Last week while enjoying a vegetable garden in Calistoga, I got a bee sting. For many this would not be a big deal, but, I am allergic to the venom and keep an epi-pen around for this situation. The problem with the epinephrine injections – a visit to a hospital is required to monitor heart rate and other possible reactions. I did not want to go to the hospital. I instantly pulled the stinger out with my teeth, spat it out and put my hand in cold water. A naturopathic doctor gave me apis mellifica (homeopathic remedy) and then benedryl gel capsules which I bit into for fastest assimilation.
Fortunately I was attending a healers retreat and was surrounded by caring and knowledgeable people. I also applied a basil poultice (yes, chewed up some basil leaves) and applied to area at someone’s suggestion. Lastly, I applied tea tree essential oil to the sting area. Later that day, it was like sting never happened – no inflammation, itching, burning – nothing!
I did not use the epi-pen because I did not feel my throat constricting and was so grateful. I don’t think any one thing I did within minutes of the sting prevented anaphylaxis, but the combination of what I took and applied while remaining calm and feeling supported did.
I write this for the thousands (millions?) of people who have severe allergies and their families. I often see people swatting away bees – this is probably not the safest action to take. Bees are interested in the nectar of flowers, not stinging humans. I just happened to reach for basil flowers without noticing a bee was there and it felt threatened so lashed out with its stinger. If you get stung, immediately remove the stinger if possible and stay calm. If anaphylaxis begins – inject the epinephrine to save your life. From now on while wandering in gardens, on trails or alone I will have antihistamine gel capsules and some tea tree essential oil with me. I suggest you do the same.
Thanks to Rebecca, Chaiya, Ravyn and the AWB crew at the pool!
P.S. First bee sting in more than 20 years