Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Tabasco Fiasco

In response to a post about the best remedy or a bee sting, someone commented that he'd gotten excellent results by alternately applying heat and cold. I proposed some naive theory about why that might work, and he answered:

Hmmmm.. oddly I haven't thought about the mechanism of action. Strange since I used to lecture in a medical school on anti-inflammatory pharmacology. Perhaps there is some crossover with TRP ion channels. These act as monitors of heat and are what are activated by capsaicin in chilli peppers and menthol in toothpaste (though they are slightly different TRP channels; TRPV1 for Chilli/heat, TRPM8 for menthol/cold). Anyone fancy whacking some Tabasco sauce on their next beesting..... go on... it's all in the name of science!.... plus it might be funny :)
OK, I know that was a joke, but I'm dumb enough to take that challenge anyway. Besides, I'm curious, in every sense of the word. :)

Today, I was stung 3 (THREE) times by some grouchy girls. One sting didn't swell at all. One swelled a tiny bit, but there was no discomfort associated with it. The third hurt like the dickens, and started swelling almost immediately. I figured it was perfect for a test. Anything for science, right?

After a bit of rummaging, I discovered that I was plumb out of Tabasco. I did have some rooster sauce handy, though, which I applied liberally to the back of my wounded appendage.

Initially, the sauce felt amazing, but I think that's because it came straight out of the fridge, and the coolness of it was oh so soothing. After 20 minutes of walking around like a doofus with chili sauce on my hand and listening to my kids exclaim, "Augh! What is that stench?!" nothing happened. The pain and swelling were no better. On the other hand (well, actually the same hand, but you know what I mean), the peppers didn't worsen the pain either. Maybe the vinegar in the sauce was doing something??? 

Ah well, it was a handsome attempt, but that's one hypothesis that can be ditched.

Obviously, the hot sauce yielded no positive results,
but you gotta "hand" it to me for trying. ;)


  1. Ha! What a coincidence! My hand looked just like yours a scant few days ago. This was my third sting, and the effects only lasted about 48 hours (prior stings bothered me for about a week!). Either i'm developing a tolerance, or the baking soda and vinegar bath i soaked my hand in really worked ...

    Gorgeous photographs and inspection notes. If you'd like to take a peak at what's going on inside of my hives, you can find my notes here:

    Keep the updates coming! I just love reading them ...

    1. I agree, I've had the best luck with a mix of baking soda/meat tenderizer/vinegar and ice.

      Thanks for the compliments, but I can't take credit for most of the photos from the last inspection since my son took the snaps for me. :)

      I took a look at your inspection photos and left you a comment. Your girls look awesome!

    2. You're so sweet, thank you! Would you mind if i linked to your blog on that thread (or you can link it, now that you're a member!)? It doesn't get a lot of traffic, since it's a regional site. But there are people there who love bees dearly, and i just KNOW they would love your blog.

    3. Oh, that's so kind of you to ask whether you can link to my blog! Of course! I'd totally appreciate it! :-D

  2. Hahaha... can't believe you tried it! It was indeed a joke but an interesting experimen nonetheless. The thing is since toothpaste works menthol might be a better test.... tigerbalm next?

    1. The truth is that some days, I'm scraping the bottom of the idea barrel for posts. ;-) LOL!

      Well... tigerbalm is supposed to be anti-inflammatory, so maybe... possibly... But maybe for this next test, I'll let someone else donate their body to science. ;-)


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