If you invoke the ire of a bee, wasp, or yellow jacket and end up with a nasty stinger in your tender hide, there are some herbal remedies that can help.
First, if you aren't sure whether or not you're allergic to bee stings, watch for these symptoms and get emergency help right away if you start experiencing them.
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- An itchy, red rash that's larger in area than the sting itself
- Swelling. This can be in the area of the face, throat or mouth.
- Problems swallowing
- A drop in blood pressure
- Faintness or dizziness
- Rapid pulse
Note: Be sure to get the stinger out and wash the area with soap and water before applying a remedy.
- Crush basil and apply a thin layer on the sting. You can do this with parsley, too.
- Make a paste of honey and granulated sugar and apply it to the sting. Repeat as needed.
- Place a thin slice of onion on the sting.
- At bedtime, try placing a dollop of toothpaste on the sting. It will help get you through the night.
- If you have a papaya lying around, the enzymes in a nice slice will help neutralize bee toxin.
- Slice an aloe vera leaf and add the gel to the sting. Repeat as needed.
If you are stung and it's not a life threatening situation, consider it a gardener's rite of passage.