Urticaria is also known as Hives or Nettle rashes, which are caused by an allergic reaction. It is a disease characterized by erythematous and pruritic rashes in the dermis or large hypodermal swellings. This lumpy and itchy rash looks like the effect of a nettle sting and occurs for more than six weeks.
Sheetapitta is comprised of two words Sheeta & Pitta. It occurs due to the dominance of Sheeta (cold) over Pitta Dosha. Due to exposure to cold wind and other aggravating factors, Kapha and Vata Doshas get aggravated and combine with Pitta Doshas.
Symptoms for Urticaria
- Wheals – Occur in batches on face, fingers, hands, arms, legs, feet, and toes.
- Welts – Generally disappears within 24 hours, but sometimes another weal appears, as soon as the last one fades.
Symptoms of Sheetapitta according to Ayurveda
- Itching/pricking sensation
- Tastelessness (aruchi)
- Thirst (pipasa)
- Rakta lochanata: Reddish discoloration of the eyes
Types of Urticaria
When the condition lasts for less than 6 weeks, it is termed acute Urticaria.
- Medications: Any drug may cause Urticaria. However, the most commonly encountered ones are penicillin, thiazide diuretics, aspirin, sulfonamides, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and oral contraceptives, etc
- Foods often encountered as causes of Urticaria include nuts, eggs, chocolate, meat, cow’s milk, fish, seafood, and few fruits.
- Respiratory allergens: Pollen, mites, mold spores, hairs, and animal dandruff, may cause Urticaria when taken through the respiratory tract.
- Infections: Respiratory infections such as tonsillitis, dental abscesses, sinusitis, urinary tract infections, and parasites may cause Urticaria.
- Psychogenic factors: Reasons such as sadness, stress and depression may aggravate the pre-existing Urticaria.
When the condition lasts for more than 6 weeks, lasts months to years.
- Hereditary Urticaria is seen in types of Urticaria, as angioedema & familial cold Urticaria.
- Idiopathic Urticaria without any known cause was also seen.
- Auto-immune disorders.
Ayurvedic Treatment Modalities are planned as per stage and etiology.
- Classical Vamana and Virechana are advised for immediate relief from symptoms.
- Medications like Arogyavardhini, Haridrakhandam, patolakaturohinyadi kashayam, and many more medications are used in these conditions.
- Herbs like Haridra, Nimba, amrita, Katuki, Nishoth, Triphala help the condition.
Causes of Sheetapitta / Urticaria according to Ayurveda
- Excess intake of pungent (katu) and salty (Lavana) food, mustard
- Overconsumption of sour gruels
- Sleeping during the day
- Contact with cold substances
- Exposure to cold wind
- Improper emesis (vomiting)
- Insect bite (keeta damsha)
- Coming in contact with poisonous bugs and insects (krimi samsarga)
- Effect of seasonal changes on the body
Ayurvedic Treatment for Urticaria / Sheetapitta Problem
Ayurvedic treatment for Urticaria involves body samshodhana (purification) therapies and oral medications.
- Applying mustard oil all over the body.
- Applying mustard oil mixed with Saindhava Lavana and Yavakshara.
- Herbs such as Amalaki, Guduchi and Yastimadhu are recommended in the treatment of Sheetapitta.
Simple Rules & Remedies for Urticaria
- Avoid certain food/medications which aggravates the symptoms
- Avoiding factors such as excessive intake of sour gruels, salt, and mustard; exposure to the cold wind; improper emesis; insect bite, etc.
- Oil massage of the body using Eladi Taila.
- Apply Aloe Vera gel for rashes
- Neem paste also can be applied externally, it relieves symptoms
Vamana: Emesis should be given with decoction of Patola &Arishtaka for better results.
Virechana: Purgation should be given with decoction of Triphala, Guggulu, & Pippali.
Allopathic medicine provides temporary symptomatic relief and patients have to take medicines for a longer duration, which may be having some unwanted side effects. In Ayurveda, the sequential administration of Shodhana therapy (Panchakarma) and certain Shamana Yoga’s are seen as quite beneficial. Virechana (therapeutic purgation) is the best treatment for Pittaja vyadhis and also an important treatment for Vataja, Kaphaja, and Raktaja vyadhis (as these all are vitiated in Sheetapitta). To learn more on effective way to prevent and treat Urticaria get in touch with our online Ayurvedic doctors. Book an appointment today!