Dendrocnide moroides, commonly known in Australia as the stinging tree, stinging bush, Queensland Stinger or gympie-gympie, is a plant in the nettle family Urticaceae found in rainforest areas of Malaysia and Australia. It is notorious for its extremely painful and long-lasting sting. The common name gympie-gympie comes from the language of the Indigenous Gubbi Gubbi people of south-eastern Queensland.
Sometimes you just want to be left alone. Maybe you snap at friends or family members in a fit of anger. Maybe you need to go off to enjoy some solitude in the woods. Maybe you need to coat yourself in stinging nettles so powerful that anyone who touches you will immediately vomit and might feel that pain for years. If that last one sounds appealing, you might just be the gympie gympie. No wonder it's nicknamed the "suicide plant."
In a quest to find new molecules that affect pain pathways, Dr Thomas Durek, Dr Sam Robinson and a team from UQ's Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) studied toxins from the tree nettle known as ongaonga, one of New Zealand's most poisonous plants that can cause painful stings that last for days, and in severe cases can even be fatal.
"COVID made it difficult to source nettles, but to keep our research going through the pandemic, we managed to source seeds from the New Zealand tree nettle and grow the plant under quarantine in the lab," Dr Robinson said.
"There are several hundred nettles in the Urticaceae family with stinging hairs around the world -; we're keen to compare how they have evolved and whether they all use the same toxins," Dr Gilding said.
I live in Sydney and brushed my leg one afternoon against a large stinging nettle. I ended up with chronic hives that lasted for 2 years which broke out in red welts and rashes and got super itchy. Be careful with the nettle!
Also referred to as stinging nettle, burn nettle, common nettle or nettle leaf. Nettle is a medium growing herbaceous perennial reaching 1.2 meters high and up to 1 meter wide. The common British Stinging Nettle is known for the tiny stinging hairs which cause irritation to the skin upon contact. The leaves and stems have many tiny hairs called trichomes that inject histamine and other chemicals into the skin when the plant is touched by humans or animals. The leaves are a soft green and held in opposite pairs along the wiry, erect stem. The serrated leaves are long, ranging from 3-15cm and have a broad cordate base ending in a fine point. The flowers are a small greenish-brown colour.
The Nettle family consists of around 500 species with the genus Urtica encompassing the stinging nettles and the genus Parietaria covering the pellitory nettles. Urtica dioica, or Common Nettle, is distributed throughout the temperate regions of Europe and Asia, and is found in Japan, South Africa, Australia and The Andes. Some stinging nettles, particularly one from Java, can produce stings and chemical burns lasting a whole year and others may even cause death. There are several subspecies of Urtica diocia, with most having the stinging hairs.
Many insects find nettle beneficial, including many moths and butterflies that use it as a food plant in the larval stage. The presence of nettle seems to assist other plants in the garden, such as fruiting plants and trees.
Nettle is considered a weed by many people because it does grow well in rich soil and can easily colonise fertile areas, like cow paddocks. It has quite a fast growth rate and if nettle takes hold in an area it is generally a good indication of good soil. However, nettle will grow in a sandy, loam or clay soils and tolerate low nutrient levels. A range of pH levels is okay, as long as the soil is not too acidic. Moist soil is preferred and it is not required to be well drained, so a damp spot in clay soil could be suitable. Waste areas, woodland edges, road sides and neglected spaces are often sites that nettle is found. Full sun, dappled shade or semi-shade is acceptable.
Stinging Nettle has a long history of traditional medicinal use in Europe. In Ancient Greece stinging nettle was mostly used as a laxative and a diuretic. Today nettle is used in Germany to treat arthritis and it was also used in traditional Austrian medicine for similar purposes. It is said to be useful for treating the urinary tract problems associated with an enlarged prostrate. There is some evidence to suggest that nettle may be useful when used under certain conditions to treat these ailments. However, further research is required for significant results.
All parts of the nettle plant can be used for different applications. The roots were used traditionally for treating urinary and prostrate related conditions, joint ailments, as a diuretic and an astringent. The parts of the plant above ground were used for UTI, kidney stones, allergies, hayfever, osteoarthritis, anaemia, poor circulation, diabetes and many other conditions. Nettle may be applied to the skin as a poultice to help muscle aches, oily scalp or hair and can be included in shampoos to help dandruff.
Introducing nettle tea - the delicious and nutritious herbal tea that's perfect for anyone looking to support their health and well-being. Nettle tea is made from the leaves of the stinging nettle plant and has a mild, earthy flavour that's both satisfying and refreshing.
In addition to its nutritional value, nettle tea is also believed to have a number of other health benefits. It's been used traditionally to support the respiratory and urinary systems, and may also help with allergies and inflammation.
Limited data from clinical studies suggest nettle may be helpful for arthritis and symptoms associated with benign prostatic syndrome. A combination of saw palmetto and nettle reduced nighttime urinary frequency, and was similar to some drugs in patients with lower urinary tract symptoms or BPH. Nettle might also help improve blood sugar control, but additional studies are needed. Although anticancer properties have been described in lab studies, clinical trials have yet to be conducted.
Nettle is a perennial herbaceous flowering plant native to Asia, Europe, and North America. The root is widely used to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), allergies, arthritis, and inflammation. Nettle is usually combined with herbs such as saw palmetto and pygeum for the treatment of BPH. Several compounds have been isolated from nettle including flavonoid glycosides that appear to contribute to its biological effects, although the precise mechanism of action is unclear.
In vitro and animal studies indicate that nettle extract has reno- (1) and hepatoprotective (2) properties, and is effective against colitis in mice (3). Other preclinical data suggest nettle has antiproliferative effects in prostate cancer cells (10), may protect against cisplatin-induced toxicity (11), enhance cancer cell sensitivity to paclitaxel (22) or increase cisplatin cytotoxicity (23).
Studies in humans are limited, but suggest benefits with nettle in osteoarthritis of the hip, knee (4), and hand (5), gonarthritis (20), and for symptoms associated with benign prostatic syndrome (6) (7) (8). A combination of saw palmetto and nettle improved nocturnal voiding frequency compared to placebo, and was similar to tamsulosin or finasteride for moderate to severe lower urinary tract symptoms/BPH (21). In another study, nettle improved glycemic control in type-2 diabetic patients (9).
In vitro studies show that nettle extract inhibits several inflammatory events responsible for seasonal allergies (2). These include antagonist and negative agonist activity against the histamine-1 receptor, and inhibition of prostaglandin formation via inhibition of COX-1, COX-2, and hematopoietic prostaglandin D2 synthase, key enzymes in proinflammatory pathways (2).
Phenolic compounds derived from nettle inhibited alpha-glucosidase and alpha-amylase, chief enzymes involved in type-2 diabetes (24). Inhibition of these enzymes results in decreased reabsorption of glucose in the intestine.
Nettles grow just about everywhere and have been an extremely important part of our history for millennia. Each different part of the plant is used to different effect. The sting on the underside of the nettle leaf is designed to protect it. Tiny hairs laced with formic acid and other chemicals sink into the skin leaving raised bumps. The plant has been used to make dye, rope, linen and paper in Britain.
A delightful tea crafted by workers meticulously hand twisting and tying tea leaves together to form a 'blue nettle'. The leaves within the 'blue nettle' show varying levels of oxidisation and as a result the tea exhibits characteristics typical to white, oolong and black teas!
sea nettle, any one of several species of stinging jellyfish, common along coasts and much feared by swimmers. Most stings are painful but are not dangerous to man; however, certain jellyfish of the order Cubomedusae and especially an Australian species, Chironex fleckeri, have caused many deaths. The sting, produced by nematocysts located in the tentacles, is used to kill or stun prey. Sea nettles are classified in the phylum Cnidaria, class Scyphoza. 041b061a72