Bite that bug back: 6 aromatherapy tips for insect bites and stings


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Insect bites, bee stings, gnat and chigger bites can cause inflammation, pain, swelling and itching on the skin. Though going to the doctor is a possible option, it is a bit expensive for an ordinary insect bite. This is where essential oils come handy. Many aromatherapy oils can be used in treating insect and mosquito bites in the body. Some oils also protect the body by keeping the bugs off, completely. Whatever be your option – bug treatment or bug-off recipe – aromatherapy can help a lot in keeping bugs at bay.

Essential oils for insect bites: Insect bites are not that debilitating like other skin disorders or infections. But they can be irritating and painful if left untreated. There are several essential oil remedies for bug bites and below are a few of them:
1. Essential oils for bug bites: Some of the commonly-used essential oils for bug bites and bee stings are Lavender, Tea Tree, Chamomile, Peppermint and Eucalyptus. A few oils which can keep bugs completely out of your environment are – Birch, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Clove, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, Orange, Peppermint, Pine and Sandalwood. While Peppermint stops itching and repels ants, Lavender and others heal the inflammation and wound caused by the bite.

2. Oils to dab on to your skin: Some conditions like mosquito bites, insect bites and others which do not need much attention can be treated with direct application of essential oils. You can dab oils like Lavender, Tea Tree, Roman Chamomile or Eucalyptus directly on to the affected skin area and get instant relief from itching. Chamomile and other oils can reduce the swelling and inflammation, reducing the itching and allergies caused by bug bites.

3. Bug-off repellents: This blend keeps bugs at bay. To prepare the blend, add 12 drops of Citronella with 12 drops of Eucalyptus, 6 drops of Cedarwood, 6 drops of Geranium and 1 oz of rubbing alcohol or vodka. Mix all the ingredients together and dab on to the skin directly. If you have added too much of alcohol, avoid rubbing excess of the blend on to your skin. Excess massaging can cause skin damage and hence apply on a cloth above the skin area. This would also avoid too much absorption of the blend through your skin.

4. Poultice for bug bites and stings: If you are stung by strong insects like bees, you need to first pull the stinger out and then treat with essential oils. To prepare bite and sting poultice, you need to add 12 drops of Lavender with 5 drops of Chamomile, 1 tbsp of Bentonite clay, 1 teaspoon of tincture and 2 teaspoons of distilled water. Put the clay in a container and mix with all the other ingredients. Add essential oils and then, stir to distribute them evenly. When the mixture is of the consistency of a thick paste, apply on to the affected area. You can store this paste for several days in a tight lid container. If the paste is dehydrated, add a little diluted water to bring it back to the paste-like consistency and use.

5. For gnat and chigger bites: Add 1 teaspoon of vinegar and 3 drops of Thyme oil and make a blend. Apply the blend to bitten area and get relief. You can also work with Peppermint oil mixed with a carrier oil.

6. Insect repellent: To prepare an insect repellent, add 25 drops of Cajeput oil with 19 drops of Lemon, 19 drops of Geranium, 13 drops of Cedarwood and 2 oz of Sweet Almond oil. Mix the ingredients in a plastic pet bottle and apply to exposed skin area whenever needed.