How to Treat a Bee Sting with Meat Tenderizer

Treat a Bee Sting with Meat Tenderizer
Treat a Bee Sting with Meat Tenderizer (Image: Image in the public domain; Wikimedia Commons.)

Ouch! You're working in the garden and you get stung by a bee. For most of us, it's an all too common painful summer experience.

One traditional home treatment for relieving the pain and swelling of a sting is meat tenderizer. The logic of using meat tenderizer is that bee stings are acidic and the tenderizer is alkaline, therefore it counteracts the acidity of the sting.

It's a simple process, so read below and be prepared for the summer bee season.

Things You'll Need

  • Unseasoned meat tenderizer
  • Cotton swab
  • Small dish, saucer or cup
  • Water
  • Damp washcloth

Remove the stinger as soon as you can, if it's still attached to you. When bees sting, their stinger detaches from their body and if you've swatted at them, most likely you've driven the stinger into your skin.

Make a paste of the meat tenderizer and water. Place about a tablespoon of tenderizer in a shallow saucer or bowl, and mix with just a drop of water. You'll want to keep the tenderizer in a paste form, and not mix into a liquid. If it's not sticking together, add just a drop more at a time.

Use a cotton swab to apply the paste to the bee sting. Use enough of the paste to cover the sting and the surrounding area and to cover the area with a generous layer.

Leave the tenderizer on the sting until it dries, anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes. After that, clean the area with a damp washcloth. If the site is still red or inflamed, apply an ice pack for 20 minutes.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use unseasoned tenderizer; some brands have added flavorings that can cause irritation to the area.
  • If you experience any difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat or fainting immediately after being stung, seek immediate medical attention. You may be allergic to bee stings and are experiencing anaphylactic shock.
  • If the area becomes red or inflamed over the course of the next few days, seek medical attention. The stinger may be embedded in the wound, and needs to be removed, or an infection may be starting.

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