the thistle and the damage undone

Somewhere in the back of my mind I had a fragment of arcane (our-kaan ?) knowledge suggesting there was some kind of antidote for stinging nettles that grew along side them.   A web search for nettle antidotes revealed nothing interesting and I dismissed it as transplanted knowledge (like, maybe I was thinking of poison ivy or something).

After my mummy saw the still-healing nettle scars on my legs Wednesday she name-dropped the antidote I was looking for. She didn’t know what it looked like but the internet sure does.

image from Wikipedia

Burdock is not only reputed to be an effective cure for nettle stings but I remember seeing it! It is a thistle. Indeed it is THE thistle I was remarking on in my post about cutting through the nettles!

Burdock is only prickly on its stem and flowers (it inspired velcro!). The flat broad leaves are the antidote. Break off a chunk, chew it up, and rub the resulting mash on the nettle sting.

The scientist/skeptic in me has a desire to test this using a fresh treated sting and a fresh nearby control sting.

As a bonus, the tap root is an edible vegetable (apparently similar to plantains).

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One Response to the thistle and the damage undone

  1. klidston says:

    Oh man, if you end up testing it I want fully detailed notes with pictures. But don’t try it…. That’s probably a bad idea.

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