A team of researchers from the University of Queensland in Brisbane studied toxins produced by Australian stinging trees.
Contact with a tree for a person is similar to a nettle burn, but since the composition of the juice secreted from a tree is completely different, the consequences of contact are much stronger.
Victims report a severe burning sensation that “subsides after a few hours to an aching pain similar to the pain of a limb accidentally pinched by a car door.” The affected area of the skin can remind of itself even several months later. Scientists still could not determine the exact composition of the toxin.
New research has clearly demonstrated that tree venoms contain previously unknown pain relieving peptides. Having studied the stinging hairs of trees, experts obtained an extract from them, from which they were able to isolate new toxins in the laboratory.
The researchers believe the studied substances will provide useful new information for the medical profession about how pain-sensing nerves function, leading to the development of new, more powerful pain relievers.