ChatterTip of the Month Summer 2009

Natural Remedies for Bug Bites

It has been one of New York’s wettest summer’s for while! And along with hot, wet and humid come bugs, insects and things that generally bite! For the most part, a bee or wasp is not going to sting you unless it has been aggravated in some way, but we all experience getting bitten or stung at some point in our lives. So here are a few natural remedies for those summer stingers:

Bee, wasp & insect stings – make a paste of bicarbonate of soda with a little water and apply to the area – if you don’t have any of that around, try salt, cornstarch, some ground up aspirin or even toothpaste instead. Ice also helps to reduce the swelling and itchiness.

Another remedy for insect bites is to apply a little honey. Funnily enough, when I was last in England, a wasp stung me one day. Having already cleaned out our mother’s medicine cabinet we were limited to our choice of remedies but we found an old bottle of “bee propolis” and thinking “like to like” my sister scraped enough out of the bottle to dab onto my wound. It definitely helped!

Aloe Vera is another classic aid for insect bites and especially sunburn. The first time I went to Jamaica I watched all the Rastas on the beach selling big pieces of aloe plant to all the burned white, or should I say “red” tourists! If you don’t have your own aloe plant growing at home, you can buy the aloe vera gel from the drug or health food store.

And remember in my last bulletin I talked about the many benefits of vinegar? Well, apple cider vinegar also helps to relieve the itchiness of insect bites and poison ivy. Growing up, we always had a bottle of calamine lotion on hand. One more interesting and perhaps lesser-known cure for insect bites is to mix a little saliva with some cigarette tobacco and apply that to the area!

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