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Native Natural Remedies » Insect Bites » Three Remedies for Dangerous Spider Bites

Three Remedies for Dangerous Spider Bites

While spider bites are uncommon in most parts of the United States, in the midwest and the south they are all too common at certain times of the year. Left untreated or improperly treated, they often result in disfiguring scars. Spider bites are generally attributed to two types of spiders, the black widow and the brown recluse, although other spiders can bite and their bites can cause disease, extreme discomfort and permanent damage to the skin.

Most of the time, people do not see what has bitten them and they are left to guess at what the cause of the bite is. This is generally determined by the appearance of the wound and the symptoms suffered by the victim.

A brown recluse or black widow bite will be inflamed and soon begin to swell at the site of the bite. The victim will suffer from a fever. Untreated, these symptoms will generally last from seven to ten days. It may take six to eight weeks to heal entirely and often the victim is left with a huge, gaping hole where they were bitten. It may take several months for the body to recover entirely from having been bitten.

While many people feel that spider bites are relatively harmless, the fact is that the results can be severe. Brown recluse bites can lead not amputations and even death. The venom in the bites is similar to that of a rattle snake and it actually has the effect of melting the surrounding tissue. At the very least, it can leave gaping holes in victims’ skin. Bites are most dangerous if they are located near the head or heart or if the victim is allergic. And they can be far more serious when the victims are infants and small children.

If you are fortunate enough to find an allopathic doctor who knows how to recognize a spider bites – many do not – he or she is likely to treat you with pain-killers, pharmaceutical antibiotics and, if you are very lucky, an anti-venom drug sometimes called an “antivenin.” But, most of their treatments do not yield very good results.

In the Ozark Mountains where these bites are all too common, knowledgeable alternative practitioners keep a bottle of plaintain oil (Plantago majro, L. aka. Plantago Major, Ripple Grass, Wagbread, and White Man’s Foot) in their cupboards. This is to be used whenever fresh plantain leaves, which grow on lawns and in the wild are not in season or not easily obtainable.

To use a poultice of fresh plantain leaves as a remedy for spider bite, as soon as possible, make a poultice by crushing the fresh leaves so that the juice is released. Apply this poultice to the site of the bite and cover it with gauze.

Also, “Take 1 tablespoonful [fresh plantain juice] every hour, at the same time applying the bruised leaves to the wounds (Hutchens 219).”

To make plantain oil, crush fresh plantain leaves when they are in season and fill a jar with them. Then fill the jar with olive oil. Let this bottle sit in a warm spot for two weeks and shake it twice per day. After two weeks, strain the leaves out of the oil, label the bottle, tightly cap it and store it in a cool, dark place.

In case of spider bite, apply this oil as you would a fresh plantain poultice, changing the bandage every hour.

An alternative treatment for spider bites is to apply a paste made of bentonite clay, moistened with colloidal silver. Apply this paste and cover it with a loose bandage. Change the dressing three times daily, if not more often.

It might also be helpful to take some colloidal silver internally as it is a natural antibiotic.

Activated charcoal is an excellent poison control remedy. In any case, if you have been bitten by a spider, take a recommended dose of this to help detoxify your system from the venom.

Other people have had good results treating spider bites with acupuncture and have managed to survive without scarring or other damage even long after having been bitten. A study reported in “Medical Acupuncture A Journal for Physicians by Physicians,” summarizes the results of some cases of acupuncture treatment of spider bites as follows:

“Treatment with acupuncture and conventional wound care may produce rapid and dramatic results.”

“For wound healing to begin, it is imperative to neutralize the venom; it appears that electroacupuncture may accomplish this in the first several treatments. In addition, the acupuncture treatment increases the blood flow to and in the wound area. As evidence of this, during the treatment, the wound turns bright red. This increased blood flow decreases the healing time by 59% to 70% (Swing).”

Spider bites are truly horrific for their victims. If you live in an area where such bites are a concern, rest assured that there are alternative methods of effectively treating spider bites that can be undertaken by individuals in terms of their own first aide care and by trained professional alternative health practitioners that can result in complete healing for victims of this terrible problem.

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References: Hutchens, Alma R., Indian Herbalogy of North America, Shamahla Publications, Boston, Massachussetts, 1973. Swing, Fred P., M.D., “Acupuncture for Treatment of a Nonhealing Brown Recluse Spider Bite: A Case Report,” Medical Acupuncture A Journal For Physicians By Physicians, Spring/Summer 1999 – Volume 11,Number 1. Retrieved April 4, 2010.

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