I was cutting the grass and out of no where, buzz, ouch! A bee stung my ankle and buried its stinger in me pretty far. I didn’t see the bee, so not too sure what type it was. We usually have hornets and bumble bees around, so probably one of those guys. I didn’t feel anything at first, but the pain started to grow pretty intense. It was bad enough that I quit cutting the grass to check out my ankle. I saw the entry wound, and it was slightly red. I washed my leg with soap and water, I wasn’t able to get the stinger out that was buried. The pain subsided after 30 minutes, so I thought everything was over. I finished my day like nothing happened. To my surprise the next morning, my ankle was swollen, itchy, and red! It reminded me of patients with cellulitis I use to take care of in the hospital. At this point, I was a little worried, so I did some research for simple and natural bee sting treatments.
Anaphylaxis is a very severe life-threatening allergic reaction. It usually happens within seconds or minutes of getting stung if you are severely allergic! You should call 911 immediately. You may have nausea, vomiting, rash, and even trouble breathing. If you are reading this, there is a good chance you don’t have this type of reaction, so lets continue to the bee sting remedies.
Being in healthcare, I knew about RICE. I’m not talking about eating some yummy white rice either. RICE is an acronym for treating swelling.
Rest: Resting is good because it keeps you off your feet and from aggravating the bee sting site.
Ice: Put a cold compress, or bag of frozen fruit on the area that is swollen. This will decrease blood flow, and reduce swelling and pain.
Compression: If you got stung on your leg or arm, you can use an ace-wrap. Wrap it lightly, not too tight, this will help decrease the swelling as well.
Elevate: Elevate your extremity of the affected side. This will decrease blood flow to the area, helping with the edema.
Juniper berries are known to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Drinking some juniper berry tea can help flush out the bee venom out of your system. Apply some juniper berry oil on the bee sting site to help extract the poison and reduce swelling.
You might not know this, however, honey is even used in the hospital to help heal wounds. If its good for wounds, it’s good for your bee sting. Add a dab on the site, and this will help it heal quicker.
Ginko biloba is known as the the living fossil. It comes from the leaves of this 270 million year old tree species, the only one of its kind. You can pick up this herbal supplement at a vitamin shop. It’s an excellent natural anti-histamine.
You might have some lavender essential oils in your cabinet right now. Add a few drops to the bee sting site, this will neutralize the venom immediately.
Vinegar & Baking Soda
Put some vinegar and & baking soda in a bowl and make a paste. Apply the paste to the entry wound, this will neutralize the venom pretty quickly.
Make sure you clean your bee sting site very well with soap and water before trying one of these natural remedies. If it’s possible pull out the stinger as well. Swollen will usually get worse over the first two days. Moderate allergic reactions can last 5-10 days. Using one of the methods above can assist with pain, swelling, and neutralizing the venom.