Oatmeal to Soothe Skin: Poison Ivy, Swimmer’s Itch, and Sunburn Relief



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The humble oat (Avena sativa) has a long history of medicinal uses use that continues to this day.

Modern research suggests that oats or extracts of oats may reduces cholesterol, lower blood pressure, help prevent athersclerosis, promote wound healing, and slow proliferation of colon cancer cells.

For at least 4,000 years, healers have found oats especially valuable for skin care.

Check the labels on high-end soaps, lotions, and hair-care products. You’ll be surprised at how many contain some form of oats. Dermatologists often recommend oatmeal-based creams and body washes for patients with exzema, psoriasis and other skin conditions.

Researchers say the anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory compounds found only in oats called avenanthramides are responsible for oat’s ability to soothe itching and irritated skin.

You don’t need an expensive drugstore oat preparation to ease the itch of poison ivy, hives, swimmer’s itch, dry “winter skin,” and the sting of sunburn, diaper rash, and other minor skin irritations. Try a tepid oatmeal bath for quick, inexpensive relief.

The less processing the oats have had, the more avenanthramides the bath will deliver. If you have a grain grinder or blender, simply grind a cup of whole oats, available at a health-food store, to a fine flour. But ordinary rolled oats–even instant oatmeal–will work, cooked or raw. (Use the unflavored kind, though.)

Pour a cup or two or plain, uncooked oat flour or rolled oats into the cut-off leg of an old pair of pantyhose or a tube sock, tie it loosely, and set it under the faucet as you draw a tepid bath. Let the oats soak for a while in the water, periodically squeezing the stocking-bag to release the liquid,

As you soak in the tub, rub the bag of oats over your skin like a bar of soap to increase the soothing effect.

The tub gets slippery during an oatmeal soak, so take special care getting out.

Just pat yourself dry and you’ll behind a protective, moisturizing barrier to continue the oats’ skin-soothing work.

About This Blog

Margaret Boyles lives in a wood-heated house in central New Hampshire. She grows vegetables, keeps chickens, swims in a backyard pond in summer, snowshoes in the surrounding woods in winter, and commutes by bike whenever possible.

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My 5 year old is allergic to

My 5 year old is allergic to cats found thatout the hard way iI was trying just off brand anti itch cream she was still itching as I type we is in an oatmeal bath I askedif she itched anymore aand she was like no mom but the sock is squeshie

Thanks for the info, and a

Thanks for the info, and a special THANK YOU from MOTHER NATURE. It is May 14, 2015, and last night I was having problems with my Blood pressure, plus a head ache. I had no more of my blood pressure med's left. So I was at the store looking for something to eat. Not much money to spend, and payday was two day's away. This is why I was out of my med's. Some thing told me to buy some no bake oatmeal cookies. After just eating a few, and a few hour's later, I noticed the deference. The next day my blood pressure was better, oh by the way my headache was gone, a few hour's after eating them too. MOTHER NATURE sure know's how to take care of us don't she.



Thomas R. Owens

Crane, MO

This was a live saver. Had a

This was a live saver. Had a severe allergic reaction to handling Myorporum Laetum cuttings yesterday. Full body rash isn't too bad but my knees to ankles were unbearable. Mixed it up in a 5gal bucket and I am amazed how much better my legs feel. That bucket isn't going too far until the symptoms subside. Also discovered that running a fan towards my legs helps.

Oatmeal is extremely helpful with dry, itchy skin

Oatmeal really does help with itchy skin. I have been using it for years on my son's eczema and dry skin. I used to give him oatmeal baths but now that he's older he just uses Aveeno lotion.

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