hives treatment remedies

Hives Causes, Symptoms + Ayurvedic Remedies For Hives, Allergies

Hives are the outbreak of swollen red bumps or wheals on the skin. Hives are caused by exposure to allergens. Another popular name for hives is Utricaria.

Hives Symptoms

  • Itching
  • Burning/stinging sensation
  • Wheals/bumps can appear anywhere in the body
  • Sometimes small bumps join together to form plaques

Hives Causes

Chemical compounds called histamines are released into the bloodstream when we’re exposed to allergens. Allergic hives occur when histamines are released into the blood and as a result, blood plasma leaks out of small blood vessels in the skin.

Histamines are released in the following situations.

  • Insect bites and stings
  • Chemicals in certain foods
  • Certain Medications
  • Bacterial infections
  • Allergic reactions

hives treatment remedies

Types Of Hives

Acute Utricaria/Hives: These last less than 6 weeks. Common causes include food allergies – especially with nuts, eggs, fish, milk, chocolates, and berries. Food additives and preservatives can also cause acute hives. Certain drugs can also result in acute hives like aspirin, ibuprofen, and others.

Chronic Utricaria/Hives: These last for more than six weeks. Their cause is generally unknown but can due to underlying conditions like hepatitis, thyroid disease, infections or cancers.  Along with rashes, they present with other symptoms like soreness, shortness of breath, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Physical Utricaria: These are caused by the direct physical stimulation of the skin in response to extreme cold/heat, sweating, and others.

There are no specific tests for diagnosing hives, but you can go for skin patch tests to determine the substance to which you are allergic. Routine blood tests can also rule out the presence of other major diseases.

Read More: How To Do A Patch Test (Skin Allergy Test) At Home

Ayurveda On Hives Causes

Ayurveda calls this condition sheetapitta.  Sheetapitta is a condition where all the three doshas are vitiated with predominance of Vata. The dhathus (tissues) affected are rakta (blood tissue) and rasa (plasma).

The word sheetapitta consists of 2 words, sheeta which is a Sanskrit word meaning cold, and Pitta meaning warm/hot. It is a condition that is caused by the dominance of Vata and Kapha dosha over Pitta dosha.

Causative Factors As Per Ayurveda 

  • Intake of salty and pungent food in excess
  • Excess intake of sarshapa (mustard)
  • Exposure to extreme cold
  • Improper emesis
  • Insect bites
  • Contact of poisonous bugs/objects
  • Daytime sleep

Due to any of the above-said causative factors, the Vata and Kapha dosha get aggravated and get mixed up with Pitta.

Furthermore, the vitiated dosha spreads over the body and lodges in the external surface beneath the skin. This causes pale reddish eruptions with intense itching and stinging.

Ayurvedic Treatments And Remedies For Hives

Triphala fruits and Triphala powder. Can Triphala cause bloating?

  • Oral medication like triphala choorna, haridra khanda, amritadi kashaya, and others are prescribed.
  • Purifactory treatment – According to dosha predominance, vamana (emesis), virechana (therapeutic purgation) or rakta mokshana (bloodletting) has to be performed under the guidance of a qualified Ayurvedic physician.
  • Avoiding exposure to causative factors
  • Nimba (Neem leaves) – The application of paste of neem leaves in the rashes can reduce itching and burning sensation. Water boiled with neem leaves can be used for bathing as well
  • Haridra (Turmeric) – External application of paste made of Turmeric powder (1 tsp.) + ghee (1 tsp.) on affected areas can reduce the rashes.
  • Orally, guduchi (tinospora), amalaki (Indian gooseberry) and other similar herbs can be taken.

Managing Hives Naturally

  • Oatmeal, witch hazel, and baking soda baths can soothe the skin and reduce itching.
  • Squeeze aloe vera gel out of the leaves into a bowl.  Use your fingers and apply it to the affected area(s). Keep it on for around 20 minutes before washing it off with cold water. This helps in soothing the skin and provides excellent moisture.
  • Application of mustard oil on the affected area reduces itching and irritation.
  • 10 ml of ginger juice along with 1 teaspoon of jaggery (guda) early in the morning daily helps in getting rid of recurrent acute urticaria/hives.
  •  Freshly crushed betel leaves if applied over the rashes gives relief from itching

You can also apply wet cloth or cool compresses in the affected area.  How to make an Ayurvedic cold compress at home? Here’s how –

  1. Fill a small bowl with ice cold water.
  2. Add 6 drops to soothing/balancing essential oil as per your skin type.
  3. Swish through the water to disperse the oil.
  4. Take a clean absorbent cloth such as cot­ton, wool, or linen, and dip into the infusion.
  5. Wring out and apply on the affected area for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Another way is to choose cooling organic herbs/tea and prepare a decoction. Strain and proceed from there with a cloth.

Please consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before trying the remedies and herbs mentioned in this article. If you ever notice you’re having an allergic reaction, seek medical care immediately. Consult your primary healthcare provider if you get hives often. 

Arya Krishna is an Ayurvedic Practitioner, educator, and speaker. She completed her Bachelors in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) from Amrita School of Ayurveda, Kerala, India. She is registered as an Ayurveda doctor (Reg No: 14664) under the Indian Medical Council. She received a Fellowship in Orthopedic Rehabilitation from Apollo group of Institutions, Hyderabad. An editor with the International Ayurvedic Medical Journal, she previously served as the associate editor of the American Ayurvedic Journal of Health. Before moving to the US in 2015, she was Resident Medical Officer (Ayurveda) in AyurVAID hospital, Bangalore and has knowledge and experience in precision and evidence-based Ayurveda. She was an Ayurveda Domain expert with Health Connect 24 – a unique platform to bring together Ayurveda, Yoga and swadeshi. She is efficient in performing all Panchakarma procedures (purification therapies) and has knowledge of Marma Therapy. Other areas of expertise include Ayurveda diet and lifestyle, women’s health, and rasayana (rejuvenation). She works for the promotion and propagation of Ayurveda by offering lectures, webinars and contributing to various journals. She is a resource person for the Council of Ayurveda Research (CAR) and is an Ayurvedic blogger with Mother Earth Living. Currently, she is residing in Danville, Pennsylvania and is listed as a BAMS doctor with AAPNA (Association of Ayurveda Practitioners of North America). She is an Ayurveda Consultant and Educational coordinator with Be Mind Body Skin, New Jersey and Subject Matter Expert at At Home with Ayurveda, UK.


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