SPIDER BITES – not as dangerous as we think

This April, my 15 year old daughter came back from a camping weekend with what they thought was a spider bite. The counselor advised her to get it looked at by a medical professional, as the skin had gotten red and purplish and swollen. I took her to First Care, a medical walk-in center, in Highland, NY, which is an excellent facility (and NOT an ER room, which I avoid like the plague!)

Jeff, the nurse who initially met with us explained that he learned in ER training – if you did NOT see the spider bite you, then you don’t have a spider bite. Since spiders are not nocturnal, you most likely won’t get it while you sleep. You’ll feel it bite you, so that would be another indicator.

Brown Recluse Spider

Brown Recluse Spider


There are two types of serious spider bites in our area, upstate New York – brown recluse and the wolf spider (from which you’ll get a reaction but it’s not potentially serious as the brown recluse bite). The black widow spider bite is less dangerous than the brown recluse, but there are rarely black widows in upstate New York, as they tend to like more temperate climates.


Wolf Spider

Wolf Spider

Doctor Donaldson, who came in later, confirmed this information. He added that he did not want to prescribe antibiotics at all, even as a precaution. (Which I probably would not have used, as I use other remedies in lieu of antibiotics for most health challenges.)




What I did for my daughter, which I would do for any bad reaction to a bite:
* activated charcoal poultice –
take a capsule, add some water, apply and bandage
–> I had used this prior to leaving the house and by the time we got to First Care, it was almost gone, both the redness and the hotness
Activated charcoal is great to have on hand – taken internally, it will clear up food poisoning pretty dramatically

* apis mellifica, homeopathic – it’s a homeopathic remedy, Latin name for bee, but for any bug bite that has a reaction it works, I’ve used it for years with great success
* echinacea + barberry, I might want to add cleavers and burdock, which are blood cleansers
* you could use baking soda poultice for itching
* coconut oil is good as it has lauric acid which is an anti-microbial and it has free radicals
* I also had her take internally 2 capsules of charcoal and repeat that before bedtime

For the herbs and homeopathics – Take them on the hour, alternating them (so you are taking a remedy on the half hour) until the reaction is over, usually just the first day and then taper off the next day
Drink lots of water
* probiotics would be great as well

To make it simple on the road, you could do clay or mud and just take the homeopathic remedy apis mellifica. The above remedies are extra, sometimes I like to be aggressive at first and then back off. Sometimes I don’t feel like doing much at all!

The doctor said in his 35 years of ER work, he only saw spider bites two times, so they’re pretty rare. A lot of times people get a staph infection or some other reaction to who knows what, and a spider bite it blamed. The brown recluse spider can give a nasty venomous bite – and cause tissue necrosis, however. But again, this is pretty rare.

Actually, when I first started practicing acupuncture 8 years ago, a woman came to me for backache and I noticed that she had a nasty spider bite on her leg. She had gotten it weeks ago, had seen the spider bite her. It was treated with meds, but it was still lingering pretty seriously. I did an acupuncture protocol that I had learned in school and which I had been using at the Manhattan cancer hospital where I also worked, for clients undergoing chemo/radiation, to help the body detox from the toxins. My client called me that night and said she wanted to return the next day – her back was fine but the spider bite reaction was almost gone. That was great, to have visible proof of the efficacy of this particular protocol (which I’m happy to share with any acupuncturists you may know.)


Leave a Reply 0 comments