As the weather heats up, so do the number of bug bites and bee stings. No one enjoys getting nibbled on by our insect friends but for those times when you do find yourself dealing with the discomfort of a bite or sting, make sure you have some coconut oil on hand. I’ve documented 333 uses for coconut oil!
When coconut oil is applied to bites or stings, it forms a thin layer that protects the cut from dust and bacteria. With its anti-bacterial properties, you can rest assured that you are getting some much needed protection from any germs trying to take advantage of a little opening into your body! Coconut oil also has anti-inflammatory properties so it can provide quick relief for itchy insect bites.
If you are dealing with a really deep or painful bite or sting OR you just couldn’t help yourself and you scratched it raw, there are a few other natural treatments you might want to consider using in addition to coconut oil.
Aloe vera is a medicinal plant with many benefits. It contains vitamins and amino acids that help regenerate the skin. The gel can be applied directly to the affected skin in concert with coconut oil. I like to apply a layer of aloe then top it with a layer of coconut oil.
Garlic is a powerful antibacterial. It is nature’s antibiotic. Because of its powerful antibiotic property, garlic can cure more serious insect bites and stings. In disinfecting wounds, crush and juice a garlic bulb and apply directly onto affected area. A gauze and bandage application may be used to cover and protect the area.
Sweet basil leaves and seeds have many medicinal benefits, including the treatment of insect bites and stings. To treat insect bites and stings, juice out crushed fresh leaves and add water. Apply the juice onto skin directly on the bite or sting.
Of course, it is best to avoid getting nibbled on or stung in the first place.
Here are some suggestions that I’ve found to be helpful in preventing potential bites by mosquitoes, bees, and other bugs:
1. When you’re outdoors, wear light-colored clothing. Many insects use their vision to locate targets from a distance; dark clothing and rich foliage are prime attractants.
2. When working in the garden or hiking in dense foliage, wear long sleeved shirts and long pants. Insects are less likely to stick around if they can’t access your skin easily.
3. Whenever practical, try not to be outdoors for long stretches at a time when you are hot. You release more carbon dioxide when you are hot, and this is a major attractant of insects, especially mosquitoes.
4. Try not to be outdoors after an intense workout. Vigorous exercise can result in significant lactic acid build-up in your muscles, and lactic acid is a strong attractant of mosquitoes.
5. Don’t eat salty foods. Salty foods can cause production of higher-than-normal amounts of lactic acid.
6. Wipe off perspiration on a regular basis. Perspiration attracts insects via the chemicals contained within. Perspiration increases the humidity around your body, which also attracts mosquitoes specifically.
7. If possible, stay away from pools of water. Even mud puddles and moist plants attract all kinds of insects.
8. Wear a natural insect repellent particularly one that is heavy with essential oils. Check out Carrie Raab’s post on essential oils as insect repellent for some great ideas.