Home remedies for insect bites

With the arrival of summer and the monsoon season come the bugs and the occasional unpleasant encounter they bring.

by Dr. Jennifer Burns — 

With the arrival of summer and the monsoon season come the bugs and the occasional unpleasant encounter they bring. Even if you think you have taken all the necessary precautions — bug lights, fly paper, outdoor bug repellent with DEET — there likely will be an unavoidable bite that causes a red, swollen and itchy — very itchy — area.

What should you do, if bitten? What are some good natural, over-the-counter products to use on insect bites? Herbal sore throat sprays, when used topically, are good at relieving symptoms from bug bites. They work by decreasing inflammation, increasing the immune response and relieving pain.

Another natural remedy that will help decrease inflammation is to combine unseasoned meat tenderizer with water to form a paste, and apply it to the bite. Curcumin, an ingredient in turmeric that can be made into a paste and applied to the affected area, is another option that may relieve the symptoms.

Prickly pear cactus leaf, when made into a poultice, can relieve the symptoms of the bite, but make sure to remove the thorns before making your poultice. Homeopathic calendula works as well as a cream. All of these remedies can be applied to the skin several times a day.

This information is for normal bites. Anyone experiencing an increase in severity or unusual symptoms should consult with their naturopathic physician or healthcare provider.

 

Jennifer Burns is a naturopathic medical doctor practicing in Scottsdale, Ariz. She is a published researcher in botanical medicine who uses integrative and complementary medicine to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heavy metal toxicity and hemorrhoids. 480-607-7999 or jjburnsnmd@yahoo.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 4, August/September 2006.

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