In Calgary, there is a teeny tiny window of bug-free evenings that happens in early spring when you sometimes get warm temperatures in the day and the heat remains for at least a couple of hours past dinnertime. For those of us who are bug-repulsed either by their presence or their bite, we are in bug-free nirvana for maybe a week tops. Some native Calgarians also like to smugly think that our mountain-influenced cooler air at night keeps the mosquito population down! Hah! Just ask any mom or dad sitting on the sidelines of a spring soccer game. The bugs are there¬—and they are biting!
Traditionally, the May long weekend in Alberta is for the home gardener. We are ever the optimists! I refuse to tell you how many long weekends we have had snow. Ugh. But occasionally, we actually do have the perfect weekend for planting. And bugs. So much for the 2-7 days of nirvana for the bug-challenged!
BITTEN BY THE BUG!
Today’s post will give you a few remedy suggestions for bug bites to pop in your home/travel kit for the season, whether you are gardening, sitting on the sidelines at the soccer field, camping, golfing, or gone fishing. (I keep a kit in my bicycle panniers, just in case.)
For the most part, you really need not do anything with bites—unless you or your child gets those huge nasty swellings with heat and itching or pain. This is where homeopathy can be of great help. But you do need to be aware of breathing difficulties (anaphylactic shock), which goes beyond the scope of a homeopathic remedy. You can still give a homeopathic remedy in these emergency situations, but you are giving the remedy on your way to the emergency room. (In the Resources section below, you will find a link to the KidsHealth website that gives some advice on what to do in emergency situations.)
Aconite – This is your first go-to remedy where there is any kind of shock with the bite (or any kind of injury for that matter). At the soccer field? You might give Aconite for an accident if shock and fear are keeping your child sitting by your side rather than getting back in the game.
If your child is more scared because he/she was bitten than anything else, chances are good that Aconite will be very helpful. Another possible scenario might be that your child who was bit earlier in the day suddenly wakes in a panic in the middle of the night because their bite is swelling or itching and they say something unusual like, ‘Am I going to die?’ Give Aconite and you will all be able to go back to bed and sleep.
Apis – Apis is one of the most frequently used remedies (well…besides Chamomilla for teething and Arnica for accidents/bruising) by folks new to homeopathy. Apis is actually made from the venom of the bee (homeopathic ‘bee sting’). If you think of what a bee sting is like—swelling, heat, stinging kind of pain, and not wanting anything warm near the bite—you have a great picture or homeopathic Apis. This is the idea of ‘like curing like.’ What a bee sting can create, the homeopathic ‘bee sting’ can cure.
If you put your hand near the swollen area, you will feel a lot of heat and your child will want something very cold on the area.
This is likely the single remedy I would give (besides Aconite) if you were worried about facial swelling and the risk of the bee/wasp poison affecting the brain. Give this on the way to emergency and it’s possible that you can really help avoid any serious damage.
Ledum – You will remember this little remedy from the Tetanus post written awhile back. Whenever you have a puncture wound where cold cloths or ice makes it feel better, you can use Ledum. If you think about it, a mosquito bite and a wasp or bee sting are really puncture wounds of microscopic size. How will you tell if you need Apis or Ledum? Where the Apis wound/sting will be hot, the Ledum wound/sting will feel cold to the touch. Both want ice and cold but the Apis skin is hot to the touch and the Ledum cold to the touch.
Carbolic acid – This is the go-to remedy for those who have severe allergic reactions to bee stings and insect bites (or Apis). This is another possible remedy for anaphylactic shock (breathing problems); you can give it on the way to the hospital.
If your child is able to tell you of a choking feeling and you notice that they are becoming sleepy/weak, these are indications that this remedy will likely be a good choice. There will often be hives over the whole body. One of the other signs to look for is the color of the face. When Carbolic acid is needed, the face can be dusky red but the skin around the mouth and nose is pale.
BEAT THE BUGS!
What could be better than having homeopathy to treat bug bites?
Having a homeopathic combination remedy to prevent bug bites!
Yep. The folks at Xerion Homoeopathie have created a homeopathic formulation called Mozi-Q, a chewable pill taken before you head out camping or to the soccer game, the garden, or the golf green where the mozzies and bugs might be lurking.
Check out the website or stop by Xerion to pick up your summer supply of Mozi-Q for prevention or to load up your big bag of bug bite bustin’ remedies! And have a great summer gardening, golfing, camping, or simply laying in the grass. Bug free…nirvana knowing you have the bugs beat!
Heads up if you want more ‘buggy’ advice! Linda Miller, BMus, CCH, RSHom (NA), Director of the Western College of Homeopathic Medicine, will be giving a presentation at Community Natural Foods (10th Avenue Market) in Calgary on Thursday, May 23, 2013 from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Topic? Mosquito bites! And their homeopathic prevention and treatment.
For serious stings/bites where your child’s breathing is affected, you can give homeopathic Aconite, Apis, or Carbolic acid on the way to the hospital. If the medical emergency is about broken bones, blood, or breathing, only emergency medical intervention is going to help.
More information on bug bites and stings (bees and wasps, spider bites, and tick bites).
Instruction sheet for insect stings and bites.