Contributed by April A., Ball, LA, on August 18, 2014
Thank goodness I have a great home remedy for a black widow spider bite!
I was unfortunate enough to experience this quite recently.
This bite has rated in the top 1 of horrendous experiences in my life. Now I know why they're considered dangerous spiders!
Black widow bites can affect people differently. I'm in pretty good physical condition, so I don't think I was in as much danger as a young child, an elderly person, or someone in bad health would have been.
I NEVER would have dreamed that a spider would be where mine was.
Like most people in the country, I leave my flip flops outside the door. That way, when I go out to water my garden, I just slide them on and I'm good to go.
One evening, this didn't work out quite so well. A black widow was was hiding under the strap that went across the top of my foot.
Evidently, she didn't appreciate me shoving my foot into her face, so I got bit.
The first sensation was that of being bitten by an ant, so I wondered what all the fuss was about...black widow bites weren't that bad...
Hmmm...then a few minutes later, it felt more like a yellow jacket sting. That was okay, I'd been stung before, so I figured this would pass.
Then, GOOD GOLLY, MISS MOLLY! A few hours later, I was writhing in pain. Good grief! How could something so small cause me so much agony???
As soon as I was bitten, I drug out the "Spider bite first aid kit". This kit actually consists of essential oils and epsom salts. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have these things on hand.
Even if you're heading to the ER, these oils immediately start to counteract the affects of the bite. I don't know what I would have done without them.
Step 1: I applied 2 drops of Peppermint Oil for pain.
Step 2: I applied 2 drops of Basil Oil for an antibiotic/anti-inflammatory. Basil is also calming to the central nervous system. Why is this important? Black widow venom has toxins that directly affect the nervous system. Basil helps to counteract that.
Step 3: 2 drops of Lavender Oil. Not only is lavender a pain reliever, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and anti-septic, it's also a sedative. A black widow spider bite can cause a lot of anxiety. For me, lavender kept me calm. I put it on my bite, then rubbed it on my palms, cupped my hands over my face and inhaled. It took the edge off right away. Trust me, having a bite like this can make you nervous!
Step 4: Soaked in epsom salts. I had to use cool water, because warm increased my pain. I didn't think anything could hurt any worse, but that hot water showed me differently!
I just dumped some in the sink and added cool water. I sat on the edge and soaked my foot for about 15 minutes. The salts not only help to draw out poison, they also make the essential oils absorb into the system quicker. Sometimes when the pain would get really bad, I just hopped to the sink and got almost instant relief.
Step 5: Ice pack. This was great for pain relief. I slept with ice beside me the first night.
Step 6: Vitamin C. I tossed down 4 - 500mg tablets every 2 hours for the first evening. When I woke up during night, I took 2-3 more. The next day, I took 2 every 2 hours. If you take too much, you might get gassy or have loose stools, but you won't be in any danger.
My black widow spider bite symptoms weren't as severe as what I had read about other people having. Others had suffered from things as serious as:
My only symptoms were:
On the third day, the crown of my head started itching. I became paranoid that something was up there, so I had it checked. Nothing. This had to be the toxins traveling through my nervous system.
I applied 2 drops of Basil to the bottoms of my feet (because they absorb into every cell of the body quickly like this) and then to the itching areas on my head. The itching stopped almost instantly.
After my experience, I truly believe these oils, epsom salts and vitamin C should be kept on hand for anybody who lives in an area where spiders are a common threat. This treatment should be started immediately and can even be done while traveling to the hospital. The sooner it's applied, the better.
Although mine was a black widow spider bite, I would recommend using this protocol for all spider bites.
If you would like to purchase the essential oils that April recommends, you can buy them here.
DoTerra Essential Oils are my personal choice.
I find their quality and potency to be better than any other essential oil available.