Unless you’re one of those rare people that never get bitten, chances are you’ve dealt with infuriatingly itchy insect and spider bites before. Whether it was the cloud of mosquitoes that feasted upon you as you filtered your water at the river crossing or the silent spider that felt threatened as you tossed in your sleep, that fact is that bug bites can be truly frustrating and is a reality we’ve all dealt with before. Luckily, there are a few natural remedies that can help with these itchy bites that aren’t expensive or hard to find. Here are my recommended natural remedies for bug bites.
While it may seem strange that a bug bite remedy would be found in your breakfast, oatmeal actually contains a unique compound called avenanthramides that have anti-irritant properties that can soothe even the most itchy bites.
This can be accomplished in two ways: If the bites are covering the whole body, try adding a cup or two, depending on severity, to a warm bath. Allow your body to soak in the oatmeal bath for about 20-30 minutes and you should notice a decrease in irritation from the bites. If the bites are few and located in easy-to-reach areas, simple make a paste from the oatmeal and water and apply to the affected area. Make sure to use organic plain oats with no added sugars, fruits or flavors, as this can irritate the bite further.
Wild honey has actually been used for thousands of years for its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Because of the stickiness and consistency of honey, it’s best to use this treatment for easy-to-reach areas. Simply apply a dab of organic honey to the bite and let it rest for about ten minutes, after which you should notice a reduced redness and inflammation.
While it is more commonly used for burns, the aloe vera plant may also help with other inflammation issues stemming from bug bites. To apply this remedy, simple cut a small piece of the plant off (don’t worry, it won’t kill the plant), and squeeze the portion to excrete the healing gel. Coat the affected area with the gel and, like the honey, let it rest to allow it to apply its inflammatory properties. Aloe vera can dry out on the skin rather quickly, so reapply the gel as needed.
Most likely hiding in a cupboard in your kitchen, baking soda can be an effective remedy for bug bites as well. Essentially, the alkalinity of the baking soda can help neutralize the pH of the infected bite and reduce itching and inflammation. Similar to the oatmeal paste, mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a little bit of water to make your own baking soda cream. Apply this to the bite and let rest for ten minutes. After washing the solution off, you should notice an improvement.