Natural remedies for summer

Natural remedies for bee stings

A bee sting can ruin an otherwise enjoyable summer day. The initial sharp pain, followed by swelling, a persistent throbbing and a relentless itch is enough to drive you mad. The pharmaceutical industry offers plenty of anti-pain and anti-itch creams to treat stings, but the best remedies may be items you already keep in your home.

First, though, you need to remove the stinger. Don’t just grab and pull. That will squeeze the venom sac attached to the end and inject more venom into your skin. You don’t want that! Instead, use a long fingernail or a credit card to carefully scrape the stinger out of your skin. Then, when you are ready to soothe that sting, try one of these remedies.

Ice: Believe it or not, the simple ice cube may be the cheapest and best treatment for a bee sting. It constricts the blood vessels, which reduces swelling and slows the spread of the venom. Plus, the cold has an analgesic effect. Wrap ice in a towel and apply until symptoms subside, but no longer than 20 minutes. Reapply as necessary. This insanely easy treatment can relieve symptoms for hours.

Meat tenderizer: You may have heard of this remedy, and you probably laughed at the idea of tenderizing a sting. But it works. Meat tenderizer contains an enzyme called papain, which is believed to break down venom. Make a paste with the tenderizer and apply. Some people believe it works better if you mix the meat tenderizer with baking soda and vinegar to form a paste (this combination will fizz). Whichever paste you use, you should get relief in less than 30 minutes, and it should last for several hours before you need to reapply.

Toothpaste: Yes, toothpaste. It’s not entirely clear why it works, but it does. It tingles when first applied, so that sensation may initially compete with the itch and reduce your need to scratch. After that, though, it keeps symptoms at bay for several more hours, suggesting that it is somehow neutralizing the venom. Whatever the reason, since most people always have toothpaste in the house, this is both effective and very convenient.

No only is bee sting relief as close as your kitchen or bathroom cabinets, but these treatments are all equally safe and effective for children and adults alike.