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Wasp Sting Inspires the Invention of a New Home Remedy

Wasp Sting Inspires the Invention of a New Home Remedy
Hornet sting on human hand  of man

Q. I was stung by a wasp last night. I had been drinking wine so I could not take Benadryl. I did cut open a Benadryl capsule and put the contents in a glass, poured a small amount of apple cider vinegar over that and added a pinch of baking soda. While that was bubbling, I put it on the sting. Two hours later it was no longer red, swollen or painful.

A. Thanks for offering a new remedy. Some people have found that just baking soda mixed with vinegar on a sting eases the pain.

Here are some other stories from visitors to this website:

“I was stung by a wasp and my husband looked on the computer to see what to do. I do not know if if was People’s Pharmacy, but probably so since we read the column in the newspaper every week. He poured Mylanta on my sting and the pain stopped immediately! I still used ice for the swelling since I am slightly allergic but the pain was gone. Amazing and thank you PP!” R.W.

“My land has been overrun with red wasps (Mahogany Wasps) this summer, literally thousands outside. I have been stung twice on my hand while walking. The first sting was bad enough, but the second one felt like a bullet.

“After trying the usual baking soda paste and watching my hand continue to swell like a balloon I tried the cut onion. It really helped the pain. My hand stayed swollen for days so next time I will try onion first.” Floyd

“I’d not heard of onions fighting insect stings. Thanks for that. I use meat tenderizer, and make a wet poultice of it I use a bandaid to keep it on a few minutes. I find it always works for me if I can put it on before the swelling starts. It stops the sting almost immediately.” P.J.D.

“My 14 month old son was stung 5 times on the arm. My sister-in-law rubbed a sliced onion over the inflamed area and right away the inflammation and swelling went away. All you could see were five dots where the wasp stung him and that was it! He was running and playing afterwards like nothing ever happened. We instantly called his doctor and were on the look out for an allergic reaction but thankfully everything ended well.” Tara

We are glad that Tara was vigilant to make sure there was no allergic reaction. Home remedies are great for simple problems, but an allergic reaction to a sting requires immediate emergency treatment. Anyone who is allergic to such stings should keep an EpiPen handy for emergencies. Epinephrine can prevent life-threatening anaphylactic shock.

Common sense is essential when using home remedies. If you are a believer in simple solutions to common ailments you will find hundreds of fascinating stories and suggestions in our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies.

We were just interviewed by Carol Alt on her show, A Healthy You. You may find the video of interest. Carol pointed out at the start of the interview that the father of medicine, Hippocrates, suggested thousands of years ago that we should first do no harm and also let food be our medicine.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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