Use Copper Pennies to Take the Sting and Swelling out of Bee Stings-Unproven!

Summary of eRumor:

A first-hand story of a person (some version say it was a woman) who was told by the doctor to use a copper penny next time she got stung by a bee.  She tried it a couple of times on both herself and a visiting friend and putting the penny reduced the pain and swelling.

The Truth:

We have not found any credible evidence or research that substantiates putting a copper penny on a sting for relief.

We have found a lot of people on the Internet who believe it helps.  It seems that copper pennies are regarded as a remedy for a variety of things among folk remedy enthusiasts. We have found suggestions of using copper pennies for combating plantar warts, other kinds of warts (rub 20 pennies on the wart), ringworm (put the penny in vinegar until green), dizziness (hold the penny in your hand), and keeping puncture wounds from becoming infected.

Updated 3-30-07

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

It might be wise to carry a penny in your pocket while working in the yard………. BEE STINGS! 

A couple of weeks ago I was unfortunate enough to get stung by both a bee and hornet while working in the garden. My arm swelled up so off to the doctor I went. The clinic gave me cream and an antihistamine. The next day the swelling was getting progressively worse so off to my regular doctor I went. Infected arm needed an antibiotic.  What was interesting is what the Dr. told me. The next time you get stung put a penny on the bite for 15 minutes. I thought, wow next time (if there ever is one) I will try it. 

Well, that night, Shelley’s niece got stung by two bees. When she came over to swim I looked at the bite and it had already started to swell. So off I went to get my money. Taped a penny to her arm for 15 minutes. The next morning, there was no sign of a bite. Wow were we surprised. Her niece, we decided, just wasn’t allergic to the sting. Well, guess what happened again on Saturday night. I was helping Shelley deadhead her flowers and guess what? 

You are right, I got stung again two times by a hornet on my left hand.  Was I ticked. I thought, here I go again, having to go to the doctor for yet another antibiotic. Well, I promptly went into the house, again got my money out, and taped two pennies to my bites and then sat and sulked for 15 minutes. The penny took the string out of the bite immediately. I still  wasn’t sure what was going to happen. In the meantime the hornets were attacking Shelley and she got stung on the thumb. Again the penny. The next morning I could only see the spot where he had stung me. No redness, no swelling. Went over to Shelley and hers was the same. Couldn’t even tell where she got stung. Then Shelley got stung again on Monday night on her back—cutting the grass. This penny thing is going to make us money at school. Again it worked. 

Just wanted to share the marvelous information in case any of you are experiencing the same problem at home. We need to have a stock of pennies on hand at school and at home. The Doctor said, somehow the copper in the penny counteracts the bite. I never would have believed it. But it definitely  does work. So remember this little bit of wisdom and pass it on to your friends, children, grandchildren, etc.