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I've lived here 10 years...

...how could I not have known that some of weeds running rampant are Stinging Nettle?

I can report it comes by its name honestly.

For the record, I was wearing gloves. Alas, they didn't protect my left forearm, or my left leg...through the cotton cargo capris.

Hmmm...surely I must have some aloe around here somewhere. Or some baking soda. I'm unconvinced that the washing and generic Benedryl cream are doing the trick.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 22nd, 2014 04:11 pm (UTC)
I once found out the hard way why prickly pear cactus got its name. I found that running a pumice stone over the area got rid of most of the prickles which were pretty much invisible.
Jun. 22nd, 2014 04:53 pm (UTC)
My experience with stinging nettles, usually encountered while hiking, is that the stings don't last very long, gone in an hour or two. But there might be a lot of factors involved, so ymmv. The one time I had a sting that lasted and lasted was when I had accidentally grabbed a nettle and gotten a prickle really embedded in my thumb. I eventually scrubbed at it enough to dislodge it. So the idea of using a pumice stone (maybe just a loofah as a first pass) sounds really plausible to me.

The trick I learned from Dave Crawford (remember Dave? Naturalist who worked at Interstate Park near Taylor's Falls?) was using jewelweed to relieve the sting. He pointed out that in the wild, they often conveniently grew nearby. I don't suppose you have any jewelweed in your woods, do you?

Fun fact: Jewelweed is also called 'touch-me-not' because the dry seed pods explode delightfully at the slightest touch. Hours of fun.
Jun. 24th, 2014 07:32 am (UTC)
Yes, I remember Dave Crawford with pleasure and delight.

I don't remember seeing jewelweed about, but you were right about the stings not lasting very long. It was more like 3-4 hours until the last of the stinging sensation vanished (along with the welts), but the worst of it was in the first 15 minutes, and the "gosh, that still hurts" ended in the couple of hours you mentioned.
Jun. 22nd, 2014 04:50 pm (UTC)
Ouch, sorry to hear that!

But what is it with North Americans not recognising stinging nettles!? I can't speak for Kids Today, but when I was young we all learned our nettle recognition the hard way. I pass on the wortlore we learned as children, that where there's nettles, you might find dock, and dock leaves make a good field equivalent for aloe.
Jun. 22nd, 2014 05:55 pm (UTC)
I have no idea what stinging nettles look like. I grew up in a city in the 80s. I'm pretty sure there weren't any.
Jun. 22nd, 2014 06:01 pm (UTC)
Ho! Ho! Ho!
Jun. 22nd, 2014 06:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Ho!
I can certainly believe that you never encountered it with bare skin or even ran into it...
Jun. 22nd, 2014 06:03 pm (UTC)
I grew up in London, where they're a very urban plant; they spring up anywhere the ground's been dug.
Jun. 22nd, 2014 06:10 pm (UTC)
There's things you can do with them, cooking wise (http://www.thekitchn.com/stinging-nettles-8-recipes-for-145582, http://scandinavianfood.about.com/od/cookingtechniques/ss/Nettles.htm, or tea), but in my mind, Roundup or 2-4D is a better option.

Except for the sub vinegar for baking soda, this looks mildy usefull: http://www.wikihow.com/Treat-a-Sting-from-a-Stinging-Nettle

The adhesive tape and the baking soda (perhaps with an anti-histamine) seems like a good choice.
Jun. 22nd, 2014 10:12 pm (UTC)
Stinging nettles? Them's good eatin'. Admittedly it might be a bit late in the season. But they're excellent in soup.
Jun. 23rd, 2014 03:57 am (UTC)
I sent a lot of time rambling in the woods as a child and never ran into stinging nettles. My only encounter with them was later, in Seattle. I was tripping at the time and found the process of watching the welts swell extremely interesting. LOL!
Jun. 24th, 2014 07:34 am (UTC)
Oh, that would have been ever so interesting!
Jun. 23rd, 2014 04:58 am (UTC)
I would happily trade you some poison oak for your stinging nettles.
Jun. 24th, 2014 07:47 am (UTC)
..and a hamburger Tuesday?
Jun. 23rd, 2014 12:51 pm (UTC)
Rubbing with dock leaves is the trad remedy I know of for nettle stings. As well as all the nettle soup, hair rinse, etc recipes, nettle fibre can spun into fine cloth. Young leaves also valuable baby-butterfly fodder. Third week of May has become a 'Be nice to nettles' week around the UK.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )


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