Will placing a copper penny on a wasp, hornet, or bee sting reduce the pain and swelling?
Submitted by - Jim, Shreveport, LA
My answer is going to be one of those that tend to get me a screen-full of unkind comebacks. Here's the answer: There is no medical reason for putting copper on stings. Some people say bee stings are acidic, so copper neutralizes the venom. Some people say wasp stings are basic, so copper will neutralize the venom. Truth is, bee and wasp venoms are complex, not simply acidic or basic, and, anyway, why should copper work on both? But so many people claim it works, it makes you wonder. It might because pennies are metal and somewhat cold—and cold helps. It might be because the penny presses on the sting, and pressure might help release painkilling mediators in the body. It might because some people believe strongly the penny will help, and belief is beyond explanation. So here's my other answer: You really have nothing to lose, so why not give it a try?