I have treated several brown recluse bites, both personally and professionally. First, a brown recluse bite looks and acts different than other spider bites, but the remedies that work on them will also work on less venomous bites.
A brown recluse bite will begin to blister and turn purple/black around the bite within a matter of minutes to hours. The black area is usually quite large (1-12 inches across- not usually as small as 1/4 inch) and indicates the area that is being affected by the venom. This is not infection, so antibiotics will have no effect on it. The venom acts to kill the tissue, which will slough off in a layer or chunk, leaving a large open wound. The various remedies mentioned in this post include various items that purport to draw out the venom. The most effective of these, I have found, is the potato poultice.
The easiest and most effective method I have found is to use a starchy potato (Russett, Idaho, or the like. Do not use a waxy potato, like a red or gold potato). Peel the potato or scrub it to get the dirt off. Use a grater to shred the potato like you are making hash browns. Take a handful of the wet potato shreds and place them into a piece of thin cloth, like a handerchief and tie it shut (use a rubber band or twist tie). Use a bit of alcohol on a cotton ball and scrub the bite to break the blister open and disinfect the surface. Place the potato filled cloth on the bite and secure it in place by whatever means necessary. Leave on for several hours, until the potato begins to dry. Discard the old potato where it cannot be eaten by any animals (it can kill them) and repeat with fresh potato. You should notice the purple area fade and get smaller until it is gone, over the course of a day or two. Keep repeating until the purple is all gone. If you stop early, the remaining purple may still slough off. If you see streaks of red, it indicates infection as well as venom so you may need to see a doctor.
When I was in high school I was bitten by (I believe) a brown recluse. I went to the doctor with in a couple of days but they didn't know what type of bite it was or what to do about it. A family friend suggested I take a Potato and slice it. then clean the top of the bite so it's open and put the potato on it. The starch in the potato will draw out the venom. I tried it and it worked great!! The other thing the family friend suggested was to crush up flax seeds in a mortar and pestle until it was like a paste and put that on top of the bite. The flax seed would do the same as the potato.
My cousin way recently bitten by a recluse. Right in the top of her head. She went to the hospital and I had told her not too. I wanted her to let me treat her. They drilled a 1/8 inch hole into the head of the bite and squeezed it with their fingers to empty it like a boil. 2 days later the poison was going down her neck with swelling and redness and she is hallucinating, fever with severe heat at the bite site and she was in really in bad shape.
So I picked her up bring her to my house and opened the wound they drilled it was full of venom and her scalp dow to her skull about half dollar size with liquified flesh puss and a yellew to brown liquid and blood.
I squeezed it all out and filled a plastic bottle with equal parts Epsom salts and water. I bent her over squeezed the bottle half way leaving half air half liquid suctioned it to her head and had her sit up, then watched an oily brown yellow red substances rise to the top of the water. Within 30 mins, it drew the poison out. Because they left her with such a large hole, I stuck the entire end of a sterile qtip soaked in hydrogen peroxide in the hole and rotated it several times revealing dead pieces of skin from them lancing drilling what ever. I then went to my cleaning kit for wounds and cut away the dead skin.
Also, I cut the hair around the wound shaved it and started filling it with triple antibiotic ointment twice a day, also cleaning it with peroxide each time I put antibiotic and redressed it using surgical tape I cut into small pieces. Then used a non stick piece of bandaid pad I cut from bandaid to size to just fit tape and hole. You have to keep head shaved around bump for tape to stick and you also have to wait for it to stop leaking.
Use an absorbent sterile medical pad to dab wound softly after filling with triple antibiotic ointment. Went the oozing slowes apply- tape and pad you cut to make basically a butterfly with the pad. Do not close wound like you would with butterfly for 3 to 4 days, until the oozing stops, then close it by pulling the tape just like a butterfly change daily and lean around it with peroxide when you change tape. It took me four days.
The wound / bite is closed and healing well and I've removed tape. The hole is closed and no more leakage and wound is no longer infected.
This was a really bad bad case and if you don't have knowledge to do this, try to find a nurse, or a paramedic from fire department willing to help. My cousin was a licenced nurse and paramedic and he taught me some things. I still have the bottle with the venom and the poison still floating on top separated.. I hope if you're ever in this kind of situation you're blessed with someone who will help at the hospital.
(Fountain Inn, Sc)
Table salt is all you need to stop the effects from the bite of a brown recluse spider.
This did not happen to me but was brought up in a conversation with a friend when talking about Earth Clinic. I noticed he was limping and I told him about ACV and how it had cured the pain in my knees and how I believed in natural remedies. He then told me he had been to a Doctor for a brown recluse spider bite on the inside of his groin and how it had festered up and full of puss. He told a veterinary friend about it and he told him to put tree tea oil on it and he did and it started to go down and went away. Later he incurred two more bites on his right arm and applied tree oil to those bites and they also went away. He said he had a phone call from a lady that was almost in tears as she had been bitten by a brown recluse spider on the foot and the doctor told her she would lose her foot. She had heard that he had been bitten and cured it. My friend and his wife took some tree tea oil to her and explained how it would probably take a month for it to completely heal and to call him. She called him just over a month and thanked him and said it was completely healed. I submitted this as I have seen nothing about tree tee oil for spider bites or other bites and thought it was to important and to get the word out. He applied the tree tea oil with a cotton ball to the bite and covered it with a bandage also with tree tea oil on it.
It is that time of year. One after another is getting a bite or sting that needs attention, including myself.
Last Thursday my 5 year old came in from playing outside crying because his side hurt. Something had bitten him and the skin was broken, red and swelling. It did not look like a sting or tick bite. Based on the way it looked and how it behaved, I am pretty sure it was a brown recluse spider bite. So, I dove into treatment. A friend had had success treating her child's recluse bite with Epsom Salt baths (4 a day! ) and a plaster of coconut oil and charcoal applied directly.
Here is what I did for my little guy:
Charcoal, flax, clay poultices. I put a fresh one on morning and evening with a couple of hours of breathing time between changes.
When the poultices were off, I would apply lavender essential oil or a drop of oregano oil diluted in a plantain salve.
2 Epsom Salt baths daily. 1 1/2 cups Epsom salt in each warm bath for 20-30 minutes with lots of bath toys to keep him entertained.
3-4 times a day I put 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric and a tiny pinch of pepper in 3 ounces of full fat milk. He drank that down and then I let him chase it with a spoonful of local, raw honey.
I gave him 1,000 mg of Vitamin C 4 x a day. That sounds like a lot of C but he never got loose stools, so I probably could have given him more.
Each time I put 1/4 teaspoon sodium ascorbate in a mug with 1/8 teaspoon baking soda and a teaspoon of raw honey into a mug. I called it honey soda and he drank it without question. :)
From the "get go" my little guy had some hives on other parts of his body. I did give him benadryl twice a day to deal with the hives. After 2 days he didn't have hives.
I watched him like a hawk for signs of infection or the need for medical help. But he felt fine and played normally and had no fever, chills or malaise.
Early intervention made a big difference. My friend who treated a recluse bite on her child didn't find out about the bite until it looked bad and it took a couple of weeks to treat. But she persevered and healed her little one.
Today my 8 year old pulled a tick off of his stomach. It is swelling and I have begun the same treatment I used for suspected recluse bite. Turmeric, Vitamin C, Poultices. Turmeric and C should reduce the risk of systemic infection. The poultices will draw out local infection.
Two adults in my house have had bee stings in the last few days. The same protocols are useful for us, too. I just give more C and turmeric to adults.
~Mama to Many~
Brown Recluse Bite Treatment
Around 7 years ago, I was bitten by a brown recluse spider. This was not the first time - the first time, I went to the hospital, where they gave me antibiotics and sent me home. This had approximately no effect on the bite. The venom continued to eat up the skin till I had about a four-inch round, 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep wound. I self-treated it with any home remedies I could think up, and nothing worked.
About a year later, I was again bitten by a brown recluse. I knew better than to go to the hospital (I'm not recommending that anyone not seek medical attention; I am simply stating my personal experience.) By now, I had done a lot of research on spider bites, and found out that the venom was oil-based, so I got to thinking what might neutralize the oil and draw it out.
I mixed together the recipe below, and applied it to the wound, which was about the size of a half-dollar and deeper than the first wound. This was about a week after the bite. I applied it to the bite and covered it with medical gauze. I changed the dressing and re-applied the paste about every 4 hours. In less than 24 hours, it quit hurting. About 3 days later, I noticed it healing, and discontinued the treatment. It formed a healthy soft scab within 2 weeks, and new, healthy skin within 4 weeks.
About 2 years ago, my dad was bitten by a brown recluse on his (bald) head. He had gone to the doctor and gotten antibiotics for it, which did no good for the wound. He showed me the wound when it was about 3 inches in diameter, and I could see his skull in places. I applied this recipe and covered it with gauze, and gave him the rest of the mixture so he could continue the treatment. Within 12 hours, the wound quit burning and tingling (brown recluse bites normally continue to burn and tingle). Within 24 hours, and swelling around the wound went down. He used it for the three days I'd recommended. By the third day, fresh scab was beginning to form and there was no more pus-filled discharge, just some clear serum and a little thin blood now and then. I applied only clean gauze to keep the area clean, and it was covered with healthy skin in about 3 months.
My Brown Recluse Spider Bite Treatment
- About 16 aspirin, ground up
- Enough 91% Isopropyl alcohol to make a paste
- about 1/2 cap 3% hydrogen peroxide
- 1 cap witch hazel
- Calamine lotion unshaken, with most of the liquid portion poured off, about equal parts of the thick part mixed with the above
- approximately one 2 oz tube triple antibiotic ointment
Let me know if you try this and your results!
(Necessary disclaimer: Use of this treatment is at your own risk. This treatment has not been scientifically verified, and I have to state here that it should not replace currently accepted medical treatment.)