Natural Remedies for Bee Stings

It is a beautiful, sunny day in northern Wisconsin.  It’s about 74º with a light breeze. And I JUST smushed a bee that landed on the table next to my laptop.

Bees are wonderful for pollination and for making that delicious honey…but why do they need to go after us with their little stingers?

If you’ve ever had a bee sting, you know how much they hurt.  That tiny pinch is PAINFUL! And then the area will get red and usually swell a bit and be very sensitive to the touch.  And if you’re highly allergic to them, you may even carry an epinephrine to stop an anaphylactic reaction.

I read recently that a person can handle one bee sting per pound of body weight.  So an adult male would have a better chance after stepping on a nest than a small child.  One more piece of random knowledge to file away….

So what do you do if you get stung?

Get one of these remedies on ASAP. From my experience, the sooner after you can get the stinger out and apply one of these, the faster the pain will dissipate and shorter the healing process.

Apple Cider Vinegar. Soak a cotton ball and hold on the site for a few minutes. The pain will go away quickly.

Ammonia. I was told about this remedy from a boy I tutored who was in the Boy Scouts. Seems to be a popular remedy for scout leaders when they are out in the woods.  Soak a towel or cotton ball and apply to the site.

Baking Soda.  Make a thick paste and let dry on the site. Wipe off with a wet cloth and reapply as necessary.

Crushed Garlic.  Put a clove or two through a garlic press and apply to the site.

Honey.  Apply a thick layer, enough to cover the entire site.

Lavender Oil.  Use pure lavender oil and apply a few drops to the site.

Lemon Slices. Place a slice of lemon over the entire site.

Mud. Make a paste with some dirt and water. Best for those times when you’re out hiking far away from a kitchen. (I have not tried this one, but a friend thinks it works well.)

Oil of Oregano. My personal favorite (surprise, surprise) because it worked on my 3 yr old last summer within 5 minutes.

Onion. Cut an onion in half and place cut side down on the site.

Tea Bags. Steep a tea bag in hot water and then let cool slightly and place on the affected area. I have not used this one, but again, a friend has told me it works.

Why do these remedies work? The venom that is “deposited” needs to be neutralized. Many of these are natural antibiotics, antiseptics and anti-venoms and also help with the inflammation.

Hopefully you won’t need to use one of these remedies in the near future, but if you do, let me know how it worked for you!


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