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.
By Gaye Levy
For the past six weeks, I have been exploring alternatives to over-the-counter ointments, salves, and beauty products. Not only are these products expensive, but as I have learned time and time again, they don’t always work.
Starting with a basic formula for healing salve that I found on the internet, I decided to make my own all-purpose salve and to test it on various ailments to see how it worked. I added a bit of this, subtracted a bit of that and came up with I call my own Miracle Healing Salve. The funny thing is that when the final results came in, the formula that worked the best as an all-purpose salve was a version included the same blend essential oils I have been using for muscle aches these past ten plus years. Go figure.
As easy as this Miracle Healing Salve is to make – and it is easy – it just works. I will share some of the uses that I have become ecstatic about but first, the recipe.
Miracle Healing Salve – The Recipe
1 Cup Coconut Oil (not fractionated)
1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5 Tbl. Organic Beeswax Pastilles
8 each 2 ounce jars or containers ** OR **
4 each 4 ounce mason jars
To each 2 ounce jar add: (double if you are using 4 ounce Mason jars)
5 drops Lavender essential oil
5 drops Rosemary essential oil
5 drops Peppermint essential oil
a few drops of Vitamin E (optional)
1. Put a pot of water on the stove to simmer. While the water is heating, put the coconut oil, olive oil and beeswax pastilles in a heatproof jar or measuring cup.
2. Set the jar filled with the coconut oil, olive oil, and wax into the water and leave it there until it melts, giving it a stir from time to time. You want a slow, gentle melt so take your time. It could take 15 or 20 minutes depending on the temperature of the water bath.
3. While the ingredients are melting, drop your essential oils into each of the containers.
Hint: I have found that it is easier to use a glass medicine dropper than the dropper that comes with the bottle of essential oil.This is optional and a matter of personal preference.
4. Pour the melted oils into each of the smaller jars containing essential oils. There is no need to stir unless you want to since the oils will mix up on their own.
5. Cover the jars with a paper towel or cloth and set them aside for up to 24 hours. Although the salve will start to firm up within minutes, it takes at least 12 hours to complete the firming process. (The purpose of the cover is to keep out dust, bugs and other nasties that may be floating around.)
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