A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Insect Bites
I had a question the other day about insect bites.
Lots of insects bite, including mosquitoes, fire ants, fleas, gnats, no-see-ums, and ticks.
Most insect bites are just a nuisance.
They cause itching and redness, but are relatively harmless.
Others can be serious.
Tick bites can spread diseases like babesiosis, Lyme disease, or Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
In some places (mainly developing countries), mosquito bites may cause malaria and yellow fever, as well as viruses causing encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain.
Spiders, while not technically insects, can cause similar bites.
The black widow and brown recluse are two of the most poisonous spiders, inflicting painful and serious bites.
Bees, hornets, and yellowjackets may sting in self-defense or to subdue their prey.
There are also stings from aquatic life like jellyfish, sea anemones, and some types of coral.
To deal with insect bites it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily as it hydrates your body and flushes toxins.
*Calendula ointment is an excellent insect repellent and counterirritant. You can also try cedar, eucalyptus, and/or tea tree oils. These are available in oil, spray, and lotion forms.
*Citronella candles are good for repelling mosquitoes.
*Goldenseal and tea tree oil are natural insect repellants and are beneficial when applied to affected areas.
*Poultices made with lobelia and charcoal tablets (found in health food stores) are helpful for insect bites.
*Pennyroyal oil helps to repel insects (don’t use during pregnancy or for long periods of time).
*Apple cider vinegar diluted with water in a one-to-one ratio reduces skin irritations resulting from insect bites.
*For ant, mosquito, or chigger bites, wash the area thoroughly with soap and water. For chigger bites, use a brush and scrub. Then apply a paste made of baking soda and water. Use cloth-wrapped ice packs if swelling occurs and, if bitten on an arm or leg, elevate the affected limb to decrease swelling.
*For tick bites, remove the tick as quickly as you can. The sooner the tick is removed, the less chance there is of contracting any disease the tick may be carrying. Using tweezers, grasp the head of the tick firmly, as close to your skin as possible, and pull straight back with the tweezers. Try not to leave the head or any other part of the tick embedded in your skin. Don’t touch the tick with your hands. Once it’s been removed, scrub the bite with soap and water. Don’t try to burn the tick out, or use home remedies like kerosene, turpentine, or petroleum jelly.
*Make a paste using a charcoal capsule and a few drops of goldenseal extract and place it on a piece of gauze. Apply the gauze to the bite and cover it with a bandage. This will draw out the poisons and give fast relief. Do this immediately after being bitten, if possible.
*Apply calamine lotion to help relieve itching.
*Rub a cut onion on an insect bite to provide a powerful antioxidant treatment.
*Take a dose of homeopathic Apis mellifica promptly after a bite. It works quickly to help prevent severe swelling.
*Dab a paste of meat tenderizer and water directly on a bite or sting. Leave for 30 minutes, then rinse off. Enzymes in the tenderizer draw the poison out.
*If you’ve been bitten by a spider you suspect may be a black widow or a brown recluse, seek medical attention immediately. If possible, take the spider with you for identification.
*To avoid mosquito bites, eat fish, brown rice, blackstrap molasses, or wheat germ before spending time outside. These foods are rich in vitamin B1 (thiamine). Mosquitoes are repelled by the B vitamins, which are excreted through the skin, and especially by thiamine, so as an alternative, take thiamine supplements. Carbon dioxide, estrogens, moisture, sweat, and warmth attract mosquitoes.
*To avoid many insect bites, try rubbing garlic on your skin.
*Avoid walking barefoot outside.
*Avoid all refined sugar, which causes your skin to give off a sweet smell and attract mosquitoes.
*Avoid alcoholic drinks. Alcohol causes your skin to flush and blood vessels to dilate, which attracts mosquitoes and horseflies.
*Avoid using perfume, hair spray, and other cosmetics. These attract insects.
*Avoid wearing bright colors – wear white clothing. Also, wear clothing covering your arms and legs (although mosquitoes can bite through cotton clothing).
*Apply citrus juice to exposed areas to repel mosquitoes.
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