Remedying bug bites and stings can be as simple as rubbing herbs directly onto the skin. This remedy is excerpted from Homegrown Remedies (Gaia, 2011), a guide to growing all the herbs you need to make natural, inexpensive remedies. For more information on herbal remedies and a sample of recipes, check out 4 Herbal Remedies Everyone Should Know.
You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: Homegrown Remedies.
Herbal Bug Bite and Sting Remedies
Rubbing herbs directly on bites and stings can bring instant relief. Lavender and basil help prevent swelling and relieve pain. Crushed plantain leaves draw out toxins and lavender flowers are healing and anti-inflammatory; both are excellent for wasp stings and mosquito bites.
• Any of the following: 1 marigold (calendula) flower, 1 to 2 lavender flowers, 1 to 2 basil leaves, 1 leaf aloe vera, 1 leaf plantain
How to make
Using the fresh herb, rub it between your fingers and then rub it on to the site of the bite or sting.
How to use
First extract the sting, if you are stung by a bee, then rub the fresh herbs on to the sting for a few minutes. Repeat several times if necessary. When using aloe vera use the gel inside the leaf.
Seek IMMEDIATE medical attention if your tongue swells, you have difficulty breathing or a sudden rash after being stung by a bee.
Cover the bottom of two medium-sized pots with drainage material and top up with multipurpose compost. Plant the lavender and plantain in the centre of one pot and the marigolds (calendula) on either side. In the other pot put a lemon basil at the centre with aloe vera at either side once all danger of frost has passed. Water regularly and feed weekly.
Plants you will need:
• 1 Plantago major/minor/lanceolata (plantain)
• 2 Calendula officinalis (marigold)
• 1 Lavandula officinalis (lavender)
• 1 Ocimum basilicum (lemon basil)
• 4 small Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera)
This excerpt has been reprinted with permission from Homegrown Remedies, by Anne McIntyre, published by Gaia, an imprint of Octopus Publishing Group, 2011. Buy this book from our store: Homegrown Remedies.