Bee stings can be deadly if a person is allergic to the venom. If you or a family member is allergic to bee stings and gets stung, remove the stinger and seek emergency medical attention right away. Do not rely on a natural bee sting treatment alone. Use an EpiPen (epinephrine auto-injector) if you have one.
Any person who is stung by a bee, needs to be monitored for signs of anaphylaxis (life-threatening reaction). About 3 percent of people stung by bees quickly develop this condition. Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
Shortness of breath
Feelings of faintness or dizziness
If there is any concern that a person is developing anaphylaxis, call 911 right away. You can also take over-the-counter Benadryl, but this will not stop the anaphylaxis; it will only slow it. You must seek emergency medical attention immediately for bee allergy.
Non-Allergic Bee Sting Treatment Options
For a quick recovery from non-allergic bee stings, you have three things to do to begin the healing process:
1. Extract the stinger.
2. Clean the wound.
3. Get pain relief.
The first and most important treatment for a bee sting is to remove the stinger as quickly as possible and by any means. The bee’s hind end contains a sac that holds venom, and it may continue pumping more venom into the skin if not extracted. So, don’t be slow about – get the stinger out. You can use your fingernails, a pair of tweezers, or even a credit card to scrape out the stinger. But, be careful not to break the stinger and leave it buried in the skin.
Second, before using a home remedy for bee sting treatment, clean the wound with soap and cool water. This will help remove any bacteria that can cause infection.
8 Natural Bee Sting Remedies
After the stinger has been removed and the wound cleaned, you can use one of these 8 bee sting remedies:
1. Ice. Apply ice for 20 minutes. Ice will numb the pain and slow blood flow to the area, which reduces swelling.
2. Honey. A degree of irony resides in this bee sting remedy since honey comes from bees, but honey is excellent for healing wounds. Apply a small dab of honey to the wound and cover with gauze or a small rag for 30 minutes to one hour. (If a person is allergic to bees or honey, do not use this remedy.)
3. Lavender essential oil. Add one or two drops of lavender essential oil to the wound. Lavender oil will help neutralize the venom immediately.
4. Crushed garlic. Crush one or two garlic cloves to release the juices and press it against the wound. Cover with a moist rag or towel and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
5. Plantain. This is not the fruit! Plantain (Plantago major, broad leaf and Plantago lanceolata, long leaf) is a common weed you’ll find around your home. It typically grows in places where the soil has been disturbed. It can also be found growing in the cracks of your sidewalks. Bee stings are never planned, so it may be a good idea to purchase the Plantago major plant from a local garden and keep it at your home. Although it is a weed, it has lovely purple foliage and leaves that look like small green roses. To use plantain as a bee sting treatment, you need to release the juices from the leaves. This can be done by using a food processor or putting the leaves in a plastic bag and crushing them with a spoon. You can even chew it slightly to release the juices. Once you obtain the juice, press the juicy leaves against the sting and cover with a moist rag or towel for 30 minutes.
6. Baking soda and vinegar. Make a paste using baking soda, a dab of vinegar and water and apply it to the wound for 30 minutes. Baking soda and vinegar helps neutralize the acid found in bee stings.
7. Toothpaste. Like baking soda, toothpaste is a base that will help neutralize the acidic bee sting, thereby reducing pain and swelling. Apply the toothpaste to the wound for 20 to 30 minutes.
8. Meat tenderizer. Make a paste using meat tenderizer and water and apply it to the wound for 20 minutes.
After achieving pain relief with one of these home remedies for bee stings, cleanse the skin by using a wet paper towel or rag and apply a small amount of an over-the-counter antibiotic cream or a natural first aid remedy to help prevent infection.
Now tell us what bee sting remedies have worked best for you.
We’ve outlined 8 ways to get quick relief from the intense pain of a bee or insect stings. Have any of these worked for you? Are there other ones you recommend? Insert your ideas in the Comments section below to help other readers!
Jami Cooley, RN, CNWC is a registered nurse and nutritionist in the Dallas area where she conducts natural health research and writes for Natural Health Advisory Institute. She has also written a free e-Book, Natural Health 101: Living a Healthy Lifestyle. Contact Jami by commenting on one of her blogs.
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I would like to advise against using a tweezers to remove a bee’s stinger from yourself or anybody. The venom sac, which (as noted) may still be attached, is very small. In using a tweezers to remove the stinger you may accidentally squeeze the venom sac which will inject more venom into the skin. All other methods of removal that are mentioned are much better.
Please try a silver ointment. It works best for me if applied within 5 minutes. After 20 to 30 minutes I never know I had a sting.
First about #1. Make sure that you locate just where the stinger is into you or the person you are working on and then find the venom sack, using your fingernail or a similar object place that between the sack and the place where the stinger with it’s barb and slowly move it out without causing any more of the venom in the sack from entering the body. It’s not hard to do. Hope this helps all who read it.
you can use chewing taboca or dip, get it wet and apply it will draw out the posion
A copper one cent coin works for me. BUT today’s cents have little if any copper in them, so I search for (and treasure) those of an older vintage.
I’ve had good results from soaking a stung body part in Epsom salt.
I took two stings on the hand/wrist in our first or second year of keeping bees. They didn’t swell much, but itched like mad. Other remedies weren’t working; I would wake up at night scratching.
I filled a plastic container with an Epsom salt bath, and soaked my hand for an hour while watching tv.
Finally, itch relief!
mud works on all stings for me in florida get stung while doing landscape maint.
The best and fastest working remedy is homeopathic Apis Mellifica.
Cayenne powder works on all stings/bites. Snake,bee,spider,etc. Make a paste with water and apply.
I am having fairly good results with icthammol ointment (drawing salve). I get the stinger out, if I can, take a benadryl, and put a thick paste of icthammol ointment on the sting. I then cover the ointment with gauze and tape it into place. It has made a significant difference in swelling, pain, and itchiness. I had four stings yesterday – one on my face. I did this immediately, and I have almost no swelling, only a bit of itching today. You can buy icthammol from amazon.
Thank you for the tip, Linda!
The only “Bee Sting” remedy I use now is a copper penny. I always keep a couple of pennies older than 1982 in my pocket. In 1982 zinc became the metal of choice for penny making so before then it was copper.
You never know when you may come into contact with a bee so like a Boy Scout, be prepared.
After getting stung remove the stinger and then place the copper penny on the spot. In a few minutes the pain greatly reduces and the swelling never happens.
Skepticism is a great asset, so before you give a no confidence vote try it. After that you may become someones new best friend.
I once read about rubbing wadded up grass on bee stings and shortly after reading it, I was stung. I tried it and lo and behold, it worked great! The pain stopped right away. Usually grass is right there when you get stung, so it is cheap and easy and can be applied immediately.
Thanks for the tip, Debbi!
What has worked wonders for me so far is Miracle Skin Salve from Beeyoutiful. I got stung on the nose from a yellow jacket one time and my eyes started watering so badly I could hardly see. Applied some miracle and almost immediately they stopped watering. It needs to be applied ASAP after the sting, the sooner the better. I got stung by a wasp a couple weeks ago, and within about 15 min. after applying Miracle, I could hardly tell that I got stung.
Could you present an article on bee keeping even though you have developed bee sting allergy and are receiving the injections to reduce the reactions? I have stopped bee keeping temporarily because of this. Are there others who continue?
I use an epsom salt paste. It seems to draw out the poison. If I can’t get to it right away, and the hole is closed, the epsom salt paste will even help to draw out the swelling and histamine reaction at the site. I have applied it days after a sting with remarkable results.
bentonite clay- hydrated