Housleek for bites, stings, cuts, scrapes, and burns

Scipio

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May 1, 2011
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Hi folks,

I would like to draw your attention to the humble houseleek plant. It is incredible for bushcrafters and anyone who does outdoor pursuits.

The houseleek plant can be used to stop stinging from nettles and to heal bites, burns, bee and wasp stings and pretty much any other skin complaint you might get from being outdoors.

You simply break off a leaf, break the leaf in half then rub the exposed part of the leaf, where the oil comes out, onto the affected bit of skin.

It is much better than even dockleaf on nettle stings. Whenever I leave the house for the woods I have a small amount of fresh houseleek leaves in my first aid kit. I find that I use it more than anything else.

I am an inexperienced bushcrafter but have many years of experience in using plants for medicinal purposes so I hope that someone may find this post useful
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,496
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S. Lanarkshire
Hello and welcome :)
Good post too :approve:

I think you are the first person other than me to even mention the houseleek on the forum. I agree wholeheartedly, it's a goodie :D

Where do you grow yours ? and how hardy do you find it ?
Mine keeps dieing, my soil is wet and in the last Winter we had 47 days straight of frozen ground. Lot of plants didn't do well.

I find I can use aloe vera for much of the same purposes, and I keep it in a pot on a shady windowsill.
Not native though and not hardy at all here.

cheers,
Toddy
 

DutchWalker

Member
Apr 25, 2011
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Netherlands
If you are talking about this plant (sorry, but my knowledge of plant names in English isn't too great), it's best if you do not keep it in pure soil but more in between rocks or pebbles. I have a couple of them growing near the pond on pebbles and they grow very well.
 

Scipio

Member
May 1, 2011
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Hello and welcome :)
Good post too :approve:

I think you are the first person other than me to even mention the houseleek on the forum. I agree wholeheartedly, it's a goodie :D

Where do you grow yours ? and how hardy do you find it ?
Mine keeps dieing, my soil is wet and in the last Winter we had 47 days straight of frozen ground. Lot of plants didn't do well.

I find I can use aloe vera for much of the same purposes, and I keep it in a pot on a shady windowsill.
Not native though and not hardy at all here.

cheers,
Toddy
the trick is that you need to give it poor quality soil, by that I mean normal garden soil that is stony and rough. You don`t have to feed it at all and the soil shouldn`t be too wet. The previous poster got it right with pebbles and stones.

I have some in my garden and some in a pot. In the pot I just use the rough garden soil, stony and not good quality. If you pot some up then maybe add some vermiculite to the surface of the soil.
 

Harvestman

Bushcrafter through and through
May 11, 2007
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So, what are we saying here? Does it numb the area, have inti-inflammatory or antihistamine effects, or that it neutralises the chemicals involved in the sting in the first place? I'm always interested in learning something new, especially something as useful sounding as this, but I have to admit to a degree of scepticism about something that purports to neutralise acidic bee stings and alkaline wasp stings.
 

Scipio

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May 1, 2011
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Hello Harvestman.

It`s good that you are sceptical about these things, it means that people who try it on won`t be able to make a fool of you.

I do not know the exact compostition of the houseleek, or rather its juice/oil. All I know is that it works amazingly well. If you get a nettle sting with those itchy white marks then rubbing the oil onto it will have those withe marks vanish within seconds. Before I started cultivating and using medicinal herbs and plants I was very sceptical about the claims that were being made about many of them but through experience and trial I now know that these plants are fantastic and there are so many great uses for them.

Meadowsweet for instance is where Asprin comes from. If you chew a meadowsweet root when you have a headache the headache will go.
 

Harvestman

Bushcrafter through and through
May 11, 2007
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Thanks Scipio. Yes, I use dried meadowsweet as a tea with honey for headaches. Tastes better than an aspirin. I'll have to try the houseleek, especially if it effective against insect stings and bites, which I seem to get all the time.
 

rik_uk3

Banned
Jun 10, 2006
13,320
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What level of burn would you still use it at? What's the chemical composistion of the plant? What component heals bites?

Show me firm, clinical, proven evidence and I'll believe in its wonderful powers, until then this is another example of herbal quackery and nonsense.

Apart from that, welcome to the forum.
 

Harvestman

Bushcrafter through and through
May 11, 2007
8,656
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Pontypool, Wales, Uk
Hi Rik,

I think in my 2 posts I agree with you, since I didn't really get a good answer to my initial questions. I'm prepared to give it a try and draw my own conclusions. Still, it is always good to have an opportunity to gain a new bit of knowledge or useful kit.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,496
1,614
S. Lanarkshire
I only know that it's one of life's usefuls :)
It's a soothing herb. That's it. It doesn't numb, it doesn't remove beestings or the little jaggy nettle hairs, but it soothes the skin, eases the burn, calms the histamine reaction. Gentle on the skin, moisturises without clogging or causing blisters.
Clinical ? sorry don't know of any works on it. Just plain personal empirical evidence.

I'm all for legislation that stops the snake oil salesmen, but I'm also prepared to listen to folks whose judgment and knowledge I like/trust/admire enough to try the uses of native plants for myself.
I doubt I'd use them for something like cancer, aids or TB, but for non life threatening but incredibly irritating bug bites, stings and irritations, I'll give it a go.
Thinking on it, I use them for a lot more than that, but then I find ethnobotany a fascinating subject and herbalism is a enrichment in my quality of life. Surprisingly effective :)

Do I advise others to take them ? No, I make it clear I am not a qualified medical herbalist; but knowledge passed on is usually returned with interest :cool:

cheers,
Toddy

p.s. it's the tectorum plant that's naturalised in the UK
 
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Scipio

Member
May 1, 2011
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What level of burn would you still use it at? What's the chemical composistion of the plant? What component heals bites?

Show me firm, clinical, proven evidence and I'll believe in its wonderful powers, until then this is another example of herbal quackery and nonsense.

Apart from that, welcome to the forum.
Hardly herbal quackery. It works. First of all the houseleek is not a herb. You should always try something out for yourself before calling something nonsense. I`m very passionate about trying new things including plants to help aleviate or cure ailments so please don`t patronise me by calling this little tip nonsense. Have you ever seen Ray Mears? Does he not give you tips on how to use plants for all sorts of things? Just because you have not heard of this plant or had any experience of it that does not make it nonsense. Wow, I only signed up to this forum today and thought that my experiences might help some people out. Thanks to you I`m wishing that I hadn`t bothered.

I always approach these things with an open mind. Some plants have worked as others have said and others have not. I`m simply going on my own experience.

Plants such as the houseleek and meadowsweet have been used for centuries. Where do you think that medieval people went for their cures? Boots?
 

joely

Forager
Sep 27, 2010
114
0
York
Thanks Scipio, I'll see if I can find some and give it a go, don't knock it 'till you've tried it and all that...
Any Ideas on anything for hayfever?

thanks, Joel
 

Ch@rlie

Nomad
Apr 14, 2011
250
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49
Felixstowe
Wow, I only signed up to this forum today and thought that my experiences might help some people out. Thanks to you I`m wishing that I hadn`t bothered.
I've a recently registered this forum, I must say it's one of the most friendly, willing to offer advise forums I have visited or registered at, it's the hints and tip's offered so freely I like here, such as the one you offered. I was actually on the phone to my mother last night asking if she had or knew of this plant as I recognise it from the picture you posted. After a while we concluded we have both seen it at my grandmothers were both going to be asking for some as we believe she has many of these.
Let's hope after reading my reply it balances the scales and your more willing to post tips again.
ps.
one reason I'm so willing to try it, after my teenage kids have been at the medical box you dont see the product again after they've used it! At least I'm 99% garenteed a plant wont get taken and lost in their bedroom never to be seen again!

Toddy.
p.s. it's the tectorum plant that's naturalised in the UK
Thanks for that.
 
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B

BrianM

Guest
I Only registered a few minutes ago, but here goes:

A couple of points to bear in mind in relation to this thread and the comments made.

1. About 85% of our medicinal products come ether directly or indirectly from plants.

2. The old wives tale about wasp and bee stings being acid/alkaline and therefore neutralised by an alkali or acid is exactly that. A bee stings you with about 50ng of venom and a wasp with between 3 and 15ng. (ng = nanogram; 1000 millionth of a gram!). Tryng to neutralise these with an acid or akali means that you will vastly over-compensate so that what was a vanishingly small amount of alkali, for instance, is now a hughly greater amount of acid, and vice versa.
In any case, it's not acid or alkali in the venom that causes the pain and swelling, it's a complex cocktail of proteins and the like.
 

dwardo

Maker
Aug 30, 2006
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Thanks Scipio, I'll see if I can find some and give it a go, don't knock it 'till you've tried it and all that...
Any Ideas on anything for hayfever?

thanks, Joel
I have tried everything bar a toad hanging from my neck on a piece of string :( The menace that is hayfever is starting already and the only thing i can find that works is the horse size pills that i get on script from the doc, basically a huge antihistamine.

I too would love to find an alternative as the super antihistamines can make me feel a bit wobbly and light headed.
 

treadlightly

Full Member
Jan 29, 2007
2,685
1
61
Powys
Hardly herbal quackery. It works. First of all the houseleek is not a herb. You should always try something out for yourself before calling something nonsense. I`m very passionate about trying new things including plants to help aleviate or cure ailments so please don`t patronise me by calling this little tip nonsense. Have you ever seen Ray Mears? Does he not give you tips on how to use plants for all sorts of things? Just because you have not heard of this plant or had any experience of it that does not make it nonsense. Wow, I only signed up to this forum today and thought that my experiences might help some people out. Thanks to you I`m wishing that I hadn`t bothered.

I always approach these things with an open mind. Some plants have worked as others have said and others have not. I`m simply going on my own experience.

Plants such as the houseleek and meadowsweet have been used for centuries. Where do you think that medieval people went for their cures? Boots?
Try not to take offence. This is a really interesting thread and I for one, not having heard of houseleek's qualities before, will try it out. Thanks for posting and come back soon!