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Bites and Stings - General Action - Your Basic Travel Kit

 Animal bites are not poisonous but they carry the risk of rabies, which is a very serious condition indeed. All animals have the potential to be infected, not only dogs and cats. Ticks feed on blood and spread infection, and the best course of action is to make yourself as unpalatable to them as possible. Only certain areas of the world are infested with ticks and for the majority of readers  care must only be taken during the summer holidays in foreign, sunny climes. In Britain bites from snakes are usually non-fatal but the further south you go the more risk there is of serious danger.

The problem with snake bites is that they may or may not be dangerous and unless you are a snake expert, you just don't know. That's why expert help must be sought immediately. Stings can be given a whole range of living things, from insects to fish, sea creatures and plants, such as the aptly named stinging nettle. Usually the effects are confined to a local area of reaction with swelling, redness, soreness and rash, but in an allergic reaction there can be affects throughout the whole body. In all cases of stings, whether from insects, fish or plants, an antidote needs to be applied.

Infection is a risk with many bites and stings. Sandflies, for example, carry phlebotomus fever. Without  a doubt, prevention is the best line of defense and a few moments spent applying an oil, cream or lotion might just save you a great deal of time and inconvenience, not to mention danger, later on.

Essential oils are well known for their ability to keep you sting-free and are the active ingredient in many brand-name products. When you use the real thing - the natural product unhampered by chemical solvents and the like - you have tremendous flexibility  in their use. The same little bottle can give protection in a room, on the balcony, in a car, or on the body and eve on your clothes.

And then, if you are unfortunate enough to encounter trouble, the essential oils can help you to deal with it. Before looking at a particular situation, let's have a look at the general action to be taken.

In many cases you will need a disinfectant wash, especially if you have a brood of unruly and acident-prone children! The following blends are extremely effective and can either be made up before you go, or on the spot, if required.

Disinfectant Wash - Synergistic Blend 

Lavender 10 Drops
Thyme 20 Drops
Eucalyptus 10 Drops

Synergistic Blend - Tropical Disinfectant Wash

Lavender 10 Drops
Thyme 20 Drops
Eucalyptus 5 Drops
Oregano 5 Drops

Use 8 drops of either blend in a bowl of water for washing. If you do not have the synergistic blend prepared, use the numbers of drops in brackets to a single bowl of water.

If the skin is broken you should go to the hospital because you need a tetanus injection. In any event, wash the area with a mild soap and warm water in which you have added either AVI, thyme or lavender essential oils, or, if you have it ready, one of the synergistic blends above. Then cover the wound with a bandage, piece of gauze or plaster to which you have added4 drops of lavender and 3 drops of thyme.

If there is a visible sting, remove it but try not to squeeze and break the venom bag which may be attached. Apply 1 drop of neat lavender oil directly to the site of the sting. Continue to apply neat lavender, a drop at a time, every five minute or as soon as the drop can be seen to be absorbed, until a total of 10 drops has been reached.

As soon as you are stung, apply 1 drop of neat lavender or eucalyptus over the area and wash with cold water as soon as you can . Afterwards, apply another drop of essential oil.

Dry the area and apply 1 drop of neat lavender oil. Continue to apply neat lavender, a drop at a time, every five minutes or as soon as the drop can be seen to be absorbed, until a total of ten drops has been reached.

First apply neat lavender to the area, then neat chamomile. One drop can be rubbed to cover quite a large area - use as many drops as you need. If the swelling is excessive as a result of an allergic reaction it should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible. On your way there apply 1 drop of chamomile to the neck area, every fifteen minutes - to a maximum total of 4 drops.

Reference: The Fragrant Pharmacy: Valerie Ann Worwood 

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