Hives or urticaria is a common disease that affects 20 percent of the population at some time in their life. Hives are characterized by swollen bumps or swelling of pale red skin on the skin accompanied by itching.
Hives are usually caused by an allergic reaction to a substance that you found or swallowed. In response to the allergic reaction, your body releases a protein called histamine, which at high levels causes itching, swelling, redness, and many other symptoms.
Some of the common triggers of hives are certain foods (nuts, chocolate, fish, tomatoes, eggs, fresh berries, and milk), latex, chemicals, pollen, food additives, animal dander, infections, medications, and insect bites.
In addition, hives can occur when it is too hot while spending time outdoors on a summer day, is exposed to ice water or as a result of stress. Inflammation of the blood vessels can also trigger hives.
Many cases of hives are idiopathic, which means that there is no known cause of the condition. However, it is observed that people prone to allergies are more likely to develop hives.
Alcoholic beverages, exercise, emotional stress, and scratching can aggravate hives. Hives rashes usually have clearly defined edges, appear in different shapes and sizes and can move and also have a burning sensation. They may disappear or reappear in short intervals of time, and when the center of the hive is pressed it may turn white.
Both adults and children are prone to it; They can appear on any part of the body. They may appear minutes after exposure to a trigger, or you may have a late reaction of more than two hours.
While hives can be uncomfortable, they are usually harmless and will disappear in a few hours or days. In very unusual cases, hives can cause difficulty breathing due to inflammation of the throat; In such cases, seek medical help immediately.
For the common symptoms of hives, you can always explore your kitchen and garden for simple natural remedies to get relief.
10 Best Home remedies for hives
1. Cold compress
Most skin allergy specialists suggest cold compresses as the best topical natural remedy for hives. This is a good remedy as long as your hives are not caused by the cold. The cold temperature helps reduce blood vessels and block the release of histamine.
The swelling that is present in the spaces between cells/tissues can be reduced only by compression, not by the cold. This, in turn, relieves swelling, inflammation, and itching.
Another advantage of this remedy is that it minimizes blood collection outside of broken capillaries. The cold also helps control pain by replacing the pain impulse with the cold impulse.
For the cold compress to be very effective, it is vital to apply it as soon as you notice the first signs of discomfort.
- Wrap some ice cubes in a cloth. Place it on the affected skin for 10 minutes at a time, 3 or 4 times a day.
- You can also take a cold bath or shower as needed to soothe skin inflamed by hives.
Note: Never put ice directly on the skin or for a prolonged period of time.
2. sodium bicarbonate
Baking soda is another popular remedy for hives. Baking soda is naturally found in the mineral form of natron. It has been traditionally used like a pacifier and cleaner.
Its anti-inflammatory property helps reduce inflammation and itching. It is said that this immediately relieves the symptoms of hives. Baking soda has been used as a treatment for a squamous skin disorder for more than 100 years due to its alkaline pH.
- Add ½ to 1 cup of baking soda to a tub full of warm water. Mix well and then soak in this water for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Alternatively, put 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a small bowl. Add enough water to make a thick paste. Spread the paste over the affected area. Leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing it with warm water.
You can use any of these remedies once a day or as needed.
3. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another good hives remedy. Its antihistamine properties will help relieve inflammation quickly and regulate the body’s immune system response. It also plays a key role in restoring overall skin health.
In a 2004 study on the effects of apple cider vinegar on chronic pain and inflammation in experimental animal models, it showed that apple cider vinegar had an appreciable effect on pain and inflammation control.
- Add 2 cups of apple cider vinegar to a tub full of warm water. Immerse it for 15 to 20 minutes once a day.
- Alternatively, dilute apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of water and use it to wash the affected skin 2 or 3 times a day.
- You can also mix 1 or 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. Add some lemon juice and honey to try. Drink this mixture 3 times a day.
4. Colloidal Oatmeal
Colloidal oatmeal works great for hives. Its anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory, and soothing properties help relieve itching and help your skin heal quickly.
Colloidal oatmeal is highly beneficial for skin disorders such as psoriasis, eczema and dry skin. It is also indicated for hives.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of oats are due to chemical compounds called phenols present in it.
Colloidal oatmeal is the powder obtained from the grinding and processing of whole oats, with no less than 0.2 percent fat as defined by the United States Pharmacopoeia.
- Combine 1 cup of baking soda and 2 cups of ground oatmeal. Add this mixture to a tub full of warm water. Stir well and soak in this water for at least 15 minutes. Enjoy this relaxing bath twice a day until your condition improves.
- Alternatively, mix 2 cups of oatmeal, 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and enough water to form a paste. Apply the paste on the affected skin for 15 to 20 minutes. Wash it with warm water. Follow this remedy once a day.
Known as a “wonderful drug,” ginger can be used to treat hives due to its strong anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties.
Ginger is rich in many phytochemicals such as gingerols and schools. These compounds have very potent anti-inflammatory properties (8).
Basically, ginger targets genes and enzymes that trigger inflammation, in turn, improves circulation to the skin, relieves swelling and reduces itching.
- Boil ¼ cup of brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger in ¾ cup of vinegar for several minutes. Mix a little of this solution with warm water and apply on the affected skin several times a day.
- Alternatively, remove the skin from a small piece of fresh ginger root and gently apply the ginger on the inflamed skin. Do this 2 or 3 times a day. You can cool the ginger root in the refrigerator first for an additional cooling effect.
- You can also drink ginger tea or chew pieces of fresh ginger a few times a day. To prepare ginger tea, simply simmer 1 teaspoon of chopped or sliced ginger in a cup of water for 5 minutes, cover and let stand for another 5 minutes, then strain.
6. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera gel is another great natural remedy for hives. It contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that help reduce redness, inflammation, and itching when applied topically. In addition, when taken internally, it stimulates immunity and helps eliminate inflammatory toxins.
Aloe gel accelerates the recovery rate of hives. The evidence obtained from many studies gives some scientific validity to the topical use of aloe products for the symptoms associated with psoriasis and the types of rashes.
- Apply fresh aloe vera gel on the affected skin. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then rinse it with warm water. Follow this remedy several times a day until your skin heals completely.
- You can also drink 2 tablespoons of aloe vera juice a day to boost your immune system.
Note: Aloe vera should be applied only after performing a skin patch test, as it can cause skin irritation in some people. Avoid using it in case of children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Be careful to completely drain the yellow liquid from the fresh aloe leaf before cutting for gel preparation, as it can cause skin irritation.
The active substances in turmeric are flavonoids called curcuminoids. Curcumin is the main curcuminoid in turmeric.
Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and helps stimulate the body’s natural anti-inflammatory corticosteroids. It is also considered a very effective natural antihistamine and antioxidant for hives and a variety of inflammatory skin diseases.
Turmeric is used together with other herbs for the treatment of hives in the Ayurvedic medicine system. It was reported that oral intake of turmeric dramatically reduces inflammatory inflammation.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of hot milk or water. Drink it twice a day.
- You can also use turmeric in your kitchen and take turmeric supplements, but only after consulting a doctor.
Note: Do not take turmeric if you are taking prescription anticoagulants.
Herbalists also recommend nettle as an effective alternative treatment for hives. Nettles have been used as a remedy for more than 2000 years to fight various diseases.
This herb is rich in bioactive compounds such as phenols, vitamins, and minerals. Being a natural antihistamine and with anti-inflammatory and astringent properties, it relieves swelling, inflammation, and itching.
In addition to these pharmacological properties, it also has strong antioxidants and analgesics, along with immunostimulant properties. Nettle is considered relatively safe with hardly any side effects when ingested up to 18 grams per day.
- Add 1 tablespoon of dried nettle leaf to a cup of hot water. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain and add some honey. Drink this tea 2 or 3 times a day until your condition improves.
- Alternatively, you can take up to five nettle capsules of 300 milligrams per day. Consult a doctor before taking nettle capsules.
Basil also works as a natural antihistamine and, therefore, is very effective in treating hives. This culinary herb is rich in ursolic acid, rosmarinic acid, eugenol, linalool, etc.
Ursolic acid is a bioactive component that is now in fashion in the cosmetic industry. It was shown that an encapsulated version of ursolic acid lipids increases ceramide and collagen levels, which play a very vital role in skin rejuvenation (12). In addition, it can effectively combat itching and inflammation.
- Put 1 tablespoon of dried basil leaves in a jar and add hot water. Cover the jar and let it cool. Apply this mixture on the affected area with a cotton cloth.
- Crush some fresh basil leaves with your hand. Gently apply the paste on the hives. Allow to dry and then rinse with cold water.
Follow any of these remedies as many times as necessary to get relief.
Due to its cooling effect, peppermint is also a popular remedy for hives. Peppermint is rich in many bioactive substances, among which menthol, chin, and limonene are some of the most important.
In addition, it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help reduce itching and burning sensation very quickly. It has been shown that many of the compounds in peppermint have antihistamine and antiallergic activities.
- Simmer 2 teaspoons of freshly crushed mint leaves in 1 cup of boiling water for 5 minutes. Strain and put the liquid in the refrigerator. Use this fresh mint water to wash inflamed and irritated skin several times a day.
- Boil 1 teaspoon of crushed mint leaves in 1 cup of water for 5 minutes. Strain and let cool. Drink this once or twice a day, depending on the severity of your condition.