Stings and Bites

Have you noticed the rash of insect bites this Summer?  In the years that The Health Patch has been open, I have been asked what to do for spider bites only once or twice – until recently, that is! In the past month, we have had eight customers call specifically for this reason.  Well, here is what our sources tell us.

Activated Charcoal

“Activated charcoal has an amazing ability to “attract” and absorb.  This makes it ideal for removing poisons from the body.  It is approved by the FDA in place of ipecac for internal poisoning.  The poisons adhere to the large surface area of the specially-processed, finely-ground powder so that both are eliminated together.

“It is used externally for insect bites/stings and surface infections.”  Just make a paste with water and apply it to the area.  This will neutralize the poison.  And for multiple bites or stings, put the charcoal in the tub and add warm water.  Then immerse your whole body.

There are other uses for the charcoal, too.  Charcoal will actually absorb intestinal gas, giving relief from bloating and acting to remove the intestinal coating that prevents normal absorption and removal of gas via the blood and lungs.  It is also used internally for a hangover, high cholesterol, food poisoning and to remove wastes from underactive kidneys or liver.

If you use charcoal in an open wound, be sure to rinse it out before the skin heals to avoid skin discoloration from trapped charcoal.

And some cautions: charcoal does not absorb caustics like lye or salts such as potassium nitrate very well.  It should not be used for more than a few days at a time; it absorbs nutrients, too.


How about other treatments?  Well, finally a good use of tobacco.  When I was a kid, my mom used to make a paste of tobacco, baking soda, and water.  This was placed over the bite/sting and this too worked to draw out the poison.

Black Cohost

If you are using black cohost for menopause then you will likely have capsules of it around the house.  A paste can also be made from this common herb.  When applied to the infected area, it will also draw out the toxins.  And you can also take this herb internally every 15 minutes for the first hour for additional relief.

Vitamin C

Large quantities of vitamin C can also help in recovering from the bite/sting, and pantothenic acid acts as an anti-allergenic.

Obviously, the best defense is a good offense, so watch out for dark, damp places and try to stay away from stinging insects.  But if you get stung anyway, try these home remedies and get medical attention in the case of allergic reaction.  Good health and God bless.

– Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail: