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Natural Remedies for Wasp, Yellowjacket, and Honeybee Stings


Help! I got stung!

Your child runs up to you with tears and a look of pain, holding out a hand or foot to you.

What do you do?

  • For honeybees, remove the stinger as soon as you can. It doesn’t matter how you do it, either by finger or by scraping it off with a credit card, just get it out before it fully empties into the skin.
  • Ice the sting site. This is the best treatment for immediate relief.
  • Sssting Stop is a wonderful homeopathic remedy for both stings and bug bites. Available at health food stores or on the web.
  • Plantain grows in many yards, and makes a super poultice for stings and bites. Chew up a couple of leaves and apply to the sting.
  • Salt paste on the sting will help to draw out the venom.
  • A paste of baking soda and water will help with the pain and swelling.
  • Apply vinegar to the site.
  • Make a paste of meat tenderizer and apply. Papain in the tenderizer will help break down the toxins.
  • If there is difficulty in breathing or dizziness and nausea, seek medical advice. If you don’t know if your child is allergic to honeybee venom, watch for swelling in the throat that might affect breathing. Knowing if it was a bee or a wasp that stung them is helpful. One easy way to tell the difference is that honeybees are fuzzy, not shiny.
  • Wash the sting site with soap and water to avoid an infection. Wasp stings can get infected from bacteria carried by the wasp from feces, so keep an eye on any sting that hasn’t healed in a day.

I guess if a guy wanted to experiment, he could make a paste of meat tenderizer, salt, and baking soda, adding the vinegar right before applying. Hmm…

Knowing how to treat a sting or multiple stings with common household items is a handy thing to know.

Related posts about insects:

Image: BurningImage at Flickr under a Creative Commons License


  1. Great ideas! I’m allergic and have an epipen, although I have never used it. All I need is Apis. I take this homeopathic remedy immediately, and my reaction is lessened (thanks to my vet for this advice). I also pick plantain in the yard and crush it to make a poultice, as you suggest. I also use baking soda, which reminds me of my late grandfather’s treatment when I was a child.

  2. Chewing tobacco works as well.

  3. great ideas, thanks

  4. Ammonia works extremely well when applied to the sting site as well.

  5. Oral Apis mel. 30c (homeopathic) does a great job as well. Hyland’s makes another homeopathic bite ointment in stick form which is a bit less messy.

    In a pinch (if you’re in the middle of nowhere with no supplies) – try saliva. The enzymes in saliva have a similar, but lesser, effect as meat tenderizer.

  6. I always have baking soda on hand, it’s a staple in this house for cleaning, deodorizing, clearing clogged drains, etc. so that’s what we use for bee stings, too. It works almost instantly and my kids are back to their old selves. :)

  7. Surprisingly, raw garlic, in the form of a sliced clove, also works very well to take the inflammation out of a bee sting. Found out first hand and got the advice from the daughter of a bee keeper in South Florida.

  8. Great article, I used to be afraid of those things at barbecues and now at least I know that I can ease the pain of stings!

  9. Don’t experiment with salt and vinegar on a sting…they form a rather volatile reaction that is a good drain cleaner, but, not for relieving yellow jacket’s sting.

  10. or…was that baking soda & vinegar that cleans drains…anyway, don’t experiment with more than one chemical on your skin!

  11. Yes LuAnn it is baking soda and vinegar that are used to clear drains. The two react and the vinegar causes the baking soda to foam up. I have also seen flourless cake recipes that use the reaction between baking soda and vinegar as the rising agent.

  12. I got stung by a very large yellowjacket this morning…..regardless of how I will treat this sting, that is one D E A D yellowjacket. Man that hurts!!!

  13. I got stung this morning by 4 yellow jackets and I am in pain.
    I have the baking soda on the bites. Sure hope it helps real soon.

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