This is a recipe I dreamed up a few years back, and though these days we tend to use simply clay, I still thought this recipe was worth sharing for those of you who may enjoy it. I wanted to share it with you before summer’s end. Natural and effective, this blend brings welcome relief.
(Edited to add 2019: I no longer use this recipe, just sticking with straight clay for bug bites. My friend put this on her eczema and it burned because of the essential oils, if you do use this recipe be sure not to use it on open skin.)
We all know how annoying an itchy bug bite can be. When it comes to taking the itch out of bug bites, the very best thing we’ve found to put on them is simply clay. It works wonders! That’s all you really need, but this recipe can make it even more effective. Apply this natural blend (mixed with a little water) directly on bites or stings for incredible relief. If you apply this as a paste immediately when you get bit, it will “suck” the toxins of the bite out of your body and reduce your itching substantially! Times when I’ve used this fast enough, I didn’t have any itching at all. It also reduces redness from bites. Another great thing? It smells great! After it dries up, you’ve left it on for awhile, and it does it’s magic, just simply wash it off.
¼ cup Fuller’s Earth Clay (or clay of your choice)
1 tablespoon Baking Soda
20 drops Lavender Essential Oil
15 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
To start, put your clay and baking soda in a bowl and mix them together thoroughly. Along with clay, baking soda helps relieve the itching from bug bites. I chose Fuller’s Earth Clay specifically for this recipe because it has such strong drawing capabilities. You can use other clays, but I recommend choosing one that has stronger drawing capabilities because a gentle clay, while wonderful for many recipes, will not be as effective at pulling out the toxins from the bug bite and thus won’t relieve the itch as much which is what we’re going for. Fuller’s Earth Clay can be a bit lightening to the skin, but that’s no big deal on a red bug bite. If I were to use it for another recipe that covered more skin, I would blend it with another clay because it’s so strong, but since a bug bite is such a small area, I use it pure and don’t mix it with any other clay. We love to purchase our clay from Mountain Rose Herbs, we’re within driving distance and can pick up our orders rather than having to pay for shipping. Searching for clay at your nearby co-op or grocery store is a good idea because sourcing it locally will save a lot of money being that it’s such a heavy item to ship.
After mixing your clay and baking soda together, add your drops of essential oils throughout the blend. I like to evenly space them throughout. It will look funny, but once you stir it all together, the lumps that formed in the clay from the essential oils will disappear. I prefer a whisk to a spoon for stirring because it really helps get everything evenly distributed. Lavender and tea tree essential oils are both good for bug bites, which is why I included them.
(Edited to add: since creating this recipe years ago, I’ve been told that lavender essential oil and tea tree essential oil are not recommended for young boys because they could cause estrogen imbalance. While some sources say that’s false, I haven’t done enough research yet on the topic. In the meantime, I don’t use those oils with my son, with the exception of the rare occasion of bee and wasp stings because lavender oil works wonders for taking the pain away and bringing immediate relief. So, do your own research to decide what’s best for you. Also, whenever using essential oils, test a small bit first to make sure there’s no negative reaction.)
I usually make two batches of this recipe at a time. (Two batches fills over 3 ounces.) Choose your container to keep your bug bite relief blend in. I put ours in a metal tin. It keeps it dry and the dark space keeps it fresh. It will last for a long time (probably indefinitely, though it would get used up too soon to test that.) You can play around and experiment with this recipe. I’m sure there are other ingredients that would be great for bug bites and if you create blends you like, be sure to let me know what works for you.
To use: put a small amount of clay in your palm and mix with a tiny amount of water until it forms a paste. Cover bug bite and enjoy the relief. The sooner you apply it, the more relief it will bring. Leave it on as long as you need. When you’re finished, wash it off.
Ahhh, doesn’t that feel better?
That’s it! An easy and simple, natural and effective recipe. We hope you’ll enjoy your bug bite relief blend as much as we have in our home!