A Natural Remedy for Mosquito Bites

Barbara Pleasant shares information about a common herb that is a natural remedy for mosquito bites and tips that will help ease itching from bites.

| August/September 2003

From the backwoods to the backyard, plantain (Plantago, various species) is one of the best herbs to treat bug bites.

From the backwoods to the backyard, plantain (Plantago, various species) is one of the best herbs to treat bug bites.


Learn about this common herb that is natural remedy for mosquito bites.

A Natural Remedy for Mosquito Bites

From the backwoods to the backyard, plantain (Plantago, various species) is one of the best herbs to treat bug bites.

You probably won't need to plant this home remedy because it is a very common weed, often growing in compacted soil along sidewalks and driveways. To use the plant as first aid for a mosquito bite, crush a few leaves and rub them on the bite.

Some anti-itch drugstore medicines to use include Calamine lotion or cortisone creams. Doctors generally recommend pain relievers, ice packs and meat tenderizer to treat insect bites and stings. Promptly applying a dab of commercial meat tenderizer directly to a sting can neutralize the allergen.

Adapted from The Green Pharmacy by James Duke, Ph.D.

Barbara Pleasant, a regular contributor to MOTHER EARTH NEWS, is the author of  The Gardener's Bug Book. Her most recent book, Garden Stone, received the Garden Globe award from the Garden Writers of America.

mrs. v
7/11/2011 3:22:29 PM

Check out Buzz-Off at God's Country Botanicals. It contains 11 insect-repelling essential oils in an insect-repelling base of soybean oil. Better-than-DEET ingredients include catnip oil, lemon eucalyptus and geranium, as well as the old stand-bys citronella and lemongrass oil. Find it at www.GodsCountryBotanicals.com

kathleen mckernan
6/25/2011 3:52:30 PM

We live in the coastal area of New Jersey and the mosquito is our state bird. Lemon balm planted near where you enter/leave your home works wonders. Just grab a handful of leaves and rub them all over. Smells great and keeps the critters (including no-see-ums) away. We think it works on ticks too but can't promise.

6/17/2011 12:54:33 AM

check out trap at green power science on you tube. also cheap spray to kill captured mosquitoes and feed them to good bugs in your garden.

elli sparks
6/15/2011 4:56:48 PM

When my son gets bitten his skin reacts right away with a big bump and lots of itching. We've found teatree oil to be extremely effective in reducing swelling and eliminating itch. The trick is to apply it within an hour or so.

6/15/2011 3:28:25 PM

The plant that will grow in compact soil, mentioned at the end of the article, is plantain. The article has been corrected to reflect that fact.

6/15/2011 2:04:55 PM

I also did not see what the common weed that grows in compacted soil to help with bites. What is it?

6/15/2011 12:27:39 PM

Fran, I don't see the weed remedy either! I googled it and found that Plantain can be used on bug bites (just do an internet search to see what it looks like - I have some in my yard and never knew what they were called). Here is an excerpt from the website about how to use it: "How to use plantain? Make a fresh leaf poultice. Pick a leaf, chew it well and put it on the bite. "Like magic" the pain, heat, and swelling -- even allergic reactions -- disappear, fast! (Yes, you can dry plantain leaves and carry them in your first aid kit. Chew like you would fresh leaves.) Poultices ease pain, reduce swelling, and help heal. No wonder they're the number one natural choice for treating insect bites, bee and wasp stings." You can go to http://www.susunweed.com/Article_Bug_Bites.htm to read up some more. I'll have to try this!

fran kilmer
6/15/2011 11:12:13 AM

Did I miss something? In the last section, If You Are Bitten, what is the common weed that grows in compacted soil and can be used after a bite? I failed to see the weed identified.

suzanne horvath
6/15/2011 9:53:57 AM

I'm in the process of ordering Buhach powder to control mosquitoes. As I've stated elsewhere, I use cedar oil products to control fleas, ticks, ants etc. But the flying critters are harder to control. I'm hoping the Buhach does the trick. It would be nice to be able to sit outside and read a book, which is impossible now. Between the cedar oil and the Buhach, I should be one happy puppy!

bill goodrich
6/15/2011 9:13:10 AM

Your skin may become sensitized to Calamine lotion if used for an extended period of time.

6/15/2011 8:35:07 AM

This article is a little behind the times. The horse vaccination is now a single yearly booster after the intial double dose and is good for a year. There are several companies who offer a reliable vaccination. Check with your vet.

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