Bee Sting!Photo by da100fotos

Now that the sun has been out for at least a few weeks, flowers and fruits are at their full potential for natures cycle and our own enjoyment. Part of this flowering and producing process involves insects that many of us love to hate (hate is a bit strong- more like "dislike" or even "fear"). Bees and spiders do so much for our gardens and flowers, but their potential bites or stings, though often accidental, can be painful or even life-threatening.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has a lot of treatment plans for insect bites, and since I'm currently taking a dermatology class from Dr. Hong Jin, DAOM, I thought I'd share a few formulas from the class and a few that I have used myself.

Jin Huang Wan, or Golden Yellow Powder is a powder that you can mix with honey or water to make a externally- applied paste. It draws out the toxins and helps stop itching. It's also inexpensive and works better than baking soda for be stings. I can't seem to find any sites online, but the OCOM clinic carries it, as well as other herbal stores. Keep in mind that it may stain skin a nice deep yellow temporarily...

Another favorite of mine is Dan Shen Hou Xue Yin or Quell the Surface Teapills. I took these after my last bee sting, which was pretty nasty, and the swelling reduced within 6 hours of the second dose. This can also be used in cases of poison oak or ivy rashes, or even eczema flare-ups. In the text for the class, a formula is Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin, or 5-Ingredient to Eliminate Toxin formula.

Remember to check with your practitioner if you have any questions about what herbs are in these formulas. Also, if you have a severe allergic reaction to insect bites or stings, go the emrgency room immediately!

Enjoy the sun!