Natural Remedies for Bee Stings
Summer and autumn are prime time for bee, hornet, yellow jacket, and wasp stings. These insects are in their glory as they hum around rotten fruit, the compost heap, flowers, and by default picnickers--not a good thing for us humans who are sometimes viewed as the enemy.
After the Bee Sting: What to Do First
Unlike honeybees, the stingers of hornets, wasps, and yellow jackets remain attached and if agitated these insects will sting you multiple times. Honeybees leave their stingers behind after they have stung you so look for the stinger and remove it immediately by scraping it out with a fingernail.
Wash the bee sting with soap and water to prevent bacterial contamination associated with the venom. Do not squeeze, rub, or pick at the sting as it may cause an infection. If you have multiples stings or a severe allergic reaction visit the emergency room of the nearest hospital.
Remedies for Bee Stings
A mild allergic reaction occurs from the venom in the stinger. The skin will become slightly swollen and turn a pinkish-red color and later start to feel itchy. This lasts for a few days at most. The itchy feeling is the result of swelling, which causes blood to move toward the surface of your skin. Try the following natural remedies to relieve the discomfort of a sting:
- Make a paste of baking soda and water or baking soda and apple cider vinegar and apply to the skin to relieve itching.
- Applying lemon juice or apple cider vinegar directly to the affected area should help relieve itching.
- Apply clay or mud to the sting area and wrap with a towel. Leave on until the mud dries to relieve general discomfort.
- Cut a potato in quarters and apply directly to the sting. Potatoes contain allantoin, a substance that soothes inflammation.
- Crush the leaves of the plantain plant (Plantago major or P. lanceolata) by chewing them and then placing them directly on the sting area for several minutes. Plantain is a common plant that contains large quantities of allantoin.
- Crush the leaves and stems of the Jewelweed plant (Impatiens spp.) to make a watery juice and apply directly to skin.
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