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Tip: Apply a Cut Onion to Soothe Bee Stings

June 4, 2009
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Summer is meant to be spent outdoors, among the trees, birds, and the bees. If, however, you happen to get stung by the latter, The LA Times suggests using a cut onion to help soothe the sting.

Photo by DRB62.

The homespun apply-onion-to-a-bee-sting remedy has been floating around for years, and short of getting stung ourselves to test it out, we can’t confirm its effectiveness. The remedy has plenty of anecdotal evidence going for it, and the LA Times offers a little science:

We checked with world-renowned onion chemist Dr. Eric Block of the State University of New York at Albany. He agreed that a fresh-cut onion might ease the pain of an insect sting because an ingredient in onions breaks down the chemicals responsible for inflammation and discomfort.

For its part, Slate tried out the remedy along with some other home cures and concluded that onions were the worst option, so your mileage may vary. Slate’s favorite DIY bee-sting remedy: toothpaste and/or ice.

So we’re curious, have you applied cut onions to your bee stings? If so, did it do the trick? If not, what home remedies have worked?


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