Healing stings and repelling bugs naturally

November 13, 2015

Painful. Itchy. Raw. While  bites can get you down, these natural remedies can help squash the uncomfortable side effects.

Healing stings and repelling bugs naturally

1. Why natural?

  • The ingredients in chemical repellents have been shown to impair brain function—particularly for children because their skin tends to be more absorptive. Side effects of exposure to them includes everything from headaches and joint pain to tremors and muscle fatigue.

2. So what can you do?

  • Aside from resigning yourself to being covered in bug bites, there are plenty of natural, non-chemical ways to keep mosquitoes at bay. Many people swear by the power of essential oils for mosquito bites: cinnamon leaf oil and vanilla are especially popular. Not only that, but they smell much better than products containing DEET.
  • We're all aware that citronella candles are believed to keep bugs away; the same defensive properties are at work in citronella soap.

3. Soothing the discomfort

  • Even the best protection can't defend against the occasional insect bite. Aloe vera has been used for generations to soothe the itch and inflammation caused by insect bites. Calendula, cucumbers, chamomile, lavender and tea tree oil are also known for their calming properties.
  • Hot and cold therapies are another effective, natural way to alleviate in lieu of hydrocortisone and other chemical treatments. Simply apply heat or cold to the skin to yield soothing results, but avoid exposing too long to avoid frostbite or superficial burns. You can also make a salve using baking soda and water to lessen the itching of a mosquito bite.
  • Different remedies may work in different ways depending on your skin and biochemical makeup, so experiment until you find the treatment that works best for you.

4. An ounce of prevention

  • And remember: the best way to deal with mosquito bites is to avoid them in the first place. Simple preventative measures include staying inside during the peak hours around dawn and dusk, wearing long, light-coloured pants and shirts, and avoiding convening near heavily wooded areas and standing water.
  • Vitamin B1 could also be a deterrent during mosquito season, as can eating garlic or taking garlic supplements, as some people have reported. 
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