Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Stopping the Sting

I was just walking out the door to take some photos of my beautiful back yard lilies. A wasp that had recently made his home near the door stung me on my side and then attached himself to my middle finger. It was quite a sting since my husband and I struggled to get him and his stinger out.

I immediately took ledum palustre, a homeopathic remedy for insect bites. I think it really helped a lot. I have childhood memories of stings swelling like golf balls and baseballs. This time around it was like I had a marble on my knuckle. All in all, I didn't think it was that bad. I had remembered worse.

But then, a few days later, Spiderman walked out the same door. A wasp of the same family stung him on the back of his neck. (Don't worry, super husband has "removed" them all!) Again, I immediately pulled out the ledum palustre. But I wanted to do something more for my son...

I had been reading about Plaintain for insect stings and had noticed that we had a patch growing in our backyard. But my husband had just mowed that morning. I didn't know if I could find it again. Thus began my frantic search for the herb. I did locate it! And I pulled a few half mower-chopped leaves off. All the books say to chew up the leaves. The dessicating releases the active ingredients, I guess. Good thing my husband doesn't use chemicals on our yard!

So I chewed the leaves for about a minute and then spit the pulpy, slimy green stuff out. I placed it on Spiderman's neck. He looked like swamp man as it dripped down. I left it there for about 15 minutes, during which he said it felt better. Better? Mine stung for hours!!!

After cleaning up his neck, I took a look at the sting. Unbelievably, the swelling that had begun as I was searching for Plantain disappeared. I wouldn't have believed he had been stung except for the red dot where the stinger had gone into his skin. I will definitely use this remedy again!

Do you have Plantain growing nearby you? Here is my plantain plant after we let it grow up some more. It's not a really pretty picture... after all, this is just a weed. My photo is of long leaf Plantain. You might have broad leaf Plantain in your yard. You'll notice that both weeds (herbs) have long prominent veins in each leaf. These veins almost look like stripes of the same color. The leaves are also a bit furry. Last, coming up the right-middle of the photo, notice the shoots that grow up with a green, cone-like flower on the top. Look for those three things: long, prominent veins, peach fuzz, and green, cone-like "flowers."

And, just for fun... and because the plantain is so ugly... here are my back yard lilies:

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Noel said...

I love the picture of your lilies! I'm going to go look for plantain in my yard. it must really work for stings :)

Anonymous said...

We have tons of plantain...the broad leaf type...but I seldom remember to make use of it. I will now, after your dramatic story! :)

Where do you get your ledum palustre? Thanks!

Amy Ellen said...

Hi Teresa, I pick up all my homeopathic remedies from the nearby health food store. They are the Boiron brand. They come in little blue bottles. Does that help at all?!?

Amy Ellen

Anonymous said...

Yes, it does help, Amy Ellen! I know that our health food co-op carries the Boiron brand (we used to buy Sabadil from them). I'll look there...thanks!

Anonymous said...

I don't think I've ever been stung by a wasp or a bee and I sure hope that lucky streak will continue!! If not, I will definitely consider the plantain :o) good idea!!

~*Michelle*~ said...

WOW.....I wonder if we have plantain in our area/yard. Do you know if it grows in the NorthEast? (not sure where you live)
We totally have tons of wasps and I would love a good homeopathic remedy to have on hand.

Christian Frugal Mama said...

Oh my! I LOVE lilies! I can't wait to get some good ones growing at the new place we're in!