Monsoon brings with it welcome relief from the heat, and leaves behind a host of illnesses and diseases, some of which can be life threatening. Here's how to keep yourself and your family safe this monsoon season.
Mosquitoes abound during the monsoon season and any bite or sting of an insect can trigger a local irritation of pitta under the skin. As long as the venom of the insect remains there, it may keep on creating periodic allergic reactions, or may even create sting-bite nephritis, a serious condition involving generalized edema (swelling) and breathlessness, and the person can choke. So stings and bites, though usually quite innocuous, may occasionally be very serious, one has to be watchful.
Here are a few tips to help treat mosquitoes and stings.
As soon as possible after receiving a sting or bite, take some cilantro juice (dhaniya). Place a handful of cilantro leaves in a blender with about 1/3 cup water, blend thoroughly, and strain it. Drink the juice (use 2 teaspoons 3 times a day), and apply the pulp locally to the skin at the affected area. It will instantaneously pacify the itching, burning, and hives or rash created by the sting or bite.
One can drink 1/3 cup of coconut water (the “juice” inside the coconut) with about 1/8 teaspoon kama dudha added. Drinking this mixture 2 or 3 times will help heal the reaction to the sting bite.
Here is another simple and fascinating remedy. Take a piece of dried coconut, and set fire to it. It will catch fire like wax. Let it burn for about ½ inch and then blow it out. There will be a little smoke, and when the smoke disappears, a tarry black residue will remain. Apply that residue directly to the bite for instant relief.
Coconut is a good source both for antihistamines and for natural steroids.
You may do the same thing with the ash from burning some of the outer coconut shell.
At the site of the bite, you can also apply neem oil or a neem paste. Neem is an antidote to most poisonous insect venoms. To make a paste, take a little neem powder and mix it with a little water. Apply it to the skin and leave it on for 10 to 20 minutes then rinse it off. DO not use pure neem extract, instead use an herbalized oil made by boiling neem leaves in a sesame oil base. .
You will also find a paste made from ½ teaspoon of sandalwood powder plus ½ teaspoon turmeric soothing and healing. Mix the two herbs together with sufficient water to make a paste, and apply topically to the site of the bite.
Neem oil is a much-used insect repellent in India and around the world. It contains a natural chemical compound that repels insects. Rub a little onto exposed skin before going outdoors.
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