Answering the Myth: Is the Lamb’s Ears Plant Poisonous?

Stachys byzantina, also known as Lamb’s Ears plant or woolly hedgenettle, is a herbaceous perennial with soft, velvety silver foliage growing 12” – 18” inches tall. 

This member of the Stachys genus of the Lamiaceae family is native to the Middle-East region, particularly Turkey, Armenia, and Iran.

Lamb’s ears are easy-to-grow herbs which provide ideal ground cover. 

wooly leaves of the lambs ear plant (Stachys byzantina)

These plants get their name due to the texture and color of their leaves. 

The curvy leaves are densely coated with silver-white, silky-lanate hairs, making them resemble a lamb’s ears. 

The plant has spike-like stems and flaunts clusters of small, light purple flowers in late spring and early summer.

Lamb’s Ears plants are drought-tolerant, self-seeding, and highly resilient. 

They are considered invasive, as they often grow back even when pulled out. 

Because of this, some people often consider it a weed.

They are grown in flowerbeds and borders in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 8. 

A cultivar of this plant, known as the Silver Carpet, shimmers stunningly under the moonlight and adds value to rock gardens and garden landscapes.

Is Lamb’s Ears Plant Poisonous Or Toxic?

This is one of the frequently asked questions about lamb’s ears. 

Most people are suspicious of this fuzzy herb because of its readiness to grow in full sun and dry soil.

No, lamb’s ears plants are not poisonous or toxic; in fact, they are quite the opposite.

The plant is known as woolly woundwort or Woolly Betony due to its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties. 

The plant contains betonicine, stachydrene, and trigonelline. 

Another ingredient of the herb is tannins.

In the past, it was used as a handy dressing and natural band-aid for cuts and injuries. 

The leaves are super absorbent and help the blood clot quickly.  

Due to its analgesic properties, it has been used as a poultice too. 

The leaves are wrapped over bee or wasp stings to cure the pain and swelling.

The leaves are a great alternative for toilet papers, female hygiene products, and makeup removal swabs. 

Washing the eyes with a weak infusion of the plant has helped heal some common eye diseases. 

The various benefits of the plant negate the belief lamb’s ears are toxic plants.

What Happens When Lamb’s Ears Plants Are Ingested?

Stachys byzantine is an edible herb; this means chewing or ingesting it has no harmful effects. 

The plant has a mild fruity taste and is typically ingested by preparing a concoction mixed with spices, herbs, or vanilla extract.

The woolly leaves are dried, powdered, or chopped to make an infusion or medicinal tea. 

The refreshing tea can help cure fever, diarrhea, mouth sores, candida overgrowth, and internal bleeding.

The plant also has various culinary uses. 

Add the leaves to fresh salads, steamed, or stir-fried with other greens. 

Its taste is similar to a combination of apples and pineapples. 

Young, fresh leaves are best for eating.

While it might not be toxic, excessive ingestion of lamb’s ears plants by cats, dogs, or horses can cause digestive upsets.

Which Parts Of The Lamb’s Ears Plant Are Safe?

This entire plant is safe making it a good plant for kids

Enjoy feeling its velvety leaves between your fingers or brew its silver leaves, pink flowers, or stems to prepare a refreshing beverage.