Skin itching could be caused by a number of things, like dry skin, insect bites, allergies, and skin diseases (e.g. eczema), among others. Normally, this will resolve once the root cause is addressed. Today, I’ll be discussing 6 simple yet effective at home remedies for itching using what nature provided.
Natural at home remedies for itching
Itch Remedy #1: Organic, Gluten-Free Colloidal Oatmeal
For decades, oats have been widely used for a variety of purposes, including treating itchy and inflamed skin. The anti-itch and anti-inflammatory activities of oats are due to its specific component called Avenanthramides, which are polyphenols (antioxidants) that are unique to oats.
How to make your own colloidal oatmeal bath:
- Pour 3 cups (approximately 710 grams) of organic and gluten-free colloidal oatmeal in a tub with warm water.
- Soak in the tub for a maximum of 15 minutes, and then pat (not rub) yourself dry.
- Alternative: If you have a non-instant oatmeal lying around the house, you could grind it up into fine powder using a food processor, grain grinder (e.g. Kitchen Mill), or mortar and pestle.
Itch Remedy #2: Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil is extensively used in both Western and Eastern traditional medicine to treat a variety of conditions, like toothache, indigestion, and itching. It’s believed to have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic (pain reliever) properties.
In one study, results showed that 0.5% peppermint oil in sesame oil (carrier) was highly effective in treating intense itching due to Pruritus Gravidarum. This condition is marked by severe itching starting on the abdomen of pregnant women during their third trimester.
How to use peppermint essential oil for itchy skin:
- Dilute 1 drop of peppermint essential oil (less than 1% concentration) with your choice of carrier oil, like virgin coconut oil or olive oil. You could also dilute it with your lotion before applying it to your skin.
- Diluting it is important because it contains high amounts of menthol that could further irritate your skin if it’s concentrated.
Itch Remedy #3: Drink Oolong Tea
Just like green tea and black tea, oolong tea is also made from the Camellia sinensis plant. Aside from improving your thinking skills and mental alertness, research also shows that it can be beneficial for itchy skin conditions, like eczema and atopic dermatitis, because of the anti-allergy properties of its polyphenols.
How to use oolong tea for itchy skin:
- A 2001 study suggested to use oolong tea (10 grams) by steeping it in 4 cups of boiling water for 5 minutes and divided into 3 doses. Drink this for 1 week to a month. This concoction was used in the study to treat recalcitrant atopic dermatitis, which is characterized by scaly, thickened, blistered, red, and itchy skin.
- You could also place the used teabag on the affected area for 15-20 minutes.
Itch Remedy #4: Burdock
Burdock, also called bur oil, burdock oil and burdock root oil, is mostly used to calm and relieve itchiness due to dry scalp. It’s also used for other skin problems, like eczema (red and itchy skin), and in treating wounds. Despite its popularity in traditional medicine, scientific studies are still scarce to closely examine its benefits.
What’s in burdock? It’s primarily composed of tannins, fatty oils, carbs, and volatile oils. You can purchase burdock as a tincture, oil, fluid extract, or dried root powder,
How to use burdock for itching:
- Oral: Steep up to 6 grams of burdock root powder in 1/2 cup boiling water for 10 minutes. Drink this at least 2 to 3 times daily.
- Topical: Dip a piece of cloth in the mixture you just prepared. Wrap or put the cloth directly on the itchy part of your body. Make sure there are no open wounds on that part.
Contraindications: This is not recommended for people with diabetes or low blood sugar because of its moderate insulin properties.
Itch Remedy #5: Tulsi (Holy Basil)
Appropriately called, holy basil is considered one of the most sacred plants of the Hindus because of its various roles in many of their rituals. Holy basil produces numbing (due to its eugenol content), fights off bacteria, reduces inflammation, and relieves pain.
Practically all parts of this plant are used for different ailments, including skin diseases. Traditional healers and alternative health practitioners use it for curing insect bites, stings, eczema, pimples, and acne.
How to use holy basil for itching:
- Get fresh holy basil leaves or roots, and then “bruised” them. Apply on the affected area. This is especially helpful for itching and inflammation due to insect stings and bites.
- Or you could pour dried basil leaves into a 1/2 quart of boiling water. Make sure to cover the container to preserve its eugenol content. Dip a piece of cloth or cotton into the mixture, and then apply directly to your itchy skin.
Warning: To avoid developing dermatitis (skin inflammation), use only at a 1-percent to 3-percent dilution.
Itch Remedy #6: Coconut Oil (Raw and Pure)
Coconut oil is a cure for almost all kinds of diseases, including those affecting the skin. It’s rich in medicinal saturated fats (lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid) and vitamins (e.g. vitamin E). All of which benefits the skin.
As we all know, dryness is one of the major reasons for itchiness. Unlike other types of skin oils, coconut oil is able to penetrate the deep layers of the skin. And it does this job while preventing the growth of microorganisms. That’s why it’s a good remedy for xerosis and dermatitis.
How to use coconut oil for itching:
- The best way to benefit from coconut oil is to use its unprocessed form. On the affected area, simply spread a thin layer of coconut oil and leave it there.
- Coconut oil is quite heavy, so you want to avoid applying it to your entire body or in large amounts.
Although the following remedies are proven effective, these shouldn’t serve as substitutes for conventional treatments. For serious itching, be sure to consult your doctor to receive the appropriate treatment.