Natural Burn Remedies and Ointments

How to Heal Minor Burns at Home with Natural Treatments

Aloe Vera in Hand
Getty Images/AnthonyRosenberg

Natural burn remedies can help reduce the pain and inflammation caused by burns. In some cases, natural burn remedies also can help promote healing of the skin. While natural burn remedies may offer certain benefits, it's important to remember that some types of burns require medical attention.

Types of Burns

When it comes to treating burns at home, the level or severity of the burn is of the utmost importance:

First-Degree Burns: Red and painful, first-degree burns tend to swell slightly and turn white when you apply pressure to the skin.

Second-Degree Burns: Typically producing blisters, second-degree burns are thicker, very painful, and may cause the skin to turn red, splotchy, and swollen.

Third-Degree Burns: A type of burn that damages all layers of the skin, third-degree burns leave the skin white or charred. Due to damage in the nerves and tissue, third-degree burns may cause little or no pain. These types of burns require immediate medical attention.

If you're in doubt about the severity of your burn, contact a medical provider immediately.

3 Natural Remedies for Burns

Studies suggest that a number of natural remedies may aid in the treatment of first- and second-degree burns. Here's a look at some key research findings.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera can speed up healing of first- to second-degree burns, according to a research review published in Burns in 2007.

To soothe pain and stave off blisters and scarring, apply aloe vera gel directly to the burn once or twice daily until it's fully healed.


Several studies show that applying honey to burned skin may help promote healing and reduce inflammation. For example, a 2009 report from The New Zealand Medical Journal reviewed eight studies (with a total of 624 subjects) and found that honey was effective in treating first- or second-degree burns.

Most of the studies involved the use of unprocessed honey covered by sterile gauze.

According to a 2011 report from The Scientific World Journal, honey may help heal burns by stimulating the immune system.


A flower found to possess anti-inflammatory properties, calendula shows promise in the treatment of burns. In a 2008 study from the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, for instance, researchers found that applying calendula extract to the skin helped promote healing in rats that had suffered burn injuries. However, more research needs to be conducted before calendula can be recommended as a burn remedy.

Using Natural Remedies for Burns

Due to the limited research, it's too soon to recommend natural remedies as a treatment for burns. Some burns should be treated by medical professionals only. For instance, the American Academy of Family Physicians recommends seeing a doctor if you experience:

  • A burn on your face, over a major joint (such as the knee or shoulder), or on your hands, feet, or genitals.
  • A first- or second-degree burn that covers an area larger than two inches in diameter.
  • A third-degree burn.

You should contact your medical provider if your burn fails to heal following treatment with natural burn remedies. Self-treating and avoiding or delaying standard care can have serious consequences.


Al-Waili N, Salom K, Al-Ghamdi AA. "Honey for wound healing, ulcers, and burns; data supporting its use in clinical practice." ScientificWorldJournal. 2011 Apr 5;11:766-87.

American Academy of Family Physicians. "First Aid: Burns". December 2010.

Boukraâ L, Sulaiman SA. "Honey use in burn management: potentials and limitations." Forsch Komplementmed. 2010 Apr;17(2):74-80.

Chandran PK, Kuttan R. "Effect of Calendula officinalis Flower Extract on Acute Phase Proteins, Antioxidant Defense Mechanism and Granuloma Formation During Thermal Burns." J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2008 Sep;43(2):58-64.

Maenthaisong R, Chaiyakunapruk N, Niruntraporn S, Kongkaew C. "The efficacy of aloe vera used for burn wound healing: a systematic review." Burns. 2007 Sep;33(6):713-8.

Molan PC. "Potential of honey in the treatment of wounds and burns." Am J Clin Dermatol. 2001;2(1):13-9.

Wijesinghe M, Weatherall M, Perrin K, Beasley R. "Honey in the treatment of burns: a systematic review and meta-analysis of its efficacy." N Z Med J. 2009 May 22;122(1295):47-60.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

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