The Itchy Urticaria

The Itchy Urticaria

The Itchy Urticaria

There’s a quote that says- “Healthy skin starts from within”. A healthy diet and good hydration play a key role in maintaining skin health. Sometimes certain foods, medicines and irritants trigger skin reactions that cause rashes on the skin called Hives or Urticaria.

Urticaria is described as Sheetapitta in Ayurveda. Sheetapitta translates to the dominance of Cold over Pitta dosha.

Urticaria is an outbreak of pale red bumps or welts on the skin that appear suddenly. This condition is also called Hives. The swelling is called angioedema. Allergic reactions, chemicals in certain foods, insect bites and medications can cause Hives. The foods that commonly cause hives are nuts, chocolates, fish, tomatoes and milk. The causes for Sheetapitta are excessive intake of salty and pungent foods, consumption of large amounts of sour gruel, excessive intake of mustard, exposure to cold winds, sleeping during the daytime, climatic changes and insect bites.

The Itchy Urticaria

Sometimes it’s difficult to identify the cause of Urticaria.

Due to the above causative factors and exposure to cold wind, there is an aggravation of Kapha dosha and Vata dosha which in association with Pitta dosha spreads all over the body and causes itching and pricking sensation. There is also the involvement of Rasa and Rakta Dhatu in the manifestation of Sheetapitta.

Sheetapitta is characterized by certain premonitory symptoms like anorexia, nausea, fatigue, heaviness of the body and redness of the eyes. These symptoms are usually visible before the actual symptoms of Sheetapitta appear.

The clinical features of Sheetapitta are the appearance of skin rash which resembles an insect bite, elevated skin rash, severe itching, pricking sensation, vomiting, fever and burning sensation. According to modern science, Urticaria is characterized by a raised area of skin, swelling and itching.

Ayurveda suggests many remedies for Sheetapitta. Panchakarma therapies like Vamana, Virechana, and Raktamokshana are useful to combat Sheetapitta. Body massage with mustard oil is recommended. Oil massage with oil prepared out of Eladi gana drugs is helpful to reduce symptoms. Drugs like Durva (Cynodon dactylon) and Haridra (Curcuma longa) are applied in the form of paste in Sheetapitta. Herbs like Nimba, (Azadiracta indica), Haridra (Curcuma longa), Durva (Cynodon dactylon), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) and Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) are used in preparation of formulations to fight against Urticaria. Certain classical formulations like Shleshmapittantaka rasa, Sheeta pitta bhanjana rasa, laghosootashekhara rasa, arogyavardhini vati and Haridra Khanda in appropriate doses are used to get relief from Sheetapitta.

Lifestyle changes also play a vital role in curing Sheetapitta. Drinking warm water and a hot water bath is recommended. A light diet with less salt and spice is helpful to reduce symptoms. Creams, curds, milk, sweets, wines, oily and fried food, cold water bath, exposure to fire and sleeping during daytime should be avoided. Identifying the food/medicine allergen and avoiding it completely is very important to keep Urticaria at bay.

Thus, we gained a lot of knowledge about Urticaria, its symptoms and its treatment. Kindly consult your ayurvedic physician before trying out any of the medicines. We shall learn something new in the next blog.

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