Abhay Ayurvedic & Panchkarna Hospital


Urticaria, also known as Hives or Nettle Rash, is primarily caused by an allergic reaction. This condition manifests as red, raised, and itchy skin rashes on the body. The wheals associated with urticaria can vary in shape and size but typically resemble the appearance of nettle stings. An important characteristic of urticaria is that, even though the rash may persist for weeks, individual lesions typically fade within a day and often last only a matter of hours.

In some patients, particularly those with ordinary chronic urticaria, the release of histamine from skin mast cells is triggered by factors present in the bloodstream. These factors can include antibodies that are directed against the patient’s own cells, a process known as autoimmunity. Ayurvedic treatment for urticaria is known to effectively alleviate these symptoms.

Symptoms for Urticaria

Swellings, referred to as wheals, manifest as a skin rash appearing in pink or red oval or round shapes. These wheals can be highly itchy and are typically surrounded by a red flare.

Wheals tend to appear in clusters on various parts of the body, including the face, arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, and toes. They are often short-lived, usually disappearing within 24 hours. However, occasionally, a new wheal may emerge as the previous one fades.

In some instances, hives can persist for several days, and individuals with chronic hives may experience these warning signs for months or even years.

Types of Urticaria

Acute urticaria:
Urticaria that lasts for less than 6 weeks is classified as acute urticaria. Several factors can trigger acute urticaria, including:

1. Medications: Various drugs, with penicillin, aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, sulfonamides, thiazide diuretics, and oral contraceptives being among the most common culprits.

2. Foods: Certain foods, such as nuts, eggs, fish, seafood, chocolate, meat, cow’s milk, and some fruits, are frequently associated with urticaria.

3. Respiratory allergens: Inhalation of allergens like pollen, mold spores, mites, animal dandruff, and hair can induce urticaria when they enter the respiratory tract.

4. Infections: Respiratory infections like sinusitis, tonsillitis, dental abscesses, urinary tract infections, and parasitic infections may also lead to urticaria.

5. Psychogenic factors: Emotional factors like stress, sadness, and depression can exacerbate pre-existing urticaria.

Chronic urticaria:
Chronic urticaria persists for more than 6 weeks, often lasting for months or even years. It can have various underlying causes, including:

1. Hereditary urticaria: Some types of urticaria, such as angioedema and familial cold urticaria, have a hereditary component.

2. Idiopathic urticaria: In some cases, urticaria develops without any known cause, termed idiopathic urticaria.

3. Autoimmune disorders: Chronic urticaria can also be associated with autoimmune conditions.

Ayurvedic Treatment for Urticaria

In Ayurveda, urticaria corresponds to ‘Sheetapitta.’ This term is composed of two words: ‘sheeta,’ meaning cold, and ‘pitta,’ meaning hot. Sheetapitta is believed to be caused by an excess of ‘cold’ elements dominating over the ‘hot’ elements in the body.

Ayurvedic treatments for urticaria are tailored based on the stage of the condition, whether acute or chronic, as well as its underlying causes.

For immediate relief from symptoms, classical therapies like Vamana (therapeutic emesis) or Virechana (therapeutic purgation) may be recommended.

Medications such as Haridrakhandam, Arogyavardhini, Patolakaturohinyadi Kashayam, and others are commonly used in the treatment of urticaria.

Various herbs like haridra (turmeric), nimba (neem), amrita, Katuki, Nishotha, and triphala are beneficial in managing this condition.

Additionally, following some simple rules and remedies can be helpful:

1. Avoiding triggers: Identify and avoid foods or medications that exacerbate symptoms.

2. Dietary precautions: Refrain from excessive salt, sour foods, and mustard. Protect yourself from exposure to cold winds. Avoid improper emesis (vomiting) and insect bites.

3. Oil massage: Regular oil massages with Eladi Taila can be beneficial.

4. Topical applications: Apply Aloe Vera gel or neem paste externally when rashes appear.

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