I have no idea what this plant came from, where it came from or any thing about it. What I do know is its leaves are covered in little hairs, there's little thorns growing all over it and just by rubbing its leaf it burns you and leaves a red mark as well as blisters. It stung my mother and I would like to know what it is so I can help with a remedy.


  • 2
    @stormy's ID is correct. Note that one of the substances that cause the itch/hives is histamine, the same stuff that your body releases as allergy response. So even if you don't have a remedy at hand, your body will dissolve the "poison" within a few hours. Uncomfortable, yes, but not dangerous.
    – Stephie
    Jul 15, 2015 at 4:42
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    It's a valuable plant in that some butterflies use it as a place to feed and deposit eggs. If you get stung by it, despite the almost overwhelming temptation to rub the area, do not touch it, nor let anything else touch the area for about 20 minutes. It will pass very quickly if you leave it alone, but if you rub or touch it at all, it will continue to hurt for hours... I speak from experience!
    – Bamboo
    Jul 15, 2015 at 12:29
  • This is why one uses 'antihistamine' to help reduce the histamines and hopefully if you get stung a second time the reaction isn't going to be worse. The 'stingers' are on the under side of the leaf only...they dislodge in your skin and rubbing causes the stinger's sacs to break...no fun!
    – stormy
    Jul 23, 2015 at 19:45

2 Answers 2


Urtica dioica - Stinging nettles...! Very valuable wilderness food. Truly! If you grab a leaf touching just the topside you can mash it (eliminating the chemicals on the underside of the leaf) roll it in a ball and eat it! We had to do this in Wilderness Survival classes. Interesting. Even better, this stuff is almost exactly like spinach steamed. Yummmm. I can't remember the remedy at this moment. Let us know what you find.

This attachment has a great paragraph on remedies!! Definitely use cortisone or benadryl and there are some topical soothers you can make at home...

  • @Stephie - was there supposed to be a link under "This attachment?"
    – That Idiot
    Jul 15, 2015 at 13:38
  • Just click on the botanical name in blue? I just did it and it worked. I am definitely very bad with technical details (and brevity, being specific, sigh)! Let me know if I've screwed up with adding the attachment, OK? Thanx!!
    – stormy
    Jul 16, 2015 at 3:10
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    In San Francisco the local organic market sells it (the tender new growth) and the local pizza place uses it as a topping. Any cooking gets rid of the stinging.
    – Rick
    Jul 22, 2015 at 13:28
  • I like them in broth (some rice, a lot of nettles, normal clear broth). If they don't sting (and having regular flowers), it could be Lamium (dead-nettles). Nov 22, 2017 at 12:34
  • Here in Bosnia we use it to make delicous nettle and cheese pie :) Also dried leafs can be used as herbal tea. Nov 22, 2017 at 13:12

It's called stinging nettle here in the US. The cure for the stings grows right by the stinging nettle: jewelweed. I don't say this about many things but jewelweed is great for taking away pain from stinging nettle, and helps ease the irritation of poison ivy. I've used it for both of those things. IME the jewelweed works better for PI than any other medicine, OTC or prescription.

Search for jewelweed flower images. They are very distinct.

  • Truly amazing!!
    – VividD
    Nov 21, 2017 at 19:55

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