10 Natural home remedies for bites and stings

10 Natural home remedies for bites and stings

Summer brings its share of problems as well as its share of joy. Bites and stings from insects are just one.

But nature always provides a cure and here are some simple home remedies for minimising a sting’s pain quickly, easily and naturally.

 

Do be sure to always keep an eye out for signs of a more severe reaction so that medical help can be sought immediately if necessary.

1. Activated charcoal

This can help draw out toxins that cause inflammation, swelling, and itching.
To make a paste, open up 2 to 3 capsules of charcoal, mix with enough water to make a paste, and apply to the affected area. After 30 minutes, wipe the paste off with a wet cloth.

2. Ice

Ice, or any cold compress, does triple first-aid duty by diminishing the itch, reducing inflammation/swelling and easing the pain of bites and stings.

Put crushed ice into a plastic bag (or use a bag of frozen vegetables), wrap it in a towel or thin cloth and apply.

Rubbing an ice cube on a bug bite right away helps decrease the inflammation that causes itching.

3. Vinegar

No matter whether it’s the white or the apple cider variety, vinegar turns insect sting pain into a thing of the past.

Pour it on the affected area, or mix it up with baking soda to make a paste that you can apply to the bite.

4. Lemon juice

Out of vinegar? Try applying straight lemon juice instead. It has pretty much the same effect than vinegar.

5. Garlic

You might not get kissed, but you might not get bitten either if you eat your onions and garlic regularly.

Just like humans, stinging insects are attracted or repulsed by odours in their environment. Perhaps it is to your advantage not to smell so sweet.

Some people believe that by eating pungent foods such as onions and garlic, the smell of your sweat changes, sending out a ‘steer clear’ signal to insects. While this theory hasn’t been tested, it can’t hurt to add an extra onion on your burger or an extra garlic clove to your salad dressing.

(The effect only works with raw garlic or onions so don’t cook them — cooking not only destroys the stink, it also changes the active ingredients.)

You can also chop up a couple of raw garlic gloves very finely and then swallow them with water. This way you don’t chew them and the breath is only affected minimally.

6. Knife

Bees and yellow jackets leave evidence behind when they strike: their barbed stinger. It’s not a pleasant sight to see this pulsating barb puncturing the skin and releasing venom. Carefully and gently remove the stinger by scraping it off with a knife blade. Don’t reach for the tweezers or tongs. Squeezing and grabbing the stinger causes more venom to be pumped into the victim. After removing the stinger, apply a topical antiseptic, such as alcohol or Betadine.

7. Soap

Some kitchen cures are right under your nose — take plain old bar soap, for instance. Besides keeping you squeaky clean, soap helps relieve the bite of the ubiquitous mosquito.

Wet the skin and gently rub on soap. Rinse well. Be sure to use only non-deodorized, non-perfumed soap. Fancy, smelly soaps may irritate the bite area.

8. Peppermint oil

Apply a drop or two of peppermint oil. It has a cooling effect, and also increases circulation to the bite, speeding the healing process. Alternatively, if you have toothpaste that contains peppermint oil, apply a dab.

9. Tea-tree oil

This also helps to reduce the swelling. Apply one drop several times a day.

10. Lavender oil

To stop the itching, dab on a drop or two of lavender oil. Wait for about fifteen minutes to allow the oil to take effect. If the area starts to itch again, apply more—but just one or two drops at a time.

By Anja Ashton
On June 29th, 2015

Category : Allergies, General, Herbal Medicine, Nutrition & Naturopathy
Tags : Home remedies and tips for bites and stings from Shine Holistic, Home remedies for bites and stings, home remedies for bites and stings from Shine On The Green, how to treat insect bites, Nutritionist Anja Liebe, tips on how to naturally treat bites and stings