I visited the forested area around Shawnigan Lake this past week with my daughters and a group of girls from my church aged 12-18. One of my daughters has CP (cerebral palsy) so I was really nervous about taking her to the Wild. I live on Vancouver Island in British Columbia and we have a lot of forested areas that are amazing to camp at. What I didn't realise is that many areas are called Stinging Nettle Forests for a reason. So as soon as we started setting up camp many of the girls were running and yelping (okay so I was the one yelping) about the abundance of Nettle. It was EVERYWHERE! Here are some ways we dealt with the pain of our injuries...
One leader suggested tooth paste would soothe the pain. I didn't want more sticky goop on my skin so I thought about what in toothpaste might stop the pain...PEPPERMINT! I brought my 'Just Breathe' with me (a blend of secret essential oils one of which is Peppermint) and Voila! No more itchy stingy sensations on my ankles and calves. Never use EO's full strength on the body. Most need a carrier oil such as Amond Oil to make them skin safe. Here are two recipes for Stinging Nettle Soother...
Stinging Nettle Soother #1
10 ml Almond Oil
1 ml Peppermint Essential Oil
Blend the oils and store in an amber dropper bottle. The peppermint really did help my stings and some others agreed--others individuals needed repeat applications.
Stinging Nettle Soother #2
1/4 c. baking soda
1 ml pepermint essential oil
1 ml tea tree essential oil
10 ml almond oil
Mix the essential oils into the baking soda. A plastic baggie works well at evenly mixing the oils with the soda. According to the article below this formula works because the nettle sting is acidic and the basic nature of soda counteracts the sting efficacy. I like it because it isn't goopy or sticky. Store in an amber cream jar.
Here is a link to other ways to deal with nettle stings... Stinging Nettle Treatments
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto free pics.