Wednesday, June 29, 2011

First Aid Kit: Bite and Sting Poultice

My sweet little three year old was stung by a wasp twice in a row on her birthday, during her birthday party, last year.

She was completely distraught and was screaming uncontrollably. As my husband tended to her I quickly whipped up some bite and sting poultice (shame on me for not having some prepared beforehand) and hurriedly applied it to two slightly swollen and very pink sting marks upon her torso.

Eventually, like most children do, she quieted down and began to relax. About 20 minutes later I decided to place some fresh poultice on the wounds. I was completely surprised when, after removing the drying poultice, I could barely tell where the stings were. The swelling was gone. The pink was gone. Only two tiny red dots remained where the bee had stung her. There was no doubt in my mind that this poultice had worked its magic.

I've used the remedy a handful of times with the same remarkable results. It's soothing. Healing. And is very easy to carry around. Just remember that applying band-aids over the top of the applied poultice really helps with keeping it in place.

Here's the recipe:

Bite and Sting Poultice
(Derived from Kathi Keville's book, Herbs for Health and Healing)

1 Tbsp Echinacea Root Tincture
1 Tbsp distilled water
1/8 tsp. lavendar oil
1 Tbsp bentonite clay
(bought from health food store)

Combine the tincture, water and lavender essential oil. Add this mixture to the clay, stirring slowly as the liquid is absorbed. The resulting paste should be tacky enough to adhere to the skin.

Apply directly to bite as needed, applying bandaid over it to keep it in place. Store this remedy in a container with a tight fitting lid, so that the mixture will not dry out. It if does dry out, stir in enough water to turn it back into a paste.

If you don't have the necessary tincture or oil, boil either the lavender or echinacea in a small amount of water for at least 15-20 minutes to create a super strong herbal solution. After straining, add this solution to the bentonite clay, omitting the water ingredient from the original recipe, until the right consistency has been formed.

(This method doesn't keep as well as opposed to using oils and may need to be refreshed by adding the echinacea or lavendar solution again about once every month or so.)

** If you don't have Echinacea - use Chamomile instead. (Echinacea works best though.)

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