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Comparison of nutritional properties of Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) flour with wheat and barley flours

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Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica. L) is a wild, unique herbaceous perennial flowering plant with Stinging hairs. It has a long history of use as a food sources as a soup or curries, and also used as a fiber as well as a medicinal herb. The current aim was to analyze the composition and bioactive compounds in Nepalese Stinging nettle. Chemical analysis showed the relatively higher level of crude protein (33.8%), crude fiber (9.1%), crude fat (3.6%), total ash (16.2%), carbohydrate (37.4%), and relatively lower energy value (307 kcal/100 g) as compared to wheat and barley flours. Analysis of nettle powder showed significantly higher level of bioactive compounds: phenolic compounds as 129 mg Gallic acid equivalent/g; carotenoid level 3497 μg/g; tannin 0.93 mg/100 g; anti-oxidant activity 66.3 DPPH inhibition (%), as compared to wheat and barley. This study further established that nettle plants as very good source of energy, proteins, high fiber, and a range of health benefitting bioactive compounds
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Introduction
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica, L. Urticaceae) is a ubiquitous
herb which is available in large part of the world. Urtica
dioica is a moderately shade- tolerant species, which occurs
on most moist or damp, weakly acid or weakly basic,
richly fertile soils. Its stems and leaves are densely covered
with Stinging hairs, which release potentially pain- inducing
toxins, is rarely eaten by castles and rabbits (Taylor, 2009).
This species is known as tenacious weeds, able to live
in the toughest conditions, and notoriously known for
inflicting pain. From ancient times, the fresh Stinging
nettle is used for flailing arthritic or paralytic limbs with
fresh Stinging nettle to stimulate circulation and bring
warmth to joints and extremities in a treatment known
as “urtication” (Green, 1820). Ancient Egyptians also re-
portedly used the infusion for the relief of arthritis and
lumbago (Harrison 1966). Above mentioned practice of
urtication or rubefaction became a standard in folk medi-
cine as a remedy for arthritis, rheumatism, and muscular
paralysis and is perhaps the most ancient medicinal use
of Stinging nettle (Upton 2013). Nettle can be used to
foster health and vitality of the people. Due to the nu-
tritional and functional qualities of nettle, it has been
utilized to alleviate symptoms associated with allergic
rhinitis and improve oxidative stability in brine anchovies.
It is also rich in fatty acids, carotenoid, and phenolic
compounds, while its extracts have been reported to im-
prove oxidative stability in brined vegetables (Rutto et al.
2013).
A comprehensive proximate analysis showed the shoots
harvested from Stinging nettle (Shoot) showed close to
90% moisture and rests are proteins (3.7%), fat (0.6%),
ash (2.1%), dietary fiber (6.4%), total carbohydrate (7.1%),
ORIGINAL RESEARCH
Comparison of nutritional properties of Stinging nettle
(Urtica dioica) flour with wheat and barley flours
Bhaskar Mani Adhikari1, Alina Bajracharya1 & Ashok K. Shrestha2
1Department of Food Technology, National College of Food Science and Technology, Kathmandu, Nepal
2Nutrition and Food Science, School of Science and Health, Hawkesbury Campus, University of Western Sydney, Penrith NSW 2751, Australia
© 2015 The Authors. Food Science & Nutrition published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. This is an open access article under the terms of
the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium,
provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords
Antioxidant activity, barley flour, nettle
powder, polyphenol
Correspondence
Bhaskar Mani Adhikari, Department of Food
Technology, National College of Food Science
and Technology, Kathmandu, Nepal. Tel:
+977 9841413448; Fax: +977 1 4428724;
E-mails: vaskarmani@gmail.com;
bm.adhikari@nist.edu.np
Funding Information
No funding information provided.
Received: 3 March 2015; Revised: 15 June
2015; Accepted: 17 June 2015
Food Science & Nutrition
2016; 4(1): 119–124
doi: 10.1002/fsn3.259
Abstract
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica. L) is a wild, unique herbaceous perennial flower-
ing plant with Stinging hairs. It has a long history of use as a food sources as
a soup or curries, and also used as a fiber as well as a medicinal herb. The
current aim was to analyze the composition and bioactive compounds in Nepa-
lese Stinging nettle. Chemical analysis showed the relatively higher level of crude
protein (33.8%), crude fiber (9.1%), crude fat (3.6%), total ash (16.2%), car-
bohydrate (37.4%), and relatively lower energy value (307 kcal/100 g) as com-
pared to wheat and barley flours. Analysis of nettle powder showed significantly
higher level of bioactive compounds: phenolic compounds as 129 mg Gallic
acid equivalent/g; carotenoid level 3497 μg/g; tannin 0.93 mg/100 g; anti- oxidant
activity 66.3 DPPH inhibition (%), as compared to wheat and barley. This study
further established that nettle plants as very good source of energy, proteins,
high fiber, and a range of health benefitting bioactive compounds.
120 © 2015 The Authors. Food Science & Nutrition published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
B. M. Adhikari et al.Nutritional Properties of Stinging Nettle
and total calories (45.7 kcal/100 g) (wet basis). Besides,
Stinging nettle (shoot) contains vitamin A, vitamin C,
calcium, iron, sodium, and rich fatty acid profile (Rutto
et al. 2013). Farag et al. (2013) studied the geographic,
taxonomical and morphological diversity, genetics, etc.,
under control conditions. Urtica dioica is the only species
of Urtica to be cultivated commercially for pharmaceutical
purposes, and the commercial extraction of chlorophyll
and stem fibers. He further reported U. dioica as a good
source of flavonoids, phenylpropanoids, and caffeic acid
analogues. Besides, the use of Nettle extract for rheuma-
tism, eczema, allergic rhinitis, and arthritis is well studied
(Harrison 1966; Upton 2013).
Stinging nettle is rarely domesticated due to its sting
but the species remains popular as food and medicines
in poor countries like Nepal (Uprety et al. 2012). From
the centuries, in the foothills of Nepal’s Himalayas, the
Himalayan Stinging nettle has naturally grown in the wild.
Recently, founder of Himalayan Wild Fibers, is in the
process of developing the nettle fiber industry with the
local community. It is expected to help in the develop-
ment of strong fiber that would create work and income
to many Nepalese and bring a durable and sustainable
textile to the market (Tree hugger).
In Georgia, a meal of boiled Stinging nettle seasoned
with walnut is common. Romanians use sour soup made
from fermented wheat bran vegetables and green nettle
leaves harvested from young plants (Costa et al. 2013).
However, one of the most underutilized and neglected
crops are now getting attention on their commercial uti-
lization due to its nutrition and functional properties.
Production and processing of different products from it
will also support to uplift the economic status of the
local people from third world countries (Palikhe 2012).
Stinging nettle is very popular as a vegetable in a range
of countries, particularly among the lower socioeconomic
people. More work is needed to learn the nutritive value
of Nepalese cultivars. Stinging nettle is consumed primarily
as a boiled or cooked fresh vegetable whereby it is added
to soups, cooked as a pot herb, or used as a vegetable
complement in dishes. Although popular in Nepal, there
is almost no study on Stinging nettle (Palikhe 2012).
In Nepal, wheat and barley are two most consumed
cereal grains, after rice. These are the major source of
starch, fiber, proteins, lipid, minerals, etc. Barley grain is
reported to be effective in lowering blood cholesterol be-
cause of its high β- glucan content, 2–9% (Hassan et al.
2012). The recent approval of soluble barley beta- glucan
health claims by the Food and Drug Administration of
the USA for lowering blood cholesterol level could further
boost food product development from barley and con-
sumer interest in eating these food products (Yamlahi
and Ouhssine 2013). Wheat is the staple diet for a majority
of global population, containing carbohydrates, protein,
minerals, B- group vitamins, and dietary fiber, etc. Starch
is the major component of wheat, providing calorie as
well as the inner bran coats, phosphates, and other mineral
salts; the outer bran, the much- needed roughage the in-
digestible portion that helps easy movement of bowels;
the germ, vitamins B and E. Kumar et al. (2011) have
comprehensively reviewed the nutritional content and
medicinal properties of wheat.
Nepal is one of the developing countries in the world
but it is rich in flora and fauna. Stinging nettle is one
of the most popular wild edible plants (WEP) that provide
staple and supplement foods. Often these WEPs become
the top cash income to the local communities which
contribute to food security to the region. However, there
is hardly any work on the composition and nutritional
properties of Stinging nettle in Nepal. Therefore, this work
studied the nutritional and functional properties of sting-
ing nettle dried powder. Besides, this work also compared
the properties of Stinging nettle powder with wheat as
well as barley flour.
Materials and Methods
Raw material collection and preparation
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) leaves were collected from
Kirtipur, Nepal. The collected samples were carefully car-
ried afresh to the laboratory for chemical analysis. The
Stinging nettle leaves were cleaned (washed) so that the
foreign particles are removed. The leaves were blanched
for 1 min at 80°C in wet condition. The leaves were then
drained, placed on the trays and so as to remove excess
water. Then the trays were put inside the cabinet drier
for drying at 60°C for 2 days, till the crispy texture was
observed. Dried leaves were ground in a coffee grinder
and sieved through the 80 size mesh making into a fine
Nettle powder as done previously (Palikhe 2012). Barley
and wheat flours were purchased from the local market.
All dried flours were analyzed for moisture content and
transferred into the hermitically sealed container.
Chemical analysis
All three flour samples viz., wheat, barley and Stinging
nettle were immediately analyzed in triplicates. Moisture
content was measured by oven drying at 100°C until the
constant weight was reached. Total crude oil of all three
samples was extracted using hexane in Soxhlet System
HT2 Texator, (Sweden). Total ash values were obtained
by incineration of flour samples for overnight at 550°C
at minimum 6 h (AOAC, 2005). Calcium content was
measured by precipitation as calcium oxalate, dissolving
121
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Nutritional Properties of Stinging NettleB. M. Adhikari et al.
in concentrated sulfuric acid and titration with standard
potassium permanganate (Ranganna 2001). Iron was
determined by converting iron present in foods into ferric
form and treating thereafter with potassium thiocyanate
to form the red ferric thiocyanate which is measured by
colorimetry at 480 nm (Ranganna 2001). Total carbohy-
drate content was measured by the difference method.
All chemical analyses were conducted by the methods as
recommended by Ranganna (2001).
A number of functional properties of above samples
were also analyzed. The antioxidant activity (AA, DPPH
inhibition %) was determined by the method described
by Nuengchamnong et al. (2009). Total polyphenol (TP,
mg GAE/g) and carotenoids were determined as per the
method described by Ranganna (2001). Tannin as an
anti- nutritional factor was determined according to AOAC
(2005).
Data analysis
Data were statistically processed by Gen Stat for analysis
of variance (ANOVA), Microsoft Excel- 2007 for analysis.
Means of data were separated whether they are significant
or not by using LSD (least square difference) method at
5% level of significance.
Results and Discussion
Proximate analysis of raw materials
Wheat and barley flours were purchased from the local
market but nettle was processed into fine powders as
mentioned in the methodology section. The chemical
analyses of wheat flour, barley flour and nettle powder
were carried out and results are presented in dry basis.
The mean values of chemical composition of wheat flour,
barley flour, and nettle powder are presented in Table 1.
The initial moisture content of the leaves was not meas-
ured. However, previous studies have shown that the Nettle
plant contains relatively high level of moisture of, for
example, 89% (Rutto et al. 2013) and 84.4% (Mishra
2007). The moisture content of wheat flour was 12.4%
which is common in commercial wheat flour as previously
reported by Kent and Evers (2004). Barley flour had similar
moisture content, 12.2%. After cabinet drying of leaves
followed by grinding, the moisture content of the Nettle
powder was reduced significantly to 7.0% (Table 1).
Protein content of the ground wheat, barley and Stinging
nettle were 10.6%, 11.8%, and 33.8% (db), respectively.
Analytical data of the nettle powder exhibits about 3 times
protein level as compared to the traditional source of
cereal proteins, that is, rice, wheat, and barley. Previous
study also showed a relatively higher amount of protein
content, 33.6% (dry basis) in the Nettle powder.
Considering a higher level of protein in Nettle powder,
this species expected to supply higher concentrations of
essential amino acids. Besides, it has a better amino acid
profile than most of the other leafy vegetables (Rutto
et al. 2013).
Rutto et al. (2013) has reported relatively higher amounts
of all essential amino acid content in Stinging nettle,
except leucine and lysine. Nettle leaf flour has been in-
corporated in many recipes, for example, bread, pasta,
and noodles dough that suggest it could be used as a
protein- rich supplement in starchy diets associated with
poor and undernourished population like Nepal. As com-
pared to the conventional source of proteins, Nettle powder
contains 3.2 and 2.9 times greater amount of proteins as
compared to wheat and barley flours, respectively. Nettle
powder has one of the richest sources of crude fiber (9.1%,
db) (Table 1). The amount of crude fiber in the nettle
powder is significantly higher than most of the cereals
and other plant foods, more than 9 times higher as com-
pared to wheat and barley flour. Published literatures
showed the Nettle powder has 6.4% (db) crude fiber
(Rutto et al. 2013). The level of crude fat is relatively
low at 3.6% (db), but this value is still higher than wheat
(1.7%) and barley flour (1.7%).
Table 1. Chemical composition of wheat, barley, and nettle powders1.
Parameters Wheat flour Barley flour Nettle powder
Moisture (%) 12.37 ± 0.25 12.2 ± 0.19 7.04 ± 0.77
Crude protein (%,db) 10.6 ± 0.23 11.84 ± 0.09 33.77 ± 0.35
Crude fiber (%,db) 0.65 ± 0.13 1.03 ± 0.08 9.08 ± 0.14
Crude fat (%,db) 1.68 ± 0.23 1.73 ± 0.67 3.55 ± 0.06
Total ash (%,db) 0.56 ± 0.07 3.6 ± 0.08 16.21 ± 0.54
Carbohydrate (%,db) 86.51 ± 0.27 81.8 ± 0.08 37.39 ± 0.72
Calcium (mg/100 g) 18.94 ± 0.08 17.51 ± 0.26 168.77 ± 1.47
Iron (mg/100 g) 3.37 ± 0.29 3.63 ± 0.11 227.89 ± 0.21
db, dry basis.
1Values are mean ± Standard deviation of triplicates.
122 © 2015 The Authors. Food Science & Nutrition published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
B. M. Adhikari et al.Nutritional Properties of Stinging Nettle
Stinging Nettle is rich in minerals. Current study showed
the Nettle powder contained 16.2% (db) ash content which
is much higher than conventional cereals (Table 1). Rutto
et al. (2013) reported that the total ash content of Nettle
powder is 19.1% (db) or 2.1% in wet basis. The higher
level of minerals in Nettle is also demonstrated by higher
level of calcium (169 mg/100 g) and iron (277 mg/100 g)
(Table 2). Once again, these values are much higher than
those from wheat and barley flours. USDA data showed
the Nettle powder contains 4% calcium (db), 2.8% (db)
potassium followed by phosphorus, magnesium and traces
of iron, sodium and zinc (USDA, 2008). Based on this
data, Nettle powder probably is one of the richest sources
of minerals among the plant foods. In comparison, wheat
flour and barley flour have much lower total ash content,
0.6% and 3.6%, respectively.
Nettle powder contained the lowest amount of carbo-
hydrate (37.4%, db) as compared to regular cereals, for
example, wheat (86.5%) and barley (81.8%). It shows the
Nettle powder is much less glycemic as compared to the
conventional sources of plant foods such as cereals and
tuber in particular. Table 1 shows the crude fiber (9.1%
db) forms a significant component of Nettle powder. Rutto
et al. (2013) shows the carbohydrate content of Nettle
powder is close to the currently analyzed value, 7.1% db.
The calorific value of wheat flour was higher, that is,
381.9 kcal/100 g than barley flour and nettle powder which
were 369.7 kcal/100 g and 307.2 kcal/100 g, respectively.
This also shows the Nettle powder is low in calorie as
compared to conventional cereals.
Carbohydrate levels in the nettle powder decreases with
increase in the protein content, fiber, ash, and fat as shown
in Table 1. The results agree to the report given by Palikhe
(2012) Thapaliya (2010). Therefore, the current finding
showed that the use of nettle powder and barley in bakery
products likely to increase the protein, ash and fiber
whereas decrease in calorific value as well as increase in
bioactive compound (discussed later). The incorporation
of barley flour in the cereal based food products such as
biscuits, breakfast cereals, noodles, etc., potentially lower
the blood cholesterol, cardiovascular and other diet related
because of soluble β- glucan (Hassan et al. 2012).
Functional properties of raw materials
Nettle plant and its associated products are reported to
be rich in a number of bioactive compounds (Knipping
et al. 2012; Johnson et al. 2013; Rutto et al. 2013). It
has been reported that the natural phenolic compounds
play an important role in cancer prevention and treat-
ment. Phenolic compounds from medicinal herbs and
dietary plants include phenolic acids, flavonoids, tannins,
stilbenes, curcuminoids, coumarins, lignans, quinones, and
others. Various bioactivities of phenolic compounds are
responsible for their chemopreventive properties (e.g.,
antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, or antimutagenic and anti-
inflammatory effects) and also contribute to their inducing
apoptosis by arresting cell cycle, regulating carcinogen
metabolism and ontogenesis expression, inhibiting DNA
binding and cell adhesion, migration, proliferation or dif-
ferentiation, and blocking signaling pathways (Knipping
et al. 2012; Johnson et al. 2013).
Table 2 shows the nettle powder contained relatively
higher level of bioactive compounds, for example, tannin,
total polyphenol (TP), antioxidant activity (AA), carote-
noid, and total caloric value as compared to wheat and
barley flours. The total phenolic content of nettle powder
was 129 mg GAE (Gaelic Acid Equivalent)/g, which is
much higher than the wheat flour (1.3 GAE/g) and barley
flour (1.7 GAE/g). One of the quantitative analysis of
plant phenolics in Nettle plant showed only 21 of the
45 compounds in levels above the reliable quantification
limit (Orcic et al. 2014). Natural phenolic compounds
reported to play important role in cancer prevention and
treatment. A comprehensive review showed the compounds
from medicinal herbs such as Nettle plant and dietary
plants include phenolic acids, flavonoids, tannins, cur-
cuminoids, coumarins, lignans, etc. (Huang et al. 2010).
The carotenoid content of wheat flour, barley flour
and nettle powder were 320, 382.3, and 3496.7 μg/g, re-
spectively. Nettle powder appeared to have almost ten
times higher amount of carotenoid as compared to wheat
flour and barley flour (Table 2). According to Rutto et al.
(2013), the blanched nettle at 98°C for 1 min contained
4689 μg/g amount of carotenoids. It seems that in both
Table 2. Analysis of wheat flour, barley flour, and nettle powder1.
Parameters Wheat flour Barley flour Nettle powder
Tannin content (% as is) ND 0.53 ± 0.03 0.93 ± 0.01
Total polyphenol (mg GAE/g, db) 1.31 ± 0.01 1.76 ± 0.01 128.75 ± 0.21
Antioxidant activity (DPPH inhibition, % as is) 23.72 ± 0.45 28.64 ± 0.03 66.3 ± 0.12
Carotenoids (μg/g, db) 320.05 ± 0.08 382.3 ± 0.56 3496.67 ± 0.56
Calorific value (kcal/100 g) 381.93 ± 0.05 369.68 ± 0.84 307.24 ± 0.13
db, dry basis; ND, not detected.
1Values are mean ± standard deviation of triplicates.
123
© 2015 The Authors. Food Science & Nutrition published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Nutritional Properties of Stinging NettleB. M. Adhikari et al.
cases, the most significant reductions might have occurred
due to the longer exposure to heat during the drying
process. It has been reported that the amount of vitamin
A, iron, and calcium are significantly affected by the heat
(Rutto et al. 2013).
Carotenoids are the precursors of vitamin A and similar
compounds. β- carotene is one of most commonly known
carotenoids which is a potent antioxidant as well as a
dietary factor for growth. It is a precursor of vitamin A
that has important role in vision, as the prosthetic group
of the light sensitive proteins in retina, and a major role
in the regulation of gene expression and tissue differentia-
tion (Bender, 2003). Deficiency of vitamin A is a major
public health problem around the world. The prevention
of vitamin A deficiency is one of the three micronutrient
priorities of the World Health Organization (WHO), oth-
ers are iron and iodine.
Tannins (Polyphenols) occur in cereals, especially in
the seed coat (Reilly et al. 2009). The tannin content of
barley flour and nettle powder was 0.53 and 0.93 mg/100 g,
respectively, whereas, no tannin was observed in the wheat
flour. Polyphenols occur in cereals and these form com-
plexes with proteins and inhibition of digestive enzymes.
Nettle powder had higher level of anti- oxidant activity
of 66.3 DPPH inhibition (%) as compared to wheat flour
23.72 DPPH inhibition (%) and barley flour (28.64 DPPH
inhibition (%). Higher level of antioxidant activity (AA)
was also observed in Nepalese nettle powder. Current
data showed similar amino acid value in Nepalese nettle,
as reported by Thapaliya (2010).
A prospective, randomized, double- blind, placebo-
controlled, crossover study showed the Urtica dioica re-
ported to have beneficial effects in the treatment of
symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Further
clinical trials should be conducted to confirm these results
before concluding that Urtica dioica is effective.
Conclusions
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a common herb and its
stem and leaves are densely covered with Stinging hairs
that inflict pain. It is eaten as a curry, sour soup, vegetable
complement in dish, etc. Stinging nettle has a great me-
dicinal value such as relieve of arthritis, rheumatism, mus-
cular pain, etc. Nettle powder contains high amount of
protein (38%), crude fiber (9%), total ash (16.2%), calcium
(0.17%), iron (0.23%), and relatively low in carbohydrate
(37%). As compared to barley and wheat flour, it has
much higher protein, crude fiber, fat, ash, calcium and
iron, and low in glycemic index. Besides, it has excellent
health enhancing functional properties as compared to
conventional grains. As compared to barley and wheat, it
has much higher level of tannin content, total polyphenol,
antioxidant activity, carotenoids, and lower calorific value.
Bioactivities of these functional components may play im-
portant role in arthritis, rheumatism, muscular paralysis,
potentially cancer prevention, etc.
Conflict of Interest
None declared.
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... Research data shows that aerial parts of nettle contain 2.5-3.6% crude fat, 18-34% crude protein, 9% crude fiber, total ash 16%, and 37% carbohydrate in dry matter (DM) [5,6]. The leaves are rich in vitamins C, B, K, and carotenoids such as β carotene, hydroxy β carotene, lutoxanthin, lutein epoxide and violaxanthin [7,8]. ...
... Additionally, the amount of fiber obtained in their research (8.37%) was close to the amount of fiber in nettle leaves determined in our study (10.58%) ( Table 1). Adhikari et al. [6] reported that fiber content in blanched and dried nettle leaves powder was 9.08% of DM. Our research data revealed that fiber content in nettle leaves was almost three times higher than in roots. ...
... As was reported in a previous study by Paulauskiene et al. [23] crude ash content depending on collection time ranged from 3.06 to 4.70% of DM with the highest iron content compared to the other elements. Obtained research data was on the line with Adhikari et al. [6] who reported 16.21% of ash in nettle leaves as well as 17.67% in Man et al. [22] research. Carotenoid accumulation depends on the plant part and on the age of the plant. ...
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Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica L.) is an herbaceous plant that grows all over the world and is widely used as an edible and medicinal plant. Overall research results reveal that the chemical content and antioxidant activity of aerial parts and roots of stinging nettle depends on the growing region, soil, meteorological conditions (especially sunshine), collecting time, etc. The chemical composition of stinging nettle growing in Lithuania and the solid–liquid extraction efficiency of leaves and roots using different solvents were analysed. Additionally, we determined leaves phenols extraction efficiency using 96% methanol at different extraction conditions. Research results showed that a higher amount of crude fats, non-nitrogen extractives, and total carotenoids were in leaves, but the amount of crude proteins and ash did not differ significantly compared with roots. A higher amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) were detected in roots instead of leaves while saturated fatty acids (SFAs) were in leaves. The extraction results showed that the most effective solvent for total phenols and flavonoids in leaves was 96% methanol, for total phenols in roots was 50% methanol and 50% ethanol for total flavonoids in roots. The most effective temperature for the Urtica dioica L. leaves phenols extraction was 70 °C, while time does not have a significant influence. The present study’s findings suggested that concentrated and binary solvents had different effects on the phenol’s extraction efficiency from different stinging nettle parts and extraction temperature performed a key role instead of extraction time.
... Earlier stinging nettles had broader use in many rural areas as nutritious food, primarily during spring, but nowadays, they are used mainly in the recipes of many dishes like they are mixed with potatoes, nutmeg, and fromage blanc to get nettle nouvelle [73] . Urtica plants can be cooked or boiled as fresh vegetables that supplement the soups or make vegetable salads or cooked as a herb [74] . Some evidence supports the usage of nettle leaves in milk coagulation to make fresh cheese [75] . ...
... Some evidence supports the usage of nettle leaves in milk coagulation to make fresh cheese [75] . Compared to wheat and barley flour, nettle flour contains more significant amounts of calcium, proteins, fats, ash, and crude fibres [74] . Herbal liquors are also made by nettles [76] . ...
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Urtica dioica (stinging nettle), a flowering plant with the herbaceous perennial habit, belonging to the 'Urticaceae' family, native to temperate Asia, Europe, and North Africa, shows now worldwide distribution. The plant has a long history of being utilized as a medicinal herb. Traditionally, it is being used widely by many medical practitioners to treat many diseases like haematuria, arthritis, nephritis, menorrhagia, and rheumatism. Although this plant's phytochemistry is complex, studies on phytochemical constituents showed the occurrence of compounds like flavonoids, tannins, saponins, proteins, amino acids, and phytosterols. Likewise, Urtica dioica is being used as food, fibre, manure, and cosmetics. The plant also possesses diverse pharmacological activities, including antioxidant, antibacterial, analgesic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, anticancer, and immune-regulatory effects. This review briefs about biological activities, phytochemistry, toxicology, and pharmacology of Urtica dioica.
... Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is hexaploid (2 n = 6 x = 42) (Bhatta, 2017) and one of the most important foods in human nutrition all over the World [1]. It is also the staple diet for the majority of the global population, containing carbohydrates, protein, minerals, B-group vitamins, dietary fiber, etc. [2]. Wheat can be grown in different climatic zones ranging from the Caspian Sea to China [3]. ...
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This study investigated the genetic diversity and population structure of 63 genotypes from Turkish bread wheat germplasm using iPBS-retrotransposons primers. The thirty-four iPBS primers produced a total of 1231 polymorphic bands, ranging from 8 (iPBS-2375) to 60 (iPBS-2381) alleles per marker, with an average number of 36.00 alleles. The polymorphism information content (PIC) per marker varied between 0.048 (iPBS 2087) and 0.303 (iPBS 2382), with an average of 0.175. The numbers of effective alleles (ne), genetic diversity of Nei (h), and Shannon’s information index (I) value were calculated as 1.157, 0.95, and 0.144, respectively. The greatest genetic distance (0.164) was between Eastern Anatolia Agricultural Research Institute genotypes and Çukurova Agricultural Research Institute genotypes. The unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA) dendrogram placed the 63 wheat genotypes into three clusters. The percentage of genetic diversity explained by each of the three main coordinates of the basic coordinate analysis was determined to be 44.58, 12.08, and 3.44, respectively. AMOVA (Analysis of Molecular Variance) showed that the variation within populations was 99% and that between populations was 1%. The result of genetic structure analysis suggests that the greatest value of K was calculated as 3. The F-statistic (Fst) value was determined as 0.4005, 0.2374, and 0.3773 in the first to third subpopulations, respectively. Likewise, the expected heterozygosity values (He) were determined as 0.2203, 0.2599, and 0.2155 in the first, second, and third subpopulations, respectively. According to the information obtained in the study, the most genetically distant genotypes were the G1 (Aksel 2000) and G63 (Karasu 90) genotypes. This study provided a deep insight into genetic variations in Turkish bread wheat germplasm using the iPBS-retrotransposons marker system.
... Long term or high consumption of synthetic antioxidants can cause serious side effects in the reproductive system, skin allergies, gastrointestinal tract problems and may increase the risk of some cancer [27][28][29][30][31]. Thus, the use of natural antioxidants is always sought and in this scenario, UD can be used as an important source of natural antioxidants. UD leaf powder was found to have a higher concentration of bioactive compounds, antioxidants, and antioxidant activity compared to wheat and barley flour [32]. UD leaf powder has also been utilized in the bakery industry to increase the nutritional value and antioxidant properties of bread [8]. ...
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Urtica dioica (UD) is a multi-functional plant known to be used as both food and medicine from ancient times. The plant has the potential to be used as a fertilizer and for biological pest control. It is also used in textile and related industries for its quality fibers. In the recent past, the plant has received great attention for its numerous important biological activities and food applications. The antioxidant activity of UD is the crucial factor supporting its important biological activities, such as anticancer, antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory properties. The antioxidant activity of UD is also found to be protective in different organs, including the brain, liver, lungs, kidney, ovary, and uterus, and may also be protective against diseases associated with these organs. Few clinical studies have endorsed the antioxidant potential of UD in patients. The current work is an attempt to comprehensively compile and discuss the antioxidant activity of UD from in vitro, in vivo and human studies. The insights of the current study would be helpful in getting a panoramic view of the antioxidant potential of UD, and provide direction for optimizing and developing it for therapeutic applications against important diseases and conditions in the near future.
... Stinging nettle is a rapidly growing weed with a high protein content and is originally native to Europe. 36,37 In contrast, basil thrives in tropical and subtropical climates and is an aromatic herb and medicinal plant. 38 Bay laurel leaf is used as a herb in many traditional practices and recipes, originating from the Mediterranean region, Asia, South and North America, and the Balkans. ...
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The continuing threats of military conflicts and terrorism may involve the misuse of chemical weapons. The present study aims to use environmental samples to find evidence of the release of such agents at an incident scene. A novel approach was developed for identifying protein adducts in plants. Basil (Ocimum basilicum), bay laurel leaf (Laurus nobilis) and stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) were exposed to 2.5 to 150 mg m-3 sulfur mustard, 2.5 to 250 mg m-3 sarin, and 0.5 to 25 g m-3 chlorine gas. The vapors of the selected chemicals were generated under controlled conditions in a dedicated set-up. After sample preparation and digestion, the samples were analyzed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and liquid chromatography high resolution tandem mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS/MS), respectively. In the case of chlorine exposure, it was found that 3-chloro- and 3,5-dichlorotyrosine adducts were formed. As a result of sarin exposure, the o-isopropyl methylphosphonic acid adduct to tyrosine could be analyzed, and after sulfur mustard exposure the N1- and N3-HETE-histidine adducts were identified. The lowest vapor exposure levels for which these plant adducts could be detected, were 2.5 mg m-3 for sarin, 50 mg m-3 for chlorine and 12.5 mg m-3 for sulfur mustard. Additionally, protein adducts following a liquid exposure of only 2 nmol Novichock A-234, 0.4 nmol sarin and 0.2 nmol sulfur mustard could still be observed. For both vapor and liquid exposure, the amount of adduct formed increased with the level of exposure. In all cases synthetic reference standards were used for unambiguous identification. The window of opportunity for investigation of agent exposure through the analysis of plant material was found to be remarkably long. Even three months after the actual exposure, the biomarkers could still be detected in the living plants, as well as in dried leaves. An important benefit of the current method is that a relatively simple and generic sample work-up procedure can be applied for all agents studied. In conclusion, the presented work clearly demonstrates the possibility of analyzing chemical warfare agent biomarkers in plants, which is useful for forensic reconstructions, including the investigation into alleged use in conflict areas.
... A significant difference (p≤0.05) was observed in DPPH content of all the non conventional green leafy vegetables when compared with each other According . to [16] the antioxidant activity in nettles leaves was 66.60 per cent. Slightly variation might have been due to the difference in varieties. ...
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There are many types of other non conventional green leafy vegetable which are grown and consumed locally but has not been explored nutritionally. These non conventional green leafy vegetables are not cultivated but they grow naturally near water and in the open space. The present study was conducted to evaluate the phyto-chemicals, anti oxidant and nutritional quality of the selected non conventional green leafy vegetables grown locally /wild in Himachal Pradesh using standard methods. Five non conventional green leafy vegetables i.e. Bharase, Fafru, Khokhuya, Bichu butti and Chu-nali were taken for the study. The parameters analysed were. Flavonoids, DPPH activity proximate constituents dietyary fiber and mineral content. The results revealed that there was variation in the physical characteristics of the all non conventional green leafy vegetables. Nutritional quality evaluation revealed that the Bichu butti (Utrica diocia) was more nutritious as it contained 3.46 per cent protein, 11.38 per cent carbohydrates, 2.20 per cent ash and also 62.92kcal/100gm energy on fresh weight bases as compared to other non conventional green leafy vegetables. DPPH (57.07%) and Flavonoids (9.04%) were maximum in Bichu butti followed by Chu-nali. Bharase contained higher amount of macro and micro elements.
... Stinging hairs contain several chemicals, including serotonin, histamine, acetylcholine, moroidin, leukotrienes and formic acid, that provoke pain, wheals, or a stinging sensation. However, the irritant power is lost during cooking, thus making this plant usable for culinary purposes, consistently with its high content in nutrients (up to 3.7% proteins, 0.6% fat, 2.1% ash, 6.4% dietary fiber and 7.1% carbohydrates in harvested upgrowths [80], high concentrations of vitamins and metals in fresh leaves [81] and about 30% proteins, 4% fats, 40% non-nitrogen compounds, 10% fiber and 15% ash in leaf powders [82]), it is appreciated as food in general: stinging nettle tips are the first to be harvested in spring. They are used in omelets or herb soups and risotto. ...
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Data on urban and rural diabetes prevalence ratios show a significantly lower presence of diabetes in rural areas. Several bioactive compounds of plant origin are known to exert anti-diabetic properties. Interestingly, most of them naturally occur in different plants present in mountainous areas and are linked to traditions of herbal use. This review will aim to evaluate the last 10 years of evidence-based data on the potential anti-diabetic properties of 9 plants used in the Piedmont Alps (North-Western Italy) and identified through an ethnobotanical approach, based on the Occitan language minority of the Cuneo province (Sambucus nigra L., Achillea millefolium L., Cornus mas L., Vaccinium myrtillus L., Fragaria vesca L., Rosa canina L., Rubus idaeus L., Rubus fruticosus/ulmifolius L., Urtica dioica L.), where there is a long history of herbal remedies. The mechanism underlying the anti-hyperglycemic effects and the clinical evidence available are discussed. Overall, this review points to the possible use of these plants as preventive or add-on therapy in treating diabetes. However, studies of a single variety grown in the geographical area, with strict standardization and titration of all the active ingredients, are warranted before applying the WHO strategy 2014–2023.
... Paulauskiene et al. analyzed the influence of harvesting time on the chemical composition of leaves of Urtica dioica by collecting the leaves every month from April to September. The results showed a variation in the content of chlorophylls, carotenoids, phenolic compounds, and antioxidant capacity among the samples [29] Adhikari et al. [31] compared the nutritional properties of dried leaf powder of Urtica dioica with that of barley and wheat flours. They reported that the leaf powder of Urtica dioica had higher level of crude protein (33.8%), crude fiber (9.1%), crude fat (3.6%), and carbohydrates (37.4%), as compared to barley and wheat flours. ...
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Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica L., Urticaceae) is commonly found in Asia, Africa, and Europe and has a long history of being used as food and traditional medicine. Recently, this plant is gaining attention as a highly nutritious food, where fresh leaves are dried and used as powder or in other forms. Leaves are rich in many bioactive compounds. This review aims to cover the traditional uses in food and medicine, as well as its nutritional composition, including its bioactive chemical constituents and reported food functional activities. Various bioactive chemical constituents have been isolated from stinging nettle to date, such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, amino acid, carotenoids, and fatty acids. Stinging nettle extracts and its compounds, such as rutin, kaempferol, and vitamin A, are also used for their nutritional properties and as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents. Future studies should focus on the proper formulation and stability testing of the functional foods containing stinging nettle and their detailed activities in clinical studies.
Thesis
Cette étude se déroule en deux parties, la première partie est consacrée à la mise en place d’une méthodologie dans le but d’isoler les métabolites secondaires. La seconde partie décrit les propriétés phytochimiques de poudres issues de matrices végétales en fonction de leur granulométrie. Dans la première partie, qui est consacrée à l’isolement de métabolites secondaires par HPLC semi-préparative, la mise en place du processus d’isolement de l’hédéracoside C et l’α-hédérine, a été effectuée à partir d’extraits de parties aériennes du lierre (Hedera helix L.). La généralisation de ce processus d’isolement appliqué aux extraits de parties aériennes du millepertuis (Hypericum perforatum L.) a permis d’isoler avec succès un hypéroside qui est un des flavonoïdes marqueur du millepertuis. Le but de cette deuxième partie est dans un premier temps, de valider le procédé de broyage et de tamisage du matériel végétal : PTC « Pulvérisation & Tamisage différentiel Contrôlés » à l’échelle industrielle pour la production de différentes classes granulométriques des poudres. A cet effet, les résultats d’analyses phytochimiques de classes granulométriques de neuf plantes de la Région Lorraine obtenues par PTC à l'aide d’un pilote industriel sont comparés à ceux obtenus à l’échelle du laboratoire. Les plantes sélectionnées snot : le fenouil (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.), le saule blanc (Salix alba L.), le millepertuis (Hypericum perforatum L.), l’ortie (Urtica dioica L.), la solidage (Solidago virgaurea L.), la piloselle (Hieracium pilosella Vaill.), le rosier des chiens (Rosa canina L.), la griffe du diable (Harpagophytum DC.) et le lierre (Hedera helix L.). L’évaluation de l’activité antioxydante ainsi que les analyses effectuées par LC-MS indiquent que la production des poudres à l’échelle du laboratoire est généralisable à l’échelle industrielle.Par ailleurs, pour la première fois, l’application à quatre fruits : la cerise (Prunus avium L.), la pêche (Prunus persica L.), la quetsche (Prunus domestica subsp. Insititia L.) et la mirabelle (Prunus domestica subsp. Syriaca) de la Région Lorraine du procédé PTC à l’échelle du laboratoire montre que l’extraction par voie sèche est une nouvelle méthode pour enrichir certaines classes granulométriques en composés bioactifs.
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Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica L.) is an ecologically and economically important multipurpose perennial shrub of family Urticaceae. Here, we report heavy infestation by caterpillars of Indian tortoiseshell (Aglais caschmirensis aesis Fruhstorfer, 1912) on leaves of the plant at Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand, located in the Western Himalayan region. The infestation resulting in complete defoliation was recorded from April to November in the years 2020 and 2021. A life cycle study revealed 30 days as the life span of the insect. The insect may be an important component of the Integrated Weed Management system to manage the plant where its growth is undesired. Alternatively, an Integrated Pest Management system needs to be developed for sustainable management of the insect.
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Wheat is considered good source of protein, minerals, B-group vitamins and dietary fiber i.e. an excellent health-building food. Thus, it has become the principal cereal, being more widely used for the making of bread than any other cereal because of the quality and quantity of its characteristic protein called gluten. Gluten makes bread dough stick together and gives it the ability to retain gas. Wheat has several medicinal virtues; starch and gluten in wheat provide heat and energy; the inner bran coats, phosphates and other mineral salts; the outer bran, the much-needed roughage the indigestible portion that helps easy movement of bowels; the germ, vitamins B and E; and protein of wheat helps build and repair muscular tissue. The wheat germ, which is removed in the process of refining, is also rich in essential vitamin E, the lack of which can lead to heart disease. The loss of vitamins and minerals in the refined wheat flour has led to widespread prevalence of constipation and other digestive disturbances and nutritional disorders. The whole wheat, which includes bran and wheat germ, therefore, provides protection against diseases such as constipation, ischaemic, heart disease, disease of the colon called diverticulum, appendicitis, obesity and diabetes. To enhance the quality as well as the quantity of proteins/starches, and the content of vitamins, essential amino acids, minerals and other healthy components of wheat, it is essential to understand the molecular and genetic control of various aspects of plant growth and development.
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Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica L.) has a long history of usage and is currently receiving attention as a source of fiber and alternative medicine. In many cultures, nettle is also eaten as a leafy vegetable. In this study, we focused on nettle yield (edible portion) and processing effects on nutritive and dietary properties. Actively growing shoots were harvested from field plots and leaves separated from stems. Leaf portions (200 g) were washed and processed by blanching (1 min at 96–98°C) or cooking (7 min at 98-99°C) with or without salt (5 g·). Samples were cooled immediately after cooking and kept in frozen storage before analysis. Proximate composition, mineral, amino acid, and vitamin contents were determined, and nutritive value was estimated based on 100 g serving portions in a 2000 calorie diet. Results show that processed nettle can supply 90%–100% of vitamin A (including vitamin A as β-carotene) and is a good source of dietary calcium, iron, and protein. We recommend fresh or processed nettle as a high-protein, low-calorie source of essential nutrients, minerals, and vitamins particularly in vegetarian, diabetic, or other specialized diets.
Book
The vitamins are a chemically disparate group of compounds whose only common feature is that they are dietary essentials that are required in small amounts for the normal functioning of the body and maintenance of metabolic integrity. Metabolically they have diverse function, as coenzymes, hormones, antioxidants, mediators of cell signaling and regulators of cell and tissue growth and differentiation. This book, first published in 2003, explores the known biochemical functions of the vitamins, the extent to which we can explain the effects of deficiency or excess and the scientific basis for reference intakes for the prevention of deficiency and promotion of optimum health and well-being. It also highlights areas where our knowledge is lacking and further research is required. It provides a compact and authoritative reference volume of value to students and specialists alike in the field of nutritional biochemistry, and indeed all who are concerned with vitamin nutrition, deficiency and metabolism.
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Nature is the international weekly journal of science: a magazine style journal that publishes full-length research papers in all disciplines of science, as well as News and Views, reviews, news, features, commentaries, web focuses and more, covering all branches of science and how science impacts upon all aspects of society and life.
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The efficacy and safety of herbal medicines are dependent upon the standards by which they are made and our knowledge base when prescribing them. Stinging nettles is a staple among Western herbalists and is widely used as a vegetable green, juice, tea, and freeze dried products, predominantly as a blood nourishing tonic and for seasonal rhinitis. The following botanical profile is excerpted from the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (R) and Therapeutic Compendium. (c) 2012 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
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The demand to develop efficient and reliable analytical methods for the quality control of herbal medicines and nutraceuticals is on the rise, together with an increase in the legal requirements for safe and consistent levels of active principles. Here, we describe an ultra-high performance liquid chromatography method (UHPLC) coupled with quadrupole high resolution time of flight mass spectrometry (qTOF-MS) analysis for the comprehensive measurement of metabolites from three Cynara scolymus (artichoke) cultivars: American Green Globe, French Hyrious, and Egyptian Baladi. Under optimized conditions, 50 metabolites were simultaneously quantified and identified including: eight caffeic acid derivatives, six saponins, 12 flavonoids and 10fatty acids. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to define both similarities and differences among the three artichoke leaf cultivars. In addition, batches from seven commercially available artichoke market products were analysed and showed variable quality, particularly in caffeic acid derivatives, flavonoid and fatty acid contents. PCA analysis was able to discriminate between various preparations, including differentiation between various batches from the same supplier. To the best of our knowledge, this study provides the first approach utilizing UHPLC-MS based metabolite fingerprinting to reveal secondary metabolite compositional differences in artichoke leaf extracts.