If you are reading this article, probably you are reading it from your desktop, safe from the bite of a spider. The clean and bright walls of a city home does not naturally attract a spider. I never saw a spider at home, until I visited my relatives who were staying in a dense jungle part of Assam. A big brown hairy spider was just crawling on the wall , and to my shock everyone said it’s harmless. It stayed with them as if their pet. After this incident, almost 25 years ago, I started studying spiders and a have gathered numerous methods to counteract most of the spider bites.
When I see a spider bite, my first reaction is just same as a novice, that I want it cured as soon as possible. I don’t want to know whether the spider was poisonous or not. I just don’t want my skin inflamed and itching all over my body.
You will be surprised to know that most of the bites in cities happen without much observation. For example, a baby sleeping unguarded, a worker pulling up debris from a construction site, a mom cooking food beneath an unclean chimney, all unaware that a tiny spider is going to crawl up , give a bite and run away. Most of the people can’t diagnose that it has been a spider bite or insect bite. I am including some pics of common spider bites.
Let me explain you some fast and effective remedies first. Kindly note that any kind of bite and infection that is spreading fast and causing forth formation at the bite site, and causing fits or epileptic seizures need urgent medical intervention rather than these remedies, which are just like a first aid, or aid in a non poisonous bite. Scientists and observers are discovering new species of insects everyday and even if it’s a non toxic bite, it has enough power to keep you engaged for a week.
Home Remedies for Spider Bites
- It is the fastest, sure and most effective way to get rid of the bad effects. You have to stun at the place of bite 2-3 times from every angle, so that the chemical composition of the poison changes and is rendered harmless. It works best if used within first 2 hours of the bite. If you feel that the bite material is still inside, and the skin is swelling up you can just give it a shot even after a day. You can buy a stun gun online in hardly 1000 bucks. I have got an Indian ‘’JUGAAD’’ for you. Remember the mosquito killing racket which is used at homes and comes in hardly 200 bucks. Though it will deliver a much lesser voltage(which means its safer too), it is quite an analogue for the stun gun. The issue is it can be always effectively directed towards flat portion of the body. Most of the pharmacy companies want to either hide or disapprove this method, but be sure that this is the first choice in emergency.
- If the bite is not severe but a small one, try this excellent method. This was one of my earliest and most effective way to counteract any insect bite. The inside of the banana peel has to be kept as a poultice. After this you can also apply fresh papaya peel which has anti inflammatory property.
- For bites which are extremely painful just apply a mixture of peppermint, tea tree oil and lavender. It is one of the most effective ways to subdue to spider poison.
- Holy basil or Tulasi paste is again one of my favourites. It draws away the poison from inside. You can change the paste after every 5-10 minutes(i.e., till the time it dries) until you feel the redness and itching is gone. Once a spider bit my father below knee, and I used this paste. I saw the paste changing its colour to bluish red, showing its effectiveness to absorb back the poison.
- Calcium carbonate/chalk/lime paint(also called choona in India) is an excellent solution in which pain and redness is severe. As you know that the spider bite is acidic in nature. This acid is directly neutralized by application of calcium carbonate and the poison is rendered harmless.
Drugs Mentioned in Ayurveda Texts for Spider Bite Treatment
Now we shall discuss few drugs which have been directly mentioned in Sanskrit Ayurveda texts:-
- Application of Salt(saindhava), Honey and Haridra Khanda
- Fumigation by guggulu
- If required affected area should be surgically cut and removed followed by application of Paste of priyangu, yasthimadhu and kustha
- Chandana, utpala, padmaka, kshira pippal, sleshmataka all are equally effective
- Best of them is Shirish, Neem, Kusumbhaand trivritt which expels out all the venom, but has to be used cautiously by an experienced hand.
- Ela , karanja, arka-pani, apamarga, durva and bramhi can boiled into a decoction and taken internally
- Draksha and gokshura are also very powerful remedies
- The bite site can also be washed with the exudations of Ksheeri Vrikshas
Note: This is a general treatment. There’s a more detailed treatment mention in case you have identified the colour or species of the spider. Also if the bite is near any artery, vein or nerve plexus the situation has to be taken more seriously as the poison can spread at a very fast rate from these areas.
Mythological story behind the origin of Spiders
It happened when King Vishvamitra went to meet sage Vashishtha and asked for a special calf which was gifted to the sage from demi gods. Vishvamitra wanted to take the cow by force and hence sage Vashishta got enraged. The drops of perspiration of the sage which fell on the hay stacks(luma) took the form of venoumous and dreadful spiders called luta in Sanskrit. Later on the king was unable to take away the calf as it itself had its own strong defensive and offensive powers.