Getting stung by a wasp or bee REALLY hurts! Especially those stings from hidden paper wasp nests while gardening, ouch!
Herbs and other natural, easily-on-hand remedies can definitely help take the pain away, reduce swelling and avoid the annoying itch at the end!
- Apple cider vinegar - Thoroughly wet a folded tissue with apply cider vinegar and place that over the sting. It can help to reduce pain, minimize swelling, and also help to draw out the venom.
- Plantain leaves - Simply crush up some of the leaves in your teeth or strip the broad leaves in half and apply the juices to the sting. Plantain is one of the most effective bee/wasp sting remedies that will work quickly. You can reapply as needed.
- Basil leaves - Basil is a cooling, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial herb and can be used to disinfect skin surfaces if a wasp sting has caused irritation to the skin. Roll and crush the leaves to release the juices, to help reduce pain and swelling.
- Calendula - Simply crush enough of the flowers to produce a liquid, then apply to the sting to help heal and reduce inflammation.
- Baking Soda - Mix some baking soda with water and apply the paste to the sting under a bandaid. This paste will draw out the venom and reduce swelling and itching.
- Kawakawa - Kawakawa is known for reducing inflammation and irritation, so is great for soothing insect bites. Simply crush some fresh leaves, or chew some in your mouth and apply to the sting, reapply as needed.
- Cut/Sliced raw veges - you can use slices of fresh raw garlic, potato, and cucumber to relieve the pain and swelling from a wasp sting. Garlic in particular is great for pain relief. Just crush a clove and press the juices onto the area of the sting.
- St john’s wort oil and bentonite clay - Make a paste with these two ingredients and apply liberally to the sting. The clay helps draw out the venom while St John’s Wort will reduce the swelling and pain.
- Turmeric paste - Turmeric's anti-inflammatory properties are well known, and it is super helpful for stings as well! Simply mix a teaspoon of turmeric powder with just enough warm water to make a thick paste. Aapply it to the wasp sting for at least 15 minutes, under a bandaid, or until the pain and swelling have gone down. You can repeat this as many times as needed until the pain and discomfort has reduced.
- Lavender oil - Lavender helps to take away the itch and sting of the venom, it is pain-relieving and soothing.
If you get to the very itchy part of a sting and it's unbearable, you can try:
- Ice cubes
- Aloe vera gel
- Baking soda paste
- Fresh chickweed or plantain paste, or oil of both/either. Chickweed especially is a great oil to use for itchy complaints.
- To soothe itchy bites, Maori traditionally applied a juice made from crushed ngaio leaves or from fronds of rarauhe or bracken fern.
Try not to scratch the sting too much if you can, which is much easier said than done!