Getting stung by a bee can be quite unpleasant. Induced symptoms include pain, itching, swelling and redness. Nonetheless, if you’re allergic to bees, you will develop more serious complications: hives, dizziness, difficulty breathing, rapid pulse, pale skin, wheezing and even passing out. In this case, it’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible.
Conversely, if it’s just an innocent bite and you don’t develop allergic reactions from it, then you can treat yourself at home.
The present article provides you with 6 simple yet effective home remedies to alleviate the symptoms of a sting from a honeybee, hornet, or wasp.
- Ice for Swelling
Immediately after getting stung by a bee, remove the stinger by scraping the affected area or using tweezers, and avoid pinching. Then, use ice to neutralize pain and swelling induced by the sting. Repeat as needed.
Be careful not to leave the ice cube too long on your skin as it may block blood flow and cause a certain number of complications to its tissues. Hence, it’s best not to apply it to bare skin.
Also, remember to always wash your hands after touching the bite and its surroundings.
- Essential Oils
Essential oils are laden with antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Indeed, scientific studies have shown that essential oils are associated with increased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines which are responsible for the regulation of your body’s response to infections.
There are various types of essential oils to pick from, but the following ones are often used as natural remedies to alleviate bee stings pain:
- Lavender oil;
- Tea Tree oil;
- Sweet Basil;
To make the most of these alternative therapies, it’s recommended to mix them with a few drops of olive oil depending on their concentration. You can also incorporate them into any of the remedies listed below.
- Baking Soda
Baking soda is one of the most renowned home remedies which can be used for a variety of causes, notably bee stings. Indeed, recent advances showed it can produce anti-inflammatory stimulus which affects macrophages and mesothelial, two cells that contribute to the resolution of your body’s inflammations.
In practice, all you have to do is mix it with water to create a paste with the consistency of toothpaste. Apply it to the affected area and leave on for a maximum of 15 minutes. Finally, rinse the area.
In case you have a sensitivity to baking soda, it can irritate your skin. So, be careful using it.
OK, so this is a little strange. But it’ll eventually make sense.
Honey is one of the most used natural remedies to soothe bee stings pain. It’s packed with vitamins, notably vitamin C, and hydrogen peroxide. The latter is responsible for the antibacterial action of honey, making it effective in wound dressing, infection control and healing.
To use it, simply apply a small amount of honey to the affected area.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
To date, there is no scientific evidence supporting the potential anti-inflammatory properties of apple cider vinegar. However, it’s widely recognized as a folk remedy for bee stings which can ease their symptoms.
To try it, apply some vinegar to a cloth or a sterilized bandage and place it against the sting.
Also, be careful when using it as it may cause damage — irritation and burns — to your skin.
- Papaya Plant
Raw papaya plant is the main source of papain which is a proteolytic enzyme that helps break down the protein content in bee stings responsible for pain and itching.
You can apply it directly to your skin for a maximum of 20 minutes.
In case you don’t have access to papaya plant, you can use a meat tenderizer.