When allergic reactions are mild and not life-threatening, how to reduce their effects quickly to minimize swelling or discomfort.
When we returned home from summer vacation, we were greeted by grass that seemed about a foot high. The property was littered with branches and moss too. Clearly, a bad storm had passed through while we were gone.
Thankfully, the house was fine, but there was a lot of cleanup to do.
After giving myself a full day to recuperate from the long flight and slight jet lag, I set to work in the yard with the rest of the family to clean up the debris and load it into the firepit.
Wasp Sting Allergic Reaction
It wasn’t long before my efforts were noticed by several enormous wasps hidden behind a clump of Spanish moss hanging off a cypress tree. I must have inadvertently disturbed their nest.
Now, I’m not particularly afraid of wasp stings.
I’ve been stung numerous times and never found the experience to be particularly problematic. This includes one memorable episode where I was stung several times on a small area of my forearm.
This time, though, was different.
A big wasp managed to sting me right through my sweat pants on my upper left thigh. It felt like someone had stuck me with a needle.
Instead of ignoring it and going about my business which is my usual course of action, I went into the house to take a look as the pain was unusually sharp.
Sure enough, a big red spot appeared on my thigh with a patch of red starting to grow and swell around it.
With the sharp pain continuing unabated, I dabbed on some antiseptic tea tree oil. This eliminated the discomfort within a minute or so.
The red spot continued to grow, however, to the point where I became concerned that I was having an allergic reaction.
Low Vitamin D and Allergic Disorders
At that point, it occurred to me that I might be lower in vitamin D than usual. I had gotten little to no sun over the previous weeks while in the far reaches of North America.
In addition, I did not take my usual dose of cod liver oil during that time. I took only 3 capsules a day instead of the usual teaspoon. Carrying the liquid in a travel bag risked a messy leak.
Three capsules equate to about one-third of my usual daily dose when I take it straight off the spoon.
Low vitamin D levels have been associated with allergies of all kinds. (1)
Ancestral Remedy to the Rescue
So, I decided to take a spoon of high vitamin cod liver oil right then and there.
This is the brand we’ve used for years, but there are a few others that are excellent as well. See all vetted brands here.
I took 2 full teaspoons, which is double my usual daily dose of 1 teaspoon. I also took the MK-4 form of Vitamin K2 in the form of butter oil.
If needed, this can be boosted with a capsule of MK-7 natto extract and natural vitamin D drops (from sheep’s wool).
Synthetic vs Natural Vitamin D
Before you race off to the health food store to buy cod liver oil, however, be advised that nearly every single cod liver oil brand on the market contains little Vitamin D!
Of the ones that do have a decent dose of D, it is usually synthetic. It is added after the violent processing destroys the natural version!
Vitamin D taken as raw cod liver oil, completely unheated and gently purified, is much more effective than taking it in isolation.
Our bodies are designed to take in natural nutrients optimally in whole foods. Nutrients in isolation can cause imbalances over time.
Thus, these types of supplements are best avoided unless under the care of a physician who is using them therapeutically for short periods of time to correct a severe deficiency.
Within a few minutes of taking a spoon of high vitamin cod liver oil, the red patch that was growing on my thigh stopped.
An hour or so later, it began to slowly recede. By the next morning, it was a small, painless spot.
Works for Fire Ant Bites Too
I’m not the only one who has had success treating insect stings with cod liver oil.
One friend I know swears by it when she gets a fire ant bite which typically triggers an allergic reaction. She has discovered that a few teaspoons of high vitamin cod liver oil stop the reaction from progressing.
The next step, of course, is to get rid of the red ants so this problem doesn’t happen again!
Others have reported to me over the years that cod liver oil is helpful to minimize allergic reactions to other insects such as fleas, horseflies, or mosquito bites which cause significant swelling for some people.
Not Suitable for Severe Reactions
Of course, cod liver oil does not take the place of an EpiPen or emergency care!
If you have life-threatening allergic reactions to insect bites, make sure you continue with the proper medication. Or, visit the ER immediately as the situation warrants!
But, if you experience mild allergic reactions to insect bites or stings like I did and want to stop it in its tracks, try high vitamin cod liver oil.
With its easily absorbed, Real Food dose of fat-soluble vitamins, it can also help prevent Vitamin D deficiency symptoms when taken regularly.
What About Food Allergies?
If you have a non-life-threatening reaction to food rather than an insect bite, note that taking activated charcoal (AC) can help. I never travel without it!
For example, if I accidentally eat MSG at a restaurant, I take two capsules of AC with a glass of water. This prevents its absorption and hence symptoms of headache, nausea, or worse later!
This works for accidental ingestion of gluten too! The quicker you take it, the better the results.
Patricia Logan Snyder via Facebook
My husband was stung by a bee. After removing the stinger. I immediately put Neem Oil on the spot. No pain or swelling. He was fine the rest of the day.
I’ve been giving my 2 y.o. FCLO and HVBO for the past 3 months and I’ve noticed that he does not scar from insect bites anymore. And the redness seem to subside much faster. Are scars part of the allergic reactions too?
I was wondering if it does my husband any good if we are only taking one capsule of Cod Liver Oil ( Green Pastures) a day? We cannot afford more than that, but I see how much you are taking and I’m wondering if the amount we are taking is almost worthless?
Interesting! And thanks for the reminder to go force down my chocolate gel FCLO. I hate the taste, but love the benefits.
BTW, is it supposed to leave a lingering bad taste and numb sensation in the mouth? Could I possibly have a bad batch?
Good to know. I always use lavender or tea tree oil on stings and bites. I’ll add FCLO to my arsenal now too.
Estee Wilson via Facebook
I wonder if it would help to rub some of the oil directly on the sting/skin?
Debbie Richards via Facebook
Good post for sure. Reminded me to go take mine right now…thanks.
Roxie Curtis via Facebook
I love your posts!
I’ve always kept a jar of meat tenderizer around for stings…
One-quarter teaspoon meat tenderizer mixed with one teaspoon water to make a paste is a time-honored remedy for a variety of stings (Journal of the American Medical Association, April 24, 1972). The papain enzyme breaks down the protein in the venom.
Doesn’t meat tenderizer have nitrates in it?