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Living amidst nature or a variety of flora and fauna makes our confrontations with insects inevitable. So would a trip to a nearby park or bird sanctuary. There are possibilities of being accidentally bitten by a bee, hornet, wasp, spider, or any other insect. With numerous home remedies to choose from for that bug bite, one need not press the panic button.
Symptoms include swelling, redness of the skin, minor pain, itching.
Banana peel – Peel a banana, place the inside of the peel directly on the bite for about 90 minutes. Wash the area to ease the sting and itch.
Ice pack – To numb the area and reduce the inflammation of a sting, place an ice pack on your skin.
Baking soda – To help relieve inflammation, mix a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and apply the mixture with a cotton pad to the bite area. Alternatively, mix baking soda with skin lotion and apply. Keep in place for 20 minutes. Avoid this remedy in case of an open wound.
Lavender oil - Apply lavender oil (a natural anti-inflammatory) with a swab to the area. Alternatively, warm a mix of lavender and vegetable oil and apply. It helps relieve itching and formation of scars.
Tea Tree Oil – Apply a drop of tea tree oil through the day to help reduce swelling and disinfect the area.
Peppermint oil – A drop or two of peppermint oil has a cooling effect and speeds the healing process by increasing circulation. A dab of toothpaste containing peppermint oil can also be used.
Papaya – Place a slice of papaya on the sting for about an hour. The enzymes in papaya help neutralize the venom.
Toothpaste and mouthwash – The fluoride in toothpaste acts like an antihistamine and gives relief from the pain of the sting in minutes. Soaking a cotton ball with a mouthwash containing an antiseptic will prevent area from getting infected.
Mud – A paste of mud applied on the sting helps get relief from itching.
Aspirin – To stop itching, crush 1-2 aspirin, add enough water to make a paste and dab on the sting. Aspirin’s ingredients help neutralize the venom.
Onion – For bee stings, cut an onion and hold/tape it over the sting for about an hour.
Basil and turmeric powder – Add 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder to a paste of basil (made by crushing a handful of basil leaves), mix well and apply on affected area.
In case of bee stings, remove the stinger at the earliest to prevent the venom from entering the body.
If redness, swelling or irritation persists, it is advisable to seek immediate medical attention. In case of a bee / wasp sting followed by breathing trouble, rapid pulse, feeling faint, oral or throat swelling, hives, it is imperative to see a doctor. In case of tick bites, please visit a doctor if you develop bull’s-eye rash, muscle aches, fever, and headache within three weeks of being bit.
Use citronella oil based insect repellents. Citronella oil is a natural non-toxic insect repellent which is effective on mosquitoes, black flies, fleas, lice and ticks.
Apply mustard/margosa oil over the body as a natural mosquito repellant. Wear well-covered clothing to expose as little skin.
Start eating garlic and clove (1-2 per day) several days before a camping / hiking trip into bug territory. Sweat with garlic odor repels many insects.
Avoid scented products, floral bright coloured clothes and open food and drinks to keep bees away.
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