8 Natural Home Remedies For Hives
- Unless you have hives that are triggered by cold (which is rare), take a cool bath or apply a cold compress. Cold shrinks the blood vessels and blocks further release of histamine. To further relieve itching, add colloidal oatmeal to the bathwater and soak for 10 to 15 minutes. (Be careful getting out of the tub, however, that fine-ground oatmeal turns slippery.)
- Dab the welts with calamine lotion or witch hazel. These astringents help shrink blood vessels, so they don’t leak so much histamine. Alternatives to calamine lotion are milk of magnesia or Pepto-Bismol. Because they are alkaline, they help to relieve the itching.
- In a small cup, add a few drops of water to baking soda and stir until you get a paste. Spread the paste on the hives to help stop irritation and relieve the itching.
- Do you have some cream of tartar in your kitchen cabinet? It might be just what you need to relieve the hives. Make a paste as above and apply.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of any kind of vinegar with 1 tablespoon of lukewarm water and apply the mixture to your hives with a cotton ball or tissue to soothe the itching.
- An old Chinese folk remedy for hives calls for boiling one-quarter cup brown sugar and one tablespoon fresh ginger in three-quarters cup vinegar for several minutes. Mix a little of this with warm water and apply several times per day.
- Herbalists recommend nettle as an alternative to antihistamines. Take up to six 400-milligram capsules a day. Or pick a few handfuls of the weed, steam, and eat. Wear gloves, long pants, and long sleeves to guard against nettle’s stinging leaves.
- Take 1,000 milligrams of fish oil in capsule form three times a day. These capsules contain essential fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory properties. Cold-water fish like salmon, bluefish, and albacore tuna are good food sources.