Rashes and hives can manifest anytime but for many they appear in Spring. In about 90 per cent of outbreaks there is no apparent or definitive cause of the rash but the rash is due to histamine production which indicates an allergic response. Pollen, plant sap, spores, insects, dander, some chemicals, soaps and a large range of garden encountered substances can trigger histamine to be released by cells in skin causing blood vessels to dilate and leak fluid out into the skin surface, this oedema is the basis of the red rash or the hives that appear like a nettle sting hence the medical name of urticaria.
Nettle rash usually resolves within 24 hours. Longer lasting bouts are considered chronic urticaria and require antihistamines and a care regime.
The cure of old was Calamine lotion which is zinc base. Zinc is antipruritic (stops itching). Heres a version of calming lotion based on zinc and chamomile that you can try at home.
Fiann’s natural calming lotion – All the ingredients work to reduce the skin inflammation and neutralize the histamine or defence reaction caused by nettle rash, nettle sting, heat rash, sunburn and other irritations.
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoon zinc ointment
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
- A strong cup of chamomile tea to supply enough fluid to form an applicable lotion of all the other ingredients combined.
Method: In a cup or bowl, combine the first 4 ingredients and stir. Then add 4 teaspoons of the chamomile tea as a start and mix, the water and fats of the ointment make take a good stirring to mix and dilute to lotion consistency – keeping adding small quantities of the tea until you have a consistency that you are happy to apply to the affected area of skin.
Keep refrigerated and use with three days of making.
for more helpful remedy-recipes check out the book FIRST AID FROM THE GARDEN
all good bookstores, online retail and local libraries.
You’ve just reminded me of the hogweed episode and holey moley it was bad! I was gardening and felt like I had a bit of sunburn coming on. So I put on sunscreen and rubbed it all over the area and up both arms (thus spreading the juice of hogweed). If only I knew what I now know! That if you get any hogweed juice on you, you must cover your arms with material until you can wash it off, because it has photosynthetic toxins in it and oh the painful blisters! Anyways, there’s that, you sometimes have to live and learn.