Before Applying Essential Oils to a Bee Sting
Rather than applying hydrocortisone cream or taking an oral antihistamine that contains diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or chlorpheniramine, we recommend using essential oils for the treatment of bee stings. Essential oils can offer an effective remedy for bee stings due to their analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. They can help to relieve the pain and the symptoms of itching and swelling, prevent infection and speed up the healing process after a bee sting.
Before you apply any essential oil to the sting, it’s important to check to see if the stinger is still in the skin. In many cases, the venom sack is also left in the skin. It’ll continue to pump venom as long as it stays intact. Get it out as soon as possible to limit the amount of toxins released into your skin.
You can remove the stinger and venom sack by scraping a clean fingernail or credit card over the sting. Refrain from squeezing it or using tweezers as this could puncture the venom sack and make your symptoms worse.
Once you’ve removed the sting and the venom sack, and have washed the affected area, you can apply essential oils to the sting. It’s important to note that before applying essential oils to the skin they should be mixed with a carrier oil. Grapeseed oil is a particularly good choice as it’s easily absorbed into the skin, and its astringent effects are beneficial for bee stings.
Which Essential Oils Are Best for Bee Stings?
We recommend that you apply your chosen essential oil as required until the pain and swelling of the bee sting becomes less intense. Once you’ve applied essential oil to the affected area, try not to scratch the sting as this may increase swelling, itching and risk of infection.
Below, we’ve listed specific essential oils that can help to ease the pain and discomfort following a bee sting. Some can also help with the symptoms of itching and swelling, and protect against infections:
- Tea tree
- German chamomile
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is gentle and soothing to the skin and has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, making it an excellent essential oil for treating bee stings.
Applying lavender essential oil can also reduce the risk of an allergic reaction and it helps to protect against infections.
Unlike most other essential oils, lavender essential oil doesn’t need to be mixed with a carrier oil. Applying it directly to the skin helps to reduce itching and relieve the burning and stinging sensation quickly.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree is a natural antiseptic, which can help to relieve the stinging, itching and inflammation caused by bee stings. Tea tree essential oil can also act as a natural antihistamine and may help to reduce swelling and itchiness.
Before applying to the affected area, you’ll need to mix tea tree essential oil with a carrier oil. Add one drop of tea tree oil for every four or five drops of the carrier oil.
Tea tree essential oil can also be mixed with witch hazel to create an effective remedy for bee stings. This combination can help to reduce pain and calm inflammation and itching, as well as clean bacteria from the skin.
German Chamomile essential oil has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, making it excellent for bee sting relief. It also has antihistamine benefits as it acts on the allergens and produces antibodies, which prevent the effect of the histamine.
Basil Essential Oil
Basil essential oil has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antipruritic anti-itching properties that can help with skin irritations. It also has anti-microbial properties that can help to prevent infection, making it excellent for bug bites, especially bee stings.
Mix one drop of basil essential oil with one drop of peppermint essential oil and two drops of carrier oil. This should create an effective remedy that will relieve the pain and itching caused by bee stings. Use your fingertips to apply the basil essential oil to the sting, followed by the peppermint essential oil, and then the carrier oil.
Geranium Essential Oil
Geranium essential oil is known for its ability to reduce swelling and pain. It can also speed up healing following a bee sting. This essential oil can also prevent infection due to its antiseptic, antibacterial and astringent properties.
Thyme Essential Oil
Thyme is an effective antiseptic for bee stings. It can also prevent infection, which can occur when bacteria and dirt enter the body through the wound left by the sting.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus contains antiseptic qualities and will help to protect any insect bite or sting from becoming infected. It’s one of the best essential oils for preventing and reducing infection.
Eucalyptus can also be an effective pain reliever, plus it can help calm swelling and cool the burning sensation following a bee sting.
Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense is known to be antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, and it can help with pain and swelling.
Essential Oils: A Natural Remedy For Bee Stings
If you or someone in your family happens to be stung by a honeybee, we recommend trying one of the essential oils listed above to help ease pain and swelling. Don’t forget to remove the stinger first, with caution, and then apply a carrier oil if needed.
Please also note that essential oils are not suitable for treating anaphylactic shocks caused by bee stings. This is an extremely severe allergic reaction, and if you experience any of its symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately.