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Quick fix: itch

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I love chickweed, either straight or in a salve.

Because chickweed (Stellaria media) soothes most any itch almost straight away.

We had ghastly mosquitoes a few years ago, tiny black things that bit horribly, and the itch lasted for hours and hours.

They made for sleepless scratching nights.

I tried everything, including aloe leaf straight off a plant: slice it up, put it gooey side on the bite, wait for the itch to subside. It never did.. Bloody tiny black itchy mosquitoes ...

Anyway, I was teaching my usual summer week that summer, and said something about the unceasing itch to one or the other of my students. She said, why didn't I use my chickweed salve? That should work ... and it did.

I love chickweed.


Other herbs work for itch as well: you can crush up the stems of whatever jewelweed (or other Impatiens) you have in your neck of the woods and use that. Jewelweed juice smells bad, though.

You can make a soothing bath of cool (not cold) water and oatmeal. That'll help with the full-body itchiness of measles and similar.

And you can try the slime at the base of one or the other dock. That'll help with things like nettle stings and the like.

Oh, and if you get stung by striped winged insects: it's "vinegar for wasps, baking soda for bees", but I don't know if those are American or European wasps, so I don't know if vinegar would work for our normal yellow-and-black-striped bee-sized run-of-the-mill European wasps (which might be yellowjackets in mercadian, I'm not sure). I'd like to be enlightened about that, though: anybody try vinegar on our wasps?

Related entry: Chickweed juice


The only thing I've used on wasp stings is a freshly chewed up poltice of plantain. Worked wonders on my screaming 8 year old.

Cool, thanks Kelli!

i've never tried chickweed for itching. i will nex time! we use tea tree oil for mosquito bites. if you dab it on soon after the bite, it all but disappears. putting it on later soothes the itch.

and i second plantain for stings. i used it on my bee sting a few weeks back. i love plantain!

I've used vinegar, it worked but was very painful for a few minutes after applying it then pain went away completely

Kristine: I don't like EOs, especially not tea tree.
Christine: thanks for that!

Okay, now you've *really* piqued my interest. Why don't you like EOs - *especially* tea tree??

I'm a herbalist, not an aromatherapist. I use herbs, not EOs.
Tea tree is a liquid with a disgusting smell which has all too much in common with turpentine ... and it's allergenic, which all those who are now allergic to it can attest to.

Interesting. I'm currently studying to be an herbalist. I do use EO on occasion - mostly to make things smell pretty though - as in a few drops added to a pound of baking soda or a gallon of vinegar to use for cleaning. I've used TTO for its antiseptic qualities for surface cleaning and it does have a very distinct smell!! I've not used any EO in a personal health protocol though. The aspect that makes me pause about EOs is that without super specialized equipment I cannot make them myself in my home. But with herbs I can make poultices, and tinctures, and infusions, and decoctions, and salves, and . . . . . . . .

i never knew that about tea tree being allergenic. we've never had any problems with it.

normally, i use regular herbs for everything, but i do use EO's when i make soap and a few other things. i wouldn't consider tea tree to be a great oil for aromatherapy since as you mentioned, the smell is not all that. i do like tea tree and lavender for some things but as kelli points out, it's much easier/accessible/realistic to use herbs for making poultices, tinctures, salves, etc. not to mention, it's more spiritual and holistic to work directly with herbs, especially when you grow, harvest, dry and/or process them yourself.

how do you feel about flower essences? i've recently started reading information about them and am curious to find someone who has made their own essences.

I've done blogposts on flower essences - start here.

...and don't forget about plantain. Folks down south here swear by my plantain salve (made with P. lanceolata, which is common roadside in Feb-Apr here) for 'skeeters and yellow flies, which are a large sort of biting fly that leaves a nasty welted thing.

Thanks for that, Susan!