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Herbal Remedies for Hives

author image Robyn Hughes
Robyn Hughes has been writing since 2008 about health, nutrition, fitness and botanical medicine. She is a naturopathic physician and freelance writer based in Durham, N.C. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in cognitive science from Indiana University and a doctoral degree from the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Ore.
Herbal Remedies for Hives
Some herbs help reduce the itching associated with hives. Photo Credit: Remus Moise/iStock/Getty Images

Hives, sometimes known as urticaria, is a skin condition in which you experience random outbreaks of red, itchy welts over your body. notes that hives range in size from small welts to larger ones that are several inches in diameter. Any part of your body may be affected. Hives are often treated with herbal remedies -- a natural treatment method used by herbalists, naturopaths and other health care providers trained in herbal medicine.

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Hives, notes the American Academy of Dermatology, are swellings on your skin that may burn or sting. Hives occur when you experience a skin or tissue reaction in which certain chemicals, including histamine, leak into your bloodstream. Common triggers for this reaction include certain foods, certain medications, environmental factors and allergens such as pollen and latex. Certain viruses, including hepatitis B and Epstein-Barr, and bacterial infections may also cause an outbreak of hives.

List of Remedies

According to Phyllis A. Balch, author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," certain herbs are known for their ability to treat your hives and reduce your hives-related symptoms. Herbs used for this purpose include the following: alfalfa, bilberry extract, cat's claw, chamomile, echinacea, ginseng, licorice, nettle, sarsaparilla and yellow dock. Topical applications of aloe vera gel may also be helpful. Other beneficial herbs include black nightshade and the leaves and bark of the red alder tree.

A Commonly Used Remedy

Aloe vera gel is a commonly used herbal remedy for healing hives. Aloe vera is a medicinal herb that has been used for centuries to treat various skin-related conditions, including burns, skin irritations and wounds. The aloe vera plant has fleshy leaves containing the plant's medicinal constituents and antimicrobial properties, and it promotes tissue regeneration when applied directly to your skin. If you are pregnant, you should not use this herbal remedy internally.


Certain herbal remedies, including aloe vera, may cause allergic reactions in some individuals. When using aloe vera, first apply a small amount of the gel behind your ear or on your underarms to determine whether a stinging rash will occur with further application. The most effective strategy for avoiding undesirable reactions to herbal remedies is to meet with a trained health care professional before using herbs to discuss dosage and side effects to watch for.

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