Urticarial Rashes – Ayurvedic Understanding And Treatment Options

Urticarial rashes are commonly known as hives. They are most commonly caused due to an allergic reaction. In Ayurveda, a condition called Sheetapitta is explained, which bears similar symptoms of Urticaria. There is no specific and satisfactory treatment in contemporary science for the condition of urticaria. But, it can be effectively managed through Ayurveda system of medicine.

Even though it is not a life threatening problem, it seriously affects the quality of life. Though not all, few of the individuals suffer from hives for months or years together and the incidences of relapse is also frequently found. Repeated intake of anti histamines or cortico-steroids reduces the immunity of the body and thus Ayurveda has a definitive edge in providing a comprehensive solution to this health problem.

Sheetapitta is a condition caused due to vitiation of all the three doshas with predominant involvement of Vata.
Dhatu (body tissues involved) – Rasa (serum) and Rakta (blood).

Derivation

Sheetapitta comprises of two words- sheeta and pitta.
Sheeta means cold and pitta refers to warmth. So, it is a condition caused due to the dominance of ‘cold’ (existing in vata and kapha dosha) over pitta dosha.

Causative factors

  1. Excess intake of salty (lavana) and pungent (katu) food
  2. Consumption of large amount of sour gruels (arnala & shukta)
  3. Excess intake of mustard (sarshapa sevana)
  4. Exposure to cold wind (sheeta maruta samsparsha)
  5. Contact of cold substances (sheeta paneeya samsparsha)
  6. Day sleep (Diwaswapna)
  7. Improper emesis (asamyak vamana)
  8. Altered features in winter and rainy season (shishira-varsha ritu viparyaya)
  9. Insect bite (keeta damsha)
  10. Krimi samsarga (contact of poisonous insects or bugs) etc

Pathophysiology

Pathophysiology (Origin of the disease)
Due to the above said factors, importantly, exposures to cold breeze, vata and kapha doshas are aggravated and in turn they are mixed up with pitta dosha. Further, they spread all over the body and lodge in the external surface of the body (beneath the skin) and produce reddish rashes with intense itching and pricking sensation. Thus, the condition sheetapitta, resembling with the features of Urticarial rashes is manifested.

Prodromal symptoms

  1. Thirst (pipasa)
  2. Tastelessness (aruchi)
  3. Nausea (hrillasa)
  4. Debility/fatigue (dehasada)
  5. Heaviness of the body/lethargy (anga gaurava)
  6. Rakta lochanata (reddish discoloration of the eyes)

Clinical features

  1. Cardinal feature– The skin marks resembling the bite of nettle sting (varatidamshtra vatashotha)
  2. Itching (kandu)
  3. Pricking sensation (toda)
  4. Nausea and vomiting (chardi, hrillasa)
  5. Fever (jwara)
  6. Burning sensation (vidaha)

Line of treatment

  1. Body purification therapy (samshodhana)
  2. Oral medications (shamanoushada)
  3. Avoidance of causative factors (nidana parivarjana)

Oil massage

  1. Application of mustard oil all over the body.
  2. Yavakshara and saindhava lavana mixed mustard oil application
  3. Medicated oil prepared by the drugs of Eladi gana

External application

External application of medicated paste:

  1. Paste of Doorva (Cynodon dactylon) and Haridra (Curcuma longa)
  2. Fine paste of saindhava (rock salt), kushta (Saussaria lappa) and ghee

According to the dosha dominance, Vamana (emesis), virechana (purgation) or rakta mokshana (blood letting) are carried with suitable medicaments.

Single herb usage

Single herbs recommended in Urticarial rashes:
Guduchi – Tinospora cordifolia (Willd.) Miers.
Nimba – Azadirachta indica A. Juss.
Haridra – Curcuma longa Linn.
Ajamoda – Trachyspermum roxburghianum (DC.) Sprague.
Yashtimadhu –  Glycyrrhiza glabra Linn.
Durva – Cynodon dactylon (Linn.) Pers.
Gambhari – Gmelina arborea Roxb.
Agnimantha – Clerodendrum phlomidis Linn. F.
Amalaki – Emblica officinalis Gaertn.
Parnayavani – Coleus amboinicus Lour.

Ayurvedic formulations

  1. Amritadi kashaya
  2. Amrita rajanyadi kashaya
  3. Triphala churna
  4. Haridra khanda
  5. Ardraka khanda
  6. Brihat haridra khanda
  7. Talakeshwara rasa
  8. Poornabhra rasa
  9. Manikya rasa
  10. Rajamriganka rasa
  11. Vatavidhwamsa rasa
  12. Sarvatobhadra rasa
  13. Sootashekhara rasa
  14. Laghu sootashekhara vati

Wholesome diets

Wholesome diet and habits for Urticarial rashes (Sheetapitta)

  1. Older rice (Purana shali)
  2. Green gram (mudga)
  3. Horse gram (kulattha)
  4. Bittergourd (Karavellaka)
  5. Pomegranate (dadima)
  6. Gooseberry (amalaki)
  7. Warm water (ushnajala) etc

Unwholesome diets

Unwholesome diet and habits for Urticarial rashes (Sheetapitta)

  1. Milk and milk products (ksira vikara)
  2. Fish (matsya)
  3. Sugar and its derivative (ikshuvikara)
  4. Alcohol (madya)
  5. Suppression of vomiting (Vamana rodha)
  6. Cold water (sheeta jala)
  7. Exposure to breeze (sheetala vayusevana) etc

Last drop:
Sheetapitta (urticarial rashes) is the most common allergic skin manifestation. It is a condition which makes the individual to frustrate about the disease as well as the medicine. Most of the time we achieve mere symptomatic relief and the underlying pathology is not treated properly. Often the condition may lead to sleep disturbance, altered emotion and social isolation even. So, it is wise to approach your physician and take the treatment at the earliest.
Article by – Dr. MS Krishnamurthy and Dr Hebbar

21 thoughts on “Urticarial Rashes – Ayurvedic Understanding And Treatment Options”

  1. Hello Dr.Hebbar,
    Really good one.Thanks for making such a good website and services to people. you really are serving lot of people out there.
    It would be good if you could provide some details of how long would this treatment and in how many months we need to take these medicines.
    If you can also provide some consultation service for these urticaria issue, it would be great.

    Reply
    • Dear Mr Srinivas,
      Based on period, extent and severity of urticaria, treatment may be required for a few weeks to few months time. I am available for email consultation, anyone can contact me by clicking ‘contact me’ button at the top of this page. But email consultation is jot as good as one to one direct consultation.

      Reply
  2. Dear Doctor
    Is Sheetpitta curable through oral medicines or vasti also needs to be done?
    Does the condition relapse after medication?

    Reply
    • Sir, If nidana parivarjana is done there would not be relapsing. The main treatment principle includes:
      Body purificatory therapy (samshodhana)
      Oral medications (shamanoushada)
      Avoidance of causative factors (nidana parivarjana)

      Reply
  3. Ayurveda can completely heal urticaria. I for one was a long sufferer and healed. God bless you Dr. Hebbar for such useful info.Thank you Ayurveda.

    Reply
  4. What is a good a simple treatment for SheetaPitta for 5 days postpartum. I developed it right after the birth of my daughter 5 days ago but did have a bit of itching before the birth ….thank you in advance.

    Reply
  5. Dr, pls may I know if I can visit you in person for my Urticaria for 7 yrs now. I am on steroids and my condition is very distressing.

    Reply
  6. Dear Dr. Hebbar,

    would it be right to assume that Histamine intolerance responsible for hives, rashes etc. is due to improper food intake based on a person’s dosha?

    As a person with dominant pitta dosha, I noticed that all foods that Ayurveda deems deleterious to me are in fact high in histamine. Eating a pitta-balancing diet seems to take care of the histamine (except for milk, in my case).

    According to Ayurveda, does the dosha determine a person’s sensibility to histamine?

    Thank you for all your valuable advice.

    Reply
  7. Hello Sir,

    I am sheeta pitta from last 2 years its off and on it comes some time and when i take cetirizine hydrochloride – levosiz allergy is gone but again it reoccurs after few days.

    Recently i went fissures surgery.

    Please let me know what should i follow shall i follow ayurveda to have this permanently solved.

    Reply
  8. Hi, the medicines suggested to you, along with Avipathi kara CHurna are very correct. It takes time to bring them to control. Please continue the treatment with same doctor.

    Reply
  9. Dear doctor,

    I am having Urticaria only on my lips on and off for past 8 years. I havent taken any allopathy medicines for this so far. Initially I thought it is due to pollen allergy, honey allergy etc. But then I realized that it might be due to sheeta-pitta because I get it when the weather suddenly becomes cold. I live in US. When I was in India, I never had this issue. Whenever I get urticaria on my lips, my lips will swell big, it will be itching, burning and totally I feel very depressed. I wont be able to eat, speak and typically feel like crying all day. It will stay for 3-4 days and then gradually gets reduced on its own. I apply blackpepper & ghee paste on my lips and drink some herbal tea to feel better. I follow Pitta pacifying diet for past 3 years. Yet, this weather change is troubling me. Even though I try to avoid going out when the weather is very cold, sometimes due to unavoidable circumstances, I had to go and then suffer from Urticaria. I dont have any other pitta or vata disorder. Only this one is troubling me a lot.
    If it is due to weather, then is it possible to cure completely?

    Thanks for your help,

    Reply
  10. hello in the case of ShitPitta , can we use Vata and kapha pacifying things – oil and food …like eg. mustard oil ? Or do we have to balance all tridosha ?

    Reply
  11. Sir, I have been having this problem of urticaria for the last one year. I think it is because of the heat and not because of the cold climate to me. I have been consulting an ayurvedic doctor and have been having the ayurvedic treatment for the last 5 months. The condition is better now from where it started. I don’t know the exact name of the medicines the doctor is giving me. But after 5 months also, i sometimes have this problem. I am too depressed because of this as I am not able to work. How much time does it take? And will it be completely cured by Ayurvedic treatment?
    Also, once treated will it have any relapse?
    Please help me doctor.

    Reply
  12. Doctor u have mentioned to eat horse gram, but it generates heat in the body. Is it ok to eat in sheetpitta.?

    Reply

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