Seasonal herbalism - Treating insect bites and stings

Roisin Reilly BSc (Hons), Medical Herbalist, held an online workshop for us on herbs and weeds to treat summer time health conditions such as insect bites and stings. Wild plants have a high medicinal and nutritional value as they contain chemicals with antimicrobial and antiseptic properties which help plants ward off pests and help us too.


Cooling plantain oil

  • Pick Plantain leafs before mid-day on a dry day.

  • Chop the plantain roughly into 1cm by 1cm.

  • Place into a clean sterile jar, push leafs down and cover with olive oil.

  • Label and date.

  • Place into a dark cupboard for 2-6 weeks.

  • After time elapsed, strain using clean apparatus, pour into clean (preferably dark) bottles, date and label, should last for at least a year.

  • Apply to bites and stings. @Roisin Reilly BSc(Hons) 2020


To deter biting insects you can make your own insect repellent with:

  • 30 drops geranium essential oil

  • 30 drops citronella essential oil

  • 20 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil

  • 20 drops lavender essential oil

  • 10 drops rosemary essential oil

  • 1 TBSP vodka or rubbing alcohol

  • ½ cup natural witch hazel

  • ½ cup water (or vinegar).

Add ingredients to suitable spray bottle and top up with water, shake well. The oil and water will naturally separate over time and just needs shaking up. @Roisin Reilly BSc(Hons) 2020


Roisin recommended the following books for further reading:

Root to Stem by Alex Laird

Wild Flowers of Britain and Northern Europe by Richard Fitter, Alastair Fitter

Herbs and Healing Plants of Britain and Europe by Dieter Podlech

Disclaimer – The above are recommendations only. Northwick Park Community Garden (NPCG) does not accept responsibility for any health effects occurring because of readers of this blog applying herbal remedies. Do consider any health/ medical conditions you have before resorting to herbal remedies in general.

@NPCG 2020

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