Now that spring is upon us, for those of us lucky enough to live in the Bay Area, it means time to get back outdoors. If you like to hike, bike or simply wander around nature, you know the benefits of breathing in the trees, the ocean and our puffy-cloud sky.
Risk accompanies anything worth doing and, while they are minimal, I’d like to help you decrease whatever injury befalls you on your excursions. Please note that none of the information on this page is to be used in place of general medical care. Use common sense and seek medical attention whenever indicated. The information here does not cover all homeopathic remedies that might be indicated in your particular situation; it is merely an overview to help get you acquainted with some of the more common remedies.
Stings & Bites:
Animal bites or insect stings almost always result in some sort of swelling. Swelling is the body’s way of sealing off venom or bacteria to limit its impact; brilliant. Most of the time stings and bites are not emergency situations, though occasionally they can be. Understand that when this is the case, the emergency room is required, no matter what homeopathic remedy you administer. If you have any difficulty breathing after a sting or bite, have any swelling around the throat or have a sudden drop in blood pressure, seek medical attention immediately.
If the bite is from an insect, make sure the stinger is out of the body. Don’t use fingers to do this, as you could re-sting yourself. You do have your emergency outdoor kit with you, right? If you have tweezers, use them; if not, scraping the site with a credit card or some other blunt instrument will work just fine. Then rinse the sting with cool water and take one of the homeopathic remedies indicated below. Remember that bees and wasps are not generally aggressive and only sting when they perceive a threat, like being hit or swatted at.
If the bite is from any other kind of animal, wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water. If the skin is badly torn or the puncture is deep, if there is increased swelling or oozing, or if you suspect the animal might be a carrier of rabies, seek medical attention immediately. Although rabies is rare, it can be deadly.
Homeopathic Remedies to Use for Bites and Stings:
LEDUM is the first remedy to try, especially if the area is stinging, red and swollen and - especially - when the area feels cold to the touch but also better from a cold application, like an icepack. Ledum is also great for puncture wounds in general, like stepping on a tack.
APIS (Apis mellifica) is indicated if, like Ledum, there is sharp, stinging pain, redness and swelling. But this remedy might be thought of first if symptoms come on suddenly, if you find the area feels better with cold applied to it (though is not necessarily cold to the touch) or you feel restless or anxious. Apis is a remedy made from the honeybee.
LACHESIS is indicated if the site feels significantly worse from heat or constricting clothing and especially if the site appears somewhat blue.
ARNICA (Arnica Montana) is indicated, in addition to one of the remedies above, if the area bruises. Arnica takes down bruising and thus, helps wounds heal quicker.
Until next time. Wishing you health and joy in all your daily adventures.