Let’s just get one thing straight. Bull nettle is not your friend. If you live in Texas and you have seen this plant, avoid it—like the plague. I try to get this point across to my special needs son, but it never ends that in summer, he ends up with a bull nettle rash.
The first time this happened, I did not know what my son had gotten into. The rash became large, red, inflamed and hot. Everything I put on it either made it worse, or maintained the angry look and feel of the rash. I even took him to the doctor, who minimized the rash as if just every kid runs around with a huge angry rash on their legs. Grrr…
I mean, the thing would not go away. This is what it looks like below:
What is bull nettle?
Bull nettle is not to be confused with stinging nettle, which also has a sting to the plant, but it rarely leaves a rash. Plus, the stinging stops within 30 minutes or so. No, bull nettle is all in its own category.
When I finally found out what plant my son brushed up against, and *Googled* it, I realized exactly why all of my attempts to make it go away did not work. Bull nettle has an adorning flower on top of a thorny green plant.
When you look at the plant, you think thorns and pain, right? Yet, God created bull nettle with a bit more of a vengeance than simple pain from the thorns.
The problem with bull nettle isn’t so much the thorns as it is the chemical make-up on the end of the points. When you simple brush up against a bull nettle plant, you have a stinging, itchy rash. However, it doesn’t stop there. The rash simply won’t go away unless you either use an antidote that neutralizes the chemical the plant uses for its defense. Trust me, it took me three weeks to get rid of it on my son the first time he had a run in with it.
How do you get rid of a bull nettle rash?
When I first made a search for natural home remedies, I found ideas I wasn’t sure would even work. Some seemed so far “out there” but because no one, not even the doctor knew what to do, I was willing to try just about anything. What I discovered is that bull nettle is not to be reckoned with and if you or your child brushes up against it, you will really appreciate these home remedies. Or, put up with an angry red rash for weeks.
Trust me, if you either leave a bull nettle rash untreated, or you do not use the right antidote, it will only get worse. Things I do not recommend are apple cider vinegar or baking soda. Neither of these seems to neutralize the unique chemical make-up of bull nettle.
You read that right. When I first read this, I laughed, thinking some man came up with that solution, cuz no woman would, right? However, don’t discount it as nonsense. Apparently, the chemical make-up of your pee neutralizes the acids in a bull nettle rash. While I could not get my special needs son to accept this remedy, I think it is truly viable.
Again, because of the chemical make-up in your saliva, it neutralizes the acids in the bull nettle plant. If you are out in the middle of no where, this is probably a really good thing to try.
Jewel weed is a plant that typically grows around bull nettle. It is also God’s antidote for a bull nettle rash. Pinch off a leaf of jewel weed, break it open and rub it on a bull nettle rash. It should stop the sting within 30 minutes. If not, apply another leaf until the rash stops stinging.
This is another weed which typically grows close to bull nettle and is a God created antidote for the sting. Break off a curled dock leaf, break it open and rub it on the bull nettle rash. It should neutralize the sting within 30 minutes. If not, apply another leaf until it stops.
I discovered this on accident, out of pure frustration and desperation for my son. It is also our go-to remedy for bull nettle. I don’t have calendula growing around my house, but I always keep calendula tincture around for a variety of reasons. I mix 4 or 5 droppers of calendula tincture with about 3 tablespoons of coconut oil and apply it liberally to my son’s bull nettle rash. If the rash is really bad, it will take about 2-3 days to clear it up. If I get it quickly, then it will be gone the next day.
Some other old folk remedies include tobacco along with spit. Using leaves of chewing tobacco should help neutralize the sting in bull nettle. I have not tried this, but again, tobacco contains something in it which neutralizes the sting of bull nettle.
Do not despair if you rubbed up against bull nettle, try these instead! Be prepared with any of these home remedies so you can put an end to any potential misery. You can thank me later;-).