Bee stings are very painful and in some cases can be life-threatening if the person is allergic to the venom. While they are not usually as painful as wasp stings or hornet stings, their stinger is left behind delivering more venom. The general symptoms to look out for when dealing with someone who is stung by the bee include dizziness, nausea, itchy red patches, difficulty in breathing, swelling and pain. The pain usually disappears within a few hours. Then hot to deal with a bee sting? The symptoms can be cured by using home remedies. However, if you experience large swelling, slurred speech, blurry vision, and swelling in the tongue, immediately rush to a doctor. Listed below are a few home remedies to get rid of bee stings.
Home Remedies for Bee Stings
As mentioned above, the first thing you must do is to remove the stinger (if you have been stung by a honey bee) using a pair of tweezers or safety pin. Next wash the area with some soap and warm water.
1. Cold Therapy
Apply a cold press on the sting. Or else, wrap some ice cubes in a cloth and apply on the sting for 20 minutes. The coolness will contract the blood vessels, reduce the swelling and lessen the pain. Repeat after 2 to 3 hours.
Apply a small amount of toothpaste on the sting and leave it on for 15 minutes. It will provide relief from itching. Reapply after 5 hours.
3. Baking Soda
Mix baking soda in a little bit of water to make a thick paste. Apply the paste on the affected area and let it stay for some time. Wash off with water and repeat after 3 hours.
4. White Vinegar
Vinegar neutralizes the venom. Apply vinegar on the bee sting with the help of a cotton ball. Let it stay for 15 minutes.
5. Meat Tenderizer
Mix meat tenderizer and water in 1:4 ratios. Apply this solution on the affected area. Papain (an enzyme), present in meat tenderizer breaks the protein in bee venom, thus relieve you of itching and pain.
Note – Don’t leave it on for more than ½ an hour as it may irritate your skin.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Pour a few drops of ACV directly onto the sting, or pour a few drops of the vinegar on a cotton ball and put in on the sting until the pain subsides.
7. Black Drawing Salve
This is an ideal bee sting treatment. For preparing your own black drawing salve at home, put comfrey leaves, calendula flowers and plantain leaves in a mason jar. Add some olive oil to these herbs. Now close the jar and put it in a cool and dark place for at least 4-6 weeks. In order to speed up the process, place the jar in a water-filled pot and heat it for 3-4 hours. Let it cool down. Strain the infused oil.
Next melt the beeswax in a double boiler. Add coconut oil and shea butter to the beeswax. Stir until all the ingredients melt completely and then remove from the heat. Mix the melted ingredients with the herbal oil infusion. Add 0.5 oz sourwood honey, 2ml vitamin E, 1ml of each essential oils (lavender, fir needle and tea tree oil essential oil), 1ml rosemary extract, 0.5 oz bentonite clay, 1 oz activated charcoal, and 0.25 oz green tea powder to it. Combine all the ingredients thoroughly. To cure the bee sting, apply a liberal amount of the black salve on the place where you have been stung by the bee and cover it with a bandage or gauze. Leave it on overnight and wipe clean the following day.
8. Lemon Juice
This may cause a little irritation but is as effective as vinegar. Simply pour a drop of lemon juice on the affected area, the acid will neutralize the poison. Alternatively, you can slice a lemon and put it on the bee sting.
Cut a thin slice of potato and place it on the affected area. Leave it on for a few minutes and then wash the area with warm water.
Place onion slices on the bee stung area to get rid of the pain.
The cooling properties of cucumber soothe the irritation and pain associated with bee sting. You just need to put a cucumber slice on the affected area.
12. Olive Oil
Rub the area with some warm olive oil and leave it on. This is one of the best home remedies to get rid of soreness.
Garlic has both anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which help reduce swelling and provide relief from pain. Crush a few cloves of garlic and add a few drops of coconut oil to make a smooth paste. Apply on the bee sting and leave it on for a few hours. Repeat 4 times a day.
Tobacco is certainly injurious to health but is an exceptional bee sting remedy. Tobacco helps neutralize the venom, thus, reduces inflammation and pain. Unroll a cigarette and remove the tobacco from within. Put the tobacco in a bowl and add some water to it so as to wet the tobacco. Crush the tobacco a little with your fingers. Now place it on the bee sting and wrap the area with a bandage. Leave the bandage on for 15 minutes and then remove.
15. Rock Salt and Fennel Seeds
Rock salt and fennel seeds both wondrously reduce the swelling caused by a bee sting. Crush some fennel seeds and rock salt together to form a powder. Add a little water to this powder to make paste. Apply it on the swelled up skin 4 times a day until you get relief.
16. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt contains magnesium and sulfate, which aid in reducing swelled up area. The most important use of Epsom salt is – when the stinger remains stuck inside the skin it can easily bring that up to the surface of the skin so that you can pull it out. Simply mix some Epsom salt with a little bit of water to make paste. Apply this paste on affected skin and wash it off after some time.
Mustard has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which help treat bee stings. Grind some mustard seeds to make a powder. Apply it over the affected area. You can also make a paste by adding a little water.
Papaya contains a compound known as papain which counteracts the effects of the poison injected by the bee. Cut a slice of raw papaya and rub it against the bee sting. Or else, make a juice and apply it on the affected area using your finger tips. It is one of the excellent bee sting remedies.
Dab a small amount of honey on the affected area. Wash it off after a few minutes. The anti-bacterial properties of honey ease the pain and swelling. Apply it several times a day.
20. Activated Charcoal
Prepare a paste by mixing activated charcoal with water. Apply it on the affected area. Use bandage to hold it. Let it stay for 10-15 minutes.
Apply a little limewater on the bee stung area. Gently rub so that it penetrates into your skin. Let it dry. Use this remedy after every 3-4 hours for a soothing relief.
Herbal Remedies for Bee Sting
Do you want to know how to treat a bee sting using herbs? Continue reading the following herbal remedies.
22. Marshmallow Leaves
Simply rub a marshmallow leaf on the area stung by the bee to reduce swelling and pain. It’s an effective bee sting treatment.
23. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel contains tannin, flavonoids, gallic acid and many other healing compounds that aid in curing bee stings. Simply apply the witch hazel on the bee sting. Add a few drops of lavender oil to it for better results.
24. St. John’s Wort Oil
St. John’s wort oil heals wounds, reduces swelling and relieves muscle pain. Make a paste by mixing the oil with bentonite clay. Apply the paste on the affected area. Let it dry and then wash it off.
25. Calendula Flowers
Calendula flowers have numerous properties such as antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, astringent and antifungal. Prepare your own calendula salve at home and use it to treat rashes, wounds, minor cuts and even insect bites. Mix calendula flowers in 1 cup of olive oil. Place it on a low heat for 4 to 5 hours. Remove from the gas and allow the oil to cool. Use cheesecloth to strain the oil.
Now take half a cup of beeswax and cut it into small pieces. Mix it with the calendula oil.
Using the double boiler method, heat the oil and beeswax mixture until the wax dissolves. Remove it from the heat and add approximately 20 drops of lavender oil to it. Allow the mixture to cool. Simply apply it on the swollen area.
26. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil has anti-inflammatory properties which decrease pain, swelling and itchiness caused by a bee sting. Simply rub the oil on the affected area 2-3 times a day.
The anti-inflammatory properties of this herb lessen swelling. Make a paste by crushing some parsley. Apply it directly onto the affected area and cover with a gauze. After some time, remove the gauze (the parsley will come off along with the gauze). Repeat it 4 times a day.
Note – Do a skin test before you apply the parsley paste as it can cause an allergic reaction.
28. Basil Leaves
Basil contains a compound called eugenol which has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. You can crush the basil leaves and apply directly on the bee sting. Or else, mix a little bit of turmeric to the basil paste and apply on the affected area. Wrap a bandage and leave it on for some time.
29. Plantain Leaf
Take a plantain leaf and chew it (don’t swallow). Apply the chewed leaf on the affected area.
30. Aloe Vera
Apply aloe vera on the affected area to get rid of symptoms of bee sting.
- When working in the garden or backyard, be very careful and always wear covered footwear, socks and gloves.
- Wear a long sleeved shirt and pants so that your skin is not exposed to the bees and wasps or yellow jackets, or hornets.
- Always keep your garbage can covered.
- Do not wear brightly colored clothes when cleaning the garden as it can attract the bees.
- If you plan to have a barbeque or garden party, do not leave your opened soda cans unattended as they will attract bees.
- Do not swat a bee, it will sting. Instead stand still and brush it off gently.
Despite all the negative effects of a bee sting, there is one advantage of being stung by a bee for people with arthritis. According to a study, bee sting therapy can actually help cure arthritis. The venom is removed from the bee and processed before it is injected in the area of the body that is affected by arthritis.