Bug bites, stings soothed with natural remedies

Phylis Canion

I know you lived abroad for many years - just wondering what your suggestions are for natural remedies for scorpion bites, wasp bites and ant bites?

I never go anywhere in the summer months without an onion. A slice of onion on a yellow jacket, wasp or bee sting, ant bite or scorpion bite works fantastic.

Immediately the milky juice of the raw onion helps extract the poisons and reduces the swelling.

Yellow onions are a bit stronger and sweeter than white onions, so pack a yellow one.

Onions are also good for mosquito bites - we packed many an onion and a knife with us on trips to the beach when we lived in Africa.

Another solution that worked well for me is vinegar - either white or apple cider variety - since it can almost immediately stop the pain of an insect sting. You can also mix the vinegar with baking soda, make it into a paste and apply to bite area. If you do not have any vinegar handy, lemon juice works wonders.

When we were kids, we played outside all summer. We would occasionally stick our hand in the shrub to fetch a ball and would be bitten by a yellow jacket. My father, who smoked at the time, would break a cigarette apart, spit on the pile of tobacco to moisten it and then would apply it to the bite. It seemed like the bite instantly quit hurting. I certainly would not recommending tobacco this day unless it is an organic cigarette. Manuka honey, found only in New Zealand but sold in America, is exceptional for any type of insect bite since it is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral, according to scientific studies conducted in Dresden, Germany.

I have also used crushed aspirin mixed with a drop or two of water and had quick relief.

When we lived in Trinidad, the American community was in the middle of banana plantations, so they were always readily available to apply to bites. We would use the inside of the banana or plantain peel and apply it to the bite. Many times, with the children, we would take a strip of the banana peel, wrap the bite area and tie it on with a stripped piece of banana leaf.

Thought for the week: Talk less, say more.

The next free nutrition class will be at 7 p.m. Monday, June 8, at Organic Emporium.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant; email her at docphylis@gmail.com. This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.

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