Natural Bee Sting Treatments

A word of caution – these are not for everyone and should not be used in place of proper medical treatment. If you or a family member is allergic to bee stings and gets stung, remove the stinger and seek emergency medical attention right away.

Sometimes the remedy for a medical condition is the simplest. While many ‘old wives tails’ are just that – some actually have a grain of truth in them. Below are some ideas on natural treatments of bee stings be it at home, while traveling or 20 miles deep in the back country on a two week hike. Each has a place in your tool bag of options to treat the bee sting.

Bee stings can be deadly if someone is allergic, People who have allergic reactions are likely carrying a EpiPen (epinephrine auto-injector) and it might be necessary to use it. Regardless of any individual’s allergic reaction to a bee sting, precautions should be taken to treat the wound immediately to prevent the situation from worsening.

Once stung, it is recommended that the person be monitored for reactions. Even a previously non-allergic person can develop systems and signs that might require professional medical treatment and care. You will be monitoring for anaphylaxis (life-threatening reaction). It is estimated that approximately 3% of the people stung by bees can quickly develop systems.

    Systems of anaphylaxis can include but are not limited to:

  • Itching/redness
  • Feelings of faintness or dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hives/welts

In the event the victim is developing signs of anaphylaxis, seek proper medical treatment right away. This is a requirement, not an option. Don’t tell the person to suck it up and deal with it, this could indications of serious medical complications.

    Non-Allergic Bee Sting Treatment Options

  • Extract the stinger: The first step in treating the bee sting is to remove the stinger. Be extremely careful not to break the stinger off leaving a portion of it buried in the wound. It is possible that the venom sac will continue to pump in venom even after the bee has separated from it. You can use fingernails, tweezers from a first aide kit or even a couple of credit cards to pinch and pull the stinger out.
  • Clean the wound. The next step is to clean the wound with cool water and soap. It may not only help remove some of the venom that has not been absorbed but can remove bacteria from the area to reduce chances of infections. It might be necessary to also cover the wound lightly with some gauze and tape or a non-stick band-aid.
  • Get pain relief. Pain relieve might be necessary but only over the counter doses. If the pain is severe enough to require more then a couple Tylenol or Advil, see medical attention first. Never give anyone a prescription pain medication that has been prescribed to another person. You can also consider one of the Natural Bee Sting Remedies listed below.

Natural Bee Sting Remedies are an option for those that are not allergic to bee stings and are not showing signs of anaphylaxis. Some items might only be available when at home, some you might have in your RV, others might even be in your backpack or first aid kit.

    Some options you might consider for natural pain relief for a bee sting.

  • Ice is the classic pain relief as it will numb the pain and slow the blood flow to the are to reduce swelling. If you are are backpacking, you should already have some instant ice/cooling packs in your kit.
  • You might call this the hair of the dog that bit you. Honey. Yes honey from bees is excellent for healing wounds. Dab a small amount on the wound and cover loosely with band-aid or gauze for about one hour or so. However, avoid using honey if the victim is allergic to bees or honey!
  • Baking soda and vinegar. (In your home or RV). Apply a paste of baking soda, a dab of vinegar and water it to the wound for 30 minutes. The combined baking soda and vinegar will help neutralize the acid commonly in bee stings.
  • Toothpaste. (home, RV or hiking) Like baking soda, toothpaste is a base that can neutralize the acidic bee sting. This can reduce pain and swelling. Apply the paste to the wound for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Crushed garlic. Crush a clove or two of garlic to release the juices and press the clove against the wound. Cover with a moist rag or towel for 20 to 30 minutes. A key set back to this remedy is it might increase some people’s desire for Italian cooking.
  • Lavender essential oil.One or two drops of lavender essential oil placed on the wound can help neutralize the venom immediately.
  • Meat tenderizer. Using a paste of meat tenderizer and water and then apply to the wound for 20 minutes.

Hopefully a few of these tips and ideas can provide the relief that you need, when you need it.

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Hiking Lone Mountain with best friend, Las Vegas, NV