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8 Natural Bee Sting Treatment Options

honey beeBee 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.plantain

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.

Photos by Dreamstime

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8/10/2016 4:14:28 PM

Propolis tincture is most effective. It immediately relieves the pain.

10/17/2015 1:54:31 PM

I have discovered something that works much better than all these combined. It is tried and true. Dissolve some ascorbic acid in water and drink it, eat some sulfur containing foods such as cabbage family (preferably uncooked) for the glutathione it forms, consume some tartaric acid or wild grapes chew and swallow the seeds for the tartar and phenolics in them, drink and soak in diluted vinegar. Sounds loony, right? These things are synergistic and work to clear the offending venom, among other things. Here's why: Most vinegar is made from fruit, herb or grain and is comprised mostly of acetic acid (named after the acetobacter found on the tiny leetle feet of fruit flies) and other acids. These acids go hand-in-hand with phenolic compounds found in the various fruit/grain/herbs, and have become famous for the why in drinking wine every day. When we consume vinegar in diluted form whether gastrointestinally or via skin, because it is very porous, we are flooding ourselves with an elixir of antioxidant anti-inflammatories which will help our immune systems tackle the onslaught of venom from these little beeasties. Really, we should eat/drink and soak in ascorbic acid, wild grapes, rose hip and green teas and vinegar when we have bee stings... actually all the time. Just bee sure to dilute that vinegar, so you don't erode your esophagus, and use 3-4 cups in a long (hour or more) bath. Here's some stuff to quantify this distillation: (; wink-wink;) You'll have to copy/paste into your browsers address bar. * Note tables 1-4 and what follows them. * Note: apoptosis is the programmed life expectancy and death of a cell, something that gets switched off during carcinogenesis, making the cell reproduce adinfinitum, thus forming a tumor. There's more! You can take some biology classes at your local college or google scholarly articles on the subject. .... so, Here's to your next Vinegar Water and wild grape! =]

9/4/2015 8:33:32 AM

Ammonia works best for me. I would think that mixing vinegar and baking soda wouldn't do anything. You need an akaline substance, not an acid like vinegar. Plus mixing vinegar with baking soda would only neutralize it anyway.

12/5/2013 5:47:03 PM

I was told by the poison control center to apply antiperspirant to the sting.

10/25/2013 9:34:55 AM

I just hold a penny on the sting. Works right away.

10/21/2013 3:05:41 PM

Have been using bleach on a cotton ball for many years now. Works for honey bees and wasps, never had a hornet sting me yet but willing to bet it will work on it also.

10/21/2013 1:10:20 PM

If you are in need of other organic tips or advice visit me here;

10/21/2013 1:07:58 PM

I use the "Bee Balm" flower. Simply break off a leave, chew it for a sec, and place directly on the sting. The pain is gone instantly. This summer my husband got stung while helping me trim some bushes. I ran to the Bee Balm, broke off a leaf, chewed it up and put it on his arm. He gave me a look like I was nuts, but wen i asked him if it was still stinging he said 'No, what was that?" Late in the summer when he got stung again, he said"where's that flower?"

10/21/2013 10:12:54 AM

I use Watkins Petro Carbo Salve not only for bee stings but also for insect bites and cuts. It works really great for relieving the itch and pain. You can find out more information about it at .

10/21/2013 9:57:56 AM

Having worked is the HVAC industry my whole life, a pharmacist customer told us to use household ammonia to neutralize the bee venom. It works. I keep some in my garage at home. Ammonia is the root base of most bee sting remedies.

10/21/2013 9:26:38 AM

Now I did not know about the lavender oil or the honey applications. Good ones. We always used baking soda and vinegar then covered the base with the inside skin of an eggshell which seemed to draw out the venom. Don't know that it did draw, but always worked in combination.

10/21/2013 9:26:22 AM

Spit + tobacco -- mix in your palm, just enough to get it all wet, then apply as a compress to the bee sting site, and leave it alone awhile. Water will not be the same - only spit.

10/21/2013 8:50:40 AM

The Acadian French remedy for bee stings is mud. Just mix earth with water, you want it thick.... Apply a thick glob over sting and allow to dry out. As the mud dries, it draws out the stinger. This is very practical as it can be used on the spot.