This is the May long weekend in Canada, traditionally when cottages are reopened, boats put in the water and many head out of town into the wilderness. For those preparing for any outdoor adventures, this newsletter suggests a few remedies you may want to take along.
I recently spent 2 weeks in Belize with my family. Between time on the coast as well as inland in the jungle, we had various encounters with a variety of creeping, crawling and flying local inhabitants. It’s always fascinating to meet new friends; witness my three arachnophobic daughters who blew through their lifelong phobia by letting this friendly tarantula crawl up their arms! Who knew these huge spiders are mostly harmless and rarely bite? Meanwhile I missed this intimate encounter because I was frantically trying to brush off the definitely biting fire ants whose nest I had inadvertently stepped on!
It was also alarming to come home and find a tick attached to my leg. Although Lyme disease hasn’t been reported in Belize, ticks can carry a bunch of other serious diseases so as a precaution, I took the homeopathic remedy Ledum, considered good in preventing illness (including Lyme) after all sorts of bites and puncture wounds. Since taking a few doses in 30C a few weeks ago, I have had no symptoms of any sort.
For stings from bees and wasps, start with a dose of Ledum but then follow with some Apis. This remedy is made from the honey bee so is a great example of the “like cures like” principle. Bee and wasp stings generally create sharp, stinging pain with swelling and edema which are classic symptoms that respond well to Apis. As well the person wants cold applications – often an ice cube directly on the site of the sting can bring great relief.
Another remedy for bites (especially snake or animal bites) where there is a more serious reaction is Lachesis. Consider this if the person is showing symptoms that include swelling of the throat or other area, difficulty swallowing, intolerance to anything tight around their body, and purplish discoloration either at the bite location or elsewhere. They may feel as if they are suffocating and the wound may begin to ulcerate. Obviously in this scenario your local hospital is the best place to be but you can give some Lachesis on the way.
BTW, those fire ant bites definitely hurt at the time, but later turned into pink raised spots that itched like crazy. Had I been more bothered, some Urtica urens would have done the trick. Often used to ease sunburn symptoms, this remedy can also sooth urticarial or hive-like eruptions where the skin has raised, pink itchy bumps that may also sting.
The standard potency for giving remedies in acute situations like these is 30C. Giving 2-3 doses of the remedy over the course of a few hours is a practical protocol. Obviously if symptoms don’t respond or get worse, seek medical attention as they could be symptoms of a serious allergic reaction.
Whether your holiday plans are in the country or the city, creatures that bite and sting are global citizens. With these remedies on hand, you will be prepared for any less-than-friendly encounter, wherever you may be.