A bee sting can be painful, lasting for several hours at a time. You’ll find several tinctures and remedies for bee stings at your local chemist. But what if you’ve run out or it’s the middle of the night when you get stung by a bee and need instant relief? Don’t panic. Just head to your kitchen or your herb garden.
How to Deal with Bee Stings Instantly
You can deal with bee stings instantly with several things found easily in your pantry, refrigerator, bathroom cabinet or vanity.
Removing the Sting
Before you get down to any of the remedies below, you first have to remove the sting. The sting is the pointy tip that will be visible above the surface of the skin. The part of it that is still under the skin is attached to a sac full of venom which is what is causing the pain and throbbing. When you remove the sting, you have to be careful to pull it out gently but firmly so that the whole thing comes out. If you pull at a wrong angle or are not firm enough, only the sting above the skin will break off and come away while the source of your pain – the venom sac – will still be comfily lodged in your skin. At that point, it will be much more difficult to remove. So ensure that you get it out all at one time.
Make sure you are removing the sting under good light so that you can see the sting properly. Use a tweezer to remove it. You can also use a blackhead remover to push the skin down and raise the sting higher for you to get a better grip. Wash the area properly. Next, you can either use a cold compress to soothe the area or move on to any of the remedies listed below.
We’ve included plenty so that if you do not have one, two or even three ingredients available, you can resort to several others. Be sure that you are not allergic to any of the ingredients in the remedies below before employing them. Dealing with a bee sting is bad enough; you do not want to add allergic reactions to your discomfort.
Lick the Sting Site
Your saliva contains thousands of different types of bacteria, most of them designed to kill germs that can harm your body. Licking the sting site is a natural way to disinfect it. It can also help to soothe pain to an extent.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Partly soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and dab on the site. Apple cider vinegar is choc-full of several compounds which reduce swelling, redness and neutralize poisons, making it a near-perfect bee sting remedy.
Pure and plain aloe vera gel is an instant soother for many skin problems from sun burn to a really bad itch. Your local health food store should have pure, uncolored aloe vera. You can also keep an aloe vera plant in your kitchen. They do not require much care and grow quite quickly. Cut the fleshy leaf open vertically and use the gooey gel within to liberally cover the sting site. You’ll experience instant relief.
Just apply a drop or two of mustard on the sting.
Rub honey on to the sting site, don’t be stingy. This will help to reduce swelling, redness and pain. You can repeat as often as you wish. You can also add essential oils to the honey and then apply on the site as they help alleviate pain. Just two drops will do. The aroma can also work to soothe your mind, which is half the battle when it comes to pain.
You may have heard that toothpaste can dry out a zit overnight. Those same properties allow toothpaste to literally dry out the venom. However, make sure that you use white toothpaste, not the gel kind. If you have a mix of plain white toothpaste and gel, scrape off the white bit to use on the sting site.
Cut off a piece of papaya and apply directly on to the sting site. The tropical fruit uses papain – an innate compound – to neutralize the poison from the sting. You may have to leave this on for about 30 minutes (depending on your body chemistry) before the pain goes away completely, so apply a slice of papaya instead of a paste to prevent a mess. You will, however, experience a lessening of discomfort almost immediately.
Good things sometimes come in stinky packages. Onions are oft-maligned for the tears you get when cutting them and the bad breath you get when you eat them raw. This humble, smelly root can considerably reduce the pain from a bee sting. Just cut a slice and place on the site.
Have a little parsley or basil handy? Either dry or fresh will do. Crush a little bit and apply directly on the sting site. It will neutralize the venom almost immediately and relief will soon follow. You can add a little water to make a paste to make for more convenient application.
Apply directly on skin, rubbing it in gently. All symptoms will soon disappear.
Spray a little deodorant on your fingers and then apply (with your fingers) on the sting site.
An incredible home remedy for several things, baking soda has proven effective in easing the pain of a sting too. Just make a quick paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the sting. If you have vinegar, you can use that in place of water for even better results. The vinegar will fizz as it reacts with the baking soda. This is completely normal and nothing to worry about. The pain will begin to reduce shortly after. Another variation of this bee sting remedy is to add salt to baking soda and water. Most folks swear that baking soda in any form is great for bee stings.
The handy little pill is a stable in most medicine cabinets. Crush one or two tablets and mix with a little water to form a paste. Apply on affected area. Although not the best at reducing pain, the active ingredients will reduce swelling and burning.
If all your cupboards are bare and you’re looking at an empty refrigerator, just reach for the ice (hopefully, you have some of this). Wrap a couple of ice cubes in a cloth and dab on the area of the sting. You’ll get a little numb there, which will help to alleviate pain. If you have any swelling from the sting, this too will gradually reduce with consistent application of ice.
No ice either? Run cold water over the sting. It will work just as well as the ice and the flowing motion of the water can be very soothing.
Remember that we are all made differently and what works well for someone else may not be as effective on you. Try another remedy if one does not work.
If you are allergic to bee stings, do not attempt to medicate yourself or try any of the above remedies. See a medical professional immediately.