Summer woes – a practical guide through the summer vacations

Stings and insect bites

Recently I got a frantic telephone call from a friend who’s family experienced a black flies attack while camping. All members of the family could hardly do anything anymore except rubbing. I advised them to take Apis 30C and 30 Minutes later I got a short note of relief.


Please remember that most often stings and insect bites don’t require any kind of treatment. Many people frequently overuse homeopathic remedies for minor things like falls and insect bites. Most often, I advise the person to try first the rescue cream or the rescue drops locally. However, even ice or a little bit of aloe vera will probably solve the problem.


Recently I made very good experiences when diluting 1-2 pills of a remedy in low potency (C6, X6) in a small cup of water and then apply the remedy externally as necessary (if the skin is open I would use boiled water). There are also creams available with Rhus Tox, calendula or Urtica urens, which often palliate the itch or the burn.


However if the child has a systemic reaction or the patient is suffering tremendously, i.e. the area of the sting becomes significantly swollen and painful, then a homeopathic remedy does miracles like in the case above.


Homeopathy is effective in the treatment of bites by many animals like scorpions, snakes and spiders. It is also effective for severe allergic reactions. However, in case of doubt you should head directly to the nearest hospital while giving the person 30C doses every 10-15 minutes until the patient reports some improvement.


After a sting or bite without the life threatening shock but with severe swelling and inflammation, give a dose of 30C once. If there, is an initial but not complete improvement, repeat the dose. In case of allergic persons, it is better to use low potencies D6.


Therefore, before your vacations make sure you have these remedies handy along with the other first aid items.


Important remedies for stings and insect bites with or without

anaphylactic shock:


Aconitum nappelus: After a sting the person gets beside himself with fear and anxiety scared and has a red face with an expression of terror that the eyes become very small. He is thirsty, hot and has a great fear of being alone.


Apis mellifica: The area around the bite is red, swollen and warm to the touch. The victim senses very painful stitching pains. The person feels better when applying ice and worse from touch, pressure and warmth. The person is irritable and short tempered. He may pant for breath and feels every breath would be his very last. He feels better for motion and worse in bed.


Ledum palustre: Ledum is the remedy for insects bites, therefore be careful when using Apis for bee stings. Often bites of wasps and other large insects require Ledum. The area around the bite is cold to the touch and reddish blue and surrounded by a pale area (compare it with Apis). Often ice-cold application improves the suffering. The victim feels worse at night, from warmth and from any sort of motion.


Urtica urens: The sting and insect bite are dark red, raised and itchy. The person feels better from rubbing the area. Some people can’t stop rubbing their stings.



Handling sunburn

During the summer break, we often forget the danger of the sun while at the pool, while enjoying a day in a theme park or while hiking up a mountain.

Sunburn can be very painful and harmful to the skin. But be careful! The prevailing view that we should put on a lot of chemicals before we are going outside is more and more questioned. There is no consensus on whether sunscreen really prevents skin cancer (see BBC article,AOLnews, EWG sunscreen guide).


Therefore it is better to dress appropriate, staying in the shade or indoors between 11 am and 15 pm.


However if the sun has scorched your skin homeopathy can offer several remedies that can ease the pain and discomfort and prevent complications.


The immediate risk connected to the sunburn depends on the extent and depth of the burn. Of course, it may be complicated in a child or elderly. Besides the local care with mother tincture or Aloe vera and homeopathic treatment, the patient should drink enough.


In case of mild sunburns, an application of Calendula solution of water and mother tincture (20 drops in 100ml of water) may soothe. If the burn is itchy, prickly and stinging then a solution of Urtica Urens may soothe the burn.


Important remedies for sunburn


Apis mellifica: If the skin is swollen, bothered by heat and touch and better for cold applications.


Cantharsis: The person complaints about burning, stitching and cutting pain with blisters. He feels better for cold applications and worse for touch and lying down.


Calendula officinalis: Calendula is great for all kind of skin troubles – it accelerates the healing of the skin.


Causticum is appropriate for old burns, which didn’t heal well. The person complaints of itching and burning sensations and feels better in warmth and worse from cold.


Take the 30C potency once and wait. In case the pain gets worse again please repeat the remedy. However if the pain doesn’t get better after two doses you need to change the remedy!


Consult a physician if the sunburn is widespread and if there are general signs like fever, vomiting, and headaches. Avoid sunburns at all costs. Remember that the skin doesn’t forget any sunburn and the main cause for skin cancer is the sunburn in early childhood.



Handling sunstroke

Sunstroke is a potentially dangerous condition particularly in very young children. Move sufferer to a cool area. Increase ventilation by opening windows or using a fan. Encourage him to drink water, but do not give aspirin or paracetamol, try one of the homeopathic medicines listed below and head to the nearest clinic. Try to encourage circulation by gently massage of the skin.


Important remedies for sunstroke


Belladonna: The person has a hot head, a red face and his pupils are open. He is very sensitive for light. He is sweaty while his mucus membranes are dry. He has hammering headaches and great fear. He may fall into a delirious state. He feels better for warmth, rest and pressure (pressing his head). Feet and hands are cold


Sanguinaria Canadensis: The head seems to explode, the eyes seems to be pressed out of the head. He feels a band around his head. The forehead and the skin of the scalp is pulsating. The head is red. Unlike the Belladonna patient the feet and hands are hot. He feels worse from cold applications.


Glonoine: The victim experiences sudden pulsating pain and sensations in the whole body with difficulty in breathing, palpitations, nausea, vomiting, collapse and high fever. The pain is coming in waves. It seems as if the head would explode. Sun, external heat, movements makes it worse. But he feels better for external pressure.


Consider Cuprum Metallicum if there is a sunstroke with cramps and Arsenicum for an extreme restless and anxious person


The victim should drink enough, remain in a cool place and in case of worsening, contact the local clinic.


Please match the symptoms carefully to the best homeopathic medicine you can find and take only one pill. If you feel better, there is no need to repeat unless the same symptoms return.



Safety tips for summer-time

Slow down! Take your time! Strenuous activities should be reduced, eliminated, or rescheduled to the coolest time of the day. Individuals at risk should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.


Wear Lightweight, light-coloured clothing reflects heat and sunlight, and this helps your body maintain normal temperatures.


Drink plenty of water or other non-alcoholic fluids. Your body needs water to keepcool. Drink plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty.


Do not drink alcoholic beverages.


Don’t get too much exposed to sun. If you get sunburn, it will make body cooling very difficult.