2 ingredient natural bug bite remedy

Summer is here and with it comes a ton of bugs that love to bite us! Of course those bites itch and we want to stop that itch so we use a bug bite spray or ointment. Unfortunately most of them are loaded with a bunch of chemicals that we just don't need to be applying to our skin. Natural bug bite remedies are a better choice but many of them require a bunch of different ingredients that you may not have on hand. 

DIY bug bite remedy

That is why I created a 2 ingredient bug bite salve using things you already have!

Because how are you going to buy a bunch of ingredients to try to save money, by making something homemade? The fact is though, that there are several herbs that can help take away the itch and sting of a bug bite. If you have them all, then go for it, but only one herb is really necessary! 

I actually grow several herbs that are great for this purpose and I'll link down below to some more complex recipes. Today though I wanted to go super simple with 2 ingredients you probably already have.

2 ingredient bug bite salve

Our herb for this "salve" is plantain. I used quotations around salve because it's more of a solid oil than an actual salve. Our oil is coconut oil. That's the whole recipe! Easy...right?

The herb Broadleaf Plantain (Plantago major) has many amazing uses especially for cuts and bug bites. It really takes the 'owe' out of cat scratches too! Plantain is a perennial 'weed' you probably have growing in your yard or garden. 

Not to be confused with the banana type fruit you see in some stores. There are about 250 different species of plantain but we're looking at 'Plantago major'. I talk about harvesting and drying plantain in this post.

Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, but becomes liquid around 76°F. Since it liquefies at such a low temperature you'll probably want to store the finished product in the refrigerator. Being cold actually seems to soothe bites and scrapes a bit more though.

Gather and prepare the plantain

like to use dried herbs when I infuse them to prevent the risk of mold from moisture. Pick some fresh plantain from your yard or garden and place it in your dehydrator for a few hours or pop them in the microwave to dry them quickly

I chose plantain for this recipe since not only is it effective, but it grows everywhere! You should have some growing in your yard somewhere! Or sidewalk cracks...along the edge of the house. You can literally find it anywhere.

drying plantain for salve

Infuse your oil

Once dry, crush the plantain and place it in a mason jar. Add a dollop of coconut oil to the jar and put the lid on loosely. It should be just enough oil to cover the dried herb once it's melted. 

I place the jar on the warmer on my stove top to melt the coconut oil. You can use a double boiler or crock pot to melt and keep your oil warm while it infuses. Let it infuse for about 6 hours. 

plantain infusing in oil

If you don't have a warmer to use, you can let your jar sit in a warm room or a sunny windowsill, but this will take much longer. Since I'm usually infusing oils in summer the coconut oil has no trouble staying liquid. I let the oil sit in a warm sunny windowsill for 2 weeks shaking every few days, then I strain and use.

When the oil is ready, line a funnel with cheesecloth and place the funnel in a clean jar. Pour the oil and herbs into the cheesecloth and allow the oil to drain out. Pour the strained oil into tins or small containers. Allow to cool then store in refrigerator.

cooling plantain salve for bug bites

Option 1: Two ingredient herbal spray oil to treat bug bites

If you want to make a liquid oil to spray on instead of one that will become solid below 76°F, you will substitute the regular coconut oil for fractionated coconut oil. 

This is a form of coconut oil that has had the long-chain fatty acids removed via hydrolysis and steam distillation. This oil is always liquid. Follow directions as above, but pour into a spray bottle after straining.

If you have any questions on making an infused oil, check out my tutorial on How to make an herbal infused oil

Option 2: Two ingredient solid salve for bug bites

If you want to make a shelf stable salve....you'll need a few more ingredients but you're about halfway there! We're going to use the same proportions I used in How to make a burn salve

You'll need:
1/2 cup of plantain infused coconut oil
1/2 ounce beeswax 

You'll put the plantain infused oil in a double boiler and turned the heat on medium. Once warmed thoroughly, turn off heat and add 1/2 ounce of beeswax and let it melt. It melts quicker if you use the pastilles, but chopped up beeswax blocks work just as well. 

You can add 4-5 drops of lavender essential oil since it has great skin healing properties...or just leave it plain, it's up to you! Pour into a small jar or tin and let cool. This salve will not need refrigerated.

Either way you want to make it, these are both very simple ways to treat bug bites naturally.

Like to forage for wild medicinal plants? Check out my other posts on foraging and using herbs medicinally!


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I am not a doctor or other health care professional nor do I claim to be. I am not trained in any medical field. I am simply passing on information that has worked for me. This information is for entertainment purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any medical condition. see a Dr if you are ill. Click for my full disclaimer.

1 comment:

  1. Hi. I tried your recipe the other day, it turned out well. However, I think I’m gonna add beeswax to it today so it isn’t as hard. Just have one question I’m confused on. I used my crockpot on warm setting, but is my jar supposed to be sitting in water in the crackpot or just in crockpot? I did it without water and it worked but wasn’t sure. Ty for the recipe!
    Email: philly.5656@yahoo.com