The best way to treat hives is to take an antihistamine and slap on some cortisone or Benadryl, but not everybody has those remedies lying around the house. The ideal cure is the cheap (or free) one and there are many ways to take care of your allergic reaction without breaking the bank. Many home remedies are not endorsed by doctors or the FDA so exercise caution when trying new products or methods on yourself or your loved ones.
The cheapest way to remedy hives is prevention. Because hives often come along after a food allergy reaction, it’s a great idea to become a smart shopper when it comes to purchasing food. If you or your children are allergic to eggs, they might be listed in food ingredients as albumin or ovomucin. Milk can show up as caseinate or whey. Avoid cross-contamination that can occur when using the same spoon to stir two pots. Be careful when going out to eat or eating items at a party. As one article put it, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of hives.” Cold compresses or baths are pretty much the only topical treatments for hives. Try to avoid tight clothing as it and sweating can cause a stronger hives reaction. Natural fibers such as cotton can help the skin to cool off better.
(Almost) Free Remedies
The following home remedies involve items that you might have around the house. A lukewarm bath with 3 tablespoons of cornstarch and 2 cups of oatmeal can help take care of your hive-related itchiness. Using milk of magnesia or calamine lotion to dab the hives can also deal with the itching sensation. Quercetin, a nutrient found in apples, onions, and leafy green vegetables, acts as a natural antihistamine and can help control the allergic reaction. Vitamins B5, C and E can help strengthen the immune system and control allergic reactions that cause the hives. Bananas help reduce the chances of skin rash and digestive disorders. A combination of carrot, cucumber and beet juice is healthful and can curb allergic reactions.
Relatively Cheap Remedies
If you are prone to getting hives, keep a few of the following herbs around the house to deal with symptoms. Stinging nettle (urtica dioica) can be taken orally to help hives. It can be taken in capsule or tea form. Chamomile (matricaria recutita) is an antihistamine gold mine, with seven antihistamine compounds inside. It can be tried as a tea or by mixing it with other antihistamine herbs such as tarragon, oregano, fennel and basil. Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) contains lawsone, a compound that helps to remedy the itchiness of hives. Boil the herb, strain it and let the mixture cool before turning it into ice cubes in the freezer. Then use the ice cubes directly on your affected skin area.