19 Responses to “Activated Charcoal for Bug Bites and Other Itchy Situations”


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  1. Pam M.

    Growing up, my Granny had 2 ‘cure alls’ that were her go-to prescriptions for just about everything – peppermints and black salve. Black salve was practically sacred in our family. She gave me a bit of her salve in a used medicine bottle when I moved away for college. I used it only on the worst of splinters or things that needed ‘drawing out’. It lasted me for years, but I never saw it in a store or pharmacy to replace it. Unfortunately, she passed on and I wasn’t able to find out where she got it or what was in it. I just found out about a month ago that the ingredient that gives it its name is none other than activated charcoal. In researching it years ago, it was even said to be able to eat away skin cancer (black salve). Of course, that would need more research. :-)

    I so wish I would have been able to have a conversation with my Granny as an adult. She was so wise in the ways of natural remedies and I was absolutely clueless as a teenager just how much this would come into play in my life.

    I have an etsy shop where I make organic skin care ( and one of my products is a salve that we use for everything around here – including bug bites. Plantain is one of the herbs I put in it. It has wonderful drawing capabilities, like activated charcoal. I’ve recently been thinking of adding that to it and making my own ‘black salve’. I think my Granny would be proud. :-)

  2. Pat Robinson

    Witch hazel and plantain (common weed) are my goto for itchy bites, and poison ivy.


  3. Activated charcoal is the best. We also use it for stomach troubles like the stomach flu or if something just didn’t agree. It also helps with gas. Also, the capsules are a good think to carry in your purse for bug bites and stings.

  4. Ayshela

    would this work for allergic reactions/hives for things like, oh, realizing as you were scrubbing down your guy with the pre-op scrub sponge, that it’s laced with iodine which you’re allergic to? *siiiigh* (Benadryl onboard, no worries of breathing problems or anything, but I’d love something to help with trying not to claw the skin off my hand.)

  5. This is great good news for my household… bug bites and poison oak are more regular occurrences than I’d like. Thanks also for the link to the activated charcoal in bulk. When we bought capsules the other day at our local crunchy store, they said it wasn’t sold in bulk… eh, what do they know?

    So…. now I’m wondering if the activated charcoal salve or poultice might work for jellyfish stings?

  6. Marsha

    For mosquito bites, and any other itchy-scratchy bite, I use my thumbnail to dig an X into the bite. Press down hard, but not enough to draw blood. It overwhelms the nerves sending pain signals. It hurts a lot for a second or two, then….NO MORE ITCH. I used to work near a swampy area in the FL Keys, so I used this method quite a bit. :)

  7. Lissa

    I am so excited to try this on chigger bites—they itch and grow like crazy for a week or more even if you don’t scratch them, and not scratching can be pretty impossible because they tend to be grouped on sock lines, panty lines, by the waistband, et cetera. I really hope this works on them!

  8. – this site looks like one big infomercial but is actually a really good place to buy activated charcoal. I bought a big container of it years ago and it’s still 3/4 full. they also have capsules and lots of other charcoal products.

  9. I put activated charcoal in a small bowl in the back of the fridge. Works WAY better than the old box of baking soda. Also, we have a seasonal place & with a bowl of activated charcoal in the fridge & freezer, I don’t need to prop the door open & it still smells fresh every spring when we open up the house.

  10. Charlotte

    I would LOVE to share a story with everybody. I just starting reading this blog religiously. I have been buying super clean products for years now, and finally decided that I could save money and enjoy being creative (AND be even cleaner!) with DIY. Fast forward a few weeks: I woke up last night with a mosquito buzzing in my ear and three bumps on my arms itching like mad. I couldn’t go to sleep they were so itchy. So I decided to get up and put something on them. I don’t have any calamine lotion, but I had activated charcoal in my medicine cabinet (for whitening my teeth!). So I whipped out a tablet, mixed it with water and applied it to the bites (which had grown to about 1/2 inch in diameter!). I let it sit for a few minutes and then washed it off. The itchiness was COMPLETELY gone when I went to bed and I fell asleep like a baby. When I woke up in the morning, I looked at my arm, and the bumps were gone. GONE. Except there was a slight residue of black charcoal outlining each bump. But there was no red, no raised lumps and no itch. I have never, ever experienced anything like this. It was amazing. Better than anything I have ever bought in a store. YOU ARE BRILLIANT!!

  11. I wonder if this helps with zits. Anyone tried it?

  12. Martine

    thanks for the info. I have a fantastic way for wespbites,twoo years ago i was attact by wesps and in 30seconds I had tree bites on my upperarm, I ran into the house and I putt a a coper cent on each bite My arm was twoo times bigger by the time I reach the bathroom! 5minutes later nothing, my arm was back to it’s normal size.and the moment I placed the 3cents on the bites it was like putting water on a fire.


  1. […] quite popular)–DO NOT try to use charcoal from a grill. Remove the charcoal from the tablets, mix with a little skin salve and apply directly to the skin. You can wrap it with a bandage to help hold it in place. This is not something to do if you have […]

  2. […] quite popular)–DO NOT try to use charcoal from a grill. Remove the charcoal from the tablets, mix with a little skin salve and apply directly to the skin. You can wrap it with a bandage to help hold it in place. This is not something to do if you have […]

  3. […] Activated Charcoal for Bug Bites and Other Itchy Situations by Crunchy Betty […]

  4. […] Activated charcoal salve is good for skin irritations, stings and itchiness. The combination of salve and activated charcoal helps to relieve itch and remove toxins from it. Make it here. […]

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