Bug bites are an unfortunate part of life, nobody likes them—especially the one we wake up with and have no idea where it came from. When you get an itchy, red bite, your first instinct is probably to reach for the tube of over-the-counter medicine or just scratch it until it’s a bloody mess. We have a better idea—reach for these essential oils for bug bites.
Essential Oils For Bug Bites: Product FAQ
1. What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are compounds extracted from the leaves, flowers, rind or bark of certain plants. They’re extracted using water or steam distillation and mechanized processes like cold pressing. The result is a concentrated oil that keeps the plant’s scent.
2. How Are Essential Oils Used?
The use gaining the most popularity is aromatherapy. This is an alternative medicine practice that focuses on how the scent of essential oils can help with certain moods and conditions. The thought is certain scents stimulate a part of the brain called the limbic system known for regulating moods and emotions, certain behaviors, parts of memory and your sense of smell.
If you’re anxious, for example, you might rub a little lavender oil on your wrist or add it to a diffuser and breathe in the scent. It won’t completely take your anxiety away, but the scent is soothing and relaxing, so it can aid in calming your nerves down. They may also help with:
- Mood swings
Bath and Beauty Products
Essential oils are a popular addition to many lotions, oils, shower and bath gels, soap and shampoos. Each time you use one of these products, you’re taking in the scent and enjoying the benefit of that essence.
You can make your own aromatherapy bath products by adding a few drops to unscented lotions, oils and washes. Just make sure you read the label of the oil you’re using. A few, like cinnamon, ginger and peppermint, can be too harsh to put in some products.
Natural Health Remedies
Like the essential oils for bug bites we’ll be talking about today, there’s a growing trend to treat minor ailments with essential oils. Essential oils have been found to be effective in helping with:
- Hair growth
- Dry skin
- Brittle hair
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Bee stings
You should always consult your doctor if you’re taking medications or have ongoing health concerns. Some essential oils may not be a good fit with certain prescriptions or health issues.
3. Why Do Bug Bites Itch?
When a bug bites you, your body has a natural response. Your white blood cell count increases at the bite site and produces histamines—your body’s natural reaction to injury. The histamines cause the bite to itch and swell.
The biggest culprits of bites that itch like crazy are mosquitos. When a mosquito bites you, it releases its saliva into the bite to stop your blood from clotting so it can feed on it—gross. The saliva and the skin injury produce extra histamines making them the number one itch factor bite.
4. How Can Essential Oils for Bug Bites Help?
Each essential oil has different healing properties, just like the plants themselves. Before modern medicine, people used herbs, plants and flowers to cure many ailments. They help with certain conditions because the right essential oils can be:
When you buy a pure essential oil, it’s important to dilute it according to its instructions in a carrier oil such as jojoba, grapeseed, almond or olive oils. Putting a pure essential oil on your skin may be an irritant and cause even more problems to your skin.
How We Reviewed Essential Oils For Bug Bites
We reviewed the following essential oils based on how well they worked for the symptoms of a bug bite. We evaluated their properties and price to ensure they were the right essential oils for bug bites.
What We Reviewed
- Lavender 100% Pure Essential Oil
- Cliganic 100% Pure Peppermint Essential Oil
- Basil Essential Oil – 100% Pure
- Tea Tree Essential Oil – 100% Pure
- Frankincense Essential Oil – 100% Pure
- Best Lemongrass Essential Oil Pure Certified Organic Therapeutic Grade
- Roman Chamomile Essential Oil – Pure & Natural Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil
- Patchouli Essential Oil – 100% Pure
- Plant Therapy Camphor White Essential Oil
- 100% Pure Rosemary Essential Oil
Plantlife Lavender 100% Pure Essential Oil
Lavender is a great, all-around essential oil. It’s soothing, so it may help the itch and pain of a bug bite. Sometimes itching can be an agitation, and lavender oil is best known for its calming and relaxing effects on the mood.
Cliganic 100% Pure Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint oil has a cooling effect on the skin, so it takes the sting, burn and itch out of bites. It has antimicrobial elements so it can help prevent infection. Don’t use peppermint oil on broken skin because it could aggravate it. If you can’t see a puncture mark, this is a great go-to.
Basil Essential Oil – 100% Pure
Basil comes in several varieties including Thai, sweet, and holy, and all have anti-inflammatory effects on bites and stings. Basil is also antimicrobial, helping to prevent infection at the site.
Tea Tree Essential Oil – 100% Pure
Tea tree oil may be a natural antihistamine, helping to calm the allergic reaction your body is having to the bite by reducing swelling and itching. It’s one of the best known essential oils for bug bites for preventing infection and relieving pain.
Frankincense Essential Oil – 100% Pure
Long known for its soothing, moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties, frankincense oil is also a natural bug repellant. Once you realize you’ve been bitten, you can use this oil to calm the bite and ward off any others.
Best Lemongrass Essential Oil Pure Certified Organic Therapeutic Grade
In a few studies, it’s suggested lemongrass oil may prevent the spread of insect-borne illnesses when used quickly on new bites. It will work wonders on the inflammation and the itch of stings and bites while moisturizing the surrounding skin.
Roman Chamomile Essential Oil – Pure & Natural Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil
If you’ve ever had a cup of hot chamomile tea after a stressful day, you know how soothing this flower is. The essential oil has the same effect on bites. It can soothe minor allergic reactions with its anti-inflammatory and calming properties. Roman Chamomile is a great oil to diffuse if you’re stressed out about all the bites you and your family are scratching.
Patchouli Essential Oil – 100% Pure
Patchouli oil has one of the most distinctive scents of all the essential oils and is one people either love or hate. It’s got anti-inflammatory properties to help soothe the itch and swelling of an insect bite and acts as a natural bug repellent to avoid more bites.
Plant Therapy Camphor White Essential Oil
Camphor is in the same family as cinnamon. When the itch of a bug bite is too much to take, camphor creates a warming sensation some people find soothing to the itch. If your bite already feels warm, this may not be the oil for you because it will increase that sensation.
100% Pure Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary has a strong scent and is a powerful oil that needs diluting. It’s on our list of essential oils for bug bites because it has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. If you have a whopper of a mosquito bite that has swollen to the size of a silver dollar, reach for this essential oil.
Essential Oils For Bug Bites: The Verdict
Overall, we like tea tree oil as the catch-all of the essential oils for bug bites. It’s got an array of properties to keep itching and swelling at bay. You’ll like the clean scent and it even keeps those of you who can’t stop scratching from developing an infection. Our second overall choice is lavender oil. Everyone should have a bottle of lavender in their medicine cabinet. It’s great for bug bites and stings, restless nights, and stressful mornings.
If you’ve been bitten by or live in an area with a lot of mosquitoes, we recommend picking up a bottle of lemongrass oil. It’s the champion of essential oils for bug bites caused by mosquitoes because it may help stop the spread of insect-borne diseases, of which mosquitoes are the number one culprit. Keep this in your bag when you’re camping or doing any outdoor activity where mosquitoes hang out.
Last, to just prevent the bites in the first place, we recommend frankincense or patchouli. Both will work well if a bug penetrates their repellent attributes to soothe and calm the itch and swelling of a bite. Whichever essential oil for bug bites on our list you choose, we know you’ll find relief!