Bug Bites

Natural Relief for Bug Bites and Poison Ivy

All summer long, when the bee stings, the mosquito bites or the poison ivy comes creeping, try these natural remedies for a quick relief.

Relief from Poison Ivy

Poisons oak, ivy and sumac all contain an oily chemical urushiol, which irritates your skin and can produce a severe allergic reaction.
While 30 percent are immune to urushiol induced allergies, many experience serious discomfort coming in contact with this plant – including itching, redness, oozing skin and severe burning pain where the plant touched your skin.

A man on a hike blew his nose into a leaf: a poison ivy leaf.
That evening he had welts and a rash covering his entire face and hands. With an unbearable itch, he couldn’t breathe from his nose as it was swollen shut.
An herbalist pulled a couple of dandelion plants from a yard and put them into a blender with honey and the gel scraped from an aloe leaf.
After smearing the poultice all over his face, he made dandelion tea.
The next morning, his itching and rash were 75 percent better!

Here are more natural ways to soothe poison ivy:

1. Wash the contact area thoroughly. Because urushiol is an oily substance, water alone will not remove it; scrub with soap and water.

2. Crush dandelion greens. Apply to the area as poultice, changing every hour. You can also put these into a blender with aloe gel and honey to make a smoother poultice.

3. Scrape aloe gel directly from the plant and apply generously to the affected area. This can lessen the symptoms of burning, itching and pain.

4. Mash plantain leaves and apply as poultice, changing every hour to relieve itching.

5. Chickweed root, magnolia flower, chrysanthemum flower and kudzu root are part of a traditional Chinese formula, which is used to reduce the allergic and inflammatory responses.

Take the Itch Out of Insect Bites

A bug bite is rarely painful, but the body’s reaction can cause pain, itching, redness and swelling.
A serious allergic reaction called anaphylactic shock occurs, which can involve breathing difficulties and requires immediate medical attention.

Natural ways to soothe itchy bites:

1. Prevention is the way to avoid dealing with insect bites.
Avoid the toxic chemicals found in commercial insect repellents.
Use natural alternatives, including oils made from lemongrass, citronella, eucalyptus, wintergreen, lavender and turmeric.

2. Once bitten, remove the stinger, if there is one, and clean area with water.
Use an ice pack for temporary relief of severe itching and swelling.

3. Place cucumber skins on top of the bites to sooth the itching and irritation. You can also cut 2-inch round slices from a fresh eggplant and place on top of bite to draw out toxins and sooth the irritation.

4. Apply honey to a bug bite to sooth the skin. Because honey is a natural antibiotic, it can also help prevent infections.

5. Apply a blend of essential oils of eucalyptus, winter green and peppermint or tea tree oil to bites every 2 to 3 hours to relieve itching and aid healing.


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Beth Coleman,N.D., Medical Intuitive, Empath and Instructor makes no claims, promises or Individuals are solely responsible for managing and continuing their own medical treatment and care.