I love me a tall glass of centipede juice (wu gong jiao). It’s so good and refreshing, I make it myself.
But it’s not for drinking or just for scaring my kids, centipede juice is a great topical natural remedy for insect bites and stings.
This is how you make it:
- Catch a live centipede. The blue or red ones are fine. Do not get bitten, as the centipede toxin is an important ingredient.
- Place the live centipede in a clean glass jar (with a cover).
- Pour a cupful of white vinegar into the jar. Cover. This is when the centipede gets really mad. And then dies.
- Keep jar in a dark area, like a cupboard.
- Wait at least 2 months.
- Centipede juice is ready to use! Apply liberally on insect bites and stings.
Yeah, it’s not really centipede juice. But that’s what we call it at our house. Centipede juice is great to have on hand for caterpillar stings, bee stings, mosquito and ant bites, spider bites and yes, centipede bites. And the sooner the remedy is applied to the affected area, the better.
I gave my last jar of centipede juice to my dad, who uses it when he gets stung by the stinging nettle caterpillars that like to eat the gingers and lilies in my mom’s garden. He prefers it over an ointment his doctor prescribed. I used centipede juice when I was bitten by a centipede (revenge?) The bite was totally gone four hours later.
Centipedes seem to come out when it’s wet. Now that it’s rainier in Hilo, keep your eyes open for these little (and sometimes, not-so-little) guys. And maybe you can make centipede juice of your own.