a wasp or yellow jacket, wasp sting

People use all sorts of remedies for bee or wasp stings. Some swear by tobacco juice, but that is getting hard to come by as the habit of chewing tobacco is fading (along with cigarette smoking). Others prefer mud or baking soda. One of our favorites combines vinegar and baking soda as a foaming paste to be slathered on the sting. Here’s another option.

Q. I was cleaning up my flowerbeds for fall when a wasp flew up and stung me on the cheek. Not only did it hurt, I feared it might swell up so my eye would shut. I remembered you writing something about a cut onion, so I sliced the end off an onion and held it on the sting for about 20 minutes. It took the pain away quickly, and the site did not swell up either. Thanks for the remedy.

A. Thanks for the report. According to Eric Block, PhD, an expert in onion chemistry, there are enzymes in fresh-cut onion that help break down the compounds in a sting that cause inflammation.

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  1. Rakshitha

    In my exam question I was asked the reason why onion peel is used to treat wasp sting.I found the answer here! Thank you!

    • Rakshitha

      When I was at school a wasp stung me.the school doctor applied alkaline lotion .Since I did not have it at home I used onion peel.

  2. Wendy Hughes

    I was walking across the kitchen floor bare foot and stepped on a wasp. Grrr. I was stung in my arm a few days ago. My first wasp sting. My are swole up like popeye the salon man and was horrible sore and in pain for a week. So when I stepped on the wasp just minutes ago I ran for the phone while I could still walk typing as fast as I could miricals cure for wasp sting this was the first article. So I grabbed an onion slice tied it to my food with a plastic bag and min later the pain is gone. I’m going to leave it a little longer hopefully that will keep it from swelling.

  3. Sara

    Yesterday I was taking my dog for a walk and suddenly felt a stinging pain. I looked down and saw a yellow jacket and then he stung me again on my other hand. I came in and took some Benadryl, and then got some ice out of the freezer, which made it feel better, but it still hurt very badly. I finally got online and found an article that suggested the onion juice. Finally after hours of pain, I was much better. Today, it is still a bit sore, but nothing like the horrible burning pain I had before using the onion juice.

  4. Raven

    Years ago I disturbed a huge yellowjacket nest in a bush. I ran fast, but got some stings. I went right in the house, sliced a raw onion, and slapped the cut surface on the stings. The pain went away amazingly fast. I know others find onion works, but others post say it didn’t work for them, but they mention bees. I’m wondering if it works for wasp stings, but not bee stings.

  5. Sijal

    First of all, I read about onion as a wasp sting remedy on this website. My 3 year old daughter got stung by a yellow jacket sometime ago. I was desperately looking for immediate treatment on the internet and came across a discussion which suggested onion as the miracle cure for wasp sting. I put an onion within 5 minutes (after cleaning the area with soap and disinfecting with alcohol swab) after the wasp stung my daughter and her swelling started to disappear after 10 minutes of application. After thirty minutes of application the place where the wasp had stung could not even be seen. Reason being onion is an alkaline which neutralizes the acid venom of the wasp sting.

    • GregR

      Wasp sting is Alkaline not acidic.
      Bee sting is acidic

  6. KR

    Donna, did you find a suitable treatment for a sting over 24 hours old? I got stung on the finger and the swelling travels into the hand. Mine still fluctatuates between normal then flaring, up, getting red, swelling for a few hours and super-itching. Seeking some relief so I can work.

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