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Take the Sting out of Bug Bites with Histamine Balance

By Jodi Cohen

A person scratching a red, irritated skin rash on their upper arm.

If the bugs are eating you alive this summer, you no longer need to suffer.

Histamine is the chemical released that causes mosquito bites itch and swell up

When a mosquito bites, your immune system recognizes the mosquito’s saliva as a foreign substance. This causes an immune system response, which aims to protect you against the attack and flush out the intruder.

Your immune system produces antibodies that detect the allergen and cause inflammatory reactions and the release of chemicals including histamine.

Histamine increases blood flow and white blood cell count around the affected area, which causes inflammation or swelling.  Histamine also sends a signal to the nerves around the bite which causes it to itch.

Since the histamine release of histamine is what causes bug bite symptoms, the modulation of histamine can help relieve swelling and itching.


Essential Oils to Take the Sting out of Bug Bites

Essential Oils can act as a natural anti-histamines, modulating the activity of the body’s histamine receptors.  By altering the way the body reacts to allergic reactions and bug bites, you may reduce inflammation, swelling and itchiness.

The anti-inflammatory properties of essential oils may help relieve mosquito bite inflammation, speeding healing time and reducing itching after a bug bite. Oils also contain antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that may help wounds heal and reduce the risk of developing an infection.

The essential oils that are most touted for their anti-inflammatory and histamine balancing properties and are all included in the Histamine Balance blend:


Histamine Balance Blend

Histamine Balance™ blend contains a proprietary formulation of organic and/or wild crafted essential oils are known to take the sting out of bug bites, including:

Blue Tansy is known for neutralizing histamine and helping to control allergic reactions.  Key constituents such as sabinene and camphor contribute to blue tansy’s anti-inflammatory properties, including its ability to counteract allergic discomfort by reducing the levels of histamine in the body.

Lavender helps reduce inflammation, soothe pain and relieve itching and discomfort. An animal study conducted in South Korea showed lavender inhibits histamine and inflammatory protein release from mast cells. These results indicate that lavender oil inhibits immediate-type allergic reactions by inhibition of mast cell degranulation in-vivo and in-vitro. Additional research found the medicinal compounds in lavender oil, and especially its component linalool, help to inhibit the production of histamine and suppress inflammatory responses.  Lavender can also be applied directly to bites to reduce the pain and itchiness of bug bites.

Roman Chamomile is known as a natural antihistamine, with soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. A 2010 study published in Molecular Medicine Reports found it helps balance and inhibit excessive histamine responses. The study highlighted the benefit of topically applying Chamomile essential oil as its anti-inflammatory properties ”penetrate below the skin surface into the deeper skin layers” to calm inflammation and amplify healing.

Similar research suggests that the methanol extract of Chamomile showed potent anti-allergic activity by inhibition of histamine release from mast cells.  What’s more, research found chamomile essential to be even more effective than cortisone cream in reducing pain, swelling, inflammation, redness and itching.

Rosemary is known to naturally alleviate allergic responses and lower histamine and stabilize mast cells. A small study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacol suggested that rosemary essential oil can inhibit muscle contractions of the trachea caused by histamine.  Its antimicrobial properties also help soothe bug bites.

Peppermint contains Menthol which helps create a cooling sensation, which can help reduce stinging, burning, and itching caused by bug bites. Research on “the anti-inflammatory activity of L-menthol compared to mint oil in human monocytes in vitro: a novel perspective for its therapeutic use in inflammatory diseases,” found that menthol is an effective treatment for chronic inflammatory conditions.

Flavonoids contained in Peppermint were found to have a potent inhibitory effect on excessive histamine release from mast cells. The Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that peppermint oil has an antispasmodic effect on the windpipe muscles and has “expectorant actions and is anti-congestive.”

Finally, research suggests peppermint oil may act as an antimicrobial, reducing the risk of infection associated with some bites.

Manuka is similar to Tea tree essential oil known to quickly and easily reduce the production of histamine and support a reduction in systemic inflammation, which reduces pain, swelling, and itching – which makes it great for all sorts of bug bites.

A German study published in the year 2000 demonstrated antimicrobial properties that could destroy a wide variety of bacteria fungi and yeast. This is important in terms of allergic reaction because these dangerous microbes can cause inflammation and also cause the immune response to overreact.

Tea tree’s ability to stop itching may be its best trait. A 2012 study showed that tea tree essential oil prevented itching better than other medications.

Histamine Balance™ can be applied behind your ears, on base of your neck and on your sternum or on the bottom of the feet to calm itching and swelling from insect bites.

You can also apply Lavender essential oil directly on insect bites.


Essential Oil Bug Spray

Essential Oils can also be used to repel bugs. Some of the plants that essential oils are derived from contain natural compounds that repel bugs.  This protects plants from being eaten by the insects!

Essential oil bug spray offers a natural approach to fending off pests that is easy to make and gentle on skin.

The following oils found in Purification™ blend can be used to make a 4 oz. bug spray.  Just add the following to a 4 oz. spray bottle:

Shake well, and then spray on exposed skin.

The Purification™ blend contains a proprietary formulation of organic and/or wild crafted essential oils of Lemongrass, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Lavender, Myrtle and Citronella:

Lemongrass is known for its natural insecticidal activity. Lemongrass has been observed to work as a natural bug repellent against ticks, fleas, dust mites, cockroaches and mosquitoes. Using a lemongrass mosquito repellent outdoors may help repel various types of insects.

Rosemary can help to repel insects, especially mosquitos. Rosemary also has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties to help relieve bug bite pain and swelling and prevent infection.

Tea Tree works as a natural insect repellent and insecticide.  It possesses antifungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties that make it great for keeping bug bites clean and preventing infection. A study conducted in 2002 found that mosquito repellents which contained tea tree essential oil as an active ingredient, were able to provide protection against mosquitoes for over 6 hours.

Lavender can ward off insects as well as calm inflammation which helps to minimize swelling and speed up healing on insect bites and stings.

Myrtle is a natural antimicrobial that can reduce reducing pain, itching, and irritation from bug bites.  This makes myrtle essential oil supportive for wounds, like bug bites.

Citronella is known for its natural ability to repel mosquitoes by working to mask the scents that attract bugs.

Purification™ can also assist in eliminating fungus, viral, bacterial and infectious problems.  It is beneficial in neutralizing poison from insect bites, spiders, bees, hornets, and wasps, repels bugs and mice. It may also assist in treating wounds and cuts, poor circulation, nervous exhaustion, respiratory conditions, regenerating connective tissue and aiding skin to heal.


Featured Oils:

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About The Author

Jodi Cohen

Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils. An author, speaker, nutritional therapist, and a leading international authority on essential oils, Jodi has helped over 50,000 individuals support their health with essential oils.