Bees are common creatures all over the world. They do have a very important role in the balance of the nature and ecosystem. They help in the life of many plants and trees by pollen distribution. But coming to the relationship with humans, we are easily attacked by them. People grow honey bees to collect honey. Still there is the risk of bee sting for them. Children can be easily attacked by a bee while playing outside. Usually, severe pain and swelling develops on sting site. Red or blue discolouration can also be seen. Localised skin and connective tissues on the sting site become affected with the immune reactions. In people with allergy, serious problems can develop and the condition can be fatal if not managed properly.
Regarding clinical presentation, bee stings may produce different reactions from localised pain that goes away after a day or two, to severe allergic reaction.
Sudden sharp and burning pain on the site affected
A reddish welt at the area of sting
Mild swelling on the sting site and around it
Almost all these discomforts disappear within hours.
With stronger reaction compared to mild, people may develop problems like:
Bright red colour on larger area of skin
Bigger swelling at the site that does not reduce after some time.
Severe allergic reactions include:
A severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis that is life threatening. It requires emergency treatment. Only very few people develop such serious reaction but it can be fatal. Clinical presentation of this condition may include:
Skin rashes like hives with itching
Pale looking skin
Oedema of tongue & throat
Weak and faster pulse
Nausea, vomiting & diarrhoea
Giddiness, feeling dizzy and fainting
Black outs & loss of consciousness
People with such severe reactions if stung many times, the presence of venom may lead to severe toxic reactions and can be fatal. Multiple bee stings can also become fatal in children, old people, or people with heart disease or respiratory disorders.
Causes of Bee sting
When a bee sting happens, a small amount of bee venom is injected into the body. It may cause local allergic reactions around the area. Skin and deeper tissues are affected and an inflammatory reaction may follow.
But in people allergic to the venom, more severe systemic reactions may develop which can be fatal in some cases.
Complications & Treatment of bee sting
Bee sting is considered as an emergency and immediately given medicines for allergic reactions.
If anaphylactic attack develops, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is given immediately.
Further medications include:
Epinephrine or adrenaline to reduce allergic response.
A beta agonist if breathing difficulty is present.
Preventive measures of bee sting
- Keep food containers and trash bins covered.
- Avoid chance of flies with rotten vegetables, garbage or other wastes. Wasps may come.
- Wear shoes when walking outside.
- Don’t use clothing with bright colours or floral prints, while walking out. It can attract bees.
- Keep car windows shut while driving.
- Take care while gardening for damaging a beehive or wasp nest.
- If you find any of them near your house, do not go to it. Get it removed by a professional with precaution.
Ayurvedic Concept of Bee sting
Ayurveda explains a vast variety of poisoning under the section Agadatantra or toxicology. It includes poisons of both plant & animal origin. Details of food poison & combined poisons are also explained with clinical presentations & treatment. Bee sting comes under Keeta visha or insect bite. The keeta visha can be of two types sccording to the pace of action in the body. It can be dushivisha causing chronic poisoning or pranahara that causing immediate death. In most cases, bee sting comes under dooshivisha leading to red, black or bluish discolouration of the area with swelling. In some cases, blisters will be seen around the sting spot. The patient may develop discomforts like kandu or itching, daha or burning sensation, visarpa or fast spreading painful red blisters on the skin, Paaki or suppuration etc. In some people, excessive thirst along with aversion to food are observed.
Ayurvedic Nidana of Brucellosis
Bee sting from honey bees come under makshika poisoning that leads to discomforts like:
Daaha – burning sensation
Jwara – fever
Muurccha – black outs
Ayurvedic treatment for Bee sting
The predominant dosha in the bee sting is Pitta. So the medicines and therapies should be Ruksha(dry) and Seeta(cooling) in nature. Both internal medicines and local applications are given in patients suffering from bee sting. Mostly the external applications work as stambhana or arresting the ovement and circulation of fluids in the channels of the body. Commonly used medicines include:
Karutha Marma Gulika Lepam
Herbal Preparations for Bee sting
Mix of sandal wood paste and gairika
Fresh and organic aloe vera pulp
Herbal paste of Neem leaves and turmeric
Herbal paste of witch hazel
The Food and Drug Administration, United States has not evaluated these statements. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult your GP before the intake.
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