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 mosquito bites, ant bites, wasp stings, bee stings, and spider bites (and possibly others). As with all home remedies, they work differently for different people. If one doesn't work, try another. *If you have serious and/or multiple bites or have or suspect an allergy, please contact your doctor or go to the emergency room.*
1.) Baking soda
Draws out poison and provides relief. Make a thick paste of baking soda and 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
Relieves pain. 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. More about ACV here.
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.
3.) Coconut oil
Protects from bacteria, relieves itching, and speeds healing. Apply a thin layer of coconut oil to bite.
4.) Banana peel
Provides relief from pain. Peel banana and rub the inside of the peel on bite. Let it dry. Eat banana (no point in wasting it).
Relieves pain, promotes healing, and draws poison from stings.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. (Use the rest of the onion for this dip.)
Worked well for me on ant and mosquito bites.
6.) Bentonite clay
Draws out poison, relieves pain, and speeds healing. Mix two parts water to one part clay to make a gel (or use 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 as a natural remedy for healing yellow jacket stings on a child and for for numerous mosquito and ant bites on myself. I swear this works for everything. Update: I also used this on a hornet sting for a child. Pain subsided in a short time and about 30 minutes later, it was like nothing happened.
7.) Honey (raw or local would be best)
Speeds healing. Apply a thin layer of honey. Eating a spoonful of honey while you do this helps the pain as well, especially for children (that's mostly a joke, but it's worth a try).
8.) Lavender or Tea Tree oil
Both of these help reduce pain and inflammation and help with healing. Place a drop of essential oil on the bite.* To dilute, add a drop to a carrier oil such as coconut oil. Chamomile and peppermint will work as well. For stings, remove stinger first.
Another favorite of mine. This is my quick and easy way to relieve the itching or stinging. However, it didn't work for ants bites for me.
*Although lavender and tea tree oil can be applied undiluted, sparingly, (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, especially with young children. Never use undiluted essential oils on babies and children. Read here for more on essential oil safety for kids.*
Where do I find this stuff?
Apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, honey, baking soda, and clay (Redmond clay): I get 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).
(Save $10 off your first Vitacost order with my refer-a-friend link HERE.)
Essential oils: I get mine from Mountain Rose herbs (HERE) or the Aura Cacia brand from 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.
Looking for bug repellents and more?
- Repellent options from Kitchen Stewardship
- Homemade Natural Bug Sprays from Wellness Mama
- Homemade Natural Insect Repellent Spray from DIY Natural
- "Itch-Be-Gone" spray from Nourishing Treasures
Have you tried any of these or do you have another that works for you?
Shared at: Make Your Own Mondays
****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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