Oriental Chives – for insect bites

Recently I was bitten by an insect (don’t know which though) at the back of my left foot. It became itchy and after walking around all day at work in my work shoes, it became very inflamed and painful to walk on. That was when I noticed that it had become infected i.e. cellulitis and was becoming a little bruised as well on the overlying skin. Hence I had to attend the out-of-hours GP service, which actually went very smoothly and I was given a time slot to see the GP.Now the fact it was so easy to arrange all this, both my colleague and I wonder why people would queue up in A+E and wait so many hours to be seen when there is a simpler way. Anyway, I was prescribed a course of oral Flucloxacillin for 7 days to treat the cellulitis.

My infected swollen left foot with an area of bruising – note the puncture mark where the bite occurred

But my wife and I had concern that the bruising was getting worse despite the antibiotics. Hence she suggested using Oriental chives or garlic chives to dress the infected area.┬áHaving looked on the internet, it does look that this was one of the traditional uses for the oriental chives – not just for eating. And since we have some growing in our garden, my wife proceeded to process some to form the dressing.

Oriental chives mashed with a pestle and mortar

She then used this mixture to dress the infected area and bandaged this up for the few hours – until it was time for my evening shower.

Oriental chives dressing on the foot

After 4 hours of this mixture on the foot, we took it off and discarded the dry Oriental chives. We noted that the swelling and the bruise had reduced somewhat – much more so where the dressing had been applied to compared to the bottom edge of the bruise which was not covered by the oriental chives dressing at all.

After 4 hours of the dressing

So it does feel that the oriental chives dressing does work for insect bites, although to be fair I prefer them in the oriental chives dumplings which my wife made for me to eat as well.

Oriental chives dumpling

I probably would not use the Oriental chives dressing for insect bites if was not very severe, but would consider using it again if I was worried about it. My foot is definitely getting better, for which I am very thankful. But having the Oriental chives in the dumplings is probably the better use of this vegetable.