Can You Use Essential Oils for Bug Bites?

There are many essential oils that can help treat bug bites. These include:

1. Basil (Ocimum spp.)

Basil is a gentle anti-inflammatory oil that may help with irritation. Antimicrobial properties in the plant prevent infection. This makes it great for all sorts of bug bites, especially bee stings.

A 2013 study documented remarkable anti-inflammatory qualities in basil. Though the study only tested mice, the essential oil was found to help relieve arthritic inflammation symptoms. Anti-inflammatory properties are found in many varieties, including sweet basil, Thai basil, and holy basil.

2. Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora)

This plant is a relative of cinnamon. It’s been used since ancient times to treat pain, irritation, and inflammation. It can also help reduce pain caused by bug bites. It does this by creating a reaction on the skin like a tingling warmth.

3. Chamomile (Matricaria recutita/chamomilla, Chamaemelum nobile)

Chamomile is added to many skin products and lotions for its soothing emollient effects. With bug bites, the oil helps with redness, itching, and irritation. This flower remedy may speed up healing and recovery.

A 2011 study compared chamomile to a 1 percent hydrocortisone cream for skin irritation. It helped lesions heal much faster, while reducing pain, inflammation, and itching.

4. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Lavender is a popular essential oil and a favorite for treating bug bites. This oil (unlike most other essential oils) can be applied directly to bites. It has soothing properties much like chamomile, and it can also be pain-relieving.

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It can be especially helpful for spider bites, fire ant bites, and bee stings. Lavender was found to have notable anti-inflammatory effects on a cellular level, according to a 2012 study. Try it for relieving bug bites of all kinds.

5. Mint (Mentha spp.)

Mint essential oils (such as peppermint and spearmint) can be a great option if they are diluted first. They give cooling pain relief when they contact the skin. Mint can also help keep insects away, preventing future bites.

Mints are also great for treating itching and the most painful of bites, such as those from fire ants. A 2013 review analyzed peppermint’s anti-inflammatory benefits alongside yet another species of mint: chocolate mint.


6. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Rosemary oil is another choice for bug bite pain relief, and it can also help prevent infection. Be sure to dilute rosemary oil with a carrier oil before use.

A 2011 study performed on rats found that rosemary had potent anti-inflammatory qualities. They were so potent, in fact, that the essential oil alleviated inflammation in the colon due to colitis. However, studies on humans are needed to explore this more.

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7. Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)

Tea tree essential oil is famous for its anti-pain, anti-swelling, and anti-itching qualities. It is also antimicrobial, preventing bacterial infections. This makes it a great ally against bug bite discomfort.

The essential oil can be enlisted for fighting all sorts of insect bites. Mosquitoes, ticks, fire ants, spiders, bees, and even bed bugs or fleas are fair game.

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Tea tree’s ability to stop itching may be its best trait. A 2012 trial showed that tea tree essential oil prevented itching in the eyes better than certain medications.


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Hello, my name is ThienBao. I am a freelance developer specializing in various types of code.