Chances are, you have been stung and wondered what to do for a bee sting. Bee stings can be painful, and many times, they happen at or close to home. Those who are allergic to bee stings should not rely on at-home remedies and should use an EpiPen or seek professional medical attention immediately if signs of anaphylaxis manifest. For non-allergic stings, however, there are some easy and affordable at-home remedies that can be applied to the area of the bee sting after the stinger is removed. Knowing what to do for a bee sting can save you time, money, and physical pain. Here are 12 of many home remedies for bee stings you can use after cleaning the wound.
Ice is one of the cheapest and most readily available home remedies for a bee sting. Make sure that you always have your ice trays full of ice and ready to be applied whenever needed. This reduces pain by slowing blood circulation to the area and numbing it. Keep a washcloth handy for water leakage from the bag. Of course, any frozen item in your freezer will suffice, including bags of frozen fruits or vegetables or an ice pack if you have one.
- Ice cubes (or any bagged frozen food item or ice pack located in your freezer)
- A Ziplock bag
- A washcloth
Apply ice (in a bag, wrapped in a cloth) for 15-20 minutes after a sting.
2. Lavender essential oil
Another effective home remedy for bee stings is lavender essential oil. It can be used by itself or as part of an essential oils mixture. Many herbal stores and online shops sell lavender essential oil. While you might not have it readily available in your home, it might be a good idea to stock up on lavender essential oil, as it has many other health benefits in addition to working well as a way to alleviate pain and inflammation from a bee sting.
- 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil
Simply adding a drop or two of oil to the wounded area of the skin can help immediately neutralize the venom.
Although it comes from bees, honey ironically works well as one of the home remedies for bee stings for those who are not allergic to bee stings. If you are allergic to bee stings, please make sure that you do not use honey, as that might aggravate symptoms and cause you to go into anaphylactic shock. (Remember, if you are allergic to bee stings, none of these methods will help you that much. Use your EpiPen right away and call for medical assistance if you deem it necessary.)
- Honey (a drop or two will suffice)
- A rag or gauze (the rag should be clean or the gauze should be fresh)
You can topically apply a small amount of honey to the area of the sting. Then, cover it with a rag or gauze for about half an hour to an hour, and remove the gauze or rag once that time is up.
4. Crushed garlic
This home remedy for bee sting is easy to do. If you have two garlic cloves, crush them in order to release the juices, then press them against the wound. Cover the wounded area with a washrag and leave it on for 20-30 minutes.
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 washrag
Crush two garlic cloves and press them against the wound. Cover it wish a rag. Let it sit for about 20-30 minutes.
Not to be mistaken with the fruit, plantain is a weed you can find around the home. Native Americans have used it to help heal wounds. The broadleaf plantain works best, but either of the two main types will do. You really need the juice from the leaves. If you have a food processor, you can put the leaves in there. If not, put the leaves in a plastic bag and crush them with a spoon or try chewing them a little to get the juice out. Apply topically to the area of the bee sting and leave it there for 20-30 minutes.
- A few plantain leaves
- A food processor or plastic bag and spoon
Crush plantain leaves in a bag or food processor. Apply topically and let sit for 20-30 minutes.
6. Baking Soda Mix
Baking soda and vinegar are two common household ingredients that make a great home remedy for bee sting. This bee sting remedy requires that you make a paste using baking soda, a small amount of vinegar, and some water. The baking soda and vinegar help neutralize the acid from bee stings.
- Baking soda
Mix baking soda, vinegar, and water. Apply to the affected skin area. Leave the mix on the skin for at least 30 minutes.
Another easy home remedy for bee stings is toothpaste. Any brand of toothpaste will do the job well, and all you need is just one small squirt of toothpaste that is large enough to cover the area of the skin that is being affected by the bee sting. Much like baking soda and vinegar, toothpaste is a base ingredient that can help neutralize the acid. Therefore, this method works well at immediately reducing swelling and pain.
- Toothpaste (any brand; you will only need a small amount)
Apply topically and leave on the skin for 20-30 minutes in order to relieve inflammation and pain.
8. Aloe Vera Gel
Using any store-bought brand of aloe vera gel is yet another simple bee sting remedy. Aloe vera gel provides a cooling and calming sensation that helps to reduce the pain caused by a bee sting. In fact, aloe vera gel can be stored in the refrigerator for additional cooling effects.
- Aloe vera gel (any brand)
Fresh aloe vera gel should be applied to the skin where the bee sting occurred and allowed to sit for 20-30 minutes.
Papaya is one of the most highly effective home remedies for bee stings since its papain enzyme helps to neutralize the venom. This home remedy for bee sting requires that you rub a slice of papaya or some papaya juice on the area of skin affected by the bee sting. A ripe papaya can be mashed and applied to the skin. Green raw papaya is of the best home remedies for bee stings since it has the most papain enzyme in it.
- One papaya (green raw papaya works best)
Slice, juice, or mash papaya and apply topically to the affected area of the skin. Leave on for 20-30 minutes.
10. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt is one of the easiest home remedies for bee stings. Not only can using Epsom salt help reduce pain and inflammation (due to it containing magnesium and sulfate), but it can also help draw a deeply-embedded stinger toward the surface of the skin.
- Epsom salt
This bee sting remedy merely involves mixing a little bit of Epsom salt with water and applying it to the skin for 20-30 minutes.
11. Parsley Leaves
Although not the easiest of bee sting remedies, if you have fresh parsley leaves, you can crush them with a spoon and place them on the area of the sting. As with most bee sting remedies, this topical application should be left on top of the skin for about 20-30 minutes.
- Fresh parsley leaves
- A spoon
Crush parsley leaves with a spoon and place them on the skin. Leave them on for 20-30 minutes.
The last, but certainly not the least, on the list of home remedies for bee stings is potatoes. Simply slicing a raw potato and placing it on top of the affected skin area can help to alleviate the burning sensation caused by a sting. This home remedy for bee sting should be left on the skin for at least 20 minutes.
- 1 potato (sliced)
- 1 kitchen knife to slice the potato
Slice a raw potato, apply it to the skin, and leave it on for 20 minutes.
The above home remedies for a bee sting provide a few examples of what to put on a bee sting. If you have known allergies, be sure to know what to avoid when you’re looking for what to put on a bee sting. The best bee sting remedies are affordable, and many home remedies for bee stings work well. The 12 home remedies for bee stings can save you precious time, money, and, of course, physical pain.