Your kitchen is full of cures that can help you through an outbreak of hives. Give these home remedies a try the next time those red bumps flare up.
Home Remedies from the Cupboard
Baking soda. Add 1/2 to 1 cup baking soda to a warm bath to soothe your itching.
Herbal tea. De-stress yourself by relaxing with a soothing cup of herbal tea.
Oatmeal. Add 1 to 2 cups finely ground oatmeal to a warm bath (not hot or you might have breakfast for the next month in your tub) to ease your itches.
Home Remedies from the Drawer
Oven mitts. Putting something on your hands can keep you from scratching. Cotton gloves are a good option, as are oven mitts. Tape them at the wrist, and you'll be less tempted to remove them to start scratching. If you wear the gloves to bed at night, you won't do damage if you scratch your itches unconsciously.
Home Remedies from the Freezer
Ice. An ice pack helps shrink blood vessels, which alleviates swelling. Put the compress, wrapped in a thin towel, on your skin five minutes at a time, three or four times a day.
Home Remedies from the Refrigerator
Milk. Calm your hives with a milk compress. Wet a cloth with cold milk and put it on your skin for 10 to 15 minutes.
Home Remedies from the Spice Rack
Asafoetida. This cousin of onions and garlic may help relieve your hives. Look for asafoetida powder in the spice section of your grocery store. Add 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida powder to 4 tablespoons castor oil and mix well. Apply the solution directly to your hives. Be sure to do this when you won't be seeing anyone for a few hours. Asafoetida makes you smell like a piece of garlic.
Basil. The Chinese believe bathing in basil tea is a good antidote for hives. Put 1 ounce dried basil in a 1-quart jar and fill the jar with boiling water. Let cool to room temperature and use it as a wash.
Home Remedies from the Supplement Shelf
Vitamin C. High doses of vitamin C have been found to lower histamine levels. This may ward off an attack of the hives. Taking at least 2,000 mg a day is necessary to alter histamine levels. Check with your doctor before loading up on vitamin C. Too much of this valuable nutrient can cause kidney stones and diarrhea.
Keep that itch at bay by remembering these home remedies to prevent or manage your next outbreak of hives.
To learn more about avoiding allergens and dealing with allergic reactions, visit the following links:
- To see all of our home remedies and the conditions they treat, go to our main Home Remedies page.
- To learn more about the science of allergies, read How Allergies Work.
- Learn about kitchen cures to battle allergic reactions in Home Remedies for Allergies.
- Read Home Remedies for Dermatitis to learn about treating and avoiding skin rashes.
David J. Hufford, Ph.D., is university professor and chair of the Medical Humanities Department at Pennsylvania State University's College of Medicine. He also is a professor in the departments of Neural and Behavioral Sciences and Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Hufford serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine and Explore.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.