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Summer is finally here: in addition to going for a swim, balmy evenings with friends and good food in the beer garden, on the balcony or terrace, wasp stings are unfortunately an intensified side effect of the warm season. Often the joy is quickly tarnished if wasps join in when they are outdoors and everyone is only busy getting rid of these unpleasant visitors. Even if there is no direct allergy, a wasp sting should be treated as soon as possible. Various home remedies help with this. You will find tips and tricks for their use below.
Immediate action needed
A wasp sting can be quite painful. This mainly depends on where the beast has stabbed. Stitches in the area of the mouth and throat should immediately be treated by a doctor or in the clinic, as in the worst case these can also be fatal. Allergy sufferers should always have their emergency kit on hand and use it immediately. Attention - if there is still a sting in the skin, it is not a wasp but a bee sting. Here, the sting should be pulled from the side with a fingernail or with tweezers, as otherwise more poison will escape.
In order to minimize pain, itchy rash and swelling in an uncritical wasp sting, various home remedies are quite effective. Even on the go, without any preparation, plants that grow along the way can provide relief. The faster you act after the trick, the more these funds help.
Medicinal plants along the way
Spitzwegerich (medicinal plant of the year 2014) can be found almost everywhere in Germany, which not only has a great effect on coughs. It also has an antibacterial effect. The ribwort grows on the side of the path and in meadows. The contained tannins and mucilages as well as iridoids are extremely helpful for insect bites. Some clean leaves are picked and then chewed in the mouth. Then put this vegetable pulp on the stitching point. If you do not want to put the leaves in your mouth, the leaves can also be makeshiftly rubbed between your fingers until some plant sap comes out.
Just as helpful are the Gundelrebe (Glechoma hederacea), which can be found in innumerable damp places in nature, as well as coltsfoot. Aloe vera and stonecrop can be used as cut leaves to cool and calm the sting. Also helpful is the lovely daisy, which defies all odds and still gets up and blooms again and again. A few flower heads rubbed with your hands and placed on the sting can help healing.
Destroy the protein of the poison
The wasp's venom contains protein. This protein can be destroyed by heat and the less poison there is in the skin, the less physical reaction to the sting. The easiest way to destroy the poison is with a hot spoon, with which the sting is carefully dabbed several times. Place the spoon very briefly on the affected area. The heat should of course be tolerable to avoid burns. This process is repeated several times, preferably on the next and / or the day after next. Using a normal lighter is even easier - but also a little more risk of injury. Let it burn briefly, and then hold the hot metal side down several times for one second each. The trade now even has ready-made “anti-bite pens” that generate heat. They are only placed on the stitch and remain there for a few seconds. This can already be applied to children. If the wasp venom is destroyed by heat, you should not scratch the sting beforehand. Once the poison is widely distributed, it can hardly be reduced by exposure to heat.
Cool, cool, cool
The most well-known home remedy for swelling in a wasp sting is immediate cooling. Cold water, damp cloths, cooling pads from the freezer, wrapped in a cloth - all this helps, the earlier the better. Ice cubes packed in a cloth are equally useful. In the absence of the home remedies mentioned, a cold spoon can also provide cooling. Cooling is continued for as long as possible and not only on the same day but on the following days until the swelling has subsided.
Your own saliva
The own saliva is a simple home remedy, which is above all ready for use anytime. If you don't have anything at hand, you can dab the wasp sting several times with it. This cools down a bit and reduces itching. It helps even better if the saliva is mixed with a little sugar and the sting is rubbed with it.
Onions and lemons
The onion is used as a home remedy for a wide variety of diseases and was also a medicinal plant of the year 2015. To tackle the wasp sting and to do something about swelling and inflammation, an onion slice is placed on the wasp sting and fastened with a cloth. The process is best repeated several times. Another option is to rub the sting with a cut onion. If no onion is at hand or the smell is too unpleasant, lemon slices can be put on as an alternative or the stings dabbed with lemon juice.
Honey as a remedy
Honey is not only healthy, but can also contribute to healing when applied externally. Honey takes away the inflammation, protects the wound and somewhat soothes the itching sensation. The high sugar content also increases the production of wound secretions. The honey is simply applied to the wasp sting.
Healing earth and vinegar
Vinegar envelopes are easy to use and yet effective. Water is mixed with a little vinegar so that a cloth is soaked and then wrapped around the stitch. Natural apple cider vinegar is particularly suitable for this. The water should be cold. The envelope is best renewed when the cloth has warmed up.
Another home remedy is an envelope made from vinegar water and healing earth. Water is mixed with a little vinegar. There is also so much healing earth that a porridge is created. The porridge is spread on the middle of a cloth, both ends are closed and the whole thing is then wrapped around the affected area. The envelope stays there as long as it is comfortable. This home remedy can also be repeated several times.
Salt has a cleaning, anti-inflammatory and decongestant effect. An effective home remedy for the unpleasant side effects of wasp stings is dabbing in brine. For the brine, a chunk of salt is placed in a clean screw-top jar and filled with so much spring water that the salt is completely covered. After about an hour, the 26 percent brine is ready. The chunks of salt in the glass must always be covered with water. The affected areas are dabbed with the brine. Handling with brine is also possible. Half a liter of water is mixed with 60 milliliters of brine so that a cotton cloth is soaked and then wrapped around the stitching point.
Acetylsalicylic acid (ASS)
To relieve the itchiness of wasp stings, brushing with a paste made from an ASA tablet helps. This is mixed with a little water to a porridge and then applied to the puncture site. Caution: The application should only be used in adults and adolescents from the age of 16, for whom there is no ASA intolerance / allergy.
A very simple and inexpensive home remedy for wasp stings is baking soda. It is available in every drugstore or in the form of baking powder in a supermarket and has long been used for external use. For the wasp sting, a porridge is made from soda and a little water and applied to the painful area. This kills bacteria and fungi.
Some essential oils help against mosquito bites, but also against wasp and bee bites. Lavender, tea tree and clove oil are recommended. These are used only in the smallest quantities. One drop, applied with a cotton swab, is sufficient. This can be done several times a day. When using essential oils, it is essential to pay attention to purity and quality.
If there are no other home remedies available, some toothpaste mixed with a drop of peppermint oil is also worth a try in an emergency.
Aloe Vera cools and heals
The juice of the aloe vera plant contains many healthy substances and has long been used successfully for a wide variety of complaints - both internally and externally. If you have an aloe plant at home, simply break or cut a piece and rub the sting with the escaping, gel-like liquid several times a day. Otherwise, the trade has a large selection of aloe products. Pure juice or a gel is recommended for the treatment of the wasp sting. It is essential to pay attention to quality and purity.
Lavender, sage & nasturtium
The nasturtium is not only good to look at with its beautiful orange-yellow flowers, but also has an antibacterial and antifungal healing effect. It was a medicinal plant of the year 2013. Here too, the leaves are grated and placed on the affected area. The lavender not only smells good, but can also be used as a home remedy for wasp stings. The flowers are used for this. Sage is usually used as a spice or as a tea herb for a sore throat. Sage leaves grated or chopped can also relieve the pain and swelling of a wasp sting. Sage also has a disinfectant effect.
Parsley or basil
Freshly chopped parsley or basil leaves can also significantly alleviate the uncomfortable itching. It is best to place the finely chopped herb generously on the painful area and fix it with a light cloth.
When talking about home remedies, cabbage leaves are often on the list - they are used as a cabbage wrap for a wide variety of complaints. To help prevent wasp stings, they are first crushed with a rolling pin, then placed on the stitch and tied there with a cloth.
Homeopathy is also justified in the treatment of wasp stings. The first means of choice is Vespa. If this is not at hand, Apis can be used for treatment. If the stitch changes color and / or is very painful, Ledum is used. The means mentioned are usually all used internally. However, they can be dissolved in a little boiled water and dabbed on the sting to support the effect.
For wasp stings, the Schüßler salts No. 2 Calcium phosphoricum, No. 3 Ferrum phosphoricum, No. 8 sodium chloratum and No. 10 sodium sulfuricum are recommended. These are administered both internally and externally. The sting is covered with a slurry of the Schuessler salts mentioned and a little water, preferably overnight.
Caution - even with non-allergy sufferers
Wasp stings usually trigger a local, painful skin reaction in stung people. There is severe reddening of the skin, a wheal forms around the puncture site. Stitches can also be associated with symptoms that are allergic or toxic and are therefore potentially life-threatening. For stitches in the area of the mouth and throat, the neck must be cooled from the outside, an ice cube should be sucked and then a doctor or hospital should be consulted as soon as possible.
If, in addition to swelling, itching and pain, other symptoms such as malaise, poor circulation or fever occur in connection with a wasp sting, a doctor should be consulted immediately. Burning of the palms of the hands or soles of the feet, metallic taste, difficulty breathing or hot flashes also indicate a strong allergic reaction that must be treated quickly. In the event of impaired consciousness, an emergency doctor should be called for help. A severe allergy can also lead to anaphylactic shock, which is life-threatening due to circulatory shock or failure. In extreme cases, liver or kidney damage can occur.
Even if a wasp sting can sometimes be itchy, scratching should be avoided. On the one hand, the sting can otherwise become infected, on the other hand, the wasp venom is even better distributed under the skin by scratching. Then you will feel the stitch more clearly than before. If the wasp sting develops into a weeping wound, a doctor should be consulted to curb the inflammation.
Prevention of wasp stings
Avoiding stitches is of course better than being stung. Numerous home remedies for wasps can thus be used to drive away the pests and to avoid the risk of a bite. (sw, dp)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Susanne Waschke, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch
- Heepen, Günther H., Schüßler-Salze, Gräfe and Unzer, Munich, 2008
- Morrison, Roger: Handbook of Homeopathic Key Symptoms and Confirmation Symptoms, KK Verlag für homöopathische Literatur, 2nd edition, 1997
- Amar Surjushe, Resham Vasani et al .: Aloe vera: a short review. Indian Journal of Dermatology. 2008; 53 (4): 163-166. , PubMed
- Thomas von Rottenburg: Medicine of essential oils, New Earth Publishing House, edition: 1 (October 12, 2015)