A bee sting is a painful experience that usually results in swelling, as well as a constant burning and itching sensation. There are a number of over-the-counter treatments for insect stings, but when you get a bee sting, you want instant relief. Using a few simple products that are around your home can treat the pain just as effectively as the store-bought remedies.
Baking Soda Paste
To reduce itching and swelling from a bee sting, mix baking soda with vinegar to make the consistency of a thick paste. Apply the paste directly to the bee sting. As soon as it's applied, you should feel a relief from the burning. As the mixture dries, it will form a protective barrier over the sting to help it heal. Because it will begin to flake off as it dries, wrap the area in gauze and secure with medical tape to prevent the dry paste from falling off.
Toothpaste & Tenderizer
Apply toothpaste directly over the site of the sting. The ingredients in the toothpaste react with the acid in the sting to neutralize it, which help relieve the itching and dry out the venom. Meat tenderizer mixed with a little water to make a paste will neutralize the acid and relieve the itching. An enzyme in the tenderizer, known as papain, breaks down toxins in the venom to relieve the pain.
The leaves of a common weed, known as a plantain plant, can help relieve pain from a bee sting. Pick a few of the leaves, place them in your mouth, and chew them until the saliva begins to penetrate the leaves. Spit out the mixture onto the site of the sting. As the plant draws out the poison of the sting, relief will follow. Repeat the process as needed.
A slice of onion applied to a sting is a popular folklore remedy for a sting. For some, though, the odor of the cure is worse than the pain of the sting. Rinsing the onion slice under a stream of cold water or popping it in the freezer can help lessen the scent and provide an additional soothing, cooling sensation.
Applying ice to the sting area will provide temporary relief to a bee sting. The ice will not neutralize the acid or reduce swelling, but it does numb the site where the poison is concentrated. Reapply the ice as it melts.
Those who experience an allergic reaction to bee stings should seek medical help immediately. A home remedy is not sufficient to address the issues that can accompany an allergy. Signs of an allergy include a rash, severe swelling, inability to breathe and nausea.