REGARDING URTICA URENS L. AND
URTICA DIOICA L.

IOANA NENCU1, LAURIAN VLASE2*, VIORICA ISTUDOR1, TĂMAŞ MIRCEA3
1“Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacognosy, Phytochemistry
and Phytotherapy, 6 Traian Vuia Street, 020956, Bucharest, Romania
2"Iuliu Hatieganu" University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Technology
and Biopharmaceutics, 13 Emil Isac Street, 400023, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
3"Iuliu Hatieganu" University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Botany, 13
Emil Isac Street, 400023, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
*corresponding author: vlaselaur@yahoo.com
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Abstract:
The leaves of Urtica urens L. (dwarf nettle, Uu) and Urtica dioica L. (Ud) are included in the European Pharmacopoeia 7th
edition, as a monograph called Urticae folium (collective drug), and both are traditionally used to treat diabetes mellitus. The
insufficient data regarding the chemical composition of Uu leaves led us to approach their research, and that of Ud (harvested
in the same period of growth), in order to select the highest quality raw material for obtaining pharmacologically active
vegetal extracts. The phytochemical analysis consisted in: specific reactions, in order to identify the main active substances;
spectrophotometric methods to quantify phenolcarboxylic acids, flavonoids, total phenolic compounds, tannins, carotenoids
and sterols; chromatographic analysis HPLC/UV and HPLC/MS to identify and quantify phenolcarboxylic acids and
flavonoids, respectively sterols. Sterols and phenolcarboxylic acids are the main active substances in both nettle species, but
higher quantities are found in Ud. The carotenoids content is low. The chromatographic results indicated, for both species,
the presence of caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, β-sitosterol and stigmasterol. Rutin and ergosterol were present only in Ud, and
campesterol only in Uu. Of these, sterols are known as peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPAR-γ) (can
lower blood glucose), and phenolcarboxylic acids as 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme-A (HMGCoA) inhibitors (may
act as hypocholesterolaemic agents).






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