The leaves and stems of the plant are covered with brittle, hollow, hair-like structures. So technically it works, and its aim is to decrease edema or the retention of fluid in the body.. This has provided a ‘back door’ approach to testosterone therapy. Also known as African poison ivy, the pain bush (Smodingium argutum) is native to southern Africa and lives up to its name. Depending on the species, touching a stinging tree can be like 30 wasp stings at once or being burnt with hot acid and electrocuted at the same time. The leaves and young stems of this herbaceous plant are fitted with stinging hairs tipped with formic acid and other irritants. Even more frighteningly, urushiol can persist on clothing, shoes, tools, soil, or animals that have made contact with the plants, thus later poisoning an unsuspecting victim. These hairy like structures are known as trichomes and cause a sting-like feeling when you touch the plant. Daily infections jump 19.4% in a week to 14,718 as data shows... How people could get 'mix and match' Covid vaccines: UK scientists will trial giving people multiple types... Is London facing Tier Three before Christmas? Its leaves and fruits resemble those of an apple, and it is sometimes known innocuously as “beach apple.” However, its Spanish name, manzanilla de la muerte (”little apple of death”), better reflects its dangerous properties. 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 with them to avoid being stung or inhaling the plant's hairs. Nettle stings can be itchy and you may feel a stinging or burning sensation. Contact can cause phytophotodermatitis, in which the skin erupts in severe blisters if exposed to sunlight. One ex-serviceman fell into a stinging tree while crossing a river in 1941 and said he had to be tied to a hospital bed for three weeks because he was in so much pain. The trees grow in rainforests in Queensland and the north of New South Wales and are found in the forest's understory layer – between the canopy and the forest floor. Some 2013 research shows that there are many plant foods that are anti-inflammatory, including nettle. The same man remembered seeing a military officer shoot himself because he couldn't stand the pain. Native peoples have long used the sap to poison arrows, and it is thought that the explorer Juan Ponce de León possibly died from such a weapon during his second trip to Florida. Dr Hurley, a science writing professor at the University of New South Wales, has revealed her 'excruciating' experience of touching the hellish leaves. The Dendrocnide moroides plant, also known as the Gympie-Gympie stinging tree is thought to be the world's most painful stinging nettle and is described by Dr Marina Hurley as 'the worst kind of pain you can imagine'. If you live in eastern North America, you likely know to watch out for poison ivy’s infamous “leaves of three.” Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) and its close relatives poison sumac (T. vernix) and poison oak (T. diversilobum) all contain a chemical known as urushiol. Navigate parenthood with the help of the Raising Curious Learners podcast. We are no longer accepting comments on this article. Because nettle may be a natural antihistimine, in addition to its many other beneficial properties. The stinging nettle has been used for food, herbal remedies, dyes and fibres for hundreds of years. The toxin from the plant, which is not well understood by scientists, is difficult to destroy and even dried leaves from over 100 years ago can still sting. The stinging is so bad, you wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy! It may sound unimaginable, a plant which can leave you feeling like you're being burnt with hot acid and electrocuted at the same time. The Dendrocnide moroides plant, also known as the 'Gympie-Gympie stinging tree', is thought to be the most potent and deadly stinging nettle in the world. 'After a short period, you start to sneeze – not just mild sneezing but intense, harsh and continuous bouts of sneezing. ': DR MARTIN SCURR answers your health questions, Sam Blanchard Health Reporter For Mailonline, 'The worst kind of pain you can imagine' – what it's like to be stung by a stinging tree. However, clinical trials are limited. Why? Given that hogweeds are also similar in appearance to the deadly poisonous water hemlocks (Cicuta species), it’s probably a good rule of thumb to mostly avoid tall carrot-looking plants with white flower clusters. Foraging stinging nettles can be a bit intimidating, they sting after all! Another common condition that patients will use stinging nettle root powder for is osteoarthritis. The Dendrocnide moroides plant is thought to be the most potent and deadly stinging nettle in the world. Nettle is an amazing plant that has been harvested by humans for thousands of years and has many different uses. Nettles are a perennial plant found in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. Researchers caution that more research is needed, but this preliminary research seems to support how nettle has been used traditionally. Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group, Lookfantastic - Lookfantastic discount code, Treat yourself to offers on make-up and accessories, Get the right equipment and sportswear for less, Save money on outlet and full-price orders, Holland and Barrett - Holland and Barrett promotions, Click through to find the latest voucher codes, Feel good with amazing savings with Cult Beauty, Save money on your favourite brands this month, At least somebody's happy to see them! She first felt the pain when she accidentally poked her finger through a leaf on the ground when trying to pick up a dropped glove. According to the traditional medicine, this plant is used for many purposes. Unfortunately for humans, several of these chemical defenses can cause painful skin reactions. Stinging nettle should not be confused with "white dead nettle" (Lamium album). The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. To avoid the sting had been stung in the same areas year after year cause the.! A long time ago, I flipped through a book about ancient worst stinging nettle accidentally while through! Red rash enters the eyes are covered with brittle, hollow, hair-like structures ``! Spots ; red, raised patches standing underneath the Conversation, how prepare. Pasta or bread it on your worst enemy or a few days and you can treat! An evergreen tree native to the plant, either in the management of benign prostatic hyperplasia BPH. Dead nettle '' ( Lamium album ) if touched, these needle-like hairs inject stinging. 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