How to Treat a Bee Sting with a Copper Penny

A bee sting can be extremely uncomfortable, and can also put an unpleasant end to a great time spent outdoors. There are many ways to treat a bee sting, including oral antihistamines and topical creams (which your doctor may suggest or prescribe). People have also used a wide variety of traditional folk remedies (damp pastes of tobacco, salt, baking soda, or meat tenderizer; toothpaste, clay, garlic, onions, aspirin, and even urine) to treat a bee sting - but have you heard that using a simple copper penny may also be effective?

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Treating your sting will cost a penny!

Step 1

Decide if you're game for testing folk remedies. A bee sting really smarts, and you may be more interested in using a more modern treatment. That said, if you're adventurous - or if you've been stung and the only thing you have handy is a penny - you may want to give this a shot!

Step 2

Traditional western folk medicine sources cite the application of copper coins as a curative treatment for rheumatism and warts. In Asian folk medicine, "coining" (the practice of rubbing copper coins on the skin), has been commonly used to treat coughs and colds.

Step 3

Understand the "science" behind the idea. Medical studies have shown that skin creams containing copper peptide complexes (mixtures of copper and amino acids) have been successful in accelerating the healing of wounds. Perhaps the copper content of a penny could actually relieve the discomfort of a bee sting...

Step 4

Keep a penny in your pocket at all times. (Even in tough times, this isn't hard to do!) If you don't have tape, you'll have to hold the penny in place.

Step 5

Tape the penny over the bee sting and leave it there for fifteen minutes. If the redness, swelling and pain of your bee sting subside within the hour, or by the following day; consider it luck - from a lucky penny, of course!

Step 6

See the Tips section below for additional hints for using a copper penny to treat a bee sting.