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Insects bugging you? How to soothe the pain of bites and stings naturally.

by Carolyn Howgego, BS (Hons), BA (Hons), LCHE

We hope you enjoy Carolyn's latest blog, which is the fifth in a series of articles which offers alternatives to "Modern Medicine".


Lawrence & Sam

A homeopathic approach to soothe the pain of insect bites and stings naturally

Most of us love the summer months. It often means holiday time and more time outside with our children. But with this sunny season also comes more pesky insects. So how can you help?

Firstly, when a child is stung they’re likely to be really upset and shocked, so the best medicine is often lots of cuddles and reassurance from you. After that, there are some self-help measures you can take, and homeopathic remedies to soothe the pain.

Quick self-help measures to soothe bites and stings naturally

· If the sting remains in the skin remove it carefully, and as quickly as possible, with clean tweezers.

· Dab the area with Hypericum/Calendula mother tincture which will relieve the pain and reduce swelling.

· Apply a cold compress after the initial bathing with Hypericum/Calendula to reduce swelling.

· Bee stings can be neutralised with a solution of bicarb of soda, and wasp stings with a solution of vinegar.

· Pyrethrum spray is great to reduce the itching and irritation of most bites and stings.

· If your child is a mosquito magnet, think preventatively; burn a citronella candle as dusk falls or check out these alternatives to mosquito repellents containing DEET which has health and environmental issues.

When to see your GP

· If your child has been stung in the mouth take them straight to the hospital but on the way give them some iced water to hold in their mouth to try to reduce any swelling, and give a homeopathic remedy.

· If your child is allergic to stings, go straight to the hospital and on the way give a high potency (200c) of the remedy Apis regularly (every 5-15 mins).

Top six homeopathic remedies to soothe bites and stings

I tend to give a remedy for a bite or sting in 200c potency, as this is our First Aid potency, but if you only have 30c, give that, and give it more frequently (after 5 minutes).

Give one 200c and repeat every 10-15 minutes if needed ,for a few doses. You may only need one or two doses to see the swelling reduce and itchiness calm down. As soon as you see a reduction in symptoms there’s no need to give any more.

1. Apis

This is our top remedy for bee and wasp stings. If the area becomes hot, red and swollen with sudden sharp stinging or burning pains, that may be relieved with a cold compress – Apis is your remedy. The swollen skin will look stretched and shiny. The area will be very sensitive to touch but cool applications will make the child feel better.

If you know your child has an allergy to bee stings I’d advise you carry Apis 200c this with you in the summer, along with their prescribed meds, and give it alongside.

2. Ledum

Ledum is my go-to for mosquito bites. The bite/sting looks less swollen than those needing Apis and the skin will also feel cold to touch rather than hot. The area may even look slightly purple, and puffy.

For those who are little mosquito magnets, give them this remedy three times daily to reduce their susceptibility to being bitten while on holiday for example, or if you know they’re going to be out around dusk.

3. Staphisagria

If the bite/sting becomes large and is really irritating for your child, or your child is really upset by the sting try Staphisagria.

4. Urtica Urens

If your child develops hives (that looks like a nettle rash) after a sting, Urtica Urens may help. Also, if you have tried Apis first and it hasn’t worked, go to Urtica Urens.

It’s also great for nettle stings (as it’s made from the nettle). Very useful to have on hand if you’re hiking/walking/camping as I find that Doc leaves don’t always seem to grow around nettles as they used to. But if a doc leaf is handy, do rub that on a nettle sting.

5. Aconite

I’m including this remedy as it is our number one remedy for shock. Some children can get very shocked from a sting, so give this if needed.

6. Cantharis

If the sting is extremely painful with very strong burning or stinging pains, and a blister forms, Cantaris will help. The pain will be very intense and the child may seem a little obsessed with scratching the itch. This is really good one for horse fly bites.

I hope you enjoy the gorgeous sunny weather we’re having without too many pesky insects spoiling the party!

Next week I’ll be sharing our top remedies for hay fever as I’m seeing so many children who are suffering this year. Hay fever seems to be much more common among younger children now than it used to be, so I’m sure this will be helpful for lots of you.

If you’re enjoying these blogs and would like to feel more confident about self-prescribing for your family, join me for my next webinar, ‘Homeopathy at home for healthy children’, on Wednesday July 13, 7.30-9pm (£29). You will leave this webinar feeling confident to begin self-prescribing homeopathy at home, have learnt some of the most useful remedies to have on hand at home, and understand the common ailments they can be used for. Email me at to register.

The webinar will be recorded so you can sign up and watch later (if you’re having trouble getting your little one in bed on the day!).

Carolyn Howgego is a fully qualified homeopath with 15 years of experience of treating babies, children and adults. She owns Carolyn Howgego Homeopathy where she sees clients of all ages, from the UK and internationally, over Zoom. Go here to book a FREE Discovery Call with Carolyn, or a full consultation.

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