How to treat the stings of sting nettles

daylilydayzed(9/10 C. FLA.)March 9, 2004

Earlier today I was pulling a few weeds in my yard to put in the compost tumbler and I hit my right hand against a stinging nettle .The thumb, and first two fingers are still hurting where they touched the leaves. I have washed the area with soap and water, rinsed it with alcohol and scrubbed it with a nail brush. But it still burns. This has been several hours since I touched it. Does anyone know what to treat it with that will stop the burning?

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daylilydayzed(9/10 C. FLA.)

bump down

    Bookmark   March 11, 2004 at 1:53PM
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This past weekend I was pulling weeds and grabbed some by mistake, I ran into the bathroom, I grabbed the tooth paste, looking for anything that might cool it down, and guess what, after about 5 to 10 minutes it no longer hurt. Usually it hurts me all day long. I think maybe I stumbled on something, by the way it was Crest.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2004 at 12:13AM
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Thanks! I usually brush up on nettles every week or so (feet and ankles --- one of the drawbacks of going barefoot).
I'll try to remember about the toothpaste :)

    Bookmark   March 30, 2004 at 3:01PM
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kydaylilylady(z6 KY)

Has anyone ever tried baking soda? It's supposed to help on insect stings.


    Bookmark   April 16, 2004 at 11:26AM
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Touch-Me-Nots a type of wild impatien. The juice helps. We used them when I was working at a daylily farm.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2004 at 8:28AM
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daylilydayzed(9/10 C. FLA.)

Harrier6pa, I am afraid we don't have Touch-Me-Nots growing nearby. My yard is inside city limits but backs up against the county coverage line for the police coverage. It also backs up against school property of the local elementary school that my kids went to. The only thing I found to get rid of the sting was to use a heat pack as hot as I could stand it on the area that I had the nettle touch.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2004 at 9:10AM
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gooselady_OR(z8 OR)

I have used the leaves of plantain with great results - picked some leaves, crushed them really well, and then wrapped them around the affected fingers like a bandaid. Worked well - I'm glad that plantain is good for something besides taking over my yard!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2004 at 12:48AM
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Roberta_z5(Z4/5 IL)

We grow Aloe Vera for this very purpose. It takes care of all sorts of skin ailments including burns. Bag Balm also is a great thing to keep for skin rashes and stings from mosquitoes and stinging nettle.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2004 at 5:54PM
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mareas(OR Zone 8)

When I lived with stinging nettle I also used plaintain as a pain cure. I would find a bunch, smash them with a blunt object [quick - find me a couple of rocks!!] and wrap the stinging parts with the juicy pulp for quick relief.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2004 at 12:23PM
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Yes plantain can be used but crush it with a little olive oil helps to make a paste ...then apply.

The best for stinging nettle however is the "Balsam" Touch Me Not. I did not have it growing in my yard either but wild collected some seed and scattered them in a semi shady somewhat dampish spot and voila!


    Bookmark   January 27, 2006 at 12:37PM
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bunnycat(z6 NY)

Wash your hands well, dry them, and apply Desitin (diaper ointment). The hand immediately feels 70% better, and in about 20 minutes the sting is completely gone. Every time. Works with cat scratches and run-ins with berry prickers too. The skin won't get inflamed around the wound.
It doesn'r sting when you apply it, so it's great for children, who can be afraid of being hurt by topical applications.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 4:36PM
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intheforest(4b Iowa)

If you are lucky enough not to touch it at all when stung - it usually goes away within a few minutes (may work better than trying to apply something.) If you do touch it, apply those mentioned - I use the jewelweed/touth-me-nots, but most importantly-do not touch it any more than breifly to apply, if nothing is handy don't do anything and do not touch it. Touching, even slightly, enflames it. The worst thing you can do is scrub it with anything-It will plague you all day by rubbing it in any manner, and in my experience warm water agrivates it as well. The irritant is injected by tiny needles, so washing is useless anyway. Many times I have been stung early in the day and it went away easily, only to come back with a vengence when I took a bath or did dishes.

Oh, the things about gardening we don't look forward to-LOL

    Bookmark   March 25, 2006 at 3:28PM
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timprotech(8 PNW)

I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned yet, I guess because it's so contrary to what we might think. But, in my experience the sure-fire way to cure nettle sting is...wait for it...the juice from the nettle itself! Just pick a few leaves (with gloves, of course, and no stems), crush and mash them really well to get them juicy, and to crush any stinging hairs, then massage into the affected area. Within about a minute the sting will be no more.

Try it, you'll be amazed how well it works.

Here's how I know: For the past several years I've been treating my hay fever by eating fresh nettle every day in the spring. (I tend a nettle patch in a shady corner my yard.) I used to cook it or make a tea but that became rather tedious. When I read there were fresh nettle eating contests in the UK, I thought I would experiment eating fresh leaves off the plant. I learned to quickly pinch a leaf from the bottom, folding it in half, then jerk it free of the plant, and stuff it in my mouth without touching my face or lips (try not to include any leaf stem). Chew thoroughly, then swallow. Delicious, and totally effective for me as an antihistamine for at least half a day!

Occasionally, though, I would sting my hand by brushing up against a stem (where the worst stinging hairs are). So, after eating five or six leaves I would chew up a final leaf, spit out the pulp, and rub it on the sting. The sting would be gone in literally seconds. When I was stung prior to this it would last for many hours, even into the next day, so I'm not immune or anything.

For some reason the inside of my mouth doesn't get stung, or if it does it goes away very quickly as I chew.

Nettle is one of the most amazingly beneficial plants. Don't get me started on things like compost activation, garden tea, people tea, steamed greens, hair tonic, etc., etc. (I use it for all these things.)

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 12:18AM
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You guys are awesome. I foolishly tried to strip the leaves off some very young nettles I got at the farmer's market (they looked so innocent!) and of course got stung. Googled "cure for nettle sting", chewed up some leaves, pressed the pulp into the sting, repeated a couple times for good measure (I really grabbed those nettles!) and the sting is gone! Hooray!! It doesn't even come back when I press on it, which is great because I need to do dishes tonight.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 9:14PM
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im only nine and when i got a stinging nettle sting, i found a doc leaf and put it on for a few minutes and, well, it was better.
you could also try putting celatape on and the riping it of.Thats supposed to pull all the hairs/spikes of.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 12:49PM
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Calamine Lotion

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 3:40PM
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dock leaves or as we call them in scotland doken leaves work a treat

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 4:11PM
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