It can kill animals with severe allergic reactions and causing excruciating pain that last weeks in humans. I have also always wondered this. As nettles act as a diuretic and are high in … Consider supporting Compound Interest on Patreon, and get previews of upcoming posts & more! The best 2 plants that rubbed on the affected area worked immediately were plantain (plantago) and pellitory (parietaria), dock didn’t seem to do much at all ! Because the trees’ toxins target a nerve-cell molecule that’s fundamental to our pain response, researching them may also help unlock how to block pain receptors. Without any further or more recent research to back it up, the jury’s still out as to whether dock leaf acts merely as a placebo or not – more research needed!]. But when they make contact with skin they’re more like tiny hypodermics, breaking off and injecting a painful toxin. However, the toxin in stinging nettle is much stronger than those two plants. The toxin is harmless but burns at first and causes a nasty itch afterwards. Dermatólogo, The Defence of a Stinging Nettle – My Forest School Blog, Understanding the Chemistry of Stinging Nettles | The Homestead Survival, The Health Benefits Of Stinging Nettle – Brandon Goji, Stinging plants share needle designs « Botany One. In one historical account from the 1940s, a soldier said the pain was so bad he had to be tied to his hospital bed for three weeks. The painful toxins wielded by a giant Australian stinging tree are surprisingly similar to the venom found in spiders and cone snails, University of Queensland researchers have found. Vetter says the enduring pain may be caused by the gympietides permanently changing the sodium channels in a victim’s sensory neurons, not due to the fine hairs getting stuck in the skin. ... Pica-Pica Wood Nettle Ortiga Brava Stinging Nettle Stinging Nettle spp. 6. Those hairs make the leaves look inviting, Gilding told The New York Times, ‘like it’s a furry, friendly green plant that you’d want to rub.’. ‘[They] feel like they are being slammed between two blocks of wood.’. It preys mostly on amphibians, fish, and small mammals, though they have been known to attack and kill much larger prey, especially when hunting in groups. As I result, I’m not convinced it isn’t just a total fabrication. Stinging nettle grows everywhere in the moderate climate zones, especially near human habitation in areas where scrap metal has been discarded, such as behind barns and in dumps. Another oft-suggested remedy is applying calamine lotion to the skin. Notorious stinging trees from Australia cause agonizing pain that can linger for weeks and even months. Mechanical injury, sometimes called toxin-mediated urticaria, is generally induced by plants with obvious physical characteristics that directly injure the skin, such as the barbs of aloe or the trichomes of stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) (Table 5). However, further studies could reveal that there are still gaps in our current understanding. The Gympie-Gympie stinging tree is covered in tiny hairs that look inviting, but stick into the skin and inject a toxin that causes agonizing pain, A child stung by a giant Australian stinging tree. Other, stranger methods of treating stings have also been suggested. Another anecdotal one is to hold your breath as you touch it, if you really need (e.g. Another suggestion is that dock leafs contain a natural antihistamine, which prevent histamine in the venom from producing inflammation and pain. We used to think that the main component was formic acid, the same compound contained in ant venom. If you get stung, take a few leaves, crush them into a paste, and put it on the stung area. It is covered with tiny little hairs that act as needles that release a toxin when penetrating the skin. While it’s toxic to humans and other animals, their leaves and fruit are a prized meal for beetles, birds and pademelons, an Australian marsupial related to the wallaby. The D. moroides is nicknamed after the town Gympie in Queensland where it was discovered in 1860. Enjoyed this post & graphic? The hairs can remain in the skin for months, and with stings recurring if the skin is pressed hard or washed with hot or cold water. Plantain leaves, much like dock leaves, are also a common remedy in some countries, though again, there’s currently no scientific evidence that they have any particular chemical effect. Some have claimed that the dock leaf’s sap is alkaline, which neutralises the acidic compounds in the nettle sting. Stinging nettle contains its own antidote. I managed to find a research paper on the subject! See the site’s content usage guidelines. This is one I’d heard previously too, but again, there’s nothing I’ve come across that suggests any previous scientific investigations into this. The graphic in this article is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Despite it being so widespread, however, there’s still a lot we don’t know about stings from stinging nettles. The wood nettle (Laportea canadensis) is a relative of the stinging nettle that often grows in woodlands.Like the stinging nettle, the wood nettle leaves are covered with spines that sting when they come into contact with skin. They found that dock leaf extract will block the effect of serotonin, making that the likely mechanism for dock leaves to ease the pain of a nettle sting. The Dendrocnide plant, also known as the Gympie-Gympie Stinging Tree. Hadn’t come across that one! Found all over eastern Australia, the dendrocnide plant is among the most toxic flora on Earth and stings can kill dogs or horses and cause excruciating pain in humans that last weeks, even months. Anecdotally, it certainly seems to be, but actually there’s little in the way of scientific evidence. The toxin produced by a dangerous ‘stinging tree’ is comparable to a scorpion or spider’s bite, according to a new study. Toxin in Australia's 'stinging tree' is comparable to spider or scorpion venom and can cause excruciating pain that lasts weeks. In the forests of eastern Australia there are a handful of nettle trees so noxious that signs are commonly placed where humans trample through their habitat. Sadly, no evidence is provided to back it up! Thanks for this excellent article; you put across very well just how limited the research is on this topic, while at the same time explaining what is known. Independently, they don’t explain why the effect of a nettle sting is so prolonged. It’s possible that there are synergistic effects between them and other chemicals in the venom mixture. I was prompted to do some research of my own by someone telling me (possibly having heard it from you) that the dock leaf is just a placebo, which I found hard to believe. So, you’re out and about, and get stung by a stinging nettle – what do you do? Dogs, humans, and other animals who come into contact with the stinging nettle will experience unpleasant symptoms that can intensify with repeated exposure. The tree’s scientific name is Dendrocnide which literally means ‘stinging tree’ and is a member of the nettle family which can be found in Australia from the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, through to Gympie, Queensland and all the way to the tip of the Cape York Peninsula. Rubbing with the hand doesn’t work, but I do wonder if the dock leaves are sufficiently abrasive to remove the “stingers” mechanically. It is more common in areas with moist soil – which explains its ubiquity in the UK! The stinging nettle is a plant found practically all over the world. We need scientific research to compare: do nothing vs dock leaves vs sandpaper (or emery-board) vs a soft leaf vs another tough leaf vs rubbing with a hand. […]. Nettle (Latin Urtica dioica) is a perennial herb known as common nettle, stinging nettle, nettle worth, big string nettle, devil's leaf.. These trees are called gympie-gympie in the language of the Indigenous Gubbi Gubbi people, and Dendrocnide in botanical Latin (meaning "tree stinger"). Some people get very sick if they come into contact with stinging nettle rash. Additionally, tartaric acid and oxalic acid are two compounds, isolated in a different species of stinging nettle, which were implicated in the drawn-out effect. 3)Detoxify the Body The wide range of beneficial nutrients found in Stinging Nettle Root Extract make it an ideal detoxifier for the body&it has been known to gently cleanse the body of toxins.As a diuretic substance,stinging nettle can also ensure Standing near one unprotected for 20 minutes is enough to cause violent sneezing, nose bleeds and even breathing problems. Toxin in Australia’s ‘stinging tree’ is comparable to spider or scorpion venom and can cause excruciating pain that lasts weeks The Gympie-Gympie tree is the world’s most painful stinging nettle Stings can kill dogs and even being near a plant can cause symptoms in humans Scientists found the tree secretes a new class of toxin similar to […] The tree’s scientific name is Dendrocnide which literally means ‘stinging tree’—a member of the nettle family which can be found in Australia from the Northern Rivers region of NSW, through Gympie QLD and all the way to the tip of the Cape York Peninsula.. By R. T. BRITTAIN and H. 0. To many, this is almost second nature, but is it actually in any way effective? The nettle species, Urtica dioica, actually encompasses six different subspecies, all but one of which have stinging hairs. Stinging nettle rash presents as raised bumps or hives that are often light in color and up to a centimeter in diameter. Stinging nettle is often recommended for pre-menstrual syndrome because of its toxin-ridding activity. Vinegar comes packed with detoxifying effects where, it effectively combats the toxin. The Gympie-Gympie tree is the world's most painful stinging nettle The plant is considered an herbaceous perennial, meaning that it has herbal properties and grows back in the same areas year after year. Explorations of everyday chemical compounds. A magnified view of the tree’s trichomes. The plant juices relieve the itch almost immediately like magic. However, the paper being referenced doesn’t actually contain any mention of this at all. The stinging trees In the forests of eastern Australia there are a handful of nettle trees so noxious that signs are commonly placed where humans trample through their habitat. What’s in this mix of different chemicals that causes the sting? The team discovered the culprit is a new class of toxic miniproteins that has been named ‘gympietides,’ in honor of the Indigenous name for the stinging tree. A stinging hair consists of one stinging cell and surrounding pedestal cells. […] The Chemistry of Stinging Nettles. The root and above ground parts are used as medicine. If you’d like to know more about the plants chemistry check out this cool chart. Stinging nettle (or should I say Urtica dioica) is an herbaceous flowering plant that can be found in Europe, Asia, Africa and Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. The Dendrocnide moroides plant, also known as the Gympie-Gympie stinging tree, is the world’s most painful stinging nettle. However, the leaves are shorter and more oval shaped that the stinging nettle, and they lack the tapered tip that is characteristic for the stinging nettle. The nettle has sharp hairs on its leaves. A number of chemicals have been proposed as the toxins that are introduced through nettle stings when in contact with human skin, such as acetylcholine, histamine and serotonin, with formic acid being the most common nettle toxin. Its efficacy has also been debated at times, and it won’t completely nullify the pain of the nettle sting, but it may help take the edge off. It’s still not clear why the Gympie-Gympie evolved this off-putting defense. When injected by the stinging nettle, however, it functions as an irritant, leading to pain. What we do know well is how they occur. Many of the sites that mention it use the same turn of phrase (“The juice of nettle is also the antidote for its own sting”) which makes me think it may well be from a single original source. The Gympie-Gympie, known scientifically as Dendrocnide moroides, can grow to 10 feet tall with leaves 20 inches long. One researcher compared it to ‘being burnt with hot acid and electrocuted at the same time.’. Stinging nettle is a plant that grows in North America, Europe, and Africa. It’s an anti-pruritic (anti-itching) agent, which is commonly applied to insect stings (. Stinging Nettle. The itching and burning feeling from stinging nettle rash is similar to that of poison ivy or poison oak. This sounds like a decent theory – but there’s no scientific evidence that dock leaves do contain an antihistamine. In some countries, your immediate reaction would probably be to hunt for a dock leaf to rub on the affected area. The fine hairs remain potent for decades – dried-up specimens from a century ago can still sting. But until now researchers haven’t been able to identify the neurotoxin the plant, also known as the Gympie-Gympie tree, secretes – until now. As reported in the journal Science Advances, Kalani Gilding, Irina Vetter and a team of researchers at the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience discovered the culprit was a completely new class of toxic miniproteins. 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Stinging Nettle Rash. It is found throughout the world, most often growing on waste ground, in hedgerows, along roadsides, field edges and grassy places. "Stinging nettle scientifically known as Urtica dioica has a long medicinal history. One remedy that will alleviate the pain of the sting somewhat is the use of antihistamine or corticosteroid creams. But, even better, maybe have some antihistamine cream pre-packed as well! When the liver is sluggish, it processes estrogen slowly, contributing to the high levels that cause or aggravate PMS. The Dendrocnide moroides plant is thought to be the most potent and deadly stinging nettle in the world. Stinging nettles are covered with countless tiny hollow hairs called trichomes. It’s also abundant in Asia, North America, much of Europe, and even some Northern African countries. Stinging nettle is used for diabetes and osteoarthritis. The toxin produced by a dangerous ‘stinging tree’ is comparable to a scorpion or spider’s bite, according to a new study. Dr. Marina Hurley, who did her PhD work in stinging trees, said a brush with the plant, nicknamed the ‘suicide tree,’ is ‘like being burnt with hot acid and electrocuted at the same time.’, ‘Not only do you feel pain from where you are stung, if it is a really bad sting, within about 20 minutes your lymph nodes under your arms swell and throb painfully,’ Hurley wrote on The Conversation. Growing up in the US I had only encountered them once and had never heard of them before. Thanks for the post. : removing them from your garden). Reportedly, nettle tea leaves have been a part of ancient medieval medicine for treating and curing a range of diseases including hay fever, bone-related issues, and allergies among others. When you brush against the plant, the tip of the hair breaks off. It’s an anti-pruritic (anti-itching) agent, which is commonly applied to insect stings (which we’ve also looked at previously) to ease itching. Il “Risotto con l’ortica” (rice with Stinging Nettles) is a gourmet choice! It will stop stinging within about a minute. They’re eaten here too, albeit much more sparingly. I’m heading out right now, so don’t have time to give it a proper read, but I’ll take a look later on. Other, stranger methods of treating stings have also been suggested. How do people not know this? When your priority is to cure stinging nettles rash caused by the plant (stinging nettle), vinegar is a remedy that you must not miss! Other chemicals contained in the stinging nettle venom, and the ones we now think are primarily responsible for the pain it induces, are histamine, acetylcholine, and serotonin. The pain is caused by tiny hairs which cover the leaves, stem and fruits of the plants, which can grow up to 10 feet tall with 20-inch-wide leaves. Another oft-suggested remedy is applying calamine lotion to the skin. Other chemicals contained in the stinging nettle venom, and the ones we now think are primarily responsible for the pain it induces, are histamine, acetylcholine, and serotonin. Toxin in Australia's 'stinging tree' is comparable to spider venom. The toxin produced by a dangerous ‘stinging tree’ is comparable to a scorpion or spider’s bite, according to a new study. Who’s up to do it? But yeah, can’t really see any basis for that working either. Calamine is usually a mixture of zinc oxide and a small amount of iron (III) oxide, and is unsurprisingly the main ingredient in calamine lotion. Hurley said the only way she’d handle the free is wearing a dust mask and thick, padded welding gloves. The ‘dock leaves contain antihistamines’ claim is a widespread one – a quick google will show as much – but in all cases it is unsubstantiated, and the trail of breadcrumbs always leads back to the same study which seems to be erroneously referencing a finding that doesn’t exist. Calamine is usually a mixture of zinc oxide and a small amount of iron (III) oxide, and is unsurprisingly the main ingredient in calamine lotion. The stinging trees. Whilst all of the above contribute to the painful experience of a nettle sting, it’s still not the full story. (Of course, if anyone can provide evidence to the contrary, it’d be great to see!). Originally native to Europe, much of temperate Asia and western North Africa, it is now found worldwide, including New Zealand and North America. While it’s far from conclusive, being around 60 years old and only mentioned in conference proceedings, it does at least hint at the possibility of there being a chemical basis to dock leaves’ effects. Urinating on them is one that crops up more often than you might expect, but it’s likely to have little or no effect – and whilst we’re on the subject, there’s little point in urinating on a jellyfish sting either, The Chemistry of the Smell of Toilets & Human Waste, This Week in Chemistry – Cats & Bitter Compounds, & Recovering Indium, Urticaria crónica. It has been used as an herbal remedy for thousands of years. Each stinging hair contains toxin at the base. [Edit: 20/05/2016: Since writing this article, a paper which shows that dock leaf extract can have some effect on serotonin in the nettle sting has been brought to my attention. When injected by the stinging nettle, however, it functions as an irritant, leading to pain. Dr. Marina Hurley studied the huge toxic plants for her PhD and had to wear a dust mask and cover her arms and legs when she was working. We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. The stinging nettle plant can grow well over 10 feet tall and is commonly found in uncultivated areas of moist soil such as pastures, wasteland, and alongside streams. (Of course, if anyone can provide evidence to the contrary, it’d be great to see!). But what chemicals do stinging nettles contain that elicit this effect? Additionally, dock leaf sap actually isn’t alkaline, so the whole argument falls apart. Further to that, a commonly espoused remedy for the stings, in the UK at least, is to rub dock leaves on them – but does this actually work, or is it just a widespread myth? Acetylcholine is another neurotransmitter that can accomplish a similar effect, and you might remember histamine from previous discussions of allergies, particularly hayfever. If you do get stung, crush and rub a Plantain Weed leaf or a Curly Dock Stalk on the area. The skin surrounding the hives may be red. Urinating on them is one that crops up more often than you might expect, but it’s likely to have little or no effect – and whilst we’re on the subject, there’s little point in urinating on a jellyfish sting either. found Stinging Nettle Root Extract to be effective. Thankfully I haven’t ran across it again. Touching a nettle plant with bare skin will produce a stinging or burning sensation. But you don’t even have to touch it to feel its wrath – standing near one unprotected for 20 minutes is enough to cause violent sneezing, nose bleeds and even breathing problems. Even if this is the case, however, we’ve already pointed out that it’s not just the acidic compounds in nettle venom that are problematic. Both of these prevent the action of histamine. When the hairs touch skin, the end breaks off and the shaft of the hair sticks into the skin, injecting a toxin in the same way as a hypodermic needle. Aids Detoxification . Do you know that in Italy we eat them as well? Ah, brilliant, good work on tracking that down! […], […] http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74146.html http://www.compoundchem.com/2015/06/04/nettles/ http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-nettle.html http://www.nettlesforhealth.com/ […], […] Interest (2015) The Chemistry of Stinging Nettles. Consider supporting Compound Interest on Patreon, and get previews of upcoming posts & more! http://growingthingsandmakingthings.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/in-case-you-were-wondering-how-dock.html. The trichomes remain potent for decades, Hurley said, and dead, dried-up specimens from a century ago can still sting. This small, carnivorous stinging nettle commonly grows in mires. Whilst, of course, it doesn’t do much to some of the other chemical components of the venom, preventing histamine’s action does at least help to reduce inflammation and some of the pain. Nevertheless, I don’t understand how even if the sting goes away naturally, it will burn again even after hours, if you apply water! It contributes to the detoxification of the urinary tract, and it also contains histamine that may help with seasonal allergies—a condition many … In the venom, histamine causes inflammation and pain. It pierces the skin, and releases a cocktail of various chemicals from the base of the hair, and it’s these that cause the sting. It’s certainly not a neutralisation reaction that’s soothing the sting. Although they come from a plant, the gympietides target the same pain receptors as the venom found in arachnids and cone snails, the researchers say, making the Gympie-Gympie a truly ‘venomous’ plant. Toxin accumulation in the body can severely damage vital organs and systems, causing chronic illness. It is almost 60 years old and it’s only in conference proceedings, but it looks sound and I’ve seen it referenced as true somewhere much more recent, with nothing to contradict it. It never worked for me. Mire nettles are infamous for their hollow, needlelike thorns, which contain a natural toxin that causes extreme pain. I had no idea why my arm suddenly felt on fire, but I was terrified. Stinging nettle, or Urtica dioica, is a common plant that grows in the United States, Canada, and Europe.It primarily grows in damp, fertile soil. […] mecanismo defensivo de las ortigas puede considerase altamente sofisticado: los tricomas microscópicos son unos micro-tubos llenos substancias, y al tocarlos se fracturan y […], […] http://www.compoundchem.com/2015/06/04/nettles/ […], About the dock leaves.. its not a chemical that helps though it wouldn’t surprise me if it had one, its the rubbing as it disperses the sings, so if no dock leaves around you can always use your hand or some other material. Stinging nettles are very effective at removing these toxins. Serotonin, in particular, might sound familiar – it’s produced in our bodies, and sometimes referred to as the ‘happy hormone’, though it’s actually responsible for a number of other roles too. Serotonin, in particular, might sound familiar – it’s produced in our bodies, and sometimes referred to as the ‘happy hormone’, though it’s actually responsible for a number of other roles too. Although fresh nettle is primarily known for its stinging quality, dried nettle has some incredible detoxifying properties. After a lot of hunting, the only paper I could find naming a specific compound references another paper that supposedly shows dock leaf to have high levels of chlorphenamine. ‘By understanding how this toxin works, we hope to provide better treatment to those who have been stung by the plant, to ease or eliminate the pain,’ she said. But […] The ‘dock leaves contain antihistamines’ claim is a widespread one – a quick google will show as much – but in all cases it is unsubstantiated, and the trail of breadcrumbs always leads back to the same study which seems to be erroneously referencing a finding that doesn’t exist. Acetylcholine is another neurotransmitter that can accomplish a similar effect, and you might remember histamine from previous discussions of allergies, particularly hayfever. Urtica dioica, often known as common nettle, stinging nettle (although not all plants of this species sting) or nettle leaf, or just a nettle or stinger, is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant in the family Urticaceae. The graphic in this article is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, Major persistent toxins in the hairs of stinging nettles, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/jphysiol.1957.sp005739/pdf, http://growingthingsandmakingthings.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/in-case-you-were-wondering-how-dock.html, http://www.compoundchem.com/2015/06/04/nettles/, http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74146.html, http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-nettle.html. The Gympie-Gympie’s leaves, stems and raspberry-like fruit are densely covered in hair-like protuberances called trichomes, which are less than a fifth of an inch long. Found all over eastern Australia, the dendrocnide plant is among the most toxic flora on Earth and stings can kill dogs or horses and cause excruciating pain in humans that last weeks, even months. Overview Information Stinging nettle is a plant. Apparently a weed, the nettle family urtica, with about 60 species worldwide, nevertheless inflicts high demands on the soil. a few days ago I stung myself on purpose to see what effects the plants that grow where nettles grow have on the sting. This graphic sorts the nettle sting remedy fact from the fiction. In the venom, histamine causes inflammation and pain. Whilst formic acid is certainly capable of causing a stinging sensation, and it is present in stinging nettles, it’s now thought that it’s present in too low a concentration to account for the extended pain of a stinging nettle sting. Dermatólogo | Dr. Valentín De Benito Rica. J. COLLIER. Acetylcholine is another neurotransmitter that can accomplish a similar effect, and you might remember histamine from previous discussions of allergies, Another suggestion is that dock leafs contain a natural antihistamine, which prevent histamine in the venom from producing inflammation and pain. Currently, this is the only remedy for nettle stings for which there is concrete scientific evidence. Doubtless the majority of people reading this will, at some point in their life, have had the unpleasant experience of being stung by stinging nettles. There’s no real cure – the hairs are so fine that wax hair removal strips are sometimes used to yank them off. Until now, scientists haven’t been able to identify the neurotoxin the plant secretes. Antagonism of 5-hydroxytryptamine by dock leaf extracts. So, next time you’re out walking and get stung by a nettle, there’s nothing wrong with hunting for the distraction or placebo effect of a dock leaf. Whilst we still haven’t identified every single compound in the mixture, we have some idea. When injected by the stinging nettle, however, it functions as an irritant, leading to pain. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/jphysiol.1957.sp005739/pdf, I have written a short blog post about this, making use of your infographic and linking back here. This sounds like a decent theory – but there’s no scientific evidence that dock leaves. As I result, I’m not convinced it isn’t just a total fabrication. Ortiga, el nombre de la cosa - Dr. Valentín De Benito Rica. I’ve yet to try it myself! • Drink stinging nettle tea 2-3 times a day. Available at: http://www.compoundchem.com/2015/06/04/nettles/ (accessed […], […] Side Note: Yes I’m barehanded but it’s likely you should wear gloves, as it does sting and most don’t care for it. When something brushes against these hairs, their very fragile silica tips break off, and the remainder of the hair can then act like a needle. Proceedings of the physiological society 1957, p. 58P-59P

stinging nettle toxin

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