What is Urticaria
Urticaria (also known as Hives, nettle-rash) is a common allergic skin disorder. It is characterized by formation of weals on the skin. It is characterized by eruptions on the skin resembling the effect produced by sting of a nettle.
The disease may be acute chronic or recurrent.
Causes of Urticaria
Modern medicine attributes allergy as the cause of Urticaria.
Urticaria is caused by chemical called histamine which is released when the body comes in contact with an allergen.
While one could be allergic to any external agent, the most common allergens that trigger hives are:
- Bile imbalances in the body
- Digestive disorders – tract infection or toxaemia
- Bites of flies, mosquitoes, caterpillar, wasps, bees and bedbugs
- Allergy to food like mushroom, oatmeal, strawberries, cheese, chocolate
- Allergy to fish, egg, wheat, nuts, tomato, cucumber
- Sudden exposure to cold when the body is hot
- Parasitic infection
- Mental excitement and nervousness
- Allergy to drugs like ipecac, quinine, aspirin, penicillin
Urticaria can be caused by any of the above reasons.
Diagnosis of the exact cause of allergic reaction is the most important aspect of treating and preventing the recurrence of Urticaria. Once the allergen is identified, it becomes easy to tackle hives.
Symptoms of Urticaria
- Raised red and white patches on the skin resembling nettle sting
- Burning sensation, Intense itching and irritation
Home cure for Urticaria
- Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) is a time tested and very effective remedy for urticaria. Two teaspoonfuls thrice a day is the recommended dose. Milk & sugar can be added to the paste to make it palatable for the patient.
- Dried Rauwolfia root: Powdered root (1 gram) of rauwolfia, an ancient Indian herb (Indian name: Sarpagandha) is taken with water to relive the itching sensation of urticaria.
- Alum & red Ochre: Equal amounts of Alum and red ochre ground and mixed together, when applied externally to on the rashes are very effective in curing Urticaria.
- Rosewater & Vinegar: Equal amounts of rose water and vinegar mixed together and applied on the affected parts relives the itching sensation on the eruptions.
- Mint & brown sugar concoction: Mint leaf and brown sugar combined by weight in the ratio 1:4, boiled in water and taken orally relieves itching in urticaria.
Urticaria primarily owes its origin to gastro intestinal disorders. Accordingly, diet plays an important role in cleansing the toxicity and in the cure of urticaria.
- Drink large amount of hot water
- Increase the general intake of water (at least 10 glasses a day) Cold water should be generally avoided
- Switch to an all fruit diet for 4 days – pineapple, papaya, grapes, peaches, pear, oranges are suggested for this regimen
- Gradually embark on a well balanced diet comprising of lots of raw vegetable, fresh fruits and salad
- Intake lemon juice between meals
- Additional nutritional supplement comprising of vitamin E, vitamin C and zinc provide quick relief from itching
Foods to avoid
- Tea, Coffee, alcohol and other condiments
- Meat of any kind
- Oily food
- Any food that is difficult to digest
- A warm water enema daily during the fruit diet period
- Avoid exposure to cold
- Take a mild sunbath daily
- Hot Epsom salt bath – twice a week
Urticaria rarely occurs without an underlying trigger and discovering the exact trigger is half the battle won.