Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment of Chronic Urticaria

Urticaria pertains to characteristic red, itchy skin patches of various size and shape, usually presenting as an allergic reaction. Commonly known as hives, these patches subside within 24 hours, without any pigmentation or scaling. When lesions recur for more than 6 weeks, the condition is known as chronic urticaria. Angioedema is a serious variant of urticaria, with involvement of mucous membranes, usually in areas like the eyelids, lips and tongue.

A detailed medical history and physical examination are usually sufficient for a diagnosis of chronic urticaria. A concurrent history of parasitic infection, thyroid disorder, or autoimmune disorder may warrant further investigations. If the lesions persist for more than 24 hours at a time, or there are accompanying features of skin bleeds, autoimmunity, fever or arthritis, a skin biopsy may be indicated.

Depending upon the causative factor, chronic urticaria is divided into three subsets: 1) Physical or inducible urticaria, in which the trigger is some consistent, identifiable factor such as mechanical stimuli (pressure, vibration), temperature changes, sweating, stress, sun exposure, and water contact. This type is also known symptomatic dermatographism, cholinergic urticaria, or pressure urticaria, and constitutes about 20 {15aeb35eec840799df247626cfa6821cb9499241e90aba7a245c8546144fd8f4} of cases. 2) A rare variety, in which chronic urticaria is secondary to some underlying medical condition. 3) The largest subtype is known as chronic idiopathic urticaria or chronic spontaneous urticaria, in which no specific causative factor can be identified; however, about 20-45 {15aeb35eec840799df247626cfa6821cb9499241e90aba7a245c8546144fd8f4} of such patients have an underlying autoimmune disease process.

Most people having chronic urticaria with mild symptoms can be managed well with anti-histamines to reduce the rash as well as itching. Additional medicines like colchicine, dapsone, and steroids are given for a limited time period for those with moderately severe symptoms. Immune modulating drugs or anti-thyroid medications may be required for a small percentage of patients.

Mental stress, overtiredness, tight fitting clothes, alcohol, aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are known triggers which need to be avoided. Amelioration of severe itching can be done using soothing ointments and lukewarm baths. While chronic urticaria may last from months to years, with proper treatment, at least about 50 {15aeb35eec840799df247626cfa6821cb9499241e90aba7a245c8546144fd8f4} patients experience remission within a year. Chronic urticaria, with the exception of angioedema, is not life threatening, though it can adversely affect quality of life.

For those patients who do not respond to conventional therapy, Ayurvedic herbal treatment can be given to effectively reverse the basic pathology of the disease by strengthening the skin tissue, treating allergy, and preventing recurrence. Herbal medicines which act on the skin, subcutaneous tissue, mucus membranes, capillaries, and blood, are used in chronic urticaria treatment with very good results.

Based on Ayurvedic pathophysiology, urticaria is divided mainly into three types: 1) ‘Sheeta-pitta’ with predominantly ‘Vata’ dosha symptoms; 2) ‘Utkotha’ with dominant ‘Pitta’ symptoms; and 3) ‘Udarda’ with dominant ‘Kapha’ symptoms. Each of these types of urticaria is treated differently, according to the clinical presentation, causative factors, and severity. For patients with refractory symptoms, purification Panchkarma procedures like induced emesis, induced purgation, and bloodletting are utilized either singly or in combination.

In addition, patients with refractory symptoms may also need treatment for chronic gastro-intestinal symptoms, repeated worm infestations, thyroid disorders, chronic stress, latent infections, and chronic inflammation. Patients with an underlying autoimmune process may need detoxification; treatment of chronic inflammation; healing of damaged organs, tissues and body systems; rejuvenation using tonifying medicines; provision of specific nourishment; gradual immune modulation; and treatment for the specific type of chronic urticaria.

Most patients having chronic urticaria can be fully treated in about 4-8 months using Ayurvedic herbal medicines. Patients with autoimmune disease may require treatment for longer periods. An accurate diagnosis and identification of all possible causes is important in order to achieve a quick treatment response. It is equally important to adopt suitable lifestyle modifications and avoid known triggers in order to prevent recurrence. Gradual tapering off of medicines may also be required for preventing recurrence.

Next Post

Balanced Diet for Women: A Guide to Active, Healthy and Fabulous You!

Human life revolves around food. It has played a major role in defining our life styles, cultures and even personalities! But the fact remains: the quality of diet that we include in our lives determines the quality of our healthy. An active life calls for a good well balanced diet. […]

You May Like