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Healing Spider Bites with Therapeutic Essential Oils

I began to worry that the bites could have been from ‘Brown Recluse” or ‘Black Widow’ spiders. Both live in our region of northern California. Was afraid the reaction could have more serious effects.
woman gardener's hand near blooming 'carpet of snow' allysum

I’m a gardener. Backyard gardening is wonderfully creative, therapeutic and soul-nourishing. It’s a fairly low-risk hobby, but some potential dangers lurk…in the insects – spiders, wasps (yellow jackets), bees (for those who are allergic), and snakes; soil-borne pathogens (tetanus / staph); and accidental injuries from tools & wires /nails.

June 5, 2007
I noticed 2 or 3 spider bites on my inner left arm just below my elbow after carrying an armful of summer pruned fruit tree clippings. I’m prone to insect bites of all sorts – fleas and mosquitoes find me absolutely yummy! So, I know what those bites look like. These were definitely different.

Didn’t do anything for the spider bites at first. By 2nd or 3rd day, the reaction was getting worse, causing me and my family some alarm! The area was reddened & spreading, swollen with some edema (fluid retention), very hot, itchy-painful, the edges were surrounded with teeny blisters as more tissue became involved.

I began to worry that the bites could have been from ‘Brown Recluse” or ‘Black Widow’ spiders. Both live in our region of northern California. Was afraid the reaction could have more serious effects.

My family thought I really should go to the doctor. I felt the bites needed attention & care, but weren’t serious enough for a doctor’s visit. Plus I knew conventional medicine wouldn’t offer me any holistic treatment. A doctor was likely to prescribe anti-histamines and/or cortisone creams. Neither of which I wanted to use.

always buy the best essential oilsStarted treating the spider bites with therapeutic essentials oils, applying them purely by need several times a day every few hours, when it got too itchy, too hot, a bit painful, etc. These are the essential oils I used:
~ PURIFICATION (a Young Living Essential Oils blend) to detox the venom / reduce itching
~ PEPPERMINT essential oil to reduce itching / cool the tissue inflammation
~ LAVENDER essential oil to reduce itching / speed up healing noticeably / pain relief / heal the skin / diminish scarring
and two of my custom GAIA’s PHARMACOPEIA essential oil blends:
~ Revive to help with detoxing and to minimize any scarring
~ Trinity for its powerfully healing properties

And I drank lots of water to help my kidneys & intestines with the detox. Noticed an immediate improvement!

Took 10 days or so for spider bites to heal. At first, the venom detoxed via a skin rash through the thin skin in my inner elbow. The rash slowly moved up to my armpit via the lymphatic system causing an intense, itchy red rash that covered most of my underarm for almost a week, which gradually faded away. I washed my underarms several times a day to help wash away the venom from my skin.

A rash is a common way for the body to detox poisons. It was important to attend to my injury, applying essential oils frequently. I learned to start right away and not wait. There is no remaining mark or scar from those spider bites.

Didn’t make detailed notes about the first set of spider bites at the time. Jotted these notes four months later in mid-OCT 2007, when I got a second spider bite….again from carrying an armful of prunings…this time from my big cannas.

This second spider bite was on my outer left forearm. And took a totally different healing course. Started using the essential oils right away. Some of the same ones I had used before:
~ PURIFICATION / PEPPERMINT / Revive essential oils
~ Added Melrose (a Young Living Essential Oils blend) to prevent infection:
This is a super effective, gentle blend that helps immediately and doesn’t sting. I use it on any questionable gardening skin wounds, since Tetanus and Staph infections are both possible dangers when working outdoors and/or from puncture wounds or metal tools/wire injuries.

The second spider bite also had some swelling, but no edema or rash. It stayed localized, was reddened, a bit hot, and itchy. It scabbed up at the bite. I had trouble not scratching it and fussing with the scab. It took MUCH longer – a couple of months – to heal. But it did heal completely with no side effects.

However, I still have a slight scar where I was bitten. The skin is slowly healing the scar tissue…and it looks like there will be no scar eventually. I need to use my Reviveessential oil blend to help it heal completely.

Gardening & Therapeutic Essential Oils Lessons Learned:
Wear long sleeves and use gardening gloves (which I do), when picking up piles of pruning clippings.
Apply healing therapeutic essential oils to all spider bites / insect bites, injuries / wounds ASAP!
Keep the wound clean, washing the injured area frequently to help your body detox.
Drink lots of water to help your body detox.
Continue using essential oils until the injury is completely healed & any rash / scar tissue has disappeared.

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2 thoughts on “Healing Spider Bites with Therapeutic Essential Oils”

  1. I got a spider bite on the arch of my right foot about 6 days ago and didn’t realize it. I have had trouble with that foot due to hammertoe and bunion, and I thought the pain I was experiencing had something to do with that. A couple of days later, I realized I had a bite on my foot.

    I don’t think this is a dangerous spider bite, but the pain has been intense in my leg and knee. It is improving now, though. It is better when I do range of motion exercises and keep the blood circulating. The first couple of days, it was just horrible first thing in the morning.

    The bite wasn’t at all red or swollen at first and so far has not done anything dramatic, but today it has 3 little blisters, which seems strange since it should be 2 – or 4 if I was bitten twice. I put some tea tree oil on it and a band-aid to protect it from rubbing against my sock.

    Do you think the tea tree oil is a good choice? I do have some lavender oil that I use to calm my mule’s nerves! I think I also have some peppermint oil in my spice rack.

    • Hi Suzanne ~ Sorry to hear of the pain that bite has given you. Intense pain is never a ‘good’ sign.

      Tea tree is a superb, amazingly healing, essential oil…depending on the brand you’re using. (Tea tree in lesser quality brands can be adulterated with synthetic, non-therapeutic-quality, and toxic aroma-chemicals.)
      Lavender EO (if it’s from a quality supplier) would be excellent for both pain-relief, soothing those irritating nerves (put it on your knee and lower leg) and skin healing at the bite site.
      Peppermint EO is excellent for pain relief, if it’s pure steam-distilled therapeutic quality. Often, flavoring oils for cooking are diluted.

      The little blisters are your skin detoxing the insect venom. It’s normal. Keep applying good essential oils and covering with the band-aid, so the skin doesn’t break. If the blisters do open, continue to use the EOs and band-aids until it heals. Remember to drink LOTS of water to help your body flush the toxins. Baths or foot soaks would also be good as our skin is our largest detoxing organ.

      Let us know how you do.


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Cynthe Brush

Certified Clinical (Medical) Aromatherapist
Creating Custom Blends Since 1999

Therapeutic Essential Oils Practitioner & Self-Care Health Educator has used essential oils for personal, family, & client health issues since 1999.

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