As I was driving, I reached in the bag next to me and grabbed my lavender oil (don't ask why I had a bag of oils next to me...probably planning to make something). I put a drop on my now throbbing neck. Instant relief. (Tea tree oil works just as well.) Though I usually tell people to use apple cider vinegar or coconut oil for everything, there are some other options. The following are some that I've used and/or researched for providing relief for insect bites and stings.
Natural Remedies for Insect Bites and Stings
*Most of these should work for bites or stings from mosquitoes, ants, wasps, bees, and spiders (and possibly others). As with all home remedies, they work differently for different people.
1.) Baking soda
Make a thick paste with water and apply to bite. Allow to dry. Rinse after about 10 minutes. Do not use on open wounds. (You can also add drops of lavender or tea tree oil to this.)
2.) Apple cider vinegar
Apply directly to bite/sting with a cotton ball or take a bath with a cup or two of apple cider vinegar mixed into the water. (I've used this on many bites, including a young child's stings from a yellow jacket. You can dilute it with water if you wish.) Learn more about ACV here.
3.) Coconut oil
Apply a thin layer. Protects from bacteria, relieves itching, and speeds healing.
4.) Banana peel
Peel banana and rub the inside of the peel on bite. Let it dry. Eat banana (no point in wasting it).
Place a freshly cut slice of onion on the bite until pain subsides, then rinse. For a larger bite, you can tape it down and leave for several hours. Relieves pain, promotes healing, and draws poison from stings. (Use the rest of the onion for this dip.)
6.) Bentonite clay
Mix two parts water to one part clay to make a gel (or buy pre-hydrated clay). Leave uncovered for quick drying or cover with a towel or plastic wrap to leave on longer. Read more in this free PDF about clay. (I have used clay to help heal yellow jacket's sting on a child. I applied the clay and covered with band-aids.)
7.) Honey (raw or local would be best)
Apply a thin layer. Eating a spoonful of honey while you do this helps the pain as well (especially for children).
8.) Lavender or Tea Tree oil
Place a drop of oil on the bite.* To dilute, add a drop to a carrier oil such as coconut oil. (This is my quick and easy way to relieve the itching or stinging.) Both of these help reduce pain and inflammation and help with healing. Chamomile and peppermint will work as well. For stings, remove stinger first.
*Although lavender and tea tree oil can be applied undiluted (and I use them undiluted for simple uses such as this), some people may have skin irritation or sensitization. Please use caution when applying essential oils, particularly undiluted ones.*
Where do I find this stuff?
I buy my apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, honey, baking soda, and clay (Redmond clay) from Vitacost (HERE), but you can also find all of these on Amazon (HERE) or at your local grocery or health food store. Coconut oil can also be found at Tropical Traditions (HERE).
I buy my essential oils from Mountain Rose herbs (HERE), but you can also find them on Vitacost (HERE) or Amazon (HERE).
For the banana and onion, check your kitchen. If you can't find any there, check any grocery store. I think you can find them there.
(I'll post some ideas for preventing these bites soon.)
Have you tried any of these or do you have another that works for you?
****Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or other healthcare professional. This is informational purposes only. The content is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please contact your doctor, dietitian, or other healthcare professional regarding any medical condition or treatment and before making any dietary, health, or lifestyle changes.****
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