Homemade Summer Cures for Bites and Stings

Homemade Summer Cures for Bites and StingsSweet, glorious summer is here and so are all the creepy crawlers, stinging plants, poison oaks and flying insects that come with it. I prefer to make my own remedies for my kids, using essential oils, herbs, berries and items in my kitchen.

For wasp and bee stings, my favorite way to remedy the pain of the sting is to use a credit card to scrape off the stinger (never pull the stinger out, as this can cause the sack to still pump the rest of its contents inside the wound), and then soak the area in apple cider vinegar by soaking a cotton ball in the vinegar and taping it to the wound for a half hour or until dry. After this, you can add a paste of baking soda and lotion or coconut oil to the site to relieve the redness. If you happen to have papaya on hand, this is another wonderful way to help draw out the venom. Place a slice on the sting and let it rest.

To relieve the itching from insect bites, a paste of baking soda and lotion or coconut oil with a few drops of peppermint oil added works well. Baking soda is great as a clarifier and helps soothe the skin, while peppermint is a vasodilator to help draw the blood heat away from the site and reduce the inflammation.

For poison oak, sumac, poison ivy and stinging nettles, you can make a tea from sassafras root or burdock (a common weed!) to place on the rash to ease the itch. Aloe vera is very cooling for relieving the pain, or a poultice of mashed wheat grass can be used on the site, too.

Sunburns are awfully painful on anyone, much less on kids. A few ways to relieve the pain for include aloe vera gel, rosewater, milk or yogurt, lavender oil, cucumber placed on the skin, and my favorite, chamomile tea. For my boys, I steep four to six bags of chamomile in a bucket of hot water and add this to their bath with a few drops of lavender oil. It helps relax them before bed and soothes the sunburnt skin.

For biting insects and mosquitoes, I like to use a homemade spray of:

90 drops citronella oil
60 drops lavender oil
10 drops rosewood oil
250 ml of Everclear or vodka 

Mix all ingredients in a glass jar–canning jars work great for this–and shake well. Add a small amount to a spray bottle and use as needed.

It works well, is completely safe for children and babies, and smells great! This spray smells so wonderful that I use this as a perfume for all of spring and summer since I am also very prone to insect bites.

I hope some of these home remedies for summertime skin issues can be helpful for you as they have been for me. I always feel so empowered when I can soothe my little ones aches and pains with something I have on hand. Happy healing!

Pia Watzig is a mom of two boys who lives and writes in Portland, Oregon. 

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