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    Tick Bite Prevention


    The most important tool you have in your arsenal is to prevent being bitten in the first place. With tick numbers surging, this might become more and more difficult, especially when you consider that some members of the community contracted Lyme in their urban back gardens. However, if you are heading out into the countryside (particularly to an area where there might be deer) then the chances of contracting Lyme disease become considerably higher. Here’s some steps you can take to prevent from being bitten.


    1. Cover up- If you are walking in an area with long grass, be sure to cover all your skin (that includes tucking your trousers into your socks).
    2. Repellant- There are some good tick repellants on the market that should help deter ticks. I recommend a repellant that contains at least 20% picaridin as it’s been shown to be most effective at repelling ticks.
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    3. Check yourself thoroughly- Once you’ve been to an area that could have ticks, it’s important to check yourself thoroughly. Young nymph ticks can be the size of a poppy seed which makes them incredibly hard to spot and they anesthetize the skin when they bite you, which means you can’t even feel the nip.

      ticks on finger

    What do I do if I get a tick bite?

    Firstly, if the tick is still attached then removing the tick in the correct way is absolutely essential.
    If you just pull it out (like I did), there’s a good chance the head will detach from its body and will become embedded in your skin and then you’ll definitely contract infections that the tick might be carrying. By removing the tick carefully and intact, there’s less chance that infections will be regurgitated into the body by the tick.

    You must remove the tick as soon as you find it, the longer it’s attached the more chance it has to transmit disease. With tick numbers rocketing in the UK and plenty of green space and wildlife to facilitate a boom in numbers, it won’t be long before a tick remover kit will be essential. Here’s what a kit should contain.


    Its recommended that you wear gloves as an extra precaution to avoid the tick re-latching or contracting infections through breaks in the skin.

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    Magnifying Glass

    Young nymph ticks can be the size of a pin head making tick removal a tricky operation. When removing a tick, you have to make sure you haven’t left any part of the tick behind. Make sure you get the full picture with a magnifying glass.

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    Tick Removal Tool

    In order to remove the tick you have to get underneath the head. If you try to remove it by grabbing the body you not only risk squeezing the contents of its stomach into your body but you also risk detaching the head.

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    You can watch this guide to demonstrate how to use the remover.



    After removing the tick you should inspect the area with the magnifying glass and make sure you clear anything with tweezers that may have been left behind.

    Dispose of the Tick

    Disposing of the tick effectively and safely is very important. You can put it in a small freezer bag and submerge it in alcohol to kill it or you can flush it down the toilet. You may also want to save the tick for testing. Sometimes it can be easier and more straight forward to test the tick for infections rather than yourself. In which case, you will need to store it in the freezer and send it to a lab for testing.

    Disinfecting the area

    Once you are completely satisfied that you’ve removed the tick you need to disinfect the area with rubbing alcohol. Make sure you kill any bacteria that could be lurking near the surface of the bite.

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    Draw out the Toxins

    You can’t take any risks with tick bites. These infections are serious business and you should never treat a tick bite lightly.
    Creating a paste that can help draw out any toxins that have reached lower layers of the skin is going help prevent infection. If the infections haven’t reached your blood stream, there’s a chance you can draw them out with a mixture of Bentonite Clay and Andrographis. This is recommended by highly regarded Lyme Herbalist Stephen Buhner. Mix a paste of Bentonite Clay and Andrographis and place over the bite area and cover with a plaster, leave it for at least 24 hours.

    Bentonite Clay

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    Boost your Immune System

    Finally you can take Astragalus root to boost your immune system and send out more fighters to take infections on. Astragalus root actively increases the activity of T cells in your body which are the antibodies your immune system sends out in response to infections. Stephen Buhner recommends taking Astragalus root if you’ve been bitten by a tick, 1000 mg 3 times a day to prevent infection.

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    For young children who can’t consume pills, Stephen Buhner recommends using a tincture of Astragalus taking 10 drops, 3 times per day. The herb is perfectly safe and it’s used in many Chinese soups and recipes.

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    All of this may seem like overkill to anyone who hasn’t had any contact with Lyme and co-infections but with tick populations booming and the disease they are carrying getting harder and more complex to treat, you really can’t afford to take any chances.

    If despite all of these efforts you start to feel unwell or you notice some swelling or a rash around the bite area you should approach your doctor immediately for further assistance.

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