Jellyfish Stings
Natural Remedies

Natural Remedies: Jellyfish Stings

| Modified on Jun 20, 2014

The pain and harm from a jellyfish sting can run from none-at-all to very soon deadly. Barbed stingers on the long tentacles trailing after the jellyfish's namesake dome are full of venom that can penetrate the skin and release toxins into the surrounding skin. This venom can even enter the bloodstream and result in systemic ailments including vomiting, muscle spasms, fever, joint inflammation, and breathing difficulties. In particular, the venom of the box jellyfish is extremely potent and you should pursue professional care immediately.

Jellyfish can be found in all of the world's oceans, along beaches, and even sometimes in freshwater. Fortunately, most jellyfish stings are relatively minor. In fact, the pain and inflammation of a jellyfish sting can be addressed fairly quickly with simple home remedies. In fact, many beaches with jellyfish populations will store bottles of vinegar near the beach - a common natural anti-venom to counteract the toxin injected into a victim's wounds. Still, prolonged or advancing pain and other sting symptoms require a doctor's care.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Splash with vinegar, then use hot water (hotter than bathwater) to rinse off the tentacles or salt water, if hot water is unavailable. Do not touch the tentacles directly! Continue to brush off the tentacles using gloves. Try soaking in hot water and possibly ice packs to relieve pain and itching, as well as an analgesic.


Posted by Katie (Newport Beach, Ca, United States) on 01/12/2013

Hi, I seem to be allergic to jelly fish stings. I like to surf/swim in the ocean a lot and I see jelly fish sometimes and try to avoid them but when I get stung it get swollen and looks like big red hives. Friends who I am with get stung and it just looks like a little pimple and goes away in a day or 2 while my stings seem to take a week or 2. Does anyone know any remedies that I could use for this? It is generally in the Pacific Ocean off of CA and Mexico.

Replied by Heather

Hi, a lot of surfers swear by peeing on their jelly fish sting- apparently it really helps..

Replied by Alan
(Homestead, Florida)

As a surfer, in my youth, the best remedy was Adolph's Meat Tenderizer. The enzymes break down the poison quickly... It even works on the dreaded Portugese Man-o-war. A little slower, but absolutely effective, is a poultice of any tobacco mixed with your spit... Held in place on the sting... as these stings can cover alot of skin the Adolph's give complete coverage.


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Posted by Mizvee (Wallingford, Ct, USA) on 11/26/2011

Try cinnamon on your next burn. I keep it in my car, back/sports pack, work & kitchen. Any burn; iron, gas/electric/wood stove, insect or jellyfish sting, motorcycle muffler or abrasion can be remedied using this native healing product. Our family has been using for generations for it's anispetic/healing capability. May be applied as often as needed. Doesn't stain clothing or furniture. Promotes healing via it's phytochemical compounds to reduce pain, counteract bacteria and disinfect wounds without blistering and little to no scarring.

I've had 3rd degree burns from a clothes iron (inner arm) and from motorcycle pipes (leg calf) and have no scarring. Use it on my grandkids at the beach when they encounter jelly fish. Simply shake on, the pain is immediately gone. If pain returns (as with 2nd & 3rd degree burns) simply shake on more. Blistering will be minimal & will not run (aka 'leak'). Scabbing will look slightly darker than normal, but will come off without leaving any disfigurment to the skin surface. On major injuries, I use until fully scabbed. (And it smells good too! )