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Soothing Summer's Insect Stings

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The bee landed on my two-year-old son's stomach and Jackson cried out to me, swatting nervously at the insect.

The bee landed on my two-year-old son’s stomach and Jackson cried out to me, swatting nervously at the insect.

Before I could reach him the bee had managed to sting through my little boy’s T-shirt and Jackson was weeping sombrely, disappointed that Nature could cause such pain.

Lucky for Jackson, he was raised with homeopathy. As soon as he saw me pull a bottle from my pack, he settled. Did he remember that soft tablet triturates always make him feel better, or did he just like the way they dissolve under his tongue? All I know is that the homeopathic remedy in this case was Apis mel.

Homeopathy provides safe and effective natural options for all types of bug bites and stings. All we have to do is observe the patient’s symptoms and match them with a remedy that would cause the same symptoms if taken in high concentration. Match the symptom with the remedy listed in the reference manual called a Materia Medica, often used by expert homeopaths.

Books written for beginners and intermediates can help you choose a remedy more easily. For example, Dana Ullman, MPH, author of several books on homeopathy, including Homeopathic Medicine for Children and Infants (Jeremy Tarcher/Putnam, 1992) was my source for the recommendation that Apis mel would work for bee stings. He lists symptoms characterized by redness, swelling, and burning stinging pain, precisely those Jackson showed that summer afternoon.

Whether camping in the deep woods, hiking in the mountains, or simply barbecuing in the back yard, be prepared to soothe the symptoms of insect bites. Take these remedies along on your next outing.

Apis mel (from the honey bee) is the best choice when the afflicted area is worse from heat and better from cool or cold. If the afflicted people are allergic to bee stings, they must seek immediate medical attention.

Ledum palustre (from wild rosemary) heals tissues from the deepest point, up toward the surface, so it is ideal for puncture wounds like mosquito and spider bites. As with Apis mel, symptoms worsen with warmth and improve with cold; the main difference is that Ledum is particularly sensitive to touch, so it is also useful for rashes that develop from profuse scratching or allergic reactions.

Hypericum perforatum (from St. John’s wort) is known as the nerve remedy, so it is indicated for any bite from a large insect or sting that affects the nervous system. Sometimes spider bites or bee, hornet, and wasp stings are especially penetrating and characterized by throbbing pain.

Arnica Montana (from the mountain daisy leopard’s bane) will help reduce swelling and soreness from all insect bites. Use Arnica as a complement to any other remedy listed here.

In addition to these homeopathic remedies, Calendula ointment can provide immediate relief for the burning sensation associated with bee stings, ant bites, and other insect bites.

Jackson is doing great now. He has a new respect for bees and he also knows dad has a remedy close at hand.

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