Renal ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury may occur after renal transplantation, thoracoabdominal aortic surgery, and renal artery interventions. This study was designed to investigate the effect of Urtica dioica L. (UD), in I/R induced renal injury. A total of 32 male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups: control, UD alone, I/R and I/R + UD; each group contain 8 animals. A rat model of renal I/R injury was induced by 45-min occlusion of the bilateral renal pedicles and 24-h reperfusion. In the UD group, 3 days before I/R, UD (2 ml/kg/day intraperitoneal) was administered by gastric gavage. All animals were sacrificed at the end of reperfusion and kidney tissues samples were obtained for histopathological investigation in all groups. To date, no more histopathological changes on intestinal I/R injury in rats by UD treatment have been reported. Renal I/R caused severe histopathological injury including tubular damage, atrophy dilatation, loss of brush border and hydropic epithelial cell degenerations, renal corpuscle atrophy, glomerular shrinkage, markedly focal mononuclear cell infiltrations in the kidney. UD treatment significantly attenuated the severity of intestinal I/R injury and significantly lowered tubulointerstitial damage score than the I/R group. The number of PCNA and TUNEL positive cells in the control and UD alone groups was negligible. When kidney sections were PCNA and TUNEL stained, there was a clear increase in the number of positive cells in the I/R group rats in the renal cortical tissues. However, there is a significant reduction in the activity of PCNA and TUNEL in kidney tissue of renal injury induced by renal I/R with UD therapy. Our results suggest that administration of UD attenuates renal I/R injury. These results suggest that UD treatment has a protective effect against renal damage induced by renal I/R. This protective effect is possibly due to its ability to inhibit I/R induced renal damage, apoptosis and cell proliferation.