Urticaria – Causes, Symptoms and Ayurvedic Treatment

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प्रसन्न्त्मेन्द्रियमना: स्वस्थ इत्यभिधीयते।।

Urticaria is a skin rash triggered by any medicines, food, stress, or other irritants. Symptoms include Itchy, Raised, Red or Skin colored Bumps on the Skin. Urticaria is also known as Hives.

It occurs when the body reacts to an allergen (antigen). Antigen-Antibody Complex developed, releases histamine and other chemicals under the skin surface. This leads to Inflammation and fluid accumulating under the skin named Hives.

Classification of Urticaria

1. Acute Urticaria

It develops suddenly and lasts less than six weeks. Causes will be Respiratory Allergens, Food Allergens, Psychological Factors, and any Infections or Medications.

2. Chronic Urticaria

It occurs in very few cases and rashes persist for more than six weeks or months or years. Causes will be Hereditary, Autoimmune, and Idiopathic.

Common Causes of Urticaria

  • Food like peanuts, eggs, nuts, and shellfish.
  • Medications, such as antibiotics like penicillin and sulfa, aspirin and ibuprofen.
  • Insect stings or bites.
  • Physical stimuli such as pressure, cold, heat, exercise, or sun exposure.
  • Latex, pollen, and some plants and pet dander.
  • Blood transfusions.
  • Bacterial infections, including urinary tract infections and strep throat.
  • Hormonal changes and emotional factors.
  • Viral infections, include the common cold, infectious mononucleosis, and hepatitis.

Ayurvedic Concept of Urticaria (Sheetpitta)

In Ayurveda, all skin diseases are explained under Kushta Roga (means Skin Diseases). But some allergic conditions like Sheetpitta, Udard, Kotha are explained separately. Allergic Manifestation is mentioned under the concept of Satmya (Tolerance) and Asatmya (Intolerance) in Ayurveda. Due to similar symptomatology Urticaria is correlated with Sheetpitta.

Classification of Urticaria (Sheetpitta) – As Per Ayurveda

Sheetpitta, Udard, and Kotha are explained separately in Ayurveda. Sheetpitta is also called as Udard, Kotha and Utkotha. This group is Sheetpitta correlated with Urticaria due to its similar symptoms.

1. Sheetpitta

Vata Dominance, Tod (Pricking Sensation), Vidah (Burning Sensation).

2. Udard

Kapha Dominance, Kandu (Itching), Vidah (Burning Sensation).

3. Kotha

Raktadushti, Vidah (Burning Sensation).

4. Utkotha

Recurrence of Kotha again and again.

Ayurvedic Concept of Urticaria (Sheetpitta)

Ayurvedic Concept of Urticaria (Sheetpitta)

Diagnosis of Urticaria (Sheetpitta) – As Per Ayurveda

Causative Factors (Nidan) of Urticaria (Sheetpitta) – As Per Ayurveda

  • Excessive intake of Lavana Salty, Katu (Pungent) Food, Sasharp (Mustard), Arnala, and Shukta (Sour Gruels).
  • Exposure to Sheet Maruta Samsparsha (Cold Wind).
  • Diwaswapna (Day Sleep).
  • Sheet Paneeya Samsparsh (Contact of Cold Substances).
  • Asatmyak Vaman (Improper Emesis).
  • Keetak Dansha (Insect Bite).
  • Shishir Varsha Ritu Viparyaya (Altered Features in winter and Rainy Season).
  • KrimiSansarg (Contact of Poisonous Insects).

Predominant Symptoms of Urticaria (Sheetpitta) – As Per Ayurveda

Before arrival of the disease some symptoms are produced by the body is called Purvarupa. Purvarupa of Urticaria is:

  • Pipasa (Thirst).
  • Aruchi (Tasteless).
  • Hrullas (Nausea).
  • Dehasada (Fatigue).
  • Rakta lochanata (Red Discoloration of the Eyes).

Signs of Urticaria (Sheetpitta) – As Per Ayurveda

Signs of a disease are named as Rupa.

  • Varatidamshtra Vatashotha (Skin becomes like Bite of Nettle Sting).
  • Kandu (Itching).
  • Toda (Pricking).
  • Hrillasa and Chhardi (Nausea and Vomiting).
  • Vidah (Burning Sensation).
  • Jwara (Fever).

Stages of Formation of Urticaria (Sheetpitta) – As Per Ayurveda

Various stages of Formation of any disease in Ayurveda are named as Samprapti. Vitiliated Vata (Life Force) and vitiliated Kapha (Life Force) because of Cold Weather and Exposure to Cold Wind get mixed with Pitta (Life Force). All these three Doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) spreads all over the body (Beneath the Skin) and occur Reddish Rash with Itching and Pricking Sensation and this condition is Sheetpitta.

“Causative factors of Urticaria are generally other things besides infection, although it could be from hormonal changes. It could be from a virus. It could be even emotional stress or an allergen or some sort of allergy that you have”.

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Ayurvedic Treatment for Urticaria

Acharya Chakradutta has clearly and systematically described the Shamana Chikitsa of Sheetapitta giving considerable importance to Doshagati (transit of doshas). He has advised that the individuals suffering from Sheetapitta can be given either Sheeta or Ushna aahara and Paniyas with due consideration to Doshagati. Acharya Bhavaprakasha has described Sodhana (Purificatory), Shamana (Palliative), and Bahi Parimarjana Chikitsa (External therapies) in Sheetapitta.

So, we at IAFA® provide certain treatment measures by following the principles of Ayurveda for ayurvedic treatment of urticaria (hives). These treatment measures include internal medications and external therapies along with purificatory therapies.

Internal Medications for Urticaria

  • Guduchyadi Kashayam
  • Patolakaturohinyadi Kashayam
  • Avipathi Choornam
  • Tikthakam Ghritam
  • Haridrakhandam
  • Indukantham Ghritam
  • Triphala Guggulu
  • Triphala with Honey
  • Navakarshika Guggulu
  • Trikatu with Sharkara
  • Yavani with Vyosha and Yavakshara
  • Aardraka Rasa with Purana Guda

External Therapies for Urticaria

  • Abhyanga (oleation) with Kshara, lavana, taila
  • Parisheka with Ushnambu (hot water)
  • Lepa (anoinment) with Durva and Nishi

Purificatory Therapies for Urticaria

  • Vamana
  • Virechana (Special treatment / Vishesha Chikitsa)

Single Herbs Used in Urticaria – As Per Ayurveda

  • Haridra (Curcuma longa)
  • Nimba (Azadirachta indica)
  • Amrita (Tinospora cordifolia)
  • Katuki (Picrorhiza kurroa)
  • Nishotah (Operculina turpethum)
  • Triphala (Phyllanthus emblica, Terminalia chebula, Terminalia bellirica)

Lifestyle Improvement in Urticaria (Sheetpitta) – As Per Ayurveda

  • Hot water Bath Daily.
  • Avoid exposure to Cold Breeze.
  • Don’t suppress Natural Urges.
  • Daily Exercise, Meditation & Yoga.
  • Avoid Day Time Sleep after lunch.
  • Sleep on Time After Dinner.
  • Follow Ritucharya (Seasonal Regime) and Deencharya (Daily Regime) as per Ayurveda.
  • Use Chemical-Free Products.
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Diet Management of Urticaria (Sheetpitta) – As Per Ayurveda

Pathya (Do’s)

  • Consume old grains.
  • Karela (Bitter Gourd).
  • Mudga Green Gram.
  • Aamalaki (Gooseberry).
  • Drink Ushna Jal (Warm Water).

Apathya (Don’ts)

  • Avoid Guru (Heavy to digest).
  • Excess Spicy, Sour.
  • Dugdhjanya Aahar (Dairy Products).
  • Madya (Alcohol).
  • Sheet Jalpan (Cold Water).
  • Virudha Aahar (Wrong Food Combinations).

Yoga Therapy in Urticaria (Sheetpitta)

Stress can worsen Urticaria. With the help of Yoga it reduces stress by its techniques that promote relaxation by Deep Breathing. Yoga and Asanas which are helpful in Urticaria are as follows:-

  • Brashrika Pranayama
  • Surya Namaskar
  • Halasana
  • Matsyasana
  • Trikonasana
  • Bhujangasana

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How will Ayurveda help me with Urticaria?

Answer: Ayurveda works on sole root cause of the disease in the most natural way. By acting upon all the aspects, and not only on skin, it restores the three doshas (life forces) of the body. Perfectly chosen IAFA urticaria treatrment plan can help to get rid from itching, wheals and also corrects the hypersensitivity of immunological system responsible for urticaria. Ayurvedic medicines are amazing in providing not only relief for itching and getting rid of the urticaria, but also prevent the reoccurrence.

Question: Will I have to take steroids for my health ailment of Urticaria for the rest of my life? Will it not lead to any kind of side effects?

Answer: Corticosteroid tablets will disturb or suppress the immune system and reduce the allergic reactions temporarily. It is always used in severe attacks of urticaria or any life threatening conditions. Side effects of regularly intake of corticosteroids lead to a wide range of complications like stretch marks, weight gain, hair loss, hormonal imbalances or Cushing syndrome, anemia and many more severe adverse effects are commonly known.

Question: Who are more likely to get symptoms of Urticaria?

Answer: Urticaria is also most likely a sign of other health issues going inside the body. So IAFA focus beyond then symptoms to do root cause treatment. Various factors that enhance the chances of having urticaria: – Age in-between 30 to 60 years. – Female gender is most likely more prone to urticaria then males. – Having a family history or hereditary. – Physical or emotional stress. – Use of drugs such as NSAIDS, some antibiotics, certain hypertensive medications. – Previous history of hives or angioedema. – Previous history of other allergic reactions. – Having diseases such as eczema, lupus, lymphoma, thyroid disease, etc.

Question: How serious is Urticaria?

Answer: It’s not serious or dangerous physical condition but because of Itching patient can get frustrated.

Question: Is Chronic Urticaria curable?

Answer: Yes, with Ayurvedic Medicines and Change in Lifestyle can help you to come out from disease and feel better.

Question: Is Urticaria relapse after Ayurvedic medications?

Answer: If Nidan Parivarjan (Disease causing Factors in diet and lifestyle of the Patient) is done, there will be no chance of relapsed again.

Question: Is It Hives or Angioedema?

Answer: Angioedema – swelling of tissue beneath the surface of the skin can be mistaken for, or associated with hives. It can be caused by allergic reactions, medications or a hereditary deficiency of some enzymes. The following symptoms may indicate angioedema: – Swelling in the eyes and eyes lining, lips or mouth. – Swelling of the forehead, hands, feet, or throat. – Difficulty in breathing and restlessness. – Stomach aches and cramps. The best way to identify your symptoms is to talk to an Ayurvedic Allergist who can diagnose and treat both hives and angioedema.

Question: Are hives contagious?

Answer: Hives is a symptom and it is non-contagious. Causative factor of hives may be contagious and the causes of the hives must be rule out, since there are viruses, bacteria and parasites that can cause hives.

Question: Is Ayurveda is safer ways to deal with Urticaria?

Answer: Yes, definitely. Urticaria can be dealt with in a much safer, ancient, or holistic way with Ayurveda. Ayurveda is the oldest, deep-rooted and comprehensive medical science. The target of Ayurvedic treatment is the patient’s Immune System T- Cells, NOT JUST the lying superficial skin symptoms. The aim is to eliminate the root cause of Urticaria by ‘calming down’ or regulating (but not suppressing) the hyperactive immune system that is responding erratically and excessively to harmless substances. Ayurveda significantly reduces the intensity, frequency, and duration of Urticaria flare-ups. Ayurveda provides wholesome, complete, and long-lasting solace from Urticaria with no chances of relapse again. That’s the extraordinary scope and range of Ayurveda!! 5000 years ago to till now hundreds of thousands of people have benefitted from it while millions more are experiencing the amazing curative powers of Ayurveda in successfully thwarting this frustrating, irksome, and potentially serious malady.

Question: Can Ayurveda treat Urticaria?

Answer: Yes, Ayurveda can treat urticaria effectively by elimination of dosha and purification of the body toxins with Ayurvedic medicines for internal and external use.

Question: What are the causes of Urticaria?

Answer: There are various causes of urticaria such as: excess intake of salty and pungent food, exposure to cold wind, day sleep, improper emesis etc. Due to these factors, Vata and Kapha doshas get aggravated which in turn get mixed up with Pitta dosha and cause urticaria.

Question: Does urticaria relapse after taking treatment?

Answer: Most of the time patients get symptomatic relief only because the underlying pathology is not treated properly but if the underlying pathology is treated under the guidance of an Ayurvedic expert, then there would be no relapse.

Question: How much time does it take to recover from urticaria through Ayurvedic treatment?

Answer: It depends on the condition and severity of the disorder. The treatment may be required for a few weeks to few months.


  1. MadhavaNidana by Acharya Madhava, Chapter 50, Sheetpitta UdardKoda Nidana, Sloka No. 1.
  2. Agnivesh. Charak Samhita commentary by Brahma Nand Tripathi, Chaukhambha Surbharati Sansthan, Varanasi, Sutra 4/17, 43. 
  3. Sushruta. Sushruta Samhita Hindi Translation by Dr. Anant Ram Shastri, Chaukhambha Surbharati Prakashan, Varanasi, Sutra 38/13, 25.
  4. Chakrapani Dutta, Ayurveda Deepika Commentary on Charak Samhita, Edited by Vaidya Yadavji Trikamji Chaukambha Surbharati Prakashan, Varanasi, Udarda-Kotha-Sheetpitta Chikitsa 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 23.

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Dr. Sahil Gupta completed his Bachelor of Ayurveda in Medicine and Surgery (B.A.M.S.) and Master’s Degree in Health Administration (MHA) India. He is Registered Ayurvedic Doctor & Vaidya in India having Registration No. 23780. He is the CEO and founder of IAFA. After completing BAMS, Dr. Sahil Gupta started practicing Ayruveda by giving prime importance to allergic disorders management. He became the first Ayurvedic doctor to cure Food Allergies through Ayurveda. Read More About Dr. Sahil Gupta.

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