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If you would like further in depth help with an allergic reaction or other acute illness then please get in touch or make an appointment for my half hour Drop In Phone/Skype Clinic. Existing patients and those with short queries are welcome to use my FREE 15 minute Check in appointment for advice. I work internationally via Skype or face-to-face in Brixton, London.

What is an allergic response?

If you have an allergic reaction such as hayfever or a food allergy, allergy to animal hair or house dust, moulds or latex then the immediate response will involve an immune response involving production of IgE antibodies and high levels of histamine in your body. 

A word about Histamine Intolerance (HIT)

Some of the symptoms of HIT mimic a true allergic reaction, but HIT is not mediated by IgE, so skin testing and blood allergy tests will be negative. It is thought to be related to a build up of histamine. In a healthy individual, histamine is broken down by the enzyme DAO (and HNMT). DAO is produced in the intestine, and if DAO production is compromised it cannot degrade histamine normally. HIT seems more common in persons with gastrointestinal disorders such as  IBS, celiac and SIBO. 

What is an anaphylatic reaction?

Most commonly caused by a substance to which the patient has become sensitized, anaphylactic reactions are a whole body (systemic) allergic response. If shock develops, the patient may turn pale, have trouble breathing with constriction in the throat, or faint and becomes unresponsive. If no medical  help is available, it can be fatal, but a serious outcome of anaphylactic reactions can often be prevented with a swift dose of Apis mellifica (honey bee) or Carbolic Acid in a high potency of 200c, 1M or even 10M in severe cases. 

Apis: Swelling of the throat which is worse by heat. Patient feels their chest is constricted and cannot tolerate anything around the neck. They will also usually be swelling and puffiness which feels hot - around the face, eyelids, under the eyes, at the entry site of a sting, bite or chemical. This will be relieved by cold applications. There can be intolerable itching, especially in bed at night. Skin feels full, tense, tight, and over sensitive to touch. 

Carbolic Acid (Carb-an):  The person feels sick and weak, and may have trouble breathing, with a dark or reddish face that looks pale around the mouth and nose. There can be vomiting, feeble pulse, slow, shallow breathing, torpor, a vice-around-the-head-feeling, dusky face and congested-looking,  with an unusually acute sense of smell.

Milder Allergic reactions 

Milder allergic reactions can mimic the anaphylactic response but symptoms are not usually so severe and pass within minutes or a few hours. While some allergic triggers are well known such as stings, bites, dust, animal dander, certain foods or chemicals such as sulphites, it is not uncommon for an allergic reaction to appear to come out of nowhere. This is often seen in those with MCAS/MCAD (Mast Cell Activation Syndrome/Disorder) or HIT (Histamine Intolerance). Whatever the trigger, the symptoms tend to follow a uniform pattern: Sweating, nausea, difficulty breathing, tachycardia and dizziness. Puffiness, swelling, hives, welts and itching are also common.


Apis: (see above)

Ledum Palustre (Ledum) 

This helps relieve swelling and itching of mosquito bites, especially when taken during times of exposure (dawn and dusk).

Ars Alb

Bites and Stings

Apis (see above)


Androctonus (scorpion bite)

  • Hypericum:  can be used for bites or stings that cause sharp and/or shooting pains, especially in areas rich in nerves like the fingers or toes.

  • Staphysagria: when there are many mosquito bites, and the individual bite areas spread out into welts.

  • Urtica urens: helpful when there are red, swollen bites that itch and sting, or when the area has become more like hives due to the bites. Reddish blotches that burn and itch intensely (like a nettle sting) after insect bites may be relieved with this remedy. It is also a useful remedy for hives that sting and itch.

Other Remedies

Aconitum napellus

This remedy can be helpful if a person feels fearful or panicked after being stung. Cutting, stabbing, or burning pain may be felt, along with swelling, tingling, or numbness. Aconitum should be used immediately, while symptoms are intense, and can be followed by another remedy, as indicated.


This remedy may be indicated if a bite or sting results in intensely burning, scalding pain. The area of inflammation is red, and blisters may develop.

Carbolicum acidum



This remedy relieves symptoms of allergies, such as hay fever, hives or reactions to insect bites.


This remedy is known for its soothing effect on injuries to nerve-rich body areas. It is also useful after puncture wounds, including bites and stings. Shooting pains or pains with numbness and tingling often are experienced when Hypericum is needed.

dr lockie

In Britain there is only one poisonous snake, the adder, not counting escaped pets or zoo animals. But abroad, especially in hot countries, scorpions and venomous snakes and spiders are common. As a repellent to such animals, apply Pyrethrum solution (10 drops of mother tincture in 0.25 litre (1/2 pt) boiled cooled water) to vulnerable parts of the body. The symptoms of poisoning are blurred vision and nausea, difficult breathing, increased salivation and sweating, and sometimes Shock. Reassure the casualty and keep him or her still. Apply an ice pack to the site of the bite. If the person loses consciousness or stops breathing, place in the recovery position or give cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (see Unconsciousness and Breathing). Contact Emergency Medical Services or take the person to hospital yourself. Try to describe the animal which bit the person, or if you can do so safely, capture it in a secure container and retain to show medical attendant.

Specific remedies to be given every 5 minutes for up to 6 doses

  • Where there is swelling, bruising and pain Arnica 30c

  • Person faints, has difficulty breathing, becomes hypersensitive to draughts and cold air Moschus 30c

  • Purple discolouration around bite, with seepage of dark blood, person feels worse after sleep (this last symptom is typical of a tarantula bite) Lachesis 30c

  • Rapid onset of swelling and subcutaneous bleeding, skin around bite discoloured, casualty very sensitive to jarring Crotalus 30c

  • Vomiting, feeble pulse, slow, shallow breathing, torpor, band-around-the-head-feeling, face dusky and congested-looking, with pale nose and mouth, abnormally acute sense of smell Carbolic ac. 30c

  • Violent pains, skin around bite erupts in rash or streaks, person feeds cold and numb, tremor in hands and feet Oxalic ac. 30c

  • If person has been stung by a jellyfish Apis 30c

Remove insect stings if visible by scraping it off sideways with your fingernail or a blunt knife; do not use tweezers as they may force more poison into the person. Do not suck out the poison. If the sting is inside the mouth or throat rinse the mouth with iced water to discourage swelling, and get the person to hospital as quickly as possible.

Undiluted mother tinctures can be dabbed directly on insect bites. Pyrethrum mother tincture and solution is good for most bites and songs. Otherwise use Ledum mother tincture and solution for bee stings, Arnica or Ledum mother tinctures and solution for hornet or wasp stings, and a mixture of Hypericum and Calendula mother tincture and solution for gnat bites.

Specific remedies to be given every 15 minutes for up to 6 doses

  • Weakness and collapse Carbolic ac. 30c

  • Rapid swelling Apis 30c

  • Redness and burning Cantharis 30c

  • Blueness and burning Tarentula cub. 30c

  • Shooting pains in affected limb Hypericum 30c

Anaphylactic Shock
An uncommon but very severe reaction to being bitten or stung. See Shock and Poisoning for symptoms and treatment.

Poisonous Plants
If skin has been in contact with plants such as poison ivy, bathe the area with milk and give Anacardium 6c every 15 minutes until inflammation abates. In severe cases give 1 gm of Vitamin C hourly.

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