Treatment of urticaria in ayurveda medicine by prescribing illness specific medicinal herbs and dietary recommendations
Urticaria, commonly known as hives, is a skin condition characterized by the sudden appearance of red, raised, and itchy welts or wheals on the skin. In Ayurveda, urticaria is correlated with “Sheetapitta,” where “Sheeta” refers to coldness and “Pitta” represents the dosha associated with heat and inflammation. According to Ayurvedic principles, urticaria is considered a Pitta imbalance with involvement of Vata and Kapha doshas.
Etiology According to Ayurveda:
- Urticaria is primarily seen as a manifestation of increased Pitta dosha. Pitta governs the metabolic processes and when aggravated, it can lead to heat-related skin conditions. Excessive heat in the body triggers an inflammatory response, resulting in the characteristic redness and itching of urticaria.
- Vata dosha, responsible for movement and circulation, can play a role in the sudden onset and migration of hives. Vata’s involvement may contribute to the rapid spread of welts across different areas of the body.
- While Pitta is the dominant dosha, Kapha can also be involved in certain cases, contributing to the swelling and fluid retention associated with urticaria.
Pitta-Aggravating Foods: Excessive consumption of spicy, oily, and acidic foods can aggravate Pitta dosha, potentially contributing to urticaria. Ayurveda suggests avoiding Pitta-aggravating foods during flare-ups.
Allergenic Foods: Some individuals may experience urticaria due to allergic reactions to specific foods. Identifying and avoiding allergenic foods is essential in managing urticaria.
Stress and Anxiety: Emotional factors, particularly stress and anxiety, are known to aggravate Pitta dosha. Managing stress through practices like meditation and yoga can be beneficial in preventing urticaria episodes.
Excessive Sun Exposure: Pitta dosha is closely associated with the sun, and excessive exposure to sunlight can trigger or worsen urticaria. Adequate sun protection and avoiding prolonged sun exposure are recommended.
Ayurvedic Management of Urticaria:
Ayurvedic approaches to managing urticaria involve balancing the aggravated doshas, addressing the root cause, and promoting overall skin health.
- Adopting a Pitta-pacifying diet is crucial. This includes incorporating cooling foods like cucumbers, melons, mint, and dairy products. Avoiding spicy, sour, and oily foods helps in reducing Pitta aggravation.
Neem (Azadirachta indica): Neem is known for its anti-inflammatory and blood-purifying properties. Consuming neem leaves or using neem supplements may help in managing urticaria.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa): Turmeric possesses anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating properties. Including turmeric in the diet or taking it as a supplement can be beneficial.
Sariva (Hemidesmus indicus): Sariva is considered a blood-purifying herb in Ayurveda. Its cooling properties make it valuable in managing skin conditions, including urticaria.
- Panchakarma: Panchakarma therapies, such as Virechana (therapeutic purgation) or Raktamokshana (bloodletting), may be recommended to eliminate excess Pitta and toxins from the body.
Stress Management: Practices like meditation, deep breathing exercises, and gentle yoga can help manage stress, reducing the impact on Pitta dosha.
Avoidance of Triggers: Identifying and avoiding triggers, whether they are specific foods, environmental factors, or stressors, is crucial in preventing urticaria episodes.
- Cooling Compresses: Applying cool compresses or herbal pastes containing ingredients like sandalwood or aloe vera can provide relief from itching and inflammation.
- Sandalwood and Lavender Oils: Aromatherapy with cooling essential oils like sandalwood and lavender may have a calming effect on aggravated Pitta and provide relief from itching.
Dietary Awareness: Maintaining awareness of one’s dietary choices and avoiding foods that may trigger Pitta imbalance is crucial in preventing urticaria.
Skin Protection: Protecting the skin from excessive sun exposure and using mild, hypoallergenic skincare products can prevent skin irritations.
Balanced Lifestyle: Adopting a balanced lifestyle, including regular sleep patterns and stress management, plays a significant role in preventing urticaria flare-ups.
Ayurveda views urticaria as a manifestation of Pitta imbalance with the involvement of Vata and Kapha doshas. The holistic approach of Ayurveda emphasizes dietary and lifestyle modifications, herbal remedies, and detoxification therapies to address the root cause of urticaria and restore doshic balance. Individuals experiencing persistent or severe symptoms should seek guidance from a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner for personalized and effective management.
Home remedies in Ayurveda for managing urticaria (Sheetapitta) aim to balance the aggravated doshas, particularly Pitta, while promoting overall skin health. These remedies focus on natural ingredients with anti-inflammatory, cooling, and detoxifying properties. It’s important to note that individual responses to remedies may vary, and consulting with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner is advisable, especially for persistent or severe cases.
1. Cooling Diet:
- Description: Adopting a Pitta-pacifying diet helps in cooling the body and reducing inflammation. Include foods that are sweet, bitter, and astringent in taste.
- Consume cooling foods like cucumber, watermelon, mint, coriander, and coconut.
- Avoid spicy, sour, and oily foods that can aggravate Pitta.
2. Herbal Infusions:
- Description: Herbal teas and infusions with properties to balance Pitta and detoxify the blood can be beneficial.
- Prepare a tea with neem leaves, mint, and coriander. Drink this infusion daily.
- Turmeric tea with a pinch of black pepper may help reduce inflammation.
3. Neem Paste:
- Description: Neem is known for its anti-inflammatory and blood-purifying properties, making it effective for various skin conditions.
- Crush neem leaves to make a paste. Apply this paste to the affected areas and leave it for 20-30 minutes before rinsing.
4. Sariva (Hemidesmus indicus) Decoction:
- Description: Sariva is considered a blood purifier and is used in Ayurveda for skin-related issues.
- Boil Sariva roots in water to make a decoction. Consume this decoction once a day to help purify the blood.
5. Cooling Compress:
- Description: External application of cooling compresses can provide relief from itching and inflammation.
- Soak a cloth in cold water, wring it out, and apply it to the affected areas for 10-15 minutes.
6. Aloe Vera Gel:
- Description: Aloe vera has cooling and anti-inflammatory properties, soothing irritated skin.
- Apply fresh aloe vera gel to the affected areas and leave it on for about 20 minutes before rinsing.
7. Triphala Powder:
- Description: Triphala, a combination of three fruits, is known for its detoxifying properties.
- Mix Triphala powder with water to make a paste. Apply it to the affected areas and wash off after 15-20 minutes.
8. Coriander Seed Water:
- Description: Coriander seeds have cooling properties and can be beneficial for reducing heat-related symptoms.
- Boil coriander seeds in water, strain the decoction, and drink it once a day.
9. Coconut Oil Massage:
- Description: Coconut oil has cooling properties and can help moisturize the skin.
- Gently massage the affected areas with coconut oil to soothe and moisturize the skin.
10. Ghee (Clarified Butter):
- Description: Ghee is considered cooling and can be consumed in moderation to balance Pitta.
- Include a small amount of ghee in your diet. It can be added to warm foods or used for light sautéing.
Individual Variations: Responses to home remedies may vary based on individual constitution and specific conditions. It’s advisable to observe how the body responds and make adjustments accordingly.
Hydration: Adequate hydration is essential to flush out toxins. Drinking plain water throughout the day supports overall detoxification.
Avoid Triggers: Identify and avoid potential triggers, whether they are certain foods, environmental factors, or stressors.
Consultation: For persistent or severe cases, it’s recommended to consult with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner for personalized guidance and treatment.
These Ayurvedic home remedies focus on addressing the root cause of urticaria by balancing doshas and promoting skin health. However, if symptoms persist or worsen, seeking professional advice is crucial for a comprehensive and personalized approach to managing urticaria.