I think using homescale remedies to fix minor medical emergencies is cool. The other night I was woken up by a sharp pain in my lip. I was half-conscious so it took me a few moments to realize I’d been bitten by something. I figured it was probably a spider from the way it felt, and since it is definitely not mosquito season. My lip itched and felt like it had some poison in it.
Within a few minutes, this is what I looked like:
I look insane!
We checked to make sure that my breathing was ok and that my throat wasn’t closing up. These are signs of toxic reaction to bites and stings and should be taken seriously. If you feel that you can’t breath or your heart is racing or your throat is closing up, head to the emergency room.
Because it was the middle of the night, I took a Benadryl, no one’s idea of a home health fix, but later I learned that a homegrown remedy—bentonite clay mixed with rose water—would have done the same job of reducing inflammation and itching, without the toxic load.
I hoped it would be through my system by morning, but this is what I looked like when I woke up:
Still looking insane.
I called my 24/7 nurse hotline from my health insurance, because I think that’s a good service and I am never adverse to getting advice from people who know stuff, even if I don’t always agree with the things they know. She advised heading to Acute Care where they would probably give me a cortisone shot, after making me sit for many hours, and probably paying 100s of dollars since my health insurance is basically insurance against getting my arm cut off or something really horrible like that, not a simple temporary disfiguring condition like a spider bite.
I decided to look in my homegrown medicine cabinet to see if I could do better. I had no interest in Acute Care, and I suspected I had no need of it either.
I made that paste of bentonite clay and rose water and applied it to my lip. Thinner, watered down bentonite clay applied more often is more effective than a thicker, less frequent application.
The charming clay visage:
After one or two applications, I looked like this:
Here are some other things I tried and which should be part of your home medicine kit
Bach Flower Rescue Remedy
Quercetin (for reducing inflammation)
Calendula cream and tincture – for soothing bruised and damaged skin
Nettle tea and tincture
Apis homeopathic remedy (for bites and stings, made from bee venom)
SSSSTing Stop, a homeopathic cream with nettles in it, calendula, apis, and a few other things
After a few remedies and about an hour, I looked like this:
We have a community acupuncture clinic in our town that takes drop ins and charges between $20-40/session. I consider this to be a serious luxury – acupuncture available so readily and so affordably—which I access whenever I can. I was happy that they had an appointment at 10:15 am, so I went.
After my acupuncture treatment, I felt better, even though the treatment was a little painful. I did feel pretty toxic for most of the day, but by evening it was clear that I was on the mend and that I did not have an infection and would be well by morning.
And sure enough, I was:
It’s simple to take care of small first aid problems at home. Despite the alarmism of the 24/7 nurse and the suggestion that I needed Acute Care, simple home scale, over the counter, and non-toxic remedies were more than sufficient to take care of this temporarily disfiguring condition. Obviously, for bites that get infected, or for larger wounds, or for big bloody messes, I’d probably head to Acute Care too. But I’m always eager to stay as far away from the toxic and usually overly invasive ministrations of allopathic medicine.
Make sure you stock your medicine cabinet with these affordable over-the- counter medicines to take care of these kinds of minor, ugly emergencies – and do your homework. If you don’t know the particular effects of certain remedies, look it up, or ask someone who does. Just because it doesn’t have a label, a plastic cap, and an expiration date on it, doesn’t mean it isn’t potent.