by Gail McDonald-Tune, Topanga Creek Watershed Committee
There are many homeopathic remedies and allergy treatments for the effects of insect stings and snake bites preventing insect allergies and long-term lingering conditions. With the arrival of warm weather, most people notice the increase in the number of critters who enjoy nothing better than snacking on human flesh. Although there is little scientific research on the use of homeopathy for bites and stings, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence from over 250 years of effective use of homeopathy for the relief of insect stings and snakebites. APIS MELLIFICA Apis is one of the most common homeopathic remedies indicated for insect stings that are red, hot, swollen and puffy looking at the site. There is a great stinging and burning accompanied by itching at the site of the sting. Sometimes there may be swelling of the mucous membranes in the mouth and swelling of the throat. Applications of cold compresses soothe and relieve the pain. LEDUM The homeopathic remedy Ledum is indicated for bites and puncture wounds where the injury site feels cold and becomes blush in color. The person bitten wants cold applications for relief at the site of the sting or bite. It is especially helpful in snakebites and stings from poisonous insects such as brown recluse spiders. Anyone who is bitten by a poisonous insect or snake may be given Ledum to reduce symptoms, but immediate medical attention should be sought. FORMICA RUFA Formica rufa is useful for insect bites from fire ants and other bites where there is terrible stinging pain accompanied by intolerable itching and blistering at the site of the bite. The area will be red but not as inflamed or swollen as one that needs Apis. URTICA URENS Urtica Urens is indicated where there are large, bright red blotches or hives that burn and sting, have violent itching and a crawling sensation on the skin. This homeopathic remedy is especially useful in insect allergies and allergic reactions to bites. As an aside, it is also well indicated for allergic reactions after eating shellfish. STAPHYSAGRIA Staphysagria is an excellent homeopathic remedy for the prevention of mosquito bites. For those who are prone to attracting every mosquito in the area, it may be taken as a prophylactic or can be used after being stung to reduce the effects from the mosquito bites. CALADIUM SEGUINUM Caladium is another homeopathic remedy that is helpful for mosquito and fly bites. There is intense itching and burning and the person may develop asthma alternating with the itching. There may also be blistering of the skin. People whose sweat can attract stinging insects and often need this remedy. LACHESIS One of the most common and effective homeopathic remedies for snake bite and bites from poisonous insects is Lachesis. The remedy is indicated when the skin is purpley-bluish or mottled in color. It is also indicated if the blood is very dark, almost black; if there is hemorrhaging or if the person becomes prostrate and collapses. Lachesis may be given to relieve symptoms from snakebite or other poisonous insects, but the person bitten should seek immediate medical attention. It is wise to keep some or all of these homeopathic remedies on hand in a first aid kit. Take necessary remedies along on camping trips or tuck them in a handbag or briefcase for emergencies. Avoid leaving homeopathic remedies in a hot car for long periods. A qualified homeopathic practitioner should be consulted for dosage or other indications unique to each person.