Summary The effects of two doses (50 and 100 mg/kg body wt given orally for 14 days) of an ethanol-water (80%-20%) extract of Urtica dioica L. and butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) were investigated, for phase I and phase II enzymes, antioxidant enzymes, lactate dehydrogenase, lipid peroxidation and sulfhydryl groups in the liver of Swiss albino mice (8-9 weeks old). A modulatory effect of two doses and BHA was also observed for the activities of glutathione S-transferase, DT-diaphorase, superoxide dismutase and catalase in the kidney, lung and forestomach, as compared with the control group. The activities of cytochrome [b.sub.5] (cyt [b.sub.5]), NADH-cytochrome [b.sub.5] reductase (cyt [b.sub.5] R), glutathione S-transferase (GST), DT-diaphorase (DTD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione reductase (GR), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) showed a significant increase in the liver at both dose levels of extract. Both extract-treated showed significantly lower activity of cytochrome P450 (cyt P450), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase (cyt P450 R), total sulfhydryl groups (T-SH), nonprotein sulfhydryl groups (NP-SH) and protein-bound sulfhydryl groups (PB-SH). BHA-treated Swiss albino mice showed a notable increase in levels of cyt [b.sub.5], DTD, T-SH, PB-SH, GPx, GR, and SOD in the liver while, LDH, cyt P450, cyt P450 R, Cyt [b.sub.5] R, GST, NP-SH, and CAT levels were reduced significantly as compared to control values. The extract was effective in inducing GST, DTD, SOD and CAT activity in the forestomach and SOD and CAT activity in the lung at both dose levels. BHA-treated Swiss albino mice induced DTD, GST and all antioxidative parameters in the kidney, lung and forestomach.