How To Treat And Get Rid Of Cradle Cap For Good With Simple Herbs

Cradle cap, also known as cradle “crap” by many a mother.

Around the age of 4 months old my little girl started with cradle cap, it was a horrible unsightly bunch of stuff on top of her gorgeous baby head. It made me cringe every time I went out in public and every Martha, Tom and Mary had some kind of advice, whether I wanted it or not, to give. I had a choice, get rid of it SOMEHOW or have my baby wear a hat for the rather warm foreseeable future.

So, what is cradle cap?

A form of seborrheic dermatitis, cradle cap is a skin inflammation. Apparently it is caused by overactive sweat or oil glands on the infants scalp.

Cradle cap is a yellowish, sometimes scaly crust on the scalp. It is neither serious nor contagious and need not be treated.

One of my favorite books “Herbs for a healthy pregnancy by Penelope Ody“, which I purchased during my second pregnancy, endorses the use of hearts-ease or marigold infused oil.

My 2nd did not need any treatment for cradle cap, thankfully, but I have personally used a cold infusion of marigold on my 3rd child.

In extreme cases a nightly scalp massage and rinse with comfrey root tea, which is noted for its ability to encourage the growth of healthy skin, may be needed.

What is Marigold (Calendula) and why does it work for cradle cap?

Calendula has anti-viral, anti-genotoxic, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Calendula in suspension or in tincture is used topically for acne, reducing inflammation, controlling bleeding, and soothing irritated tissue.

Thus making it perfect for cradle cap in the infusion of olive oil.

How do I make it?

I got a bunch of flowers from the local herb stall. I also have a bunch growing in my garden now! I picked off all the flower petals, now you can either dry the flowers or use them fresh. As I had a lot of flowers I went the drying route. The flower petals were then left to stand in virgin olive oil for 2 weeks, for maximum benefit.

How to use your anti cradle cap oil!

I did my little girls treatment over 2 days. The first day I smeared all the places where there was cradle cap with a little extra around the affected areas as well. I really didn’t want to miss any! Make sure to avoid the eyes.

As my little girl was only 4 months old, I laid her on a cloth that I could easily wash the oils out of. I did a bath that night and rinsed the oils off with just warm water and also did a bit of a massage to loosen the cradle cap some more and help the oil get further in. Then reapplied the infused cradle cap oil just before she went to sleep.

The trick here is to remember that you applied oils to the baby’s head when getting up at night to do feeds! I was really oiled down that night!

The applying of the oils continued the next morning and by lunch time I was able to “scrap” some cradle cap off with my nails.

Be careful of the soft spot on their heads!

By the evening 98% of the unsightly cradle cap had been scrapped off.

Now I didn’t scrap so that the stuff was under my nail, I pushed so it was on top of it. The other 2% of the cradle cap (it was over the soft spot) came off in the bath that night. You can also use one of those lice combs to get all flakes.

Bye bye cradle cap! I now have a little girl who’s hair has grown back and her eyebrows are also free of the unsightly stuff!


Are you trying to get rid of cradle cap?
What all have you tried?
Let us know how this solution works for your little ones cradle cap.


  1. says

    These are some great ideas. I really find the suggestion of using comfrey tea to be very interesting. When my 2nd baby was, well as baby, she had really bad cradle cap. I used a trick my doula taught me which was to rub oil on her head then wait about 10 minutes. Next I put my baby in the bath with a warm damp wash cloth on her head for about another 10 minutes. Then I would just shampoo the oil out. The scales would be loosened and would use a fine tooth comb to gently remove the scales. It worked great!
    Thanks for sharing on Natural Living Monday.

  2. says

    With both of my sons, cradle cap was the first indication of food allergies. It soon spread to eczema on their cheeks and in other places, and no matter how I treated it, wouldn’t go away until I found out what the allergens were and eliminated them from their diet.

    Isn’t it such a relief to get that nasty stuff out of their hair?! Good job, mama!


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