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Insect Bites

Insect Bites are not a disease, but as I was reminded by my granddaughter the other night that certainly steal away your ease. Many people seem extremely susceptible to insect bites, such as mosquitoes. This granddaughter and I both are. In her case it is probably because she is a very active little girl, with her blood pumping strongly close to the surface of her skin and the sweet smell of sugar in her system. In my case research shows that bugs are somehow attracted to estrogen in the body.

There are two ways to combat insect bites. One is prevention. The other is treating the bites after they occur. Letís look at prevention first.

Insects are attracted to bright colors, such as flowery clothing. They are also attracted to sweat, especially if it contains the sweet smell of sugar and starchy foods. The first step then would be to clean up the processed foods from your diet. The second step would be to carefully choose your clothing when you are going to be outside in areas that may attract insects.

The third step is with repellents. Many commercial products listed as repellents are really insecticides you put on your skin. Since the skin is an organ of absorption you are absorbing that insecticide all the while it remains on your skin. An alternative would be an herbal repellant that uses the aroma of the herbs to actually ward off the insects. Some of the herbs that are known to have repellent factors includeĒ: elder leaves, sassafras oil, rue oil, rosemary, Saint Johnís Wort, tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, Melissa oil, lemon grass oil, citronella oil, feverfew, garlic, sage, santolina, oil of fenugreek, and tansy.

Another deterrent is to make sure you always have plenty of B vitamins in your system. Bugs are repelled by the B vitamins

Here is a recipe I found made from essential oils. For the base it calls for ľ cup almond oil or other vegetable oil.
6 drops eucalyptus
5 drops cedar
4 drops lavender
3 drops tea tree
3 drops citronella
3 drops lemongrass, lemon or lemon thyme
2 drops peppermint

Mix all ingredients and store in a dark colored glass jar. Label the jar so you donít forget what is in it. Apply to skin as often as necessary; remember if you canít smell it the insects might not either. Do not take internally or get near the eyes. Avoid the nose areas of infants and toddlers.

If you do get stung or bitten there are many things you can do relieve the burning and itching without resorting to medications. When I was a child the big thing was meat tenderizer. The ingredient that made that work was enzymes. A supplemental source of enzymes made into a paste would probably work just as well. Herbs that soothe include: plantain, aloe, witch hazel, calendula, lavender, comfrey, black tea, tea tree oil, Echinacea, Kava-Kava, valerian, oregano, basil, juniper berries, coltsfoot, tobacco, and even lemon juice.

Other substances that will soothe insect bites include charcoal, ice, or Sodium Chloride.

I was always taught that if you know you are allergic to bee or wasp stings that you always need to carry an epi pen with you. Now I find out that there are other things that can be just as effective. One of them is the homeopathic remedy Apis mellifica. Apis would be taken under the tongue. For an external remedy you might reach for Ledum tincture, or even Cantharis or Hypericum. A guide to homeopathic remedies can tell you which one would be best.

Allergies are nothing to ignore or treat lightly. They can become life threatening very quickly. If I were unsure of a new treatment, such as a homeopathic I would still carry the tried and true epi pen until I was sure the new treatment would work for me.

With this information in hand I hope you have a pleasant and bug free summer.

Sources:
The Herbal Drugstore by Linda B. White MD and Steven Foster, copyright 2000 by Rodale Press
Common Herbs for Natural Health by Juliette de Bairacli Levy copyrighted 1997 by Ash Tree Publishing
The Good Herb by Judith Benn Hurley, copyright 1995 by Judith Benn Hurley.
The Ultimate Healing System by Donald Lepore, N.D. copyrighted 1985 by Don Lepore
Prescription for Nutritional Healing fourth edition by Phyllis A. Bach, CNC copyrighted 2006 by Phyllis A. Bach
The How to Herb Book by Velma j. Keith and Monteen Gordon copyright 1984 by V.J. Keith and M. Gordon.
Planetary Herbology by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D. copyrighted 1988 by Michael Tierra.
Advanced Treatise in Herbology by Edward E. Shook, N.D., D.C. copyrighted by Wendell W. Whitman
Homeopathic Medicine at Home by Maesimund B. Panos, M.D. and Jane Heimlich, copyrighted 1980 by Maesimund B. Panos, M.D. and Jane Heimlich.
The Essential Aromatherapy Book by Carole McGivery and Jimi Reed, copyrighted 1995 by Anness Publishing Limited.
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