Herbal Anti-Itch Cream – Recipe and Research
By: Kathy Sadowski, Master of Science Degree in Aromatherapy, Registered Aromatherapist, LMT, RYT
This herbal anti-itch cream recipe can come in handy during the dry Winter months. Research studies have shown these herbs to have potential in treating various skin conditions such as pruritus, atopic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, diaper rash, burn scars, mild skin lesions, inflammation, and viral and fungal infections.
Herbal Itch Remedy Cream Recipe:
- 1 cup of bentonite sea clay powder
- 1/4 cup of dead sea salt
- 1/4 cup of colloidal oatmeal (Avena sativa)
- 1 cup of virgin coconut oil
- 20 drops of peppermint (Mentha piperita) essential oil
- 20 drops of German chamomile (Chamomilla recuitita) essential oil
Instructions: Mix the dry ingredients: sea clay powder, sea salt, and oats. Separately mix the wet ingredients: coconut oil and essential oils. Mix the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients, preferably in a sanitized bowl mixer. Store in a glass jar with lid. Adults apply about a tablespoon onto affected area. Once paste dries, rinse off. Not for babies. For young children under the age of five, do not include the peppermint essential oil in the recipe.
For added itch relief, store in the fridge, and apply while cold to the affected area.
References for Herbal Itch Remedy Cream Ingredients:
- In a double blind study of 100 infants, bentonite was more effective than calendula in treating diaper rash. From: Mahmoudi, M., Adib-Hajbaghery, M., & Mashaiekhi, M. (2015). Comparing the effects of Bentonite & Calendula on the improvement of infantile diaper dermatitis: A randomized controlled trial. The Indian journal of medical research, 142(6), 742.
Dead Sea Salt
- Bathing in magensium dead sea salt improved skin texture and inflammation in those with dry skin, compared to tap water. From: Proksch, E., Nissen, H. P., Bremgartner, M., & Urquhart, C. (2005). Bathing in a magnesium‐rich Dead Sea salt solution improves skin barrier function, enhances skin hydration, and reduces inflammation in atopic dry skin. International journal of dermatology, 44(2), 151-157.
- Colloidal oatmeal (Avena sativa) has been used for centuries as a topical treatment for various skin conditions and was used in a blind study on twenty-nine female subjects with mild to moderate itching on their dry lower legs. The oatmeal significantly improved skin dryness, texture, and itch intensity. From: Michelle Garay, M. S., Judith Nebus, M. B. A., & Menas Kizoulis, B. A. (2015). Anti-inflammatory activities of colloidal oatmeal (Avena sativa) contribute to the effectiveness of oats in treatment of itch associated with dry, irritated skin. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, 14(1), 43-48.
- Active colloidal oatmeal moisturizer showed effectiveness in this randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical study. From: Kalaaji, A. N., & Wallo, W. (2014). A randomized controlled clinical study to evaluate the effectiveness of an active moisturizing lotion with colloidal oatmeal skin protectant versus its vehicle for the relief of xerosis. Journal of drugs in dermatology: JDD, 13(10), 1265-1268.
- This overview of oatmeal (Avena sativa) shows research for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can be useful in topically treating pruritus, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and viral and fungal infections. From: Pazyar, N., Yaghoobi, R., Kazerouni, A., & Feily, A. (2012). Oatmeal in dermatology: a brief review. Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology, 78(2), 142.
- Based on in vitro and animal studies, avenanthramides from oats were a potent skin anti-itch and anti-inflammatory. From: Sur, R., Nigam, A., Grote, D., Liebel, F., & Southall, M. D. (2008). Avenanthramides, polyphenols from oats, exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-itch activity. Archives of dermatological research, 300(10), 569.
- German chamomile was recommended to relieve itching and inflammation and for peristomal skin lesions. From: Charousaei, F., Dabirian, A., & Mojab, F. (2011). Using chamomile solution or a 1% topical hydrocortisone ointment in the management of peristomal skin lesions in colostomy patients: results of a controlled clinical study. Ostomy-Wound Management, 57(5), 28.
- Manzana type chamomile (Roman) was more effective than hydrocortisone cream in treating atopic eczema in this partially double-blind, randomized study. From: Patzelt-Wenczler, R., & Ponce-Pöschl, E. (2000). Proof of efficacy of Kamillosan (R) cream in atopic eczema. European journal of medical research, 5(4), 171-175.
- Applications of menthol and cooling reduced skin itching. From: Bromma, B., Scharein, E., Darsow, U., & Ring, J. (1995). Effects of menthol and cold on histamine-induced itch and skin reactions in man. Neuroscience letters, 187(3), 157-160. Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0304-3940(95)11362-Z
- A blend of guar gum hydrogel with peppermint essential oil reduced itching in patients with burn scars in this multicenter controlled study of 74 patients that had severe burns. From: Wu, J., Xu, R., Zhan, R., Luo, G., Niu, X., Liu, Y., … & Lau, J. Y. N. (2016). Effective symptomatic treatment for severe and intractable pruritus associated with severe burn-induced hypertrophic scars: A prospective, multicenter, controlled trial. Burns, 42(5), 1059-1066.
- A triple-blind clinical trial of 96 randomly selected pregnant women with itching, showed peppermint oil 0.5% in sesame oil reduced itching. From: Amjadi, M. A., Mojab, F., & Kamranpour, S. B. (2012). The effect of peppermint oil on symptomatic treatment of pruritus in pregnant women. Iranian journal of pharmaceutical research: IJPR, 11(4), 1073.
- Fifty patients suffering from chronic itching showed reduced symptoms with the topical application of 5% dilution peppermint oil. From: Elsaie, L. T., El Mohsen, A. M., Ibrahim, I. M., Mohey-Eddin, M. H., & Elsaie, M. L. (2016). Effectiveness of topical peppermint oil on symptomatic treatment of chronic pruritus. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 9, 333.