Went foraging, hoping to find some wild stinging nettle, and while being ever so careful of some vigorously healthy poison ivy, I was looking closer at a pointed, jagged-edged leaf (not nettles after all) when I realized my feet were burning. Fire ants! Before I could brush them all away I had numerous stings to my feet and ankles. They hurt a lot!
I hurried for home but almost immediately stumbled into some clay quick sand in a run off area that sucked my sandals off - we just had a LOT of rain - and realized as I hurried on that it had felt soothing to the bites. So I went back and stood in the mud for a moment or two. I didn't want to waste time getting back home to treat before too much damage was done, but I do think the clay bought me some time or even was a beneficial first line of treatment!
At home twenty minutes later, I did a hasty google and ran into the debate about acid vs. Alkaline treatment. So I quickly doused my feet and ankles in white vinegar (at ten times the price I figured I save my raw organic ACV for spot treating later), dumped that out and then doused in household cleaning ammonia. Then I threw together an Epsom salts soak with the cold water on hand outside, figuring that even if it did nothing about the stings it would calm me down.
I shortly realized that the only sting that was hurting was one that was too high up my leg for the Epsom salts to reach (I may have missed it with the vinegar and ammonia, too, and the higher bite wouldn't have made it into the mud, for sure). I changed that leg to a different, higher bucket.
After about half an hour, with a headache trying to sneak in (fire ants?), I rubbed on some witch hazel/mint mouthwash/EOs mixture that helped last year with chigger bites (thank you, Earth Clinic people) and decided to try to nap and decide what other steps I'd have to take from there.
Well, I must have done something right because two hours later all I see where I know ants stung is little dark sting spots. No blister, redness, burning, etc. It itches a little but the chigger mixture takes care of that.
I had been anticipating having to hunt up more remedies... Things like plantain, etc. , to deal with the aftermath. I'll know better tomorrow, but at the moment it looks like there is no aftermath! In the past, without immediate treatment, those stings have resulted in terrible misery and open, running sores that went on for weeks.
Thank You, God... Your natural pharmacy rules!