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Urticaria - Causes, Symptoms and Ayurvedic Treatment
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.
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.
- Hormonal changes and emotional factors.
- Viral infections, including 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
1. Acute Urticaria
It develops suddenly and lasts less than six weeks. Causes will be Respiratory Allergens, Food Allergens, Psychological Factors, and any Infection or Medications.
2. Chronic Urticaria
It occurs in very few cases and rashes persist more than six week or months or years. Causes will be Hereditary, Autoimmune and Idiopathic.
Dr. Sahil Gupta
“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”.
– Dr. Sahil Gupta (B.A.M.S., M.H.A.)
Ayurvedic Allergy Specialist
CEO & Founder of IAFA®
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.
Vata Dominance, Tod (Pricking Sensation), Vidah (Burning Sensation).
Kapha Dominance, Kandu (Itching), Vidah (Burning Sensation).
Raktadushti, Vidah (Burning Sensation).
Recurrence of Kotha again and again.
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.
Diet Management of Urticaria (Sheetpitta) As Per Ayurveda
- Consume old grains.
- Karela (Bitter Gourd).
- Mudga Green Gram.
- Aamalaki (Gooseberry).
- Drink Ushna Jal (Warm Water).
- Avoid Guru (Heavy to digest).
- Excess Spicy, Sour.
- Dugdhjanya Aahar (Dairy Products).
- Madya (Alcohol).
- Sheet Jalpan (Cold Water).
- Virudha Aahar (Wrong Food Combinations).
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.
Yoga and Asanas 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
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
- 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
- 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)
- Agnivesh, Charak Samhita commentary by Brahma Nand Tripathi, Chaukhambha Subharti Sansthan, Varanasi, Sutra 4/17, 43. 24.
- Yogratnakar, Hindi commentary by Laxmipati Shastri, III Edition, 1983, Chaukhamba Sanskrit Sansthan, Varanasi, Udarda- Kotha- Sheetpitt Chikitsa 7, 12.
- Bhavprakash by Sh. Bhav Mishra with hindi commentary by Pandit Sh. Bhahmasankar Mishra. 2nd part Chaukhamba Surbharti Publication. 5th edition 1993. P. 543.
Article Written By: Dr. Sahil Gupta (B.A.M.S., M.H.A.)
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How will Ayurveda help me with Urticaria?
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?
Question: Who are more likely to get symptoms of 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?
Question: Is Chronic Urticaria curable?
Question: Is Urticaria relapse after Ayurvedic medications?
Question: Is It Hives or 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?
Question: Is Ayurveda is safer ways to deal with Urticaria?
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.