Author: Cynthia Fagan

bees chasing a man

The Best Bee Sting Remedy is… a Credit Card?

Have you ever wondered why baking soda is used as a bee sting remedy? It’s a common misconception that the venom from some bees is acidic, while others jab you with an alkaline punch. That school of thought suggests neutralizing the bee sting with something alkaline, like baking soda. While it’s true that bee stings are acidic and wasp stings are slightly alkaline, that difference isn’t much of a factor in how you care for their stings. Keep in mind that each insect’s venom is made up of many chemicals and proteins — so the pH balance isn’t what makes their stings so painful. Take a look at some of the stinging insects in Tennessee and what you can do if you get stung. Bees Tennessee’s native bees are typically not aggressive, and are actually great to have around because they’re good pollinators. If you get stung, though, the bee will leave its stinger in your skin. The first bee sting remedy is to quickly remove the stinger before it can release all its venom. …

poison ivy plant

A Quick Guide to Poisonous Plants in Tennessee

Few things can ruin a camping trip like an encounter with a poisonous plant. As you take in Tennessee’s great outdoors this summer, be on the lookout for the ones most likely to cause painful problems. The main culprits – poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac – share several characteristics. The oil in these plants, called urushiol, is what causes a reaction when you touch it. The oil typically causes itching, blisters, rash and inflammation between 12 and 72 hours after contact. What to Do if You’ve Touched a Poisonous Plant If you think you’ve touched a poisonous plant, wash the area with soapy water as soon as possible. Oil can remain on some surfaces for up to five years, so remember to clean your clothes, tools and anything else that may have come in contact with the plant. You can soothe the symptoms with antihistamines, steroid creams and home remedies like oatmeal baths and cold compresses. For severe cases, particularly those that involve trouble breathing, seek medical care immediately. Not everyone who touches …