The Herb Stop Blog
Summer Times Means Bites And Stings
Most insect bites and stings are more of a nuisance, causing localized itching and redness, but are relatively harmless. Others can be serious. Of course, prevention is always a better option than finding a cure.
Catnip essential oil is about ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET, the compound used in most commercial insect repellents, researchers have found at Iowa State University. A Search and Rescue member told us that he only uses catnip essential oil and he is pleased with the results and the fact it is non-toxic. To keep your summer bug free all you need to do is add 25 drops of catnip essential oil to 4 oz of water. Spray it in your home, especially the crucial areas, where insects live or where they like to enter your home. You can also spray it on you or add it to your lotions, body mists, shampoo, conditioner, or bathwater. This essential oil when diluted is totally non-toxic, and completely safe, even for children. Catnip essential oil can be used in your diffuser, candles, body sprays, etc.
Personal Insect Repellent
This is an easy to make and very effective personal insect repellent spray. In addition to being a great insect repellent it has a wonderful scent and cooling effect.
Blend into a spray bottle and use as needed (avoid the area around the eyes).
If you don't want to make your own bug spray, The Herb Stop offers an excellent Natural Bug Spray ready to be used.
Got stung, now what?
I’ve found that lavender essential oil applied “neat” (undiluted) works extremely well. Lavender essential oil is known to have the capability of neutralizing poisons, contains antiseptic as well as pain-relieving properties, and is exceptionally effective for stings/bites from mosquitoes, spiders, scorpions, poisonous fish, and all other known and unknown poisonous critters. As soon as you notice you have been stung /bitten apply lavender essential oil directly to the site of the sting. You can re-apply the lavender every minute, or you can simply place a few drops on a clean cotton ball and leave it on the affected area. For bee and wasp stings, make sure to remove the stinger first before applying lavender essential oil. In addition, I take echinacea extract internally, to stimulate my immune system, to assist my body in getting rid of the poison and to prevent potential diseases transmitted by insects. Native Americans have another name for echinacea, “Snakeroot”, suggesting the plants ability to neutralize and eliminate poisons from the body.
Sting Stop roll-on is an essential oil blend with all pokes, bites, stings and small cuts in mind. This rich and earthy formula has an interesting color that is actually a chemical component of German Chamomile called Azulene, which is responsible for not only it's blue color, but it's amazing anti-inflammatory benefits. Remember to gently pull the stinger out (if applicable) before applying Sting Stop to your boo-boos. Make sure to shake the roll-on very well before applying.Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are carriers of many viral and bacterial diseases and therefore it makes sense to take precautions to avoid getting stung. Protect yourself with the aforementioned Personal Insect Repellent or the Herb Stop's Natural Bug Spray. If you’ve been stung, apply lavender essential oil (neat) on the affected area (I always carry a small bottle of lavender essential in my purse). If you have been stung over a large area mix one cup of apple cider vinegar with 10 drops of lavender essential oil and 3 drops of thyme essential. Put this mixture in a bath (or partial bath for hands or feet) and bathe for about 20 minutes.Ants
Feet and ankles are a prime target for mosquitoes, ants, flies and other little creatures. Cover the ankles with cotton socks and put two drops of either lavender, lemongrass or catnip essential oil on top of your sock. This is simple and effective. Alternatively, put the drops of essential oil on the bottom of your pants.Spiders
Lavender essential oil is reputed to neutralize the poisons of the very nasty Black Widow spider and Recluse spider. I have witnessed this on many occasions. A few years ago I was bitten by a Black Widow spider. The pain was intense and I immediately placed a cotton ball soaked with lavender essential oil directly on the area. For another few days I applied the following salve:
Spider Bite Salve
The results with this salve have been absolutely phenomenal. Mix thoroughly equal parts of powdered chaparral, plantain goldenseal, echinacea, bentonite clay and willow charcoal (not the BBQ one). Add the mixed powders into already made up and melted comfrey salve. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil and let the salve harden for one hour or so. Apply this salve on the wound and wrap with sterile gauze. Change the dressing every two hours. If you don't have time to make the salve, don't worry, The Herb Stop already made up a drawing salve for you.
Written By Leilah