Hives—12 Natural Ways to Soothe the Redness and the Itch

Wednesday Jun 4 | BY |
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There is no cure for hives, but you can try natural options to soothe the itching and redness.

You itch. You scratch. And they just get worse. Whatever causes them, hives are miserable. Statistics estimate they affect about 15 percent of Americans each year—about 40 million individuals.

Medically termed urticaria, hives are either acute—coming and going rather quickly—or chronic, where they can last for six weeks or longer. They may appear because of allergic reactions to foods, stinging insects, medications, pollen and other plant-based allergens, and even cold and heat.

Unfortunately there is no cure. Hives usually go away on their own over time, but they can always reappear if the person comes into contact with a trigger again in the future. Doctors recommend avoiding triggers as much as possible, and may prescribe antihistamines to help tame symptoms. In severe cases, steroid drugs may be used to stop an acute attack.

Other than that, sufferers are mostly on their own. If you have to endure hives now and then, try the following natural remedies for fast relief.

  1. Apply some milk of magnesia. Also known as magnesium hydroxide, milk of magnesia has an alkalizing effect that soothes redness and stops the itching. Simply soak a cotton ball and apply where needed, or if you’ve got hives all over, add some to your bath water.
  2. Try baking soda. This is another great way to stop the itching. Simply mix with water and apply directly on the affected areas.
  3. Drink some green tea. Green tea has natural anti-histamine properties, and may help speed up your recovery. Rooibos may also help for the same reason.
  4. Smooth on some aloe. This natural gel reduces inflammation and stops stinging and pain. Look for full strength aloe vera.
  5. Oatmeal and cornstarch. Both are naturally cooling and soothing to itchy, inflamed skin. Simply make a paste by mixing the two with a little milk or water, and apply to the affected area. Leave on for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Sandalwood oil. It’s natural phytochemicals calm inflammation and sooth itching. Apply the oil directly to the rash every three to four hours.
  7. Apply a ginger rub. Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory, and will help you find relief from the swelling and redness. Chill fresh ginger in the refrigerator, scrape off the skin and rub directly on the affected areas. You can also chop it up, mix with some cool, plain yogurt, and apply it as a paste, or simmer in boiling water and then add to your bathwater.
  8. Crush some jewelweed (Impatiens capensis). Native Americans used to use this plant to heal poison ivy rashes, nettle stings, burns, hives, and the measles. Even the National Park Service currently recognizes it as a good remedy for poison ivy rashes. Compounds in the plant have anti-itching effects, and can also help soothe insect bites and stings. You can break the stem and rub the juice on the effected area, or create your own poultice by crushing and boiling the leaves.
  9. Brew up some amaranth tea. Anthropologist John Heinerman, author of Heinerman’s Encyclopedia of Fruits, Vegetables, and Herbs suggests a tea made with amaranth seeds for quick relief of the itching and inflammation associated with hives. Add two teaspoons of the seeds to three cups of boiling water, let it steep 10-20 minutes, then cool and apply to the affected area as a wash. To double up on the benefits, add some jewelweed leaves to the mix before cooling.
  10. Mix up some essential oils. A number of essential oils have anti-inflammatory and antihistamine effects. Your best bet is to mix them together in a carrier oil and then apply. Try chamomile, caraway, lemon balm, clove, lavender, and tea tree.
  11. Nettle extract. Nettle has natural antihistamine effects, and is considered one of the most powerful remedies for allergies. Use the dried leaf capsule and take internally, or try nettle tea or nettle cream.
  12. Turmeric paste. Turmeric has antihistamine effects, and is also a powerful anti-inflammatory. Using fresh turmeric or turmeric powder, blend with water, and spread on the affected area. Leave on for at least 15 minutes, then rinse.

Do you know of natural treatments for hives? Please share your home remedies.

Colleen M. Story

Colleen M. Story

Colleen M. Story, a northwest-based writer, editor, and ghostwriter, has been creating non-fiction materials for individuals, corporations, and commercial magazines for over 17 years. She specializes in the health and wellness field, where she writes and ghostwrites books, e-books, blogs, magazine articles, and more.

Colleen is the founder of Writing and Wellness. Her fantasy novel, “Rise of the Sidenah,” was released with Jupiter Gardens Press in September 2015. Her literary novel, “Loreena’s Gift,” is forthcoming in spring 2016 from Dzanc Books. She lives in Idaho.


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  1. Crissie says:

    I have suffered from chronic urticaria for over a year now. We’ve finally recognized that it’s related to stress, but I tell you I have tried EVERYTHING to get some relief. When they come out, they usually cover huge portions of my body. What works best? ICE PACKS! It cools the itch and reduces the swelling.

    And since mine are related to stress, yoga and meditation have helped tremendously as well. If I’m at work or otherwise unable to access ice packs, tea tree oil and aloe vera gel both work to some extent.

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