Today, I got first hand experience on the healing benefits of essential oil for a sting. Early this morning, while outside watering the herbs and other plants, I was stung on my finger by a yellow jacket. By the way, bees and yellow jackets are more likely to bite in spring and very early fall. This is when they are more on “edge.”
Immediately, I rubbed some lavender (true lavender) and tea tree essential oil on the sting and the surrounding area including the back of my finger and top of my hand. I used a combination, but you could use one or the other. Both are analgesics, so they help with the pain. Lavender also has antihistamine properties.
Within minutes of applying the lavender and tea tree oils, the pain from the sting was barely noticeable along with the bite mark. Within an hour the redness and swelling had disappeared. Since it was still a little tender to the touch, I applied some more essential oil.
While I didn’t have a stinger, the stinger is the first thing you want to remove before applying any essential oil. To remove the stinger used a straight edge, such as the edge of a credit card. Scrape it across the stinger. Using tweezers to remove a stinger, could release more venom.
Besides lavender and tea tree, these other essential oils also aid insect bites and stings:
- Lemon Balm (Melissa)
- Ylang Ylang
Besides essential oils, insect bites and bee stings can be relieved with a paste of baking soda and water. Ice also helps with swelling and pain; apply at ten-minute intervals. Antihistamines can also help the itch and swelling. Other known remedies for bee stings are apple cider vinegar, meat tenderizer made into a paste with water, and a very old fashion and basic treatment for stings is mud….yeah…dirt and water. Hey, if you’re out in nature and dirt is all that’s around, it’s worth a try.
Severe allergic reactions to wasp, bee, and the like stings are not very common. However, severe allergic reactions–trouble breathing, swallowing, severe pain, and/or extreme swelling at the site or surrounding areas needs medical attention right away.
You can read more information about bites and stings on the University of Maryland Medical Center website: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/insect-bites-000095.htm