Scorpion plant or Stinging Nettle

The plant called ‘Bichoo booti’ or the Scorpion Plant is so named because any contact with it makes the skin stings like a scorpion sting. This plant is also called the Stinging Nettle, and is found in abundance over the Himalayas. Surprisingly, the locals have successfully used it as a rich source of proteins, Vitamins A and C, Iron, minerals and fiber!!!!! They take the precaution of handling it carefully and soaking it for half an hour in water before cooking it, it’s wonderfully nutritious and is free…

As you can see in the pictures below, the plant is covered with bristles/ thorns that actually inject Histamine and other irritants into the skin like a million hypodermic needles. It causes intense itching, swelling, redness, pain and lasts for 1-3 days. Miraculously, everywhere this plant, a plant called the Dock plant or other leafy plants with tiny red flowers grow, which neutralise the effects of the Stinging Nettle!!! 

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The leafy plant shown below is also called ‘Spinach’ and is eaten along with the Stinging Nettle.

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The Bichoo Booti is used as food and for the production of a fibre like cotton or linen. The advantage is that the Bichoo Booti grows in the wild and does not need any care or insecticides / pesticides. It is truly a miracle of nature that the plant which causes an intense allergic reaction grows next to plants that can neutralise its toxic effects…….The Himalayas are a truly blessed place…


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