A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Spider Bites and Scorpion Stings
I had a question the other day about spider bites and scorpion stings.
The bites of all spiders can be poisonous and painful.
But, most spiders aren’t big enough to cause serious harm.
Infants, older adults, and people who have allergies are at greatest risk of having more serious reactions.
Two types of spider – the black widow and the brown recluse – are more poisonous than most and can cause serious reactions.
The black widow spider has a black body with a distinctive red hourglass shape on the main body segment.
It injects a neurotoxin (nerve poison) causing symptoms like immediate pain, burning, swelling, and redness at the site of the bite (double fang marks may be visible), cramping pain and muscle rigidity in your stomach, chest, shoulders, and back; abdominal pain similar to appendicitis, spastic muscle contractions, headache, dizziness; rash and itching; restlessness and anxiety; sweating; swelling of your eyelids; nausea and/or vomiting; tearing of your eyes; weakness, tremors, or paralysis, especially in your legs and localized tissue death.
In about 1% of cases, black widow bites lead to anaphylactic shock and death.
It’s important to note, however, symptoms similar to those of a black widow spider bite can resemble those of other conditions or medical problems.
If you suspect a black widow bite, always consult your physician and emergency treatment.
The brown recluse spider is about 1″ across, including the legs.
Its body is only about 3/8-inch long and has a violin-like marking (the neck of the violin is pointed toward the head of the spider).
The venom of the brown recluse spider is necrotic (causes local tissue damage or death), and it usually creates a blister encircled by red and white rings – it looks like a deep-blue or purple area located around the bite, surrounded by a whitish ring and large red outer ring).
This “bull’s-eye” appearance is used to distinguish it from other spider bites.
Other common symptoms include burning, pain, itching, or redness at the site that may develop as soon as several hours or as long as several days after the bite; an ulcer or blister that turns black; headache and/or body aches; rash; fever, and nausea and/or vomiting.
Death from this type of bite is even rarer than from black widow bites, but if you think you may have been bitten by a poisonous spider, you should seek medical help immediately.
As with black widow bites, the symptoms of a brown recluse spider bite may resemble those of other conditions or medical problems, and a physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment.
Scorpions can be identified by their elongated bodies and curled tails, the ends of which are equipped with a curved “fang” or stinger.
There are more than 1,500 species of scorpions, which are related to spiders.
In the U.S., dangerous scorpions are usually limited in range to the southwestern states, and while their stings aren’t necessarily deadly, they’re extremely painful.
Some people describe a scorpion bite as feeling like a hornet sting followed by having a nail driven through the sting site.
Other symptoms may follow a scorpion sting as well, among them malaise, sweating, heart palpitations, rise in blood pressure, salivation, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Compared with their U.S. counterparts, Mexican scorpions are another matter altogether; some 1,000 people a year die from their stings.
Any type of scorpion sting requires emergency medical attention and should be approached in the same way as a snakebite.
It’s possible for allergic reactions to occur in susceptible individuals, with blurring of consciousness, unconsciousness, convulsions, a rapid drop in blood pressure, shock, and, in extreme cases, death.
The recommendations for nutritional supplements and herbs outlined here are intended to alleviate pain and hasten healing after appropriate medical care has been administered.
They’re not meant to substitute for it.
To deal with spider bites and scorpion stings it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily as it hydrates your body and flushes toxins.
*Take 6-10 charcoal tablets as soon as possible after the bite or sting, with a large glass of water.
*Try a poultice made from a combination of dandelion and yellow dock to relieve itchy skin.
*Try a poultice made from fenugreek and flaxseed mixed with slippery elm bark to treat inflammation.
*A tincture made from calendula buds and alcohol should be on hand for stings and other “surface” injuries. A poultice made from the fresh flower heads is also good.
*A cream containing 5% tea tree oil helps to heal insect bites, sunburn, cuts, rashes, and other skin irritations.
*Yellow dock purifies your blood and is beneficial for many problems affecting your skin. Drink as much yellow dock tea as you can, or take 2 capsules of yellow dock every hour until symptoms are relieved.
*Use essential oils of basil, cinnamon, lavender, lemon, savory, or thyme for their antitoxic and antivenom properties. Apply a drop of essential oil on the sting.
*Be sure your tetanus immunization is current.
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