Treat A Bad Spider Bite Naturally
A couple of weeks ago, my five year old, Ty, woke up from his nap with a sore on his elbow that we hadn’t noticed earlier in the day. My husband and I asked him what had happened to him, but he was just as puzzled as we were.
At first glance I thought he’d just skinned his elbow playing, but upon a closer examination I realized it was definitely not a scrape. This was most certainly some kind of a bite. I put my money on a spider bite. There were two distinct puncture holes, and it was very red, and ulcer-ish.
Yep. A BAD spider bite.
I drew a circle around the bite to note any increase in size, then immediately jumped online to research poisonous spiders and treatments. Of course, that led me to all kinds of gruesome pictures of nectrotic bites which totally freaked me out.
We have two dangerous spiders common to our area: Black Widows and Brown Recluse. Black Widows cause pain when they bite, but a Brown Recluse bite is rarely ever felt. Both, however, cause rapid tissue damage and can become very serious if not treated immediately.
I had no idea what kind of a spider bit him, but it likely wasn’t a Black Widow. And Brown Recluse bites aren’t usually deadly, so that was at least a little comforting to know if in fact it had been a recluse.
Of course, this happened over the weekend when the doctor’s office was closed. Even if they had been open though, I wouldn’t have gone straight to the doc. Their response would have been antihistamines and antibiotics, and that definitely wasn’t what I wanted our first course of action to be.
I was going to be on high alert and pay close attention to the bite and Ty’s reaction until it began to noticeably improve or worsen. Since Titus wasn’t feeling badly, he had no fever or pain or anything, I opted to begin treating the bite at home first. If his condition worsened, we would take him to the hospital.
First, I used my Extractor Snake Bite Kit (HIGHLY recommend!) to suck any possible venom out. I did this a couple of times, and Ty was a champ through it all.
Next, I disinfected the wound with my favorite herbal spray- Healing Tree All Natural First Aid Spray. It has tea tree oil, myrrh, comfrey and goldenseal, and is non-stinging.
I then made a paste from activated charcoal, and plastered it onto the wound. Activated charcoal will draw toxins out, but is only beneficial for the first couple of treatments. I covered the black goop with a piece of plastic wrap, went around that with an ace bandage to hold it on, and left the dressing on overnight.
The next day it was hard to tell if the sore was any better ’cause it was stained black from the charcoal. I had Ty soak his elbow in warm salt water for about 15 minutes. We used a cottonball to wipe the black away as much as possible.
Plantain growing in my backyard.
I then made a poultice of plantain by washing a fresh picked leaf, chewing it up (yes, that’s right), then putting it onto the bite. I covered the plantain with sterile gauze (later using wooly lamb’s ear as a dressing cover), then wrapped the poultice with an ace bandage.
We made a trip to Whole Foods that day to pick up some Green Bentonite Clay. This was to be used like the charcoal paste, to draw out the toxins and promote healing. I also picked up a jar of organic raw honey for healing as well. I was hoping to get Manukah Honey, but they didn’t have any with a strength of 16+ or more, unfortunately.
While we were there I also bought a bottle of Sambucus (Elderberry Syrup) to help support his immune system. Echinacea and Vitamin C are also recommended.
In the book Be Your Own “Doctor” by Rachel Weaver M.H., she recommends the following “antihistamine duo”: Pantothenic Acid (a natural antihistamine) and Maximizer (an enzyme supplement). I didn’t get any, but I thought the information was worth noting.
So, for the next three days I alternated between using the clay, the plantain poultices, the honey, and soaking in salt water 1-2 times per day, and by day five it was almost completely healed.
I think the adhesive on the band-aid we used broke his skin out, so I switched back to the gauze/lamb’s ear leaves and self-sticking wrap.
It looked so much better by this time. Once it had healed over, I applied honey often so as to reduce the scarring. I also rubbed vitamin E on it.
It’s nothing but a slight scar now, about two weeks later. I’d prayed and prayed that he wouldn’t end up like those horrific skin graph operation photos! Geez! I’m so grateful it healed up so nicely and he experience no other side-effects.
Of course I have to say that if you have a spider bite and you are having symptoms of an infection or bad allergic reaction, seek medical help right away.
Have you ever had a bad spider bite? How did you go about treating it?