Episode #2: Minor ailments and simple pleasures of the summer holidays

 

A walk down narrow paths through the fields can quickly turn into a nightmare if you come into contact with nettle leaves (Urtica dioica). Here are few simple steps to alleviate the pain caused by this plant's stinging effect.

Should you get stung during a walk, look around the nettles to check if there is any broadleaf plantain around (Plantago major, Plantago lanceolata). Its leaves have an anti-inflammatory action. Crumpled up in your hands and applied to the stings, they quickly alleviate the pain. 

Once you're back at home, apply aloe vera gel, calophyllum vegetable oil, jojoba liquid wax, calendula macerated oil or if you have any St. John's wort (be aware this plant is photosensitive).

Coming back to nettles, they aren't just an aggressive perennial. They are commonly used in phytotherapy to soothe joint pain and remineralise the organism (body and skin appendage). They are also well-known for their manure and soup.

Caution: Try to avoid touching the nettle leaves as contact between this plant hair and human skin can cause the skin to rupture, thereby releasing an irritant substance. The body reacts by releasing a histamine that brings about inflammation which causes  itching.