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Spider Bite Remedies

Last Modified on May 24, 2016

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Baking Soda and Charcoal  
2 User Reviews | 1 YEA

Posted by Islandmeg (Modesto, Ca ) on 03/14/2014

Aloha everyone,

I recently was bitten was a Black Widow spider and was lucky enough to find this site. What a mess they make.

I had cellulitus and the poison was spreading up my foot, heading toward my ankle. It was skin splitting sore and swollen. Also very itchy. I decided to try the baking soda and charcoal. Wow.

I was bitten on Saturday night. By Sunday night, I was a bit worried, watching the toxin spreading. I drew on my foot with a marker pen, so I could chart it's progress - just in case.

On Monday, it wasn't settling down. I found this site and made up a batch of baking soda and water. Just mixing it in with a little water to make a toothpaste like consistency. I smoothed it all over my foot and left it on there until it had dried up and was caking off. That took a lot of the itch out straight away.

When it would play up again, I'd then put some anti-histamine cream on and an ice pack. About every two hours on the Monday, I did the baking soda routine again. Each time it took out a bit more itch, a bit more pain.

I also tried one batch with some charcoal mixed in but this was stingy and I my foot stung afterwards. I had to wash it, so I just kept to the baking soda. And took the activated Charcoal (2 capsules) a couple of times a day, around food.

When I woke up on Tues, my foot had improved by about 30 to 40%. The toxin had also stopped spreading.

On Tues I did the same routine but wasn't having to do it as often. I was going about 3 to 4 hours between baking soda poultices. My friend rushed around here on Tues night, prepared to bodily take me to hospital if necessary. (She's an allopathic trauma nurse) And was floored when she saw how much it had gone down. She'd seen it on the Sunday night. (Now a keen Earthclinic phone. I put it on her phone for her. :-) ) Although, I did take some Bactrim antibiotics she had (Sulfurmeth) as well.

When I woke up Wed, my foot was probably about 100% improved. I had lost all the itchiness and most of the soreness. Slightly tight and tender to the touch, but nothing like it was. I thought my skin was going to pop. The toxin line was receding too. I only did 3 baking soda poultices.

Today is Thur and I've only done one baking soda poultice today, no ice or anti-histamine cream. I woke up and you can see the original toxin line but otherwise, barely any discoloration in the foot. I will continue to poultice it, internal charcoal and the antibiotics, which are probably only kicking in tonight anyway. :-)

In short - wow. I'm sold. Thank you all so much.

Baking Soda or Butter  
2 User Reviews | 1 YEA

Posted by Wooly (Joshua Tree, CA) on 01/29/2008

[YEA]  Use Baking Soda/butter as a Poultice/remedy for Brown Spider Bite. I was a teenager riding my horse and a spider got in my long hair, when i went to take a shower, I was bit by a brown recluse spider. For two weeks my father put this poultice (size of a large patch) on me and it was the only relief I had. Who knows what would have happened without the baking soda. I hope this saves someone else's life. God Bless

EC: We emailed Wooly for more details

Replied by Wooly
Joshua Tree, CA

Baking Soda, Garlic  
3 User Reviews | 1 YEA

Posted by Nosakhere (Chicago, IL) on 10/19/2008

[YEA]  I really hate getting sick which goes without saying. However my agonizing desire to beat the bite fueled me to seek out advice for a spider bite.One night when I was sleeping a nocturnal hunting brown recluse spider must have decided to crawl under my neck for warmth. In that moment I was sleeping on the floor mattress to escape the snoring from a dear friend of mine. Anyway I must have rolled over & crushed it unknowingly in my sleep and caused the little fellow to release a nasty amount of venom with his bite. I felt very itchy and felt what only seemed like a pin prick the very next morning in the back of my neck. After placing black soap on the skin, (not the commercial kind but the real kind) this usually comes in plastic or a ball of thick paste to stop the itchy break outs on my arm. The slight rashes on my arm went away with the soap. However I noticed that the bite on my neck was in fact more affected as the source. I began poking at them to release the fluid & swelling. This was very painful, So I took an alieve gelcap prior to this procedure as it would slightly ease the process. However I wanted to find natural ways to make it go away. I am a musician & voice over artist/T.V. host. I'm no doctor, but I appreciate the gifts of nature for cooking & all it's healing properties as well. So I found this website. (Earth Clinic). After reading some of the articles, I began trying the garlic clove taped directly to the back of my neck. There was a strong tingle that gave me much satisfaction knowing that it was working to cure the problem. I later tried the baking soda and it reduced the swelling greatly & the puss from the damaged tissue began to run out from the lava lesion caused by the bite. I had to repeat these once or twice a day often throwing in a peroxide rinse occasionally while squeezing out the remaining puss. Right before my eyes I could see the wound quickly healing. My glands had become swollen from the bite & about 2 or 3 days later they returned to normal as well. I threw back a couple of doses of a prescription antibiotic just for good measure. And all I had left was a scab which I applied Hibiclens which was terrific causing rapid skin reformation.

All that was left was to exfoliate the damaged skin with black soap & a gentle scrubber and then apply coca butter after drying. These natural cures are wonderful. God really knew what He was doing when He placed them here for us. If it had not been for these cures. This accident would have gotten much worse & would have been dragged out to at least 8 to 10 weeks instead of the 2 weeks I endured.

My thanks goes out to Earth Clinic (folk remedies) for this wonderful & valuable information.

the Artist "Nosakhere" (Papa Soul)

Replied by Scott
Spokane, Washington
Don't ever "take prescription antibiotics for good measure"! People who do stuff like that are the cause of resistant bacteria like MRSA.
Replied by Rylee
Asheville, North Carolina
Scott from Spokane; Amen to that!!!

Baking Soda, Salt, and Garlic  
1 User Reviews | 1 YEA

Posted by Shelley7 (Tampa, Fl) on 03/24/2016

[YEA]  Thank You so much for having this site available! I was bitten 5 days ago the area has been very sore and itchy. I did go to a walk in clinic and they basically said ice, Tylenol, antihistamine cream which none helped:( I have been miserable knowing there must be something more I could do! I made my poultice of baking soda, pink Himalayan salt, crushed garlic covered it with large gauze bandaid! Wow instant relief:) It's midnight it's all I had in the house. I saw active charcoal mentioned too.I'm going to have this on hand in the future as well! This is my first time bitten by a spider! Not fun, it's very painful and scary! Hopefully it heals up nicely soon and doesn't get worse:(

4 User Reviews | 2 YEA

Posted by Kevin Coombs (Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin) on 10/11/2008

[YEA]  Bread cured my daughters spider bite. Went to doctor who put her on anti-biotics. It did nothing for her. My wifes grandma told her to put a piece of bread on it. She did and it drew all of the puss out and cured it in one night.

Replied by Scott
Hanston, Kansas
Look for Bread Poultice on the following link for directions. Works best with warm water.

Replied by Thankful Mom!
Atlanta, Ga
[YEA]   I tried this for my daughter who was bitten and I found out about it a day later when the site was swollen, huge and warm to the touch. I applied the bread, wrapped to her in an ace bandage and this morning when I removed the bandage/bread all had come to the head and drained out. She said it no longer hurt or irratated her.
Replied by Scott
Hanton, Ks
It really works, glad it helped your daughter. I would like to see earth clinic give it its own page as it's useful in so many things.

1 User Reviews | 1 YEA

Posted by Renata (Cape Town, South Africa) on 03/11/2009

[YEA]  Raw cabbage was an extremely powerful remedy in curing me of two infected Violin Spider bites on my legs (one on the thigh, one on the knee). Just grating a small portion of raw cabbage onto a bandage and leaving it overnight helped to draw out the poisin and heal the infection where other herbal remedies had failed, and my only recommended recourse otherwise would have been antibiotics, which I was loathe to take.

Castor Oil, Tea Tree Oil  
3 User Reviews | 2 YEA

Posted by Geri (Dothan, Alabama) on 05/06/2011

[YEA]  I had excellent results treating my spider bite with tea tree oil and castor oil! As soon as I knew I had it, I began applying tea tree oil with a Q-tip, being real sure to soak the center of the bite well, letting it dry, then applying castor oil. For three days I also applied one of those "spot" bandaids on which I put another drop of tea tree oil. I have done this twice a day for four days. Today I left the bandaid off, because the pain is all gone, and the center of the bite is dried and healing well. I'm sure it helped that I take several grams of vitamin C daily along with liquid vitamins, minerals, and other supplements every day, but the tea tree oil and castor oil relieved the bite pain and swelling, as well as helping with the healing.

Replied by Catpleasant
Reno, Nv Usa
I was bitten by a "wolf" spider. My hand was was swollen twice it's normal size. A friend suggested a wet tea bag. The tea bag, when place over the bite, pulled the poison out of my hand within a couple of hours. No bad effects from the bite.

It seems regular tea bags will pull the poison out of spider bites, an abscessed tooth or any place where poison is causing swelling.

Replied by Sarah
Dallas, Tx
[YEA]   Thank you Catpleasant!! I am so grateful to you for posting about tea bags for spider bites. I got some bites on my hands and feet from walking and sitting in dead grass at night and I live in Texas. From the internet descriptions, I think my bites are also from wolf spiders. Awesome little creatures, but they cannot tell us from the bugs they are hunting. The mother spiders carry their babies on their backs for awhile, like opossums and scorpions do, and also, they hunt nocturnally. Anyway, they are worse than mosquito bites, because half of the top of my foot was swollen and itching so bad I could hardly study. So I put a green tea bag (only kind I have right now) in boiling water for a minute, then put it, still hot, on my foot. It felt SO good! And the itching stopped right away. Tea leaves are pretty amazing.

Charcoal and Baking Soda  
1 User Reviews | 1 YEA

Posted by Debbiesmiller (Geneva, Il, USA) on 12/30/2012

[YEA]  Once again EC saved the day. Thursday night my son called and he had been bitten by a spider on his earlobe. I told him to come on over. I quickly looked on EC for rememdies. When he walked in the door my first reaction was head to the ER. His ear, the lobe and his neck behind his ear were bright bright red, with the earlobe quadrupled in size. I calmed down, made a paste of baking soda and activated charcoal. Put on his ear and let sit for 10 minutes. (this whole time my husband is calling me the voodoo queen and asking me if I am chanting while doing the "home" cures. ) Well, I had my son go wash off the mixture and sterilized a needle to put a small puncture where I could see the bite. He came back into the kitchen, and with a paper towel ready I took his earlobe gently into my and hand and OH MY GOODNESS, the green and yellow pus came pouring out of his earlobe. And I mean it was running down his beard, all over my hands and all over his shirt. The relief he felt was instant. Once this stopped, I placed the mixture on his ear again. But no more pus would come out. However, the top of his ear to the swollen lobe and the back of his neck lost all the redness. But, the earlobe was still HUGE. We decided to stop trying to get anymore gunk out and I gave him the bs and charcoal mixture to take home. But just for kicks I placed honey on the front of the lobe and sent him on his way. (Husband is laughing really hard at the honey remedy. ) Next morning, son called. Sometime in the middle of the night he thought the honey had gotten gooey and was running down his neck. Went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. The backside of the earlobe was draining profusely. Still had big ear, but the relief was great!!! Went and visited him last evening. Put more baking soda and charcoal on ear. Nothing more would come out. He just called me this morning, again in the middle of the night, ear opened up, spewed all the gunk and now his earlobe is normal size with very little redness. THANK YOU ALL WHO HELPED US WITH YOUR POSTS!!!! Probably saved hundreds of dollars in ER bills and medicines that would take days to work!!!

Dried Basil  
1 User Reviews | 1 YEA

Posted by Kat (New Brighton, PA) on 12/28/2007

[YEA]  If a spider bite itches, take a pinch, or more of Basil (McCormick, crushed basil) rub it on the bite until the basil is fine as sand, or until the itch is gone. Repeat if necessary. This will also keep the bitten area from swelling. This does work. I have used basil on bitten areas; and I have also used on my mother's arm. thank you.

Egg White, Iodine, Baking Soda  
1 User Reviews | 1 YEA

Posted by Cheryl (Okla) on 09/21/2006

[YEA]  For fiddle back spider bites, mix 1 egg white with 1 tbls iodine and some baking soda to make a paste. Rub onto spider bite and let dry. Do this several times a day.

Essential Oil Blend  
3 User Reviews | 1 YEA

Posted by Philip (Palm Beach, Queensland, Australia) on 05/21/2007

[YEA]  I was bitten by a redback spider on my left knee on very early Wednesday morning between 1 am & 6 am. Swelling started Wednesday about 10 am.(very painful) By Thursday morning my knee was like a balloon. The swelling started to go down my leg & by Thursday afternoon the swelling was down to the bottom of my calf. The pain was sssooo intense I wanted to cut my leg off. I took the oils at 6 pm Friday. By 6 am the swelling was down 20% I took more at 6 pm Sat. & more at 6.30 pm Sat. The swelling was completely gone by Thursday Then the following Sunday swelling started again so I took more oils only once & the swelling went down that day & never a problem again. All I have is a 20 cent coin size of dimpled skin were I was biten. 1 year later a friend of mine was biten in Lismore N.S.W. about 3 day prior to my remedy treatment. It fixed her straight away like me. No side effects it has been 9 years now.

Replied by Karen
Nuevo, Ca
Exactly what essential oils did you use and what measurements?
Replied by Steve
Guinea, Africa
What were the essential oils you took? Still having severe muscle pain long after bite.

1 User Reviews | 1 YEA

Posted by Sal (EastHaven, CT) on 08/31/2006

[YEA]  While riding my road bike i felt a sharp bite on my thigh. I squeezed my lycra pants and it stopped. well when i got home from my ride , I saw a crushed what looked like a spider fall out of my pants. I started to develop a sore which grew and identified it as a brown recluse spider bite. nothing worked, it appeared sealed and Hydrogen peroxide didn't even foam. Well I tried a slice of raw garlic taped to my thigh overnight as a last resort before making a Dr. appointment. Well, the next morning the sore showed great improvement and in 2 more days it was about healed. I put on some neosporin just for the final touch.

General Feedback  

Posted by Alfred (Rangsit, Bangkok, Thailand) on 06/04/2011

Thank for the info about bee.. spider bites.. Chewing Tobacco will pull poison.. But Not Pain..

The way to get rid of the Pain .. Is to press hard in that bite location.. Untill pain stops.. It will stop in a few minutes.. Reason its hurting.. Your Blood proteins are trapped.. By the pressure it releases the blood proteins..

Like when your hitting a nail with a hammer. But you hit your finger.. Just apply pressure on you finger.. Pain will leave soon after. Next day no sign of damage.


Replied by Susan
Cathedral City, California Usa
I agree Alfred, applying direct pressure to the injured area immediately after injuring oneself, is very effective for lessening the pain.

The very best remedy for quickly healing bruises is Arnica salve. If you don't have any, make a salve with 1 part cayenne pepper and 5 parts melted Vaseline, mix and cool, apply once a day.

A homemade ice pack can be made by mixing 2 parts water and 1 part alcohol in a nylon bag and freezing it, the bag will be flexible and can be molded to the body. It will not sweat.

High Voltage, Low Amperage Dc Current  
5 User Reviews | 2 YEA | 1 WARNING!

Posted by Donna (Knoxville, TN) on 10/16/2008

[YEA]  I'd learned about high voltage, low amperage DC current from an article that had come out in 1986 in Outdoor Life I think it was. We'd bought the issue because we'd had so many goats, cats, and dogs snake bitten.

In 1989 I was bitten by a recluse on the calf, and used meat tenderizer and charcoal for the first 5 days. I'd packed the growing hole with one, leave it in for hours, then wash it out and pack it with the other. The thing that had me scared was that it was doing everything the book said it would do, not only a hole 1/4" deep and 3/8" across, but a hot red raised area 3" across with a starlike effect of redder lines within it. I called a fellow who'd worked at Uchi Pines doing alternative medicine, to ask if I really needed to shock it, and he said it sounded that way. We grounded one side of the bite with a screwdriver from the woven wire fence, then ran a wire from the electrified top wire to the other side, using insulated pliers to hold it. I ran the shocks through the bite area, and it wasn't nearly as bad as I'd feared. The shocks ran only in that small area, more like a little bite than having my whole body shocked. 24 hours later the hole had obviously not grown any more, and in another 12 hours the hot red raised area was nearly normal. The whole thing just faded away, leaving me with a small blue scar.
In 1991 I noticed two little red marks on a knuckle and thought the same thing I'd thought the first time, "Those are just far enough apart to be spider fang marks." Six days went by, and I woke up to a little brown oozy hole in the middle of each pink mark. There was a PT working across the street, so I called and asked if she'd run electrostim on them. She said come on over, and told me that she used to use ultrasound and Betadine on such bites, but as I insisted on electrostim, she flipped a switch and did all 3 at once. The wounds closed up that afternoon.

The next time it happened, it was like some people describe the bites, I got a black spot on my ankle that looked just like someone had dropped silver nitrate on it. It was perfectly even with the surrounding skin, and painless till after about 5 days the surface peeled off. Within a few hours it was really hurting so I used the electrodes from a "Beck Box" on either side, for about 10 minutes. The thing didn't bother me for a week, then it started hurting again, I ran the box longer and hotter and it went away after that. The secretary at the office where I'd borrowed the box used it twice when she had brown recluse bites. We have a Hulda Clark Zapper, but I don't think the voltage is high enough on it. It was not like my other bites, but was equally slow and was working it's way down through the layers.

Then my husband got bitten on the arm and he used his electroacupuncture gadget, grounding on one side of the bite and zapping on the other. A friend got bitten, had the classic nasty brown oozy wound on her leg, and as she had a TENS unit we simply put the pads on either side of the bite and turned it on blast for about 15 minutes. I forget how I treated the last two bites I got, they occurred about a week apart and I didn't let them got very far.
I introduced my chiropractor to the notion of treating recluse bites with his electrostim machine. I had a friend who'd been bitten 3X and had learned to use clay poultices morning and evening to heal them, but then she got a bite on her neck and after 6 days of poultices woke up to swollen glands in her neck and was scared. So that was the first one my DC got to use his machine on, and that was the end of the problem for her.

The one horror story I have witnessed was a friend who went to the dr the same day she was bitten, got on the antibiotics but they didn't do a thing. Her arm swelled up double, and when I heard about it 6 days later, I called immediately and told her to rush over to a DC who would use his electrostim on it. It had eaten a strip on her upper arm an inch wide, 5" long and about 1/8" deep. The wound stopped growing and healed up. She has a horrible scar, but it would certainly kept on eating to the bone had it not been stopped. There are 400 people where she works, they all know about what happened to her and believe me, they and all their friends and relatives will be going to a DC instead of an MD for TX.

The PT who did my 2nd bite told me about a guy who'd been bitten in a very delicate place. The MD's had nothing to offer except to cut out the bite area, which was not in a place where he thought he had anything to spare. The PT, on hearing his story, showed him how to use her machine and had him tow it to the restroom every time he came in for his other tx. She said it saved his marriage. (She also told me about saving her dog which had been snake bitten on a holiday weekend, she applied a TENS unit after he'd suffered for a couple of hours, in 20 minutes he was up dragging it around and wagging his tail. We just use Vit C for animals with snake bite, but we do have a TENS unit just in case. )

I talked with a nurse who works in a wound center, and she was astonished that I know about all these bite cases in which none of their debridement and other medical treatments were necessary. In fact, I was surprised to see that some people do know about the shock treatment. See which also mentions that the venom is "heat labile, calcium dependent, and optimally active at a pH of 7.1." They approved of a home remedy of hot and cold applications.

When I read all the things people have done for what they think are recluse bites, I have several thoughts. First of all, some of them were not recluse bites. I've been bitten my more kinds of bugs than most modern Americans. One thing that will show up in most recluse bites is a stage where there are two small holes, before they grow together and become one large hole. For a day or so after they combine, the hole is often square looking rather than round. Second, some actual recluse bites just got better, because of where the bites were, the person's good circulation and the assistance of salt to draw out toxins, of turmeric to reduce inflammation so the circulation could get in, etc. For example, an old man told me about how his little sister had developed a hole in her leg that ate all the way to the bone. In desperation, their dr had had their mother rip up and old sheet and fill little squares with Epsoms salts. When one was saturated, she pulled it out and stuffed another one in. That healed up the wound, which we can now guess was an early recluse bite. I don't think they were nearly as common before central heating. In my own case, salt and proteoplytic enzymes (in the meat tenderizer) and charcoal did not stop the progression of the bite. The next thing that would have happened to me was the big hot red area would have been undermined and collapsed. Only the electricity stopped it. I talked with a physiology professor about this, and he had two stories, people he knew personally who had stopped snakebite damage with electric shocks. He said that the proteolytic enzymes involved are very large complex molecules, positively charged at one end and negatively charged at the other end. When exposed to high voltage, low amperage current the ends are pulled in opposite directions and the enzymes are torn apart.

One last thing regarding infections being mistaken for spider bites. Anything that will draw out toxins via high osmotic pressure, such as salt or Epsoms salts, will also draw out the toxins from an infection. So those approaches are not contraindicated for MRSA. And if you will dig around a bit, you will find that Bob Beck invented his little box because of an accidental discovery that electrical current stopped bacterial growth in a petri dish. This info has been suppressed, but Bob Beck has put his invention into the public domain and does not sell the boxes so that he can tell people about it. You can find the plans and the boxes and the info online. And for flesh eating bacteria, they are using proteolytic enzymes that are surely similar to those used by recluse spiders and pit vipers, so electroshock may work on those cases too.

EC: Read more feedback about Electric Shock on our Snake Bites remedy page:

Replied by Lianne
Wellington, New Zealand
Hi, this is a really interesting post, and if the spider bite I received about 2 hours ago doesn't respond to the baking soda and garlic cloves by tomorrow, I'd like to try it. I'm assuming it was a white-tail spider that bit me, not that it matters. However, I have no idea what an electrostim is - is it something that is only available in the States? Or is there some other sort of electro zapper thingie I can rig up at home? Something else I am taking is ledum - a homeopathic remedy usually used for wasp stings, but a friend who was having difficulty getting rid of her spider bite used it with good results.
Replied by Sandy
Charleston, Sc
[WARNING!]   I think I have been bitten by a recluse, I am trying to determine if it is a spider bite, or MRDA. After reading about the spider bites on this site:

It says not to: Do not apply electricity to the area. Anecdotal reports of high voltage electrotherapy from common stun guns have never been shown to be effective in any scientific studies. This can also cause secondary burns and deepen tissue destruction.

Just a thought.

Replied by Serena
Pikeville, Tn
[YEA]   Several years ago I got a brown recluse bite. I had pretty much figured out what it was. I used charcoal poultices on it the first day but was disturbed by a red streak going up my arm (the bite was on the upper forearm near the inside elbow). I went to a doctor who confirmed that it was a brown recluse bite and gave me a prescription for an antibiotic and prednisone. He allayed my fears that it was blood poisoning and the streak was in the lymph system.

I had read an article at my chiropractor about healing a brown recluse bite with electrical acupuncture. I called him and asked if he knew who did that. He did and I got an appointment and had the treatment. He also gave me the homeopathic ledum palustre. In three days the bite was healed, though I still have a small scar where it was. Oh, the doctor also told me "and when it breaks open, use hydrogen peroxide on it. " It never did break open. I also never filled the prescriptions since I knew they would do nothing for the bite.

Since then I learned about plantago major (plantain - a common weed in these parts) healing a brown recluse bite. I had opportunity a year and a half ago to use it after a couple of friends had with great success. I kept a poultice of the crushed leaf on the bite, changing it every 4-6 hours. The bite was healed in 5 days. I had more trouble with the tape that I held the poultice on with (it was on my inside thigh) as it reacted with my skin and caused sores all around the bite. I tried several types of bandaids and tapes and had problems with all of them. It was worth it though to have the bite healed.

Replied by Jan
Wauchope, Nsw Australia
This follows Serena's thread about the use of Plantago major for spider bites.

I was recently bitten on the thigh by what I presume to have been a spider (sudden burning ouch - not a boil), and when it started to rapidly gain size and swell on day 3, I checked your site for ideas. I live in Australia, so not a Brown Recluse, but we do have something called a White Tail Spider which I think is somewhat similar. Ironically I live in the bush, but was bitten in a cake shop in town.

I tried the following, in order:-

Potato slices. Felt great, very soothing, but no lasting effect. If I had a child with a non-poisonous wasp sting or ant bite or something similar I think this would cheer them up heaps.

Baking Soda moistened with Cider Vinegar as a poultice. I did this twice and it definitely took the redness out somewhat, but only for a limited time. The area of the swelling was now the size of a bread and butter plate and red with a white outer edge. The centre was the size of a bantam egg, raised again and very red. The two fang holes started to get a squarish, shiny, slightly bruise like sunken area immediately around them and then I started to worry. I planned a trip to the doctor if it were not looking better at the end of day 4.

The electric stimulation thing sounded good, but I wasn't sure how I would go about it. I read Serena's comments about the Plantain (Plantago major, also known here as Ribwort), and as I had once cured a horse of Greasy Heel with it decades ago I thought it might be worth a try. On day 4 I happened to be weeding in a paddock with the Plantain growing, so every hour or so I picked a leaf, mashed it up in my fingers and smeared the moist mush across the bite area. At the end I squeezed the last few drops onto the central very red area for good measure. I suppose I had in mind to do the whole thing with the poultice when I came in that evening; I think I was a bit "over" having a spider bite by then and just wanted to get a days work in.

By lunch time it was looking significantly better, much less angry and less painful. Maybe the Plantain, maybe I was just getting over it anyway, I thought. So I stopped putting the Plantain juice on, and to my surprise the bite quite quickly started inflaming again. This effect was dramatic, not just something I maybe felt; my husband could see it too. So I kept on with the Plantain juice.

By day 5 it looked significantly better, but it became obvious that each time I stopped the Plantain treatment the central very red area "leaked" more poison out which then inflamed the larger area again. (You could see it "running" to the inside of my thigh). So I concentrated my juice application on that central area around the bite, and that did the trick. The very centre, which had looked ready to ulcerate, never did, just forming a few tiny scabs. It is now 2 weeks later and I still have a bruise-like mark where the egg sized central area was, but the problem is over. I only had to do the Plantain juice for 3 days, doing it fewer times per day as things improved.

If it had even begun to ulcerate I would have used Hydrogen Peroxide, and probably gone to the doctor too.

I know my plants, so I knew what Plantago major was. (It is a common weed fairly world-wide, although maybe not in the tropics). Make sure you get the right thing; ask someone knowledgeable if you are not sure. It has parallel veining in the leaves - that is, all the veins start together at the base (stem end) of each leaf blade, they all continue parallel along the leaf, (hence "ribwort"), then they all squeeze together again to form the tip of the leaf. The leaves grow in a "bunch" or rosette from a single base, and the "flowers" are fawny brown speckled cream long ovals, one on the top of each thin stem. Do not confuse this with the Banana family Plantain. Again, please ask if you are in any way not sure; you could be putting the juice of something onto yourself that could be FAR worse than the spider bite.

I was willing to experiment with my bite because I was pretty well certain that it was not a poisonous kill-em-stone dead type spider. My husband and I between us have been bitten by Red Backs, Wolf Spiders and Huntsmen, and this was substantially different. Anything as big as a Funnel Web I would have found squashed in my jeans, so that sort of eliminated the two "rush to hospital" jobs. (Obviously also I was still alive at the end of day 1). Use commonsense folks!

By the way: for the horse with the Greasy Heel I used poultices of the mushed up leaf bandaged onto his pasterns. Two days did the trick. Plantain seems like a great herb to me, but I have never read anything much about it. Anyone know any more?

Hydrogen Peroxide  
1 User Reviews | 1 YEA

Posted by Marsha (Jacksonville, Oregon) on 04/09/2006

[YEA]  I got bit by a brown recluse on my hand. Every day the scab would change color. It would go from slimy green to slimy yellow in the course of only an hour. So everyday I would pull back the scab and soak it in straight hydrogen peroxide. In six months it healed. If I had not done that it could have grown to a very large wound. But the hydrogen peroxide stopped that. Everytime I did soak it would really bubble. I have used this stuff for everything. It works!