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The 8 Best Essential Oils for Tick Bites

Are you worried about ticks but love to be outside in the summer? Learn about the essential oils for tick bites that can help protect your family this season with natural pest control.

essential oils for tick bites

Essential Oils for Tick Bites

Ticks carry disease-causing organisms. These organisms can be passed on to humans during a tick bite. The most common diseases spread by ticks are Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

It’s important especially during the summer months which is the high tick season that you always use an insect repellent when you are outdoors in areas that are not protected or treated, like in wooded areas or in tall grassy areas.

If you do get bit by a tick, make sure the tick removal is done properly. You need to make sure the head doesn’t stay in the host body.

Read More: How to Remove a Tick

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted to humans through the bite of a tick infected with the disease (Ixodes scapularis). Fever, headache, exhaustion, and a distinctive skin rash, are the most prevalent symptoms. If the infection is not treated, it can spread to other body parts, causing more difficulties like chronic lyme disease.

Read More: How to Keep Yourself Safe from Lyme Disease

What Plants and Oils are Good for Tick Bites? 

Essential oils are a natural way to help relieve the pain and discomfort of tick bites.

Several essential oils have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce swelling and inflammation. They include:

1. Tea Tree Oil
Dilute tea tree oil with a carrier oil like olive oil, almond oil or jojoba and dab on the bite with a q-tip. Tea tree is so effective for pain relief, swelling and itch-relief. It also helps prevent bacteria and infection.

Never add tea tree oil to skin without diluting it unless you know your skin’s reaction.

2. Lavender Oil
This can also be used on pets safely. Add 1 drop of lavender oil to the bite area. Lavender is soothing and pain-relieving.

This is one of the only oils can be applied directly to skin.

3. Allspice Berries
Allspice can help relieve the pain of a tick bite and speed up the healing process. It’s also good to use this essential oil to help prevent future tick bites.

4. Cinnamon Oil
The antiseptic properties of cinnamon bark help heal skin infections quickly, while its antiviral properties can help prevent an infection from developing in the first place. Use cinnamon bark oil with tea tree, rosemary, or lavender oil in a carrier oil and apply directly to the affected area.

5. Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus essential oil has potent anti-inflammatory properties to relieve swelling and pain from a tick bite. You can use it diluted with a carrier oil or neat (undiluted) on the affected area as needed for relief.

6. Garlic
Garlic has been shown to have antibacterial and antiviral properties, and there is some evidence that it may help fight the effects of the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.

In one study, researchers gave mice infected with Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, antibiotics and garlic extract or garlic powder supplementation. The group that received garlic had significantly fewer symptoms and reduced bacterial counts than those in the control group.

Oils from garlic and several other common herbs and medicinal plants show strong activity against the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

7. Myrrh
Myrhh is a powerful antiseptic that can help kill bacteria and fungi. It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years to treat skin infections and other ailments. Myrhh oil has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which may make it helpful in treating Lyme disease-related symptoms like joint pain and swelling.

8. Thyme
Thyme essential oil has antibacterial properties that may help prevent infection by spirochetes. It also has antiseptic properties, which can help cleanse wounds and keep them from becoming infected. 

It is best used in a diffuser so that its properties aren’t lost through heating and evaporation during cooking. Thyme can also be added to bathwater for an aromatic soak that will help relieve muscle soreness and soothe joint pain associated with Lyme disease symptoms.

How Do You Treat a Tick Bite Naturally? 

The best way to treat a tick bite is with prevention. Ticks are most active in the spring and summer, so you’ll want to be especially vigilant during those seasons.

If you do happen to get a tick bite, however, there are some natural remedies that can help alleviate some of the symptoms and hasten recovery:

  • Soak the area in diluted apple cider vinegar for 20 minutes.
  • Apply a poultice of mashed garlic cloves onto the affected area for about two hours.
  • Mix equal parts Epsom salt and coconut oil into a paste and apply to the affected area for 30 minutes, twice daily.
  • Take probiotics and a high-quality multivitamin supplement to boost immunity and health.

How Long Does Tick Bite Bump Last? 

The red bump caused by a tick bite usually lasts for two weeks. The redness and swelling you see are the result of an allergic reaction to the tick’s saliva, which can cause an inflammatory response in your skin. The bump may itch or feel sore, but it’s not harmful.

Does a Tick Bite Leave a Hard Lump? 

The answer is: yes.

A tick bite will leave a hard lump. The hard lump can be felt if you press on the skin around where the tick was attached to your body. It should not be painful or itchy.

When Should I Worry about a Tick Bite?

If you get a tick bite, you may feel a small bump or lump at the site of the bite. If you think you’ve been bitten by a tick, look for these warning signs:

A rash that appears within days after a bite and spreads from the site of the bite. It can start as a red spot that looks like an insect sting and grow into a large round area — often with a clear center — that can be hot to the touch and painful. If left untreated, this rash can spread from head to toe in just days and become quite uncomfortable.

Flu-like symptoms that appear within days after a bite. These include fatigue, muscle aches and pains, chills, fever, headaches, and swollen lymph nodes near where the tick bit you.

If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor right away. They might be signs of Lyme disease or other tick-borne illnesses.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Early Symptoms of Lyme Disease (3-30 days after being bitten) according to the CDC:

  • Fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes may occur in the absence of rash
  • Erythema migrans (EM) rash occurs in approximately 75% percent of infected persons
    • Begins at the site of a tick bite after a delay of 3 to 30 days (average is about 7 days)
    • Expands gradually over several days reaching up to 12 inches or more (30 cm) across
    • May feel warm to the touch but is rarely itchy or painful
    • Sometimes clears as it enlarges, resulting in a target or “bull’s-eye” appearance
    • May appear on any area of the body
    • Does not always appear as a “classic” erythema migrans rash

Later Signs and Symptoms (days to months after tick bite) according to the CDC:

  • Severe headaches and neck stiffness
  • Additional EM rashes on other areas of the body
  • Facial palsy (loss of muscle tone or droop on one or both sides of the face)
  • Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly the knees and other large joints.
  • Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
  • Heart palpitations or an irregular heart beat (Lyme carditis)
  • Episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath
  • Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
  • Nerve pain
  • Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet

The oils listed above can help with the pain that tick bites can create. Remember, this is an at-home remedy and should be used in addition to a visit to the doctor. I am not a doctor nor do I pretend to be one. This is not a suggestion to ignore the tick bite but to assist you in getting through the immediate discomfort caused by these pests. Before going outside, always use a proper natural tick repellent like this on yourself as well as your furry friends!

Natural Tick Repellent

natural tick repellent
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References

https://hub.jhu.edu/2018/12/04/lyme-disease-treatment-essential-oils/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323881#Garlic,-myrrh,-thyme-kill-B.-burgdorferi

https://www.healthline.com/health/essential-oils-for-repelling-ticks#:~:text=Thyme%20and%20citronella%20combination&text=One%20study%20that%20analyzed%2011,the%20most%20effective%20against%20ticks.