Exploring the great outdoors is one of the best ways to unwind and relieve stress. Stopping to smell the flowers and listen to the soothing sounds of nature has its benefits; but along with warm temperatures and nature comes the threat of bee stings. Although most people who are stung by a bee won’t experience a life threatening reaction, an encounter with a stinger can be uncomfortable. The pain and swelling that develops afterwards can really put a damper on summertime activities. Are there natural bee sting remedies that can relieve pain and swelling fast?
The first priority after a bee sting is to remove the stinger as quickly as possible without fragmenting it. The venom sac attached to the stinger of a honey bee continues to release its venom for several minutes after the sting occurs which can make the symptoms worse. To remove the stinger, look for the characteristic black spot that shows where the stinger is embedded. If it can’t be easily removed, scrape the area with a firm surface such as a metal blade or credit card to dislodge it. Before attempting a natural bee sting remedy, make sure the stinger is completely removed.
Once the stinger is out, the area should be cleaned with soap and cool water and an ice pack applied. Ice will help to reduce the swelling and lessen the pain. Applying ice early on can help to offset some of the swelling that could be experienced later on. Another way to limit swelling is to keep the extremity elevated as much as possible.
Natural Bee Sting Remedy: Meat Tenderizer
One natural bee sting remedy can be found in the kitchen cabinet. Meat tenderizer contains a natural enzyme known as papain which helps to break down the protein found in bee venom. Not all commercial meat tenderizers contain papain, so check the ingredients carefully. Adolph’s meat tenderizer is one brand that does. To apply meat tenderizer to the sting, add the powder to a small amount of water and stir to create a thick paste. Apply this directly to the area. Leave it on for twenty minutes before removing. Remove it promptly since some people experience skin irritation when it’s left on the skin too long.
Natural Bee Sting Remedy: Baking Soda
If meat tenderizer isn’t available, another natural bee sting treatment is baking soda. A paste can be created by mixing baking soda with water. The paste is then applied to the area and left on for twenty minutes. This simple paste can be a very effective pain reliever and is one of the best natural bee sting treatments around.
Of course, a bee sting can be life threatening if an allergy to bees exists. In this case an Epipen should be carried when spending time outdoors to treat an unexpected sting. There’s no role for natural bee sting remedies in the event of an allergic reaction to a bee sting. Immediate treatment is needed to prevent serious illness or death.
Enjoy the great outdoors, but be prepared with natural bee sting remedies, just in case.