9 Powerful Home Remedies for Chickenpox

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated - Medically reviewed by Tamanna Sayed (B.Sc. Applied Nutrition)

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The most effective home remedies for chickenpox include the use of baking soda, coriander, honey, neem leaves, oatmeal baths, Epsom salt, sandalwood essential oil, jasmine, ginger, vitamin D, and Indian lilac.

What is Chickenpox

Chickenpox, also known as varicella is a highly contagious disease that is caused by a virus and usually starts like an itchy skin rash that appears like little blisters filled with fluid. This is followed by other symptoms such as poor appetite, mild fever, and low energy levels. It spreads through the air when an infected person is in close contact with the other person.

One can contract the infection even by merely touching the objects handled by the infected person or by accidentally touching the rash of that person. The pockmarks usually appear around 14to 16 days after exposure. The affected person or child may start showing up symptoms in about 24- 48 hours before the pockmarks appear. As compared to children adults may not develop the rashes or see the spread of the disease all over the body.

Home Remedies for Chickenpox

Let us look at the home remedies for chickenpox in detail below.

Baking Soda Bath

The use of baking soda is one of the most popular remedies for chickenpox that helps relieve the itching of skin. It can be mixed with water and turned into a type of paste and applied to the skin. It can be added to the bath and this can be done a few times a day.

The active components of baking soda reduce the itchiness and pain of the blistered skin and can help avoid excessive scratching, which extends the healing process and can lead to scarring if the pockmarks are constantly reopened.

Coriander

Coriander is another traditional remedy that may help speed up the healing process. Coriander and carrot soup is often seen as a standard chickenpox remedy in many countries that provides essential nutrients to the body and helps fight the disease.

Honey

Honey is an easily available and inexpensive source of natural compounds that may actively reduce inflammation and irritation. An in-vitro 2012 study published in Translational Biomedicine Journal suggests that honey due to its antiviral properties may aid in treating the rashes caused by chickenpox.

Honey can be applied directly to the rashes and then wash it off normally a few minutes later. It doesn’t take long to get honey’s beneficial effects!

A small infant sitting on the bed suffering from chickenpox

Although highly uncomfortable, most people recover from chickenpox in 2-3 weeks. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Oatmeal Bath

The soothing nature of a bathtub filled with oatmeal and water is inexplicably ideal for reducing irritation and speeding the healing process of chickenpox. It may seem slightly strange, but this is a tried and true remedy for relief from chickenpox.

Neem Leaves

Neem leaves are often considered a cure-all in many cultures and its beneficial effect on chickenpox is no exception. Making a paste of neem leaves ground in with water can be applied topically to the irritated areas, but can also be put into a bathtub and allowed to “steep”. This bathwater is ideal after the condition is improving and the scabs are falling off. It will ensure that there will be no scarring and the irritated areas will heal faster.

Epsom Salt

Filling a bathtub with water and Epsom salts can successfully dry out the pockmarks and speed up the healing process. Soak in the bathtub for 20-30 minutes and then get out, but gently pat the body dry, rather than wiping, which can irritate the blisters. The Epsom salt will dry on the skin, reducing the itchiness and inflammation.

Sandalwood Essential Oil

A number of essential oils can be combined in bathwater to create a perfect chickenpox remedy, but sandalwood oil is especially effective, as it is both antiviral and antibacterial. It can be applied topically or mixed into other remedy pastes and creams. This oil will improve the health of the skin, reduce inflammation, and protect against any secondary infections that chickenpox patients are so prone to developing.

Jasmine

The flowers and leaves of the jasmine plant are commonly used to make a tea and a bath that cures chickenpox. Either steep the leaves in a teapot or a bathtub; the natural compounds found in jasmine are anti-inflammatory in nature and can provide considerable relief from the itching and irritation.

Vitamin D

Sunshine can be one of the best ways to treat chickenpox. Although this highly contagious condition usually means that people stay inside until it heals, getting a bit of sunshine and vitamin D into your skin can be essential to a quick healing process. Vitamin D is one of the most essential nutrients for the skin, so when your chickenpox starts to itch, go outside and grab some rays!

A Final Word of Warning: Although chickenpox is not traditionally dangerous, more of a nuisance, the complications that can arise from particularly serious cases are nothing to take lightly. You should always see a doctor when chickenpox is contracted, and follow their professional advice. Discuss alternative remedies in combination with those treatments, or as your sole treatment method, but be sure to be informed and observe the effects of any home remedy you try.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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