This article has been viewed 2,091,211 times. Find local MDC conservation agents, consultants, education specialists, and regional offices. Nettles There are several species of nettles. The burning or itching sensation caused by brushing up against a wood nettle subsides within an hour, usually within a few minutes, but can be irritating. This works for burns from hot peppers or garlic as well. Forest or natural areas in rich woods, moist bottomlands of rivers and streams. What a revelation! Stems and leaves are covered with hairs containing caustic irritants. When touched those hairs “sting” with a nasty blend of histamine, serotonin, acetylcholine and formic acid. Stinging nettle has been used for hundreds of years to treat painful muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis, gout, and anemia. It just felt like I would. However, wood nettle is distinguished by its larger and wider leaves. Taking Measures for Relief 1. Male flowers and female flowers are in separate clusters, both arising in the leaf axils. The chemical content found in the juice from the leaves and stem of a jewelweed plant is reportedly effective at counteracting the sting from a stinging nettle. It also gave a good idea of treatment. Took several days to get better. When you rub a dock leaf on a sting, its sap will be transferred to the area. Contact Your County Office. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. You can apply vinegar to the affected areas by dabbing it on with a clean cloth. The others in the genus Urtica (including U. dioica, tall nettle) have opposite, not alternate leaves. Chemicals flow through the hollow tubes and cause a nasty stinging sensation and a rash. Don't overlook the valuable help your healthcare professionals can provide, especially if children are involved. Stinging Nettle and Wood Nettle have hairs on their stem, and on their leaves; it's what causes the "sting". 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. ", "I tripped and fell into nettle. Staminate & pistillate flwrs in same panicle, or proximal panicles staminate, per Flora of North America. Use leaves from other plants. ", I've been using hot water to treat and clean with, so knowing that I should have been using cold was a huge help with the itch & sting! The toothed leaves are borne oppositely along the stem, and both the stems and leaves are covered with numerous stinging and non-stinging trichomes (plant hairs). The stinging, burning, pain, and itching, is quite intense. Alternatively, apply aloe vera or a paste made out of baking soda and water. It's the chemicals in the trichomes (the hollow hair-like structures on leaves and stem) that cause the problem. Wood nettle has fewer stinging hairs, but don’t get too cozy with it as Jamie’s gentle brushing action still ended her up with a few painful stings. Irish people are aware of the burning sting of the nettle, but for others, this little-known plant can cause great distress, especially to the unwary American tourist. The leaves have hair-like structures that sting and also produce itching, redness and swelling . County Office. Erect, perennial herb with conspicuous stinging hairs throughout; leaves alternate, simple, coarsely toothed; flowers small and inconspicuous, in axillary clusters. I had no idea, but that’s one of the fun things about plants: They are constantly giving us a reason to remain humble. She received her M.D. The diversity of nonwoody vascular plants is staggering! After 10 minutes, wash your skin with soap and warm water or a clean cloth. It often grows into small clumps. You can only get stung by the living plant. Clicking or hovering over any of the pictures below will display a larger image; clicking the plant's name will provide information about the plant pictured. A dock weed plant commonly grows in the same general areas as the stinging nettle plant. Dr. Marusinec is a board certified Pediatrician at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, where she is on the Clinical Practice Council. The stinging sensation can last from half an hour to a few days, depending on the sensitivity of your skin. Stinging nettle grows from the early spring through summer and can grow to be between 3 to 7 feet tall with leaves from 1 to 6 inches long. Also keep nails short. If you have areas of broken skin that are warm to the touch, draining pus, or more inflamed than the surrounding areas, then you may be developing an infection. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. In wood nettle, the flowers are tiny and wind-pollinated. ... For example, wood nettles (Laportea canadensis) have a mixture of opposite and alternate leaves, whereas stinging nettles’ leaves are always opposite. ". Wood Nettle (Stinging Nettle) Leaf Underside. Add to stews or soups. He tried cortisone cream, but that didn't help. Stinging Nettle Benefits – Butterflies & Edible. You can take an NSAID pain reliever for pain as long as you have no contraindication. I know now how, "The calamine lotion worked a treat, luckily I had some in the cabinet. Stinging nettle is exactly why gardening with gloves is important. The fine hairs, or trichomes, on the stems and leaves of stinging nettle contain a number of chemicals that are released when the plant contacts the skin. Controlling stinging nettle is a virtuous pursuit, due to its painful effect on human skin. Anything cold truly helps, and try to avoid anything touching your arm, because you can feel the hairs going deeper into your skin. In fact, there is a species of nettle that does not sting. This article was co-authored by Laura Marusinec, MD. An insect bites you by making a hole in your skin to feed. Inflammation is your body’s way of healing itself and fighting infections. wood_nettle_young_leaf_ventral_07-02-14.jpg, Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants. Can I get stinging nettles from sand or soil, or just the living plant? Fen nettle (Urtica galeopsifolia) is found in a confusingly variable set of environments in England.It is found in both wet and dry grounds and shade and open prairie. 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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. Anti-itch creams are helpful. A rash that extends beyond the exposed area, and can be all over the body. Apply a layer of the wax removal, let it dry for about 5 minutes, then gently peel off the wax, taking the plant debris along with it. The only thing wood nettle has more of than stinging nettle is in the sting, literally. Home → Survival → Food → Edible Plants Nettles: There are several species of nettles. We want to make sure everyone in the UK has the chance to plant a tree. Information About Stinging Nettle. Wood nettle, or stinging nettle, is a perennial nonwoody plant with a single, slightly zigzag stem and armed with stinging hairs. Because of this "medicinal sting", I prefer to make my own Nettle tinctures from the fresh plant (you won't get stung using a fresh Nettle tea or tincture, but you will receive the benefits of that the sting offers). Only if the stung person were severely allergic, in which case the sting could result in anaphylactic shock. unlocking this expert answer. % of people told us that this article helped them. Over-the-counter oral antihistamines might also help to counteract the reaction that is occurring in your body. There are 17 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Apply the antibiotic cream or ointment directly to the areas involved. How long does it take for the rash to stop itching? ", "I was pleased to know I wouldn't die from stinging nettle. They are more closely compared in this previous post — along with Clearweed (Pilea pumila) — also a member of the nettle family. While not dangerous, it can still be quite painful. This article was co-authored by Laura Marusinec, MD. Stinging nettle is an herbaceous plant and often grows to about 2 metres (6.5 feet) in height. The stinging hairs act a lot like a hypodermic needle when your skin brushes against them. The specific epithet refers to Canada, the locality from which Linnaeus’s type specimen was collected. But he pointed out that it pales in comparison to some of the stinging plants he endured as he did research in the tropics. A few relatives are dangerous. ", a child I ended up with stinging nettles, they put mud on me from the lake. The entire area can appear swollen and inflamed, with a reddish tint to the area affected. Interpreting Wetland Status. No, the chemicals causing the irritation would have truly decomposed by then. Clearweed’s leaves are smooth and somewhat glossy while both stinging nettle and wood nettle have “rougher” looking leaves. 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. All three plants are in the Nettle Family. Flowers are small, light green, in small clusters arranged in panicles, arising from the leaf axils; clusters of staminate flowers are positioned below the pistillate ones. No. Wood Nettle. May Reduce Inflammation. The chemicals released by the plant include acetylcholine, histamine, serotonin, moroidin, leukotrienes, and possibly formic acid. 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.Originally native to Europe, much of temperate Asia and western North Africa, it is now found worldwide, including New Zealand and North America. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. The actual science behind the use of plants to treat this condition is very limited. ", "In Mombasa (Kenya), we used to apply wet charcoal ashes only, but I learned a new mode of treatment. The stinging nettle is a plant found practically all over the world. I prefer Benadryl. Step-by-step instructions stood, "This is the first article I read, used a couple of the methods for my ten-year-old son. Yet, this has been common practice in treating a sting from a nettle plant for centuries. Applying the juices contained in the leaves from either a dock plant or jewelweed plant... 3. The dried leaf is usually taken at a dose of 2 to 4 gm, three times a day; it may be used to prepare a tea by steeping at least 3 tsp. The leaves are very large, oval, have rounded tips, and have a wavy look to the edges. We facilitate and provide opportunity for all citizens to use, enjoy, and learn about these resources. For young children, you may want to put soft gloves or mittens on their hands to help avoid scratching. Usually nettles are along rivers or moist areas. Apply antibiotic creams or ointments. I was picking raspberries wearing a t-shirt. ", "After washing it with soap and cold water, I could hardly feel that I had been stung. The stinging hairs of wood nettle act like tiny syringes, injecting alkaloids and other toxins, creating a burning, itching sensation. The skin reacts with histamines, and a burning, itching feeling results. Do you have a question -or- need to contact an expert? It helped me a lot to complete my school assignment. Flavor More Sting Than Stinging Nettle. This plant also contains stinging properties like Stinging Nettle, and is in the same family (Urticaceae). And each has been assigned to a different genus (Urtica, Laportea and Pilea). Try not to scratch the area, as this can cause the irritation to get worse. Stinging nettle is less likely to be found in the desert, elevations over 9,800 feet (3,000 m.) and in areas of salinity. Wood nettle is harder to gather in quantity and it's more susceptible to the pressure of over-harvest. She is a member of the American Medical Writers Association and the Society for Pediatric Urgent Care. Available products include agents such as cetirizine, or Zyrtec®, loratadine, or Claritin®, and diphenhydramine, or Benadryl®. Smaller, younger leaves are more heart-shaped. Thank you. However, wood nettle is distinguished by its larger and wider leaves. If the rash is still itching after 24 hours, you might be experiencing an allergic reaction, either to the stinging nettle itself or to one of the treatments. The skin can turn red and blister, and blisters can last for several days. Symptoms have really, "The article was very useful. The dried leaf is usually taken at a dose of 2 to 4 gm, three times a day; it may be used to prepare a tea by steeping at least 3 tsp. As, "This has happened to me a couple of times in the last few weeks. It is possible that you have eczema, psoriasis, or even a memory of the itch that is relived whenever you feel stressed. Urticaceae – Nettle family Genus: Laportea Gaudich. Wood nettle (Laportea canadensis) Thin stipules are present at leaf bases. Wood nettle, Laportea canadensis, is one of the various sorts of plants called “nettles,” most of which have achieved their notoriety from their ability to sting. What a revelation! Stomach upset, cramping, vomiting, or diarrhea, can sometimes be part of an allergic reaction. Baking soda and water helps everything. It might be an allergic reaction. It could just be a placebo effect. If I touch someone else, or they touch my rash, will they get a rash too? If one remedy does not help, then try another. ", continuing to pick for 2 hours, I went home and had a hot bath! See your doctor for specific advice. Know what to expect. Stinging nettle is extremely easy to identify and is a great starting point for beginner foragers. The stinging nettle has had many possible uses ascribed to it, from nettle tea (see the woodland blog) to cloth making; indeed there is some renewed interest in the nettle for fibre. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 2,091,211 times. It seems, "Providing information about what to do and what to put on it was helpful.Thank you! Instruction for stinging nettle manure. Call your doctor right away if you experience these symptoms or if you have a fever. Find a wood near you Free trees for schools and communities. Stinging nettle definitely lives up to its name – it will sting like crazy if you brush up against it or handle the plants without wearing gloves.But this nuisance of a plant is highly nutritious and readily available in most areas, making it one of the perfect wild plants to consume. Does this mean that fibers may still be in the skin since the initial contact wasn't treated properly? Did you know you can read expert answers for this article? Nettles do have some plus points, for a start they are essential for some butterfly species whose caterpillars feed on the nettle whilst protected from predators to a degree by the stings. A rash that includes redness, itching, and inflammation may persist since the skin has been injured from the direct contact from the stinging nettle plant. Nettle has been used in alternative medicine to treat hay fever, asthma, diarrhea, osteoarthritis, circulation problems, diabetes, fluid retention, symptoms of enlarged prostate, and other conditions. Go and see your doctor so they can check over the affected area. ", "I found this very helpful because before I read the article I was really frightened with pain and discomfort. The baking soda also worked. While picking the nettle plants, you should be careful because some of the varieties may cause stinging on the skin and result in rashes. This page only shows Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) and Wood Nettle (Laportea canadensis).For contrast, two similar plants are shown at the bottom that are often confused with these species: Horse Balm (Collinsonia canadensis) and False Nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica). We recommend, in light of the time consuming production of stinging nettle manure, to create a supply in a great vat in May or June, as the mixture is lasting for many months. Stinging nettles aren’t the only nettles I know of, there’s also wood nettle (Laportea canadensis) that has leaves that are more round than the pointed leaves of stinging nettles, both are good and give great results as long as you harvest them young. When Nettles dry, they lose most of their sting, usually within 10-20 minutes. Boiling destroys irritant. From left to right: Wood Nettle, Stinging Nettle… A variety of insects eat the leaves, including the larvae of comma, question mark, and red admiral butterflies. However, once it is processed into a supplement, dried, freeze-dried or cooked, stinging nettle … Call 1-800-392-1111 to report poaching and arson, More Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants. This plant also contains stinging properties like Stinging Nettle, and is in the same family (Urticaceae). Watch the below video to learn how to identify both plants, how to handle them, what to use for cooking, and how to use as fertilizer. ", "This is good because it helped me with my sting. Urtica Dioica, also known as stinging nettle or common nettle is a plant whose leaf (nettle leaf) is used as an herbal supplement or medicinal herb primarily to treat a variety of symptoms both topically and orally. They didn't sting while under the water. I like to use a scissors to clip the young tops of the plants, or the shoots... To blanch wood nettles … Consider visiting your doctor to see if there is something you might be allergic to. The nettle has sharp hairs on its leaves. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.