Urticaria (hives or nettle rash also) is characterized by
outbreak of intense itching and a rash of raised white or yellow
areas surrounded by red inflammation. This allergic skin reaction
normally lasts a few hours but may persist for longer durations. It
is termed chronic if it lasts for more than six weeks.
The main culprit is histamine (from the white blood cells) which
gets released into the skin once the allergen attacks. Histamine
makes blood vessels leak fluid into the deepest layers of the skin.
Inflamed skin with extremely itchy white and yellow
lumps or wheals. These welts are also known as wheal and
Additional symptoms like fatigue, fever and nausea.
In a condition called dermographia, whenever a
person scratches the skin, hive-like wheals get raised.
Histamine released causes only localized swelling.
Generally, the afflicted person does not have any
allergy and individual reaction disappears without
In extreme cases, an anaphylactic reaction which is
potentially fatal, due to swelling within the
respiratory tract as breathing becomes difficult. Other
symptoms under such extreme reactions include swelling
around the lips, tongue and throat.
Medicines – aspirin and penicillin, Also foods
containing salicylates – natural aspirin like compounds
- like berries, nuts, dried fruits and certain spices.
Certain food additives, specifically tartrazine
(E102)-an orange-yellow food coloring and other
colorants like azo dyes, certain flavorings like
salicylates (natural aspirin like compounds), artificial
sweeteners (aspartame), preservatives (benzoates,
nitrites, sorbic acid), antioxidants (hydroxytoluene,
sulfite, gallate), and emulsifiers/stabilizers (polysorbates,
Water, extreme heat (prickly heat rashes), extreme cold
can all add up or start your misery
Combination of food and sunlight
Contact with plants – buckwheat, primulas and stinging nettle
Bacterial, viral and animal hair infections and some
other infectious organisms (e.g., hepatitis B virus,
Candida albicans, and streptococcal bacteria),
such as Quercitin act as a powerful anti-oxidant that boost immunity
and improve circulation while Euphrasia officinalis (Eyebright)
maintains eye heath and good vision. Homeopathic ingredients such as
Arsen alb., Nat. mur and Kali mur. help to maintain skin, liver and
nervous health and also promote healthy fluids in the body.
So effective are these ingredients that some times it becomes
imperative to use them for stubborn cases like the ones due to
medications, e.g. anti-cholesterol medications side effects.
Quercitin is a well known flavonoid, usually found
mostly in onions and apples and is considered to be a
'building block' for other flavonoids. Dietary
flavonoids are important and powerful anti-oxidants
found in fruits, vegetablesand herbs and can also
support immunity, healthy blood vessels and circulation. Quercitin is known for its ability to
iArsen alb. (15C) is a remedy with a wide variety of
uses. Arsen alb. Has proved beneficial in maintaining
skin and nervous system health, as well as in the
maintenance of a healthy, clear respiratory system.
Aloe ferox - For centuries this herb has been used topically
for skin ailments like eczema and psoriasis. European
sailors routinely used the sap to heal and protect their
skin from the elements, rope burns, and salt water
exposure. Modern research has verified the antiseptic,
anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial functions of Aloe ferox.
Hamamelis virginianum (Witchhazel) - This is an
excellent astringent herb with anti-inflammatory
properties. It can be used to treat itching, insect
bites and stings, sunburn, minor burns, grazes, rashes
and most skin irritations. Witchhazel also has
antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties that help to
treat and prevent infections.
Calendula officinalis (Marigold) - Its orange and gold colored flowers are rich
in flavonoids, specifically carotenoid pigments, and
triterpenoids, which give it its anti-inflammatory and
antibacterial properties. It is also a strong antiviral
agent and also helps fight out certain parasites.
Marigold has traditionally been used externally for
treating insect bites, cuts and small wounds, cracked
skin and sunburn.
Lavendula officinalis (Lavender) - The essential oil of lavender’s
purple flowers appearing on the spikes is rich in a lot
of constituents having medicinal properties, mainly
linalool, terpinene-4-ol and linalyl acetate. Lavender
is a wonderful antiseptic and antibacterial and is
widely used externally in the form of ointments and
creams to relieve and soothe insect bites, burns and
other minor skin infections.
Vitamin E Oil - The main function of vitamin E is
to maintain the integrity of the body's intracellular
membrane by protecting its physical stability and
providing a defense line against tissue damage caused by
oxidation. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that prevents
free radical damage in biological membranes. It acts as
a co-enzyme in cellular membranes and serves as a
scavenger for free radicals. Vitamin E maintains the
integrity of the body's intracellular membrane, helps
protect against heart disease and the development of
cancers by enhancing immune function.
Your diet should include fish, pulses and wheat germ, all
of which supply niacin, a B vitamin which inhibits the
release of histamine.
Although, high amounts of vitamin C and also vitamin
B12, in the form of supplements are recommended for
hives patients as vitamin C in theory restricts
histamine release and vitamin B12 decreases the severity
and frequency of hives, no authoritative evidence exists
to support this theory.
Bromelain is sometimes used to help reduce inflammation.
You can take it with curcumin (Curcuma longa), the
yellow pigment of turmeric, which may enhance its
effects. Avoid bromelain if you are allergic to citrus.
Foods most likely to trigger hives are shellfish, nuts,
chocolate, fish, tomatoes, eggs, fresh berries and milk.
It is you only who can find out the culprit and show it
the door of your kitchen!
Herbal tea – Peppermint, passion, valerian, catnip are
some common herb teas which are nerve calming and have a
A naturally occurring flavonoid, quercetin, is often
prescribed before being exposed to the particular
insect, you are allergic to. This lessens the severity
of the allergic response. Quercetin supplements help if
you have a history of an allergy to these particular
insects like bees and wasps. Eating foods high in
flavonoids (such as fruits and vegetables) on a regular
basis also does the trick but the effects are more
pronounced when supplements are taken. Vitamin C
enhances the effects of quercetin.