Natural Burn Remedies and Ointments

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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.

Someone putting aloe vera on their hand to treat a burn
Anthony Rosenberg / Getty Images

Types of Burns

When it comes to treating burns at home, the level of 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 to the nerves and tissue, third-degree burns may cause little or no pain. These types of burns require immediate medical attention.

Severe Burns

If you have a third-degree burn or you're in doubt about the severity of your burn, contact a medical provider immediately.

Studies suggest that a number of natural remedies may aid in the treatment of first- and second-degree burns. They include:

  • Aloe vera
  • Honey
  • Calendula

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 the burned skin may help promote healing and reduce inflammation.

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, researchers found that applying calendula extract to the skin helped promote healing in rats with burn injuries.

However, more research needs to be conducted before calendula can be recommended as a burn remedy.

Using Natural Remedies

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.

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

Calling the Doctor

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.

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5 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Rowan MP, Cancio LC, Elster EA, et al. Burn wound healing and treatment: review and advancementsCrit Care. 2015;19:243. doi:10.1186/s13054-015-0961-2

  2. Maenthaisong R, Chaiyakunapruk N, Niruntraporn S, Kongkaew C. The efficacy of aloe vera used for burn wound healing: a systematic review. Burns. 2007;33(6):713-8. doi:10.1016/j.burns.2006.10.384

  3. The New Zealand Medical Journal. Honey in the treatment of burns: A systematic review and meta-analysis of its efficacy. Published May 22, 2009.

  4. Al-waili N, Salom K, Al-ghamdi AA. Honey for wound healing, ulcers, and burns; data supporting its use in clinical practice. ScientificWorldJournal. 2011;11:766-87. doi:10.1100/tsw.2011.78

  5. Chandran PK, Kuttan R. Effect of Calendula officinalis Flower Extract on Acute Phase Proteins, Antioxidant Defense Mechanism and Granuloma Formation During Thermal BurnsJ Clin Biochem Nutr. 2008;43(2):58–64. doi:10.3164/jcbn.2008043

Additional Reading
  • American Academy of Family Physicians. First aid: Burns. Updated December 2010.

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

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