(Health Secrets) Summer brings an ever increasing abundance of sunshine and a desire to be outdoors. It also brings plenty of bugs – and some of them come with a bite or a sting. The good news? Itt is easy to create natural insect repellent and natural remedies for bites and stings.
First however, a bit of caution is in order: make sure that the person bitten or stung does not have abnormal swelling or otherwise show signs of a serious allergic reaction. If they do, call 9-1-1, because some people can die from bites or stings if they are not treated immediately.
Otherwise, these natural remedies for bites and stings should do the trick and provide fast relief and healing:
* Tea tree oil or tobacco: If you are stung, remove the stinger if there is one, and apply tea tree oil liberally in a circular motion surrounding the entry point. Be gentle touching the point of entry! Let it dry, and the pain and swelling should ease in two to three minutes. Re-apply if needed. As a last resort, use some wet chewing tobacco, or wet cigarette tobacco and apply the same way to the affected area. Make sure the tobacco is juicy before you rub it on. Tobacco contains a mild analgesic and should ease the pain.
* Baking soda: Mix baking soda with water to form a paste. Apply the paste and cover with a gauze bandage or paper towel and tape. Leave on for one half hour or more until pain is gone.
* Onion: This vegetable relieves itching from bug bites. The sulfur in onions neutralizes the chemicals that cause the itch. Simply slice a yellow onion and rub one of the cut sides on the bite. The itching should stop immediately. Refrigerate the onion in a sealed container to use again if the itching resumes. Make a fresh slice before reapplying it.
* Vinegar: Good for spider bites too. Soak a cotton ball in vinegar and place it over the spider/bug bite. If you get bites on your hand or foot, put the soaked cotton ball in a bag and put your infected hand/foot in the bag over night. Make sure the bag is not tight around the wrist/ankle. As an alternative, you may hold the soaked cotton ball in place by a band aid. By morning, the swelling and/or soreness should be gone as if you had hardly been bitten at all.
* Other insect bite/sting remedies include mustard, ammonia, tomato slices, potato slices, and fresh garlic pieces or minced garlic.
Brown recluse bites
Brown recluse bites are not your ordinary bite and can be very dangerous. If you get a bite that swells like a boil, with a red center that quickly hardens over, do not try to squeeze or press on the swollen area or pick at it — you will only end up spreading the poison. If you are bitten by a brown recluse, or suspect that you have been, the best idea is to seek professional medical attention. If this is not immediately possible:
* Mix ground bromelain or pineapple pulp, fresh garlic juice, tea tree oil and MSM together into a paste and apply to bite area and surrounding area liberally. Cover with a bandage and keep covered all day, changing as often as needed to keep the remedy on the area.
* Also take 250 mg bromelain capsules two to three times per day, drink plenty of water, and eat plenty of raw garlic.
* A good homeopathic/herbal medicine to use is ledum pallustre. Continue all treatments until redness and swelling are gone.
This treatment is often successful and can show superior results to mainstream medical treatment. However, if swelling and redness continue to develop, medical attention must be obtained at the first opportunity.
Natural Insect Repellent
To help keep pesky bugs at bay, here is an all natural insect repellent recipe from herbalist Debra Nuzzi-St. Claire:
* 1/2 ounce citronella oil
* 1/4 ounce lavender oil
* 1/8 ounce pennyroyal oil
* 1/8 ounce tea tree oil
* 1/8 ounce jojoba oil
Do not use this blend undiluted on your skin. For use on the skin, follow these instructions for diluting:
* To make an insect repellent oil that can be used on your body, add 16 ounces of jojoba or almond oil to the base oil mixture and blend thoroughly.
* For an insect repellent spray, add 16 ounces of vodka to the base oil mixture, pour into a spray bottle, and shake before using.