Hives Overview

Natural Treatments for Hives

Some people prefer the "natural" route to curing their hives instead of taking over-the-counter or prescription drugs. But what natural remedies are there for hives?

Soaking in a cool bath can soothe the itching. Adding baking soda and/or oatmeal might make that bath even better. You can use uncooked, regular oatmeal or oatmeal that's made exclusively for the bath (sometimes called "colloidal" oatmeal). Don't have time for a bath? A cool, wet compress should work too [source: Mayo Clinic].

Acupuncture is one of the most popular alternative-medicine choices for the treatment of hives -- some people find it very effective [source: Saini]. Although there's some debate on whether acupuncture works (as well as how it works), one theory suggests that acupuncture affects the nervous system, working with the body's signaling systems to promote healing [source: Institute for Traditional Medicine].

If the baths aren't working and the thought of acupuncture is a little scary, you could give herbs, supplements and essential oils a try. Some herbalists recommend quercitin, which is a natural antihistamine found in leafy green vegetables, for treating hives [source: American Chronicle]. Taking vitamin C has been linked to lowering histamine levels, which in turn might help prevent hives [source: How Stuff Works]. Chamomile, lavender or sandalwood oils are used to soothe hives [source: American Chronicle]. You may find value in the way these oils smell, too. Some people use essential oils to aid relaxation when they're feeling stressed -- being in a constant state of itchiness could certainly be stressful.

Of course, if you're already following the care of a physician, talk to your doctor before starting any natural therapies to see how it will affect your overall treatment strategy.

Now that you know how regular hives are treated, you might be wondering how to help chronic hives. Continue reading to find out.