Summer days are here at last! There are lighting bugs to be caught, vegetables to be harvested, berries to be picked, and picnics to attend. Kids — young and old — are itching to spend as much time outside as possible.
Speaking of itching, summer comes hand-in-hand with bug bites. Even with homemade bug repellent, somehow you still get a bite or two. To easily and inexpensively relieve the itch, pick a plantain leaf (one that you know has not been sprayed), chew it up, and place it on the bite. However, this is messy and not everyone has plantain around, so this only works for some people.
Let me introduce the “bug bite stick”. It is a simple salve made from plantain, echinacea, and lavender, stored in a chapstick tube. I’ve made this salve for a few years now. I generally keep it in a tin but recently decided to make it into a stick easily applied on the go.
- Plantain draws out poisons and soothes the skin.
- Echinacea, the king of herbs, relieves itching and promotes healing.
- Lavender is a fragrant flower that repels insects and reduces swelling.
- Olive oil is anti-inflammatory and rich in vitamin E.
- Coconut oil is anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial.
- Combine all ingredients except beeswax in a crock pot and turn on lowest setting.
- Leave for 2 to 3 days. My crock pot runs hot, so I periodically check it and turn it off at night.
- After 3 days, strain the herbs out of your newly herb-infused oil with a stainless steel strainer or cheesecloth. I prefer the cheesecloth since it allows you to squeeze out as much of the oil as possible.
- Clean crock pot.
- Pour herb-infused oil back into it and turn it on medium heat.
- Add beeswax and slowly stir until it is completely dissolved.
- Carefully pour the mixture into tubes or containers of your choice.
- Note: I live in a warm climate, so I use a full cup of beeswax. If you live in a cooler climate, you should use less so that your stick isn't too hard.
Have you ever made a natural bug bite stick? What do you use to relieve bites?
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