Have you ever been stung by a bee? Up until this week, it’s never happened to me; but of course there’s a first time for everything, right? Thankfully I’m not allergic, so treating the sting wasn’t a big deal. But afterwards, I decided to look up natural bee sting remedies and found a whole bunch of great ideas out there!
The way I got stung was pretty interesting… Long story short, I stepped on a bee. In my house. While barefoot. Of course, I didn’t know at that moment that it was a bee, but I found out soon enough once my husband came to help and found the dead bee in the hallway. Oh, and all this is going on at 2am while my 8 month old is crying, waiting for me to go nurse her – perfect timing!
We cleaned the sting site, iced it, and then my husband spread some minty toothpaste on it to help alleviate the pain – which surprisingly helped a lot! Once I had the pain under control, I started searching for more natural bee sting remedies, and this is how this post was born. 🙂
How to Clean a Bee Sting
Before using one of the remedies below, make sure to thoroughly clean the sting site. If the stinger is still inside your skin, you have to remove it first. Don’t try to pull or pluck it out, as you may rupture the sac which will release more venom. Simply scrape across the skin with a card or your finger nail to swipe the stinger away. Once you’re sure it’s gone, gently clean the area with water and soap. Now you’re ready to treat the sting.
Natural Bee Sting Remedies
Lavender Essential Oil
Of course! My favorite essential oil ever is apparently awesome for bee stings and is supposed to neutralize the venom almost instantly. Just put a drop of lavender oil on the sting site, and let it do its magic.
Since bee stings contain formic acid, using something with an alkalinizing effect like baking soda can help neutralize the sting. Just add enough water to some baking soda to form a paste, then apply it to the sting site and don’t wash off. Add that to the list of many ways to use baking soda!
Apple Cider Vinegar
Just a drop or two of ACV on the site will help relieve pain. This is especially good wasp stings since they’re more alkaline. Make sure it’s raw ACV for the most health benefits.
Isn’t this as ironic as it gets? Bees create the venom, and then turn around and provide the cure – brilliant! Just slather on some honey to the sting site to reduce pain and swelling. Honey is also anti-bacterial and will help prevent infection. Local, raw honey is always best, but if you can’t find it locally, you can find some online here.
This is an old folk remedy that apparently works very well. Just crush a garlic clove to release it’s juices, then press it against the sting site to relieve the pain.
Apply some calendula cream to the site to help reduce itching and swelling. Since calendula has antiseptic properties, it can also help prevent infection.
Cut a slice of onion and lay it (juicy side down) on the sting.
Parsley or Basil
Crush up (or chew) some fresh parsley or basil leaves, and apply to the site to help relieve pain.
This common weed is found growing wildly in almost any climate – it’s probably creeping up in the cracks in your sidewalks. Just as with the parsley or basil, you’ll just chew some plantain leaves to release the juices, then apply them to the sting site for fast pain relief.
Perhaps the simplest, yet most effective remedy is applying an ice pack to the sting site to help numb the area and reduce pain and swelling.
Like baking soda, toothpaste also contains alkaline ingredients which help to neutralize the sting. Although this is what I used on my sting, it’s definitely a last resort. If it wasn’t 2am, with a crying baby, I definitely would’ve used something else first. 🙂
Symptoms of Bee Stings
Of course, these natural bee sting remedies should only be used by those who are not allergic to bee stings. A normal reaction includes pain, itchiness, swelling, and redness. If you experience an allergic reaction, including the following symptoms, please seek medical help immediately:
- difficulty breathing
- multiple bee stings
- swollen tongue
- slurred speech
- blurry vision
- abnormal swelling
- rash or hives
Do you have experience with bee stings? What are your favorite tried and true natural bee sting remedies?