Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dealing with bug bites... naturally.

I've got a little following up to do. Earlier this week I mentioned something about getting bit a lot and my natural remedies to repel all the bugs that love to eat me alive. 

I've dealt with this my whole life, but this summer seems to be worse than ever and this time, I'm taking control. So I've heard all these horror stories about DEET, and I'm sure you have too, so I won't get into that, but I will tell you my solutions. 

For the past two years I've been working slowly to change the everyday products I use and consume to more sustainable, natural ones and I'm not stopping at the bug spray. The thought of covering myself in chemicals multiple times a day creeps in my mind and completely goes against all that I'm working for. Without further ado...
Desert Essence: I keep this one in my purse when I leave the house and also by my bed at night. For some reason when I try and go to sleep all I can think about is how much my bites itch and that's pretty irritating in more ways than one. 
Main Ingredients:
water, tea tree oil

Buzz Away: I cannot say enough good things about this product. It works! And that's all I ask for. This spray allows me to actually go outside and be at a BBQ or simply walk out my door. I even took a hike through the woods. 
Main Ingredients:
Citronella, essentials oils of cedarwood, peppermint, lemongrass, eucalyptus

Both of these products were found at Akin's Natural Foods
Odorless Garlic: You might be thinking, "Odorless? I thought you wanted the odor?" and you are correct. I thought the same thing at the store but bought it anyways. After, I did my research, pretty backwards huh? I found out that they really do no good unless there are optimal stomach conditions which allow the stomach to convert a certain chemical into Allicin. You can read this article to investigate more. Still, I wanted to show you because garlic has tons of health benefits aside from preventing bug bites. 
Soybean Oil, Gelatin, Glycerin, Silica

Raw Garlic: It has been said that rubbing pure garlic juice on bites will take away the bite for good... and it does! For me anyways. I don't think it goes for everyone, but I am here to say it can happen. 

What I do is I break off a clove, crush it down, dump it into a shot glass (seems to be the perfect size) add some garlic salt (bout 1/2 tsp or more, because I like self-inflicted pain) and a bit of water to make a paste. (a little water goes a long way, you don't want it too runny or else it won't stay on you) You can just use the juice, but I must not be that good of a garlic squeezer... I keep it in the bathroom and when I need to use it I wet the q-tip, dip it in and rub it on. I have found that I do have to scratch it open first and immediately apply. Otherwise I would not recommend scratching. This is the only time I think it's ok to do. If I don't, it doesn't seem to cure the itch forever. : /

I could ramble on about why some people get bit more than others, but there's really no scientific evidence showing an answer. However, I did find this article to be very informative and insightful on some of the theories scientists have today. If you're like me, I will try anything to prevent from being bitten one more time so knowing all the ideas help. I'd check it out. I mean seriously, who wants to get malaria?

On a lighter note...I also promised my new and improved TESOL Course Binder illustrated by none other than Christiano himself...
Ha! This little one is my absolute favorite!

Ok so this post has been a bit random and might not be useful to most people, but if by chance you go through the same problems as I do, I hope this helps!

Cheers to a bite free future!

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