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Vinegar (ACV) or Baking Soda (bicarb), Which one Does Work for Neutralization of Bee Sting Venom? and stop Allergic reactions

4 min read

That is Why Vinegar does not work for bee stings? and why Baking Soda works well for Bee stings?

The question: Can Vinegar acid neutralize Bee venom and reduce pain of Bee sting? and why can’t?

Answer in points:

  • What compose the Bee venom? and if it’s acidic or alkali content?
  • Is Bee venom sting acidic or alkaline, and why?
  • What are best substitutes and alternatives of vinegar for Bee stings?
  • What is working best to stop painful reaction after Bee stings? ACV or Bicarb?

It is known that vinegar of all kinds is one of the most important home remedies that are easy to use for insect bites and to expel annoying creatures as well, but can vinegar neutralize bee venom and stop a severely accelerated allergic reaction?

Scientifically: The reason for using vinegar as a home remedy is its pungent smell and vinegar acidity, which some people claim is effective against the poison that the bee injects into the stinging hole. But is the acidity of vinegar really able to interact with bee venom and stop its strong effect?

Why is it wrong to treat a bee sting with vinegar?

Let us remember that the theory says that “the acidity of vinegar is what helps to stop the basicity of the venom of a wasp sting, but the opposite is true for bees, meaning that the acidity of vinegar cannot do anything to bee venom, and therefore it is not useful at all for treating bee stings.”

Here is some scientific information that support and prove that saying if you want to understand…

What does a bee sting contain?

Using a stinger to open the skin, that’s how the Bee stings human skin, next the bee secrete chemicals that cause swelling and itchiness around the sting area. Some people show a more-serious immune system reaction multiple-times larger than the mosquito allergic reaction called Skeeter syndrome.

Given Chemistry information may answer the question

What is the chemical composition of bee venom?

The Bee venom Sting have acids inside, therefore can’t neutralized by acids

  • Does a bee sting contain acetic acid?
  • If you were asking Bee sting contains which acid?
  • Does Honey bee sting acidic or basic?

The correct answer for all questions like that: Yes, Bee sting venom has a chemical acid named “formic acid”, that’s why bee sting is acidic?

Generally, formic acid as it is the responsible for acidity of bee venom, it also found in the stings of beetles bites and ant stings and bites of other insects.

Also, the major organic acid that present in honey is the gluconic acid, thus the Honey Bee and Bee venom are acidic chemicals.

Bee sting ph level is 4.5 to 5.5, Bee venom is odor-less color-less liquid with medium pH about 5, which means that the Bee venom has moderate acidity.

White distilled vinegar pH around 2.5, also the pH of apple cider vinegar is around 2.5 as well, both vinegar types are Acidic in chemical nature and called Acetic acid.

If you’re not familiar of chemistry words, pH in chemistry is a measure of acidity, what given 1 means it’s the most acidic while 7 being neutral, also any number greater than 7 means basicity or alkalinity.

Baking Soda pH around 8.0, so that it is an alkali or a base in chemistry, also named sodium bicarbonate (bicarb in short words).

Neutralization reaction requirements

A neutralization reaction occurs by letting acid and a base react, they form water and a salt, that what does Bee venom neutralization mean in chemistry?

The neutralization of a strong acid and strong base has a pH equal to 7.

From the chemistry basics: neutralization reaction occurs when we add an acid (i.e. formic acid in bee sting venom) to an alkali (i.e. bicarbonate of soda). This reaction reduces the pain.

But, when we add vinegar (which is chemically named the acetic acid) to the Bee venom (which is acidic as well) no neutralization reaction happens, so that the vinegar has no effect on Bee venom, and therefore can’t neutralize the Bee venom, also vinegar can’t stop the serious immune system reaction after Bee stings.

However, when we add the vinegar over the stung skin by a Bee, we may feel less itching.

Alternatives to vinegar for Bee venom stings

what can substitute the using of vinegar as a cheap handy remedy for severe Bee stings?

  • Put Ice cubes or applying a cold compresses is the traditional treatment that help reduce painful itching, minimize swelling and can help alleviate pain after Bee stinging. Note: remove the stinger first. and remember you don’t have to dunk the whole area in ice.
  • Motrin or Advil are some types of Anti-inflammatory treatments that also may help
  • Hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion are common choice treatments for itching and redness.
  • Interestingly, Cold and heat both can be used for alleviation of Bee sting pain and itching although they can’t denature the bee venom inside the sting, so if you place administrated concentrated heat (as hot as the person can stand it, without burning skin) on the local bee sting, within 20 minutes you may notice the dominant pain reduction effect, amelioration of sting symptoms, and even an absence of symptoms. .

How to neutralize a bee sting effectively?

How to make baking soda paste for Bee venom sting?

  1. Mix one large table spoon of baking soda (Bicarb) with a half cup of water.
  2. Using a rod or a spoon to homogenize the paste well.
  3. Over the stung skin area, apply a pile of bicarb paste.
  4. Remember to remove the stinger first.
  5. Leave the paste on the skin about an hour to let it soaked into the stung swelling and do the neutralization reaction that wanted.
  6. You may notice improvement of swelling and pain after 30 minutes, however yo may use anti-histamine pills to support the baking soda paste in its job.

So that, if you were asking “what is the best substance to neutralize a bee sting?” and “does white vinegar help bee stings?” The correct answer is: Baking soda is the best for Bee venom neutralization while swabbing vinegar on the stinging area keep you avoiding clawing at the bite (vinegar act as an astringent) and prevent infection or inflammation.

My conclusion:

Using baking soda is preferred than vinegar to neutralize the acidic venom of bee sting thus nullifies its effect, in other words invalidate the effect of bee venom, this chemical reaction produce salty products and some heat which in turn can help soothe the itching for some degree, although the bitten person must immediately apply soda paste after removing the stinger. If the person delayed the application of bicarb paste, the venom will accelerate the allergic reaction very fast and close the opening caused by bee stinger, and therefore baking soda can’t absorbed into the bee wound, in this case it will preferred to use anti-allergic to stop the swelling and anti-itching cream to stop the urge to itch, thus either the vinegar and soda will not be effective.

But why Bee honey might not used for bee stings venom?, that is another topic for later days, follow me…

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