Category Archives: FIRST AID

NO-SEE-UM’s WAR REVISITED – Compendium of Recommendations

A while back, I wrote on “no-see-ums”whatever that is that bites you and you can’t see it, but you start itching like crazy — not bedbugs, not mosquitos, not fleas, not lice(those you can see)  – and it only happens, usually, in specific places.  The big symptom of “no-see-ums” is uncontrolled itching – you can scratch yourself bloody before you even notice you’re doing it.  

No-see-ums can make you wonder if you’re losing your mind – you may find yourself scratching yourself raw before you even realize you’re doing it, while others, even in the same room, may not recognize the issue.  If you think you are getting bitten, you are getting bitten. It is not in your mind, even though you can’t see what is biting you (I believe that no-see-ums can be in one part of a room but not in another, and that some people in the room may be more susceptible to them than others: case in point: I teach in a private adult education facility, and, sometimes, I will be scratching myself to pieces and no one else will be affected, while, at other times, several other people will complain that they feel they have been bitten by something). 

A number of people have written their comments, or their requests for help, or, even, sometimes things they have found useful, so I’m going to reprise the topic, and list what I have found useful, as well as ideas I’ve gotten from readers who have told me what has worked for me.

A couple of ways to double-check, if you want to prove to  yourself that it is nothing else:

  1. Are you getting this reaction all the time? If so, could it be that you are allergic to something you are eating? Figure out what you have eaten in the past 2 hours before the “attack”, and eliminate that from your diet for a day or two and see if the itching stops.
  2. Do you get this reaction in specific places, but not in others?  If so, you’ve got no-see-ums in the place where you’re having the reaction.  (If you have it anyplace at all, then go back to #1)
  3. Do people doubt what you say about getting bitten in a specific place where they have not been? Do people disbelieve you just because it is not happening to them?  These are both signs that there are some no-see-ums where you are when you experience the itching.  (They seem to be place-specific, and, even in one room, they might be in one spot, but not 10 feet away)

Now, if you do believe that you have a no-see-ums issue, you can take some evasive action:
FOUR THIEVES OIL OR VINEGAR – this antiseptic/anti-viral formula really works for taking out the itch. The vinegar recipe takes a while to make, but you can but it on food (so you might develop an immunity – I haven’t personally explored that idea), but the problem is that you will smell like vinegar.  The oil recipes smell kind of nice (people often ask me what fragrance I’m wearing), and you can carry them with you and apply the oil as soon as you notice you’re itching – it might sting a bit at first, but it will take the itch away, and it has antibiotic properties, so, if you’ve already drawn blood, it will protect against infection.  This is one remedy I swear by – I always carry a little bottle of Four Thieves oil with me.

LAVENDER OIL – This is an antiseptic essential oil which will help with the itch and does seem to stop the bites from coming. I carry it with me always, as it is a good emergency remedy, and, if I have nothing better, I use it for no-see-ums. It works reasonably well for me and smells very nice, as well. I don’t think it works as well as other remedies for spraying a space, though.

BABY OIL – Someone suggested this one, and, although baby oil is not organic or anything close to natural, I will still go with it because it seems to repel the no-see-ums — if you slather it all over your skin, you get a moisturizer and you don’t get bitten.  It works as a repellent, and it doesn’t worry people too much if you drag it out and start rubbing it all over your arms (where I usually get hit)

LEMON GRASS/LEMON GRASS ESSENTIAL OIL  – A reader suggested planting lemon grass around one’s home to prevent entry – this reader felt that the lemon grass all around the home kept the no-see-ums from coming in.  I live in a New York City apartment (I haven’t had no-see-ums here, but…), and I work in a New York City office building (no way to plant lemon grass there), but I have found some apartment-friendly/public space-acceptable solutions: 

  • At home, you can burn dried lemon grass as incense, or you can add organic lemon grass essential oil to water and spray it in areas where  no-see-ums seem to get you, or else all over the place.  
  • At work, you can surreptitiously spray the lemon grass/water mix around where you feel you’re getting bitten (it smells nice, and, since, or course, you are using organic lemon grass essential oil, no one should complain, because it is good for lots of things, including bad smells in your workspace)
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FOUR THIEVES – more

POST #43
I’m doing the “Master Cleanse” or “Lemonade Diet” for the next couple of weeks.   What made me decide to do it was the itching.  I mean, I get this “morning itch” where I can scratch myself raw.  Sometimes, it would show up at other times.   The doctors don’t have an explanation (We all finally figured out that it WAS NOT bedbugs) .  I quit going to yoga class because I couldn’t control the scratching, and I felt I was distracting people. I took to telling people that I had a blood disorder.  Suddenly (DUH!), I decided to do a Master Cleanse, because that always clears up everything that I have (when I will do it).  I figure it is a good thing to do, no matter what. Like, if I am dying of some weird disease, we will be able to identify it faster (I did Master Cleanse before I had my colonoscopy because I did not want to take all the chemical stuff they told me to take before the colonoscopy — the dcctor and the physician’s assistant both actually asked me what I had done to be so clean).  

Right now, I am really tired of allergies and the “morning itch” so it’s time to go Master Cleanse.  I’m on Day 3, and the morning itch is not so bad, but it is still agonizing.  I don’t want to do chemical (allopathic medicine) interventions if I can avoid it while I am doing a fast.

Suddenly, I’ve remembered Four Thieves Oil It helped with “abominable itch” a while back.  Surely it will help this time.  It smells relatively nice, as well – people will just ask me what perfume I am wearing (it’s spicy).  It is working!

I’m happy.

Now, as I’m sitting here, after making up the new recipe, I’m noticing that my nose is not stuffed or dripping from the allergy I’ve been suffering.  I did not wash my hands after I finished making up the recipe, so they have Four Thieves Oil on them (even though they do not feel oily. Sneezing,  I got the Four Thieves Oil on my nose when I held the tissue to my nose.  Ooh la la! I may actually have an allergy remedy going on here. I’ll carry this bottle in my bag tomorrow for itching and for allergy stuff)

Repelling No-See-Ums

I’ve been living a horror story for months.  I have had a rash which did not correspond to any ideas the dermatologist could come up with (his explanations were “bedbugs”or “bedbugs” or” bedbugs”.  The only problem was that I have been getting these “lesions” when I was not in bed, besides the fact that I fumigated the apartment against bedbugs, and I have not seen one.

I’ve been able to relieve the itch with Four Thieves oil and with Strivectin, but I have not come up with anything that would make it not happen to start with.

I decided that there were some kind of bugs around (I am raw vegan, and I have done several internal cleanses to make sure that I had no internal business going on), so I went to the hardware store to find some kind of insecticide. I ran into a man who was talking about “no see ums” – we had them by the beach, but I had not thought that they could be in a city like New York (okay, so, we are, duh, by the beach, all around, but who’d’a’ thunk it — I mean, big city and all)…. fast forward… I read up on no-see-ums and found a suggestion to cover all exposed skin with baby oil.

After my yoga class that night, (I needed a shower badly), I passed by the drugstore and picked up some Johnson’s baby oil.  After I had showered, I slathered the baby oil on all of my skin below my face (it was tricky getting it onto my back)

After the first 5 hours, I had not gotten any new itchy bumps (for the first time).  Was it that baby oil helped my skin or that I had been getting bitten and the biters did not like baby oil??? I did not know.
I kept applying the baby oil when I was at my computer – where I noticed the problem.

The other day, in my class, I felt like I was getting bitten by invisible things, and one of my students kept swatting at her arms, as well, so I decided to carry baby oil with me.

Today, I noticed that I was getting that bitten feeling again, even though I had never experienced it in that classroom (my school is moving, so things are in an upheaval), so I nonchalantly whipped out my bottle of baby oil and started massaging it into my arms and shoulders (I was wearing a sleeveless sweater) Okay, so the students probably thought I was weird.  The biting feeling stopped immediately.

How does that old Monkees song go?  I’M A BELIEVER!!!!!!!!!

Now, I can confidently suggest that you try baby oil as a repellant to “no-see-ums”

MORE FOUR THIEVES OIL news

I’m still using my Four Thieves Oil recipe (which makes me smell, I think, like some kind of Christmas candy (actually Lush has a solid perfume called Potion which seems to complement it nicely — although I am using enough Four Thieves that I don’t really need other fragrance)

Okay, so, here I am living in what seems to be the Capital of Bedbugs — I know — eeeuuuwww!  New York City has ’em in hotels, fancy homes, and, of course, nice middle class places like mine. Bedbugs keep being in the news, as well as in our beds here.  Nobody seems to know what to do about them, short of move away, which is not an option for me.

I have found one spray which is supposed to work (although they did not tell me how long it is supposed to take!!!!!)  Meanwhile, since Four Thieves has done everything else I asked it to do, I thought that, perhaps, if I rubbed it all over my skin, it might deter bites…. I left some skin bare as a test. It does seem to have worked pretty well, actually… any part that had not had copious amounts of Four Thieves rubbed in just before bedtime got a bite (good! only three new bites!!!!)  So…. if it happens to you…. try it.

Four Thieves  is working so well for me that, if I get shingles again, I may try it (although I imagine it will be excruciating to apply it and wait for it to calm down, it does calm down even the most excruciating itch that cannot bear to be touched or even have fabric on it)

I’m thinking of spraying it on the bed to see what happens. How much can it hurt (okay, I might get a craving for Christmas candy in the middle of the night)

FOUR THIEVES: vinegar & oil recipes

I waited patiently, and then, when I really needed it, I got what I had asked for.

Four Thieves is some nifty stuff. I am using the oil with good results to date. The Four Thieves vinegar is very good, as well.

FOUR THIEVES VINEGAR: ANTIVIRAL GERMICIDE Possible Alternative for Flu Shots

Herbal lore has it that, while the Plague was raging in France, a rash of burglaries of plague victims’ homes was discovered. No effort was made, however, to apprehend the thieves, as it was assumed that they would soon succumb to the contagion in the homes they had robbed..

The thieves carried on their crime spree for some time, and people began to wonder why they had not become ill and die. It was then that the authorities began to pursue them… to discover the secret of their immunity to the Plague.

Once the burglars had been apprehended, they struck a bargain with the authorities, that they should be set free in exchange for revealing the secret to their immunity to the Plague.

It was then that the four thieves revealed the herbal disinfectant formula that rendered them immune to the Plague.

Current theorists suggest that this formula, now called “Four Thieves Vinegar”, may offer protection against fearsome possible threats, such as the flu, smallpox, and biological weapons, which concern us today, as all of its ingredients are either strong anti-bacterial agents, or have potent anti-viral properties.

FOUR THIEVES VINEGAR

1 part lavender, dried
1 part sage, dried
1 part thyme, dried
1 part lemon balm (melissa), dried
1 part hyssop, dried
1 part peppermint, dried
1 handful garlic cloves
Raw (unpasteurized), organic apple cider vinegar

• In a glass jar, place all dry ingredients.
• Add raw (unpasteurized), organic apple cider vinegar to cover
• Place jar in a cool place and let sit, at room temperature, for six weeks.
• Strain off herbs and garlic, and decant to a glass bottle or jar with a tight fitting lid.

HOW TO USE FOUR THIEVES VINEGAR
• Take a teaspoonful several times daily.
• Add to salads either directly or in a salad dressing.
• For personal protection, add a teaspoonful to bath water.
• Use as a topical spray for disinfecting surfaces and/or skin

ALTERNATIVE FOUR THIEVES VINEGAR
wormwood
meadowsweet
juniper berries
rosemary
camphor
sage
cinnamon
cloves
white wine vinegar

FOUR THIEVES OIL
1 part eucalyptus
1 part rosemary
1 part cinnamon
1 part clove
1 part lemon
Carrier oil (olive, jojoba, or your choice)
Mix

I put 50 drops of each oil in a 2 oz. bottle and then top it off with jojoba oil (I like jojoba oil because it seems to never go rancid).

An alternative recipe:

200 drops Clove Bud Oil
175 drops Lemon Oil
100 drops Cinnamon Oil
75 drops Eucalyptus Oil
50 drops Rosemary

Mix with jojoba oil.

APPLICATIONS:

• Apply 1-2 drops of Four Thieves on the bottoms of the feet and on the nape of the neck.
• Apply under the arms and on the chest.
• Diffuse for 20 minutes or less at work or at home.

A PERSONAL NOTE:

I have used Four Thieves for the itch that accompanied a nasty rash that doctors could not diagnose (where is House when you need him?)… I originally applied the Four Thieves oil because I was worried about possible infection after scratching myself bloody in my sleep. The Four Thieves smarted quite a bit when I first applied it, but, then, miraculously, the itch subsided and allowed me to have a life. Although the rash did not disappear, it did diminish markedly every time I applied the oil.

HEALING OIL BLEND #2

Use to speed healing

3 drops eucalyptus
1 drop niaouli
1 drop palmarosa
1 drop spearmint
1/8 C jojoba oil

Blend.

From Incense, Oils, and Brews, by Scott Cunningham

ALL PURPOSE HEALING BALM

HEAL EVERYTHING BALM

2 t powdered myrrh
2 T beeswax
2 t comfrey root
2 T liquid lecithin
2 t chamomile
2 t honey
2 t lavendar

Infuse in:
3/4 C carrier oil

add essential oils:
10 drops lavendar
5 drops tea tree
2 drops rosemary
1 vitamin E capsule
2 oz beeswax