Ticking off the Ticks (Part 2)
So I came to the end of one of my most recent article about preventing tick bites, and I realized that I didn’t explain how to remove ticks once they have latched on to you. Hence, the need for this sequel article!
Now, while the first part of this article was about how to successfully tick off any ticks that may try to latch on to you, that approach only really works as a preventative measure. Removing ticks—which is a reactive measure—requires a great deal more tact, specifically so that you do not tick off the tick(s) embedded in your skin.
Fact: Ticks carry fluid within their bodies that can be infested with all manner of harmful viruses and infections, including Lyme disease. So your ultimate goal is to ensure that the tick is not interested or able to secrete any of this infected fluid into you.
Okay, so how do you go about removing ticks? Well, based off of my research, there are a few key tips and tricks that will help you when you’re trying to remove ticks:
1. Get a pair of fine-tipped tweezers so that you can grab the tick without difficulty.
2. Use the tweezers to grasp the tick by the head, not by the belly—grabbing the tick by the belly could push infested fluids into your body, so grab the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
3. Pull the tweezers upwards with a consistent amount of pressure—do not jerk your arm up and down, and be extremely careful not to break the head of the tick off from it’s body.
4. Dispose of the live tick by submersing it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag or enclosed container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet—just note that identifying the tick that you were bitten by can be very helpful in terms of determining the appropriate treatment for the tick bite.
Now, here are a few comments about things that you must not do when trying to remove a tick from your body:
1. Do NOT grab the tick with your fingers.
2. Do NOT crush the tick either before or after removing it from your skin.
3. Do NOT try burning the tick off by using a match or a cigarette lighter.
4. Do NOT attempt to “suffocate” or “down” the tick with petroleum jelly or nail polish—the key is that you want to remove the tick as soon as possible. So DO NOT WAIT!!
What about essential oils?
So here’s the question:
What role do essential oils have to play when it comes to removing and treating a tick bite?
Well I’m glad that you asked!
So here’s the thing:
As you may or may not know, there has been a video circulating on Facebook that appears to show someone using Peppermint oil to remove a tick. The summary of the video is that the person places a drop of Peppermint oil on a place where a tick is attached to their skin, and after about 15-30 seconds, you see small bubbles forming and the tick detaches itself and desperately tries to escape the Peppermint oil, which is likely burning it from the inside out.
What does this video show us?
Ticks do not like essential oils.
But here’s the thing: the absolute worst thing to do when trying to remove a tick that is attached to you is to irritate it by burning it or suffocating it. Here’s why:
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, ticks contain fluid that could be infected with a myriad of harmful bacteria, including Lyme disease. Using an essential oil to try to burn, drown, or otherwise remove the tick will likely cause it to regurgitate and release this fluid into your body, which exponentially increases your chance of contracting an infection or a serious health complication/disease.
Moral of the story:
Do NOT use essential oils to irritate a tick once it has embedded itself into your skin.
Having said that, since I absolutely believe in using essential oils instead of harmful chemicals or synthetic drugs, the best way to use essential oils when dealing with a tick bite is to use them to mend the bite after the fact.
Here are some of the top oils that I would suggest using to mend a bug or a tick bite:
1. Lavender is a great oil that is known to soothe the skin.
2. Melaleuca, otherwise known as Tea Tree, has purifying properties that make it extremely effective at cleaning abrasions in the skin and guarding against infection.
3. PB Assist, which is dōTERRA’s probiotic product, would be beneficial because it offers a unique, safe, and effective way to deliver the well-recognized digestive and immune system support benefits of probiotics.
4. On Guard Softgels would also be useful because they are a great way to strengthen and maintain healthy immune function.
So there you have it:
How to remove a tick and how to use essential oils to support your body after being bitten by a tick.
Ultimately, my philosophy is that we should live fearlessly. So regardless of whether there are ticks or not, with my essential oils by my side to proactively protect my from pests and pestilence, I will go outside! I will explore the forest! I will climb every mountain! And I will sail across every sea! (Okay, maybe I’ll skip the sailing part… unless it’s in a cruise ship!!)
So don’t let bugs keep you inside this summer. As long as we aware of the threat that ticks present, and as long as we have a powerful arsenal of natural remedies with us at all times, we have nothing to fear!
Enjoy yourselves, everyone! Explore those woods, climb those mountains, and prepare yourself for a great, tick-free summer!
For more information about how to safely remove a tick that has attached itself to you, go to the following links: