Soothing plant suggestions?

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Settler
Jan 16, 2006
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Still stuck in Nothingtown...
Hi guys, it's been a while but I need your help with something.

I'm looking for the names of any species of plant or a type of poultice that can be used to sooth sore or raw skin. Ideally, if it's plant-based, it can be made into a solution and soaked into cloth, but it needs to be non-toxic. Something that could be made into a paste and would be safe to use to sooth chapped lips would also be appropriate.
It also needs to be something that grows or can be foraged in broadleaf woodland or on moorland in the South of the UK and is available and usable during autumn.
Plants, fungi, animal parts - anything really.
It also doesn't need to be tested or reccomended as it's only the theory that I'm interested in for now.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks :)
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,496
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S. Lanarkshire
Where to start ?

I think your question is too wide. Specific problems are generally more easily answered.

The simplest response would be to suggest calendula or chamomile, or houseleek; but, dependant on the specific condition, maybe comfrey roots or piptopous betulina.

Off the top of my head, if you're out camping and you end up with chapped lips make yourself a cup of tea and when the teabag is exhausted and has cooled, hold it between your lips for twenty minutes or so. That will rehydrate the tissues and the tannin helps to somehow strengthen them. Cream or butter is another way of helping to soothe chapped lips. Honey's good for healing too.

The best option, however, is to make a easily softened paste before you go, and make sure that it's used regularly. Honey, beeswax, shea butter ( or butter butter :) if you can keep it cold and will dispose of the paste within a week or so) calendula infused almond oil, makes a very good lipsyl.

Sore skin ? define sore. Grazed, or bruised or rubbed raw or too dry or itchy rash or eczema or psoriasis or allergic reaction ?

The simple calendula ointment (provided you aren't allergic to any of the ingredients) is generally safe for most of those....but so's is lavender, though not everyone likes the smell.

There are always the crushed leaves of plants like the cleavers and cultivated crucifers too.
Sometimes horse chestnuts are useful, sometimes marshmallow, a wee bit of of the meadowsweet root can be very soothing, but again, not everyone is comfortable with it.

I don't think I've helped, sorry :eek:
Maybe ask for specifics ?

atb,
M
 
Last edited:

John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
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As a trained aromatherapist I have found that many folkrespond well to calendula oil and few have any kind of reaction to it.
Calendula oil, in a carrier is widely available in Health Food shops and is not too expensive though calendula can be found growing wild if you realy want to process it yourself.
 

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Settler
Jan 16, 2006
845
4
39
Still stuck in Nothingtown...
Just thought I'd highlight the specifics of what I'm looking for here as my first post was a bit... well, rambly :p

1. Can be used easily, with no modern techniques or ingrediants involved.

2. Can be used to soothe the soreness of skin that has become dry and cracked.

3. Is non-toxic if a small amount is accidentally swallowed.

4. Can be made from something that is found in either broadleaf forest or moorland in the south of England.

5. Is available during autumn.

Basically, if someone found themselves stuck in the wild in the south of England with no access to modern materials or techniques, during the autumn, is there something that could be found locally that they could use to soothe the pain of cracked and dry skin on, say, the palm of their hand without it causing problems if some of the ointment passed onto food?

The problem, as far as I can tell, is there are too many specifics. Searching for something this specific is proving frustrating.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,496
1,614
S. Lanarkshire
Cracked and dry skin needs moisture and preferably something that will stop any infection too.
Usually we'd use something oily but natural plant sources are kind of rare in the UK, well, without a lot of processing.
So, go for the alternative, moisture and tannin.
Find some sphagnum moss and pick it clean of debris. Crush it very throughly into mush and hold it in your hand for at least twenty minutes four times a day.
There are other moss plants that work well but most are on the restricted lists.
Woodlands; find bramble leaves and crush and heat in hot water and do as before.
At this time of year old rosehips can be picked, pulped and brought to a simmer for a few minutes. (beware the hairs) Wrap the pulp in a handkerchief and bind onto your hand, again for four times a day, twenty minutes a time. Plantain leaves and seeds also work this way.
The rosehips are excellent, especially if you've managed to crush the oil rich seeds, but the hairs are a problem. You definitely do not want them introduced into cracked skin.

If the skin is really sore, find a bit of meadowsweet root and pulp it up, add that to your mush. It's a natural aspirin and it will help. Not quite so good for your digestive system if you get too much in your food though, but since chewing on a tiny piece is an old remedy for toothache or mouth ulcers, it's not going to kill you.
Many herbs work best when used in synergy. Each kind of boosts the effect of the other.
I don't know what you are tolerant or allergic to; that's a factor as well. There is no one right answer.

It really depends on what's wrong, what you have to hand, what's in season or the area, and how your body reacts to all of these.

Any help ?
Bound to be lots more people with practical advice :)
cheers,
M
 
B

Beagnoth

Guest
Crab apple mashed and held in a hanky. If the skins not too broken I go for the witch hazel every time, works a treat for me leaves twigs boiled in water will work though not the best extraction method.
 

lannyman8

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 18, 2009
4,005
2
Dark side of the Moon
easy i would say some rendered animal fat rub over, will protect add moisture to the skin, that would help adleast.......

thoughts welcome....

chris..................................................................