a hornet, meat tenderizer

If you’ve ever been stung by a wasp, you know something about pain. Not only does the sting hurt immediately, but it can also swell up and be painful and itchy for several days. Look for relief in your kitchen cupboard. You might cut a slice of onion and slap it on the sting, but if you don’t have an onion handy, meat tenderizer will do the job.

Meat Tenderizer for Insect Stings:

Q. A long time ago I visited a friend in the mountains. I stepped on a wasp in the shower stall and the sting was horribly painful.

My friend put a paste made from water and meat tenderizer on the sting. Within ten minutes, the pain and swelling had totally disappeared.

Now I don’t go anywhere in the summer without meat tenderizer. Believe me, it’s come in handy more than once, especially if I drive with the window open. Just use a pinch of it, use your spit to make a paste and put it over the sting to feel it do its magic. It’s never failed, even for a bumblebee sting.

Meat Tenderizer Contains Papain:

A. We first read about using a quarter teaspoon meat tenderizer mixed with a teaspoon of water for a painful insect sting in the Journal of the American Medical Association (April 24, 1972). The doctor recommending this remedy suggested that the papain (Papay-in) in meat tenderizer breaks down the venom in the sting. It is, after all, an enzyme that breaks down proteins.

If you’ve been stung by a bumblebee or honeybee, however, the first step is to flick the stinger out with the edge of a credit card.

An Important Warning:

People who are allergic to stings should not rely on home remedies. They must keep an epinephrine injector available and seek emergency medical attention.

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  1. Betty

    Meat tenderizer is also good for stinging nettles, sea lice, don’t rely on it for man of war or sting rays.

  2. Joe

    I have used Tabaco on all kinds of stings. wet any kind of Tabaco. Works for Me. Joe B.

  3. Mabel

    I don’t know about wasp stings, but I know that a little dab of regular tooth paste rubbed on a mosquito bite and the itch is gone in minutes. Also it does not swell up into a big red spot.

  4. Tim
    Raleigh, NC

    I have used the meat tenderizer relief for bee stings on my children, and it works quite well. Additionally, a friend was recently stung by a box jellyfish down in Wrightsville Beach, and another friend immediately applied meat tenderizer to the affected areas. The relief was not complete, but it did reduce the pain considerably. Note that the next day, another person down the beach had also gotten stung by a jelly fish, and the EMS had to be called.

  5. Pat
    Saint Helens, OR

    I have heard that for stings, maybe not wasps, put a wet bar of soap on it. Also heard to put deordant on it, too. My friends have tried both and say they work.

  6. Barbara

    Does anyone know if it works for mosquitoes bites?

    • Jan

      Yes, it does work on mosquito bites.

  7. Sue
    Fishers, IN

    I’ve used meat tenderizer for mosquito bites for almost 50 years. It provides relief and stops itching.

    • Tracy
      Benicia, Cal

      For mosquito bites I have been using tooth paste for years. It works immediatley.

    • Harry

      How about chigger bites or poison ivy? I know these are not stings but has anyone tried it?

  8. Joseph
    Myrtle Beach

    Meat tenderizer is also excellent for treating jellyfish stings. I learned about this process many years ago from a young lady who worked part time at a doctor’s office. I asked her if there was a medical grade of meat tenderizer. She said, “No, the doctor sends me out fairly often to a nearby supermarket to buy meat tenderizer”. “He charges $50.00 per treatment”. “He’s happy, and the patient is happy”.

  9. Norwood
    Fayetteville, NC

    It works on jellyfish stings as well. I used to keep a small jar in my boat for that purpose.

  10. Paul

    Meat tenderizer and water also works almost instantly on jellyfish stings. I once swam at a crowded beach, not realizing that the water was teeming with large jellyfish with long tentacles. I swam right into one, and immediately felt the sting. Within a minute I was out of the water with raised welts under my arm and across my torso — the worst sting I’ve ever experienced. I’d seen tenderizer — recommended by an old country doctor — eliminate a very swollen beesting and heard that it also worked for jellyfish. We sprinkled it on my wet skin and the burning went away almost instantly, and the welts also disappeared. Next to us on the beach a mother was trying to comfort her young son who was stung and wailing inconsolably. I went over hesitantly and said that it might sound crazy but the pain killer in the tenderizer really worked. She immediately sprinkled it on his stings, and he stopped crying instantly. We just keep a bottle in our beach bag and never go swimming without it. We never did scrape out the stingers not yet knowing of that advice but it worked great anyway, and no problem returned.

  11. Jan

    Instead of meat tenderiser, I was given a huge paw-paw which I mashed into a plastic bag and stuck my foot in. Heavenly. Just as tea bags steeped in boiling water and then put on sunburn helps.

  12. Gerry

    Years ago, looking at a house that was for sale, I went on the porch and was stung by a wasp on my ear. I’d been stung before and knew ammonia would help. I kept ammonia in my car so got some and put it on, went immediately to the E.R. and the doc there said it was mother nature’s antidote for stings. When I found and bought a house he became my doctor for many years.

  13. Jan

    It has worked for me and my family since the 70’s.

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