The irritation you experience after an insect bite is an allergic reaction to the insect’s saliva and/or feces, often left on or near the bite by the insect and then rubbed into the skin when scratching. Reactions to bites and stings vary widely from a harmless red pimple that itches to a more severe and painful swelling and rash. About one in 200 suffers a dangerous immune reaction that can cause anaphylactic shock unless the toxin is eliminated from the body by an injection of epinephrine. These people must carry and epinephrine kit with them at all times.
For the vast majority of people, the irritation is gone after 48 hours. Hundreds of bites or stings are necessary to be life threatening to the average adult.
From Modern Western Medicine
If stung by a bee, remove the stringer or sac from the wound by scratching the skin or digging it out with a knife. Do not squeeze the sac with your fingers and risk injecting more venom into the wound. Wash thoroughly with soap and water and apply an ointment, such as calamine lotion. Call a physician immediately if there is a severe reaction.
Itching of the scalp or pubic hair could indicate the presence of lice or fleas, which can be removed by an insecticide. In this case, the entire home and everyone living there must be treated to remove the insects.
From Traditional Medicine
Anyone who suffers an allergic reaction to an insect bite or sting must be treated medically. For those who develop the normal irritation, however, the following recommendations will reduce the discomfort:
- Remove the stinger, if presence and immediate apply ice to the area.
- Ice water and baking soda made into a wet paste will draw out toxins of bee stings and reduce the pain.
- Clay packs: Mix green clay with a little water and apply to the affected area to draw out toxins.
- Vinegar plus lemon juice applications reduce the toxic effect and pain of insect bites. Apply regularly.
- Onion (grated: applied topically) draws out swelling and reduces pain.
Herbs to Treat Insect Bites
- Echinacea (excellent blood purifier, used for snake and spider bites): tincture, 30 – 60 drops, three to six times daily; fluid extract, ½ – 1 tsp., three to six times daily, taken internally
- Witch hazel: tincture, 15 – 60 drops as needed; fluid extract, ½ tsp., as needed, taken internally
- Agrimony: apply a fomentation externally
- Aloe vera: apply gel externally
- Yerba santa: apply a fomentation externally
- Lobelia: apply poultice externally
Foods to Eat
- Citrus fruit for vitamin C
- Soft grains with chopped up carrots, onions, and ginger to encourage digestion and elimination
- Green, orange, and yellow vegetables to boost immunity
For bee, hornet, and wasp stings:
- Apis mellifica is one of the most widely used homeopathic remedies for bee stings. It is made from whole honey bee. Use it when there is burning and stinging pain and puffiness. Rush to the nearest hospital if the person is allergic to be stings, and give a apis mellifica in the highest potency you have.
- Ledum: apply a drop or two with a cotton swab or cotton ball. Used for puncture wounds and stings, numbness or great sensitivity to touch, pain that moves upward, or when the sting and surrounding areas may be cold.
- Other choices: Arnica, calendula, urtica urens, or Hypericum tincture.
For poisonous spiders or scorpions, rush the person to the nearest hospital, but apply the following remedies along with ice as a first aid measure:
- Carbolicum acidum: use when the patient has a red face, is pale around the nose and mouth, and is languid but is highly sensitive to smells
- Crotalus horridus: use when there is a lot of swelling and discoloration around the bite
- Oxalicum acidum: use when the affected area is cold and numb, with violent pains and trembling
- Vitamin C: 100 – 500 mg per day
- Vitamin E: 100 – 400 IU per day