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Hives, sometimes known as urticaria, is a skin condition in which you experience random outbreaks of red, itchy welts over your body. MayoClinic.com notes that hives range in size from small welts to larger ones that are several inches in diameter 1. Any part of your body may be affected. Hives are often treated with herbal remedies -- a natural treatment method used by herbalists, naturopaths and other health care providers trained in herbal medicine.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Hives, notes the American Academy of Dermatology, are swellings on your skin that may burn or sting. Hives occur when you experience a skin or tissue reaction in which certain chemicals, including histamine, leak into your bloodstream. Common triggers for this reaction include certain foods, certain medications, environmental factors and allergens such as pollen and latex. Certain viruses, including hepatitis B and Epstein-Barr, and bacterial infections may also cause an outbreak of hives.
- Hives, notes the American Academy of Dermatology, are swellings on your skin that may burn or sting.
- Hives occur when you experience a skin or tissue reaction in which certain chemicals, including histamine, leak into your bloodstream.
List of Remedies
Can Milk Thistle Cause Skin Rashes?
According to Phyllis A. Balch, author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," certain herbs are known for their ability to treat your hives and reduce your hives-related symptoms 2. Herbs used for this purpose include:
- the following: alfalfa
- bilberry extract
- cat's claw
- yellow dock
Topical applications of aloe vera gel may also be helpful. Other beneficial herbs include black nightshade and the leaves and bark of the red alder tree.
A Commonly Used Remedy
Aloe vera gel is a commonly used herbal remedy for healing hives. Aloe vera is a medicinal herb that has been used for centuries to treat various skin-related conditions, including burns, skin irritations and wounds. The aloe vera plant has fleshy leaves containing the plant's medicinal constituents and antimicrobial properties, and it promotes tissue regeneration when applied directly to your skin. If you are pregnant, you should not use this herbal remedy internally.
- Aloe vera gel is a commonly used herbal remedy for healing hives.
- Aloe vera is a medicinal herb that has been used for centuries to treat various skin-related conditions, including burns, skin irritations and wounds.
How to Get Rid of Welts
Certain herbal remedies, including aloe vera, may cause allergic reactions in some individuals. When using aloe vera, first apply a small amount of the gel behind your ear or on your underarms to determine whether a stinging rash will occur with further application. The most effective strategy for avoiding undesirable reactions to herbal remedies is to meet with a trained health care professional before using herbs to discuss dosage and side effects to watch for.
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- MayoClinic.com: Hives and Angioedema
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing"; Phyllis A. Balch, CNC; 2010
- Dat, A.; Poon, F.; Pham, K. et al. Aloe vera for treating acute and chronic wounds. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Feb 15;(2):CD008762. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008762.pub2.
- Haddad, P.; Amouzgar-Hashemi, F.; Samsami, S. et al. Aloe Vera for Prevention of Radiation-Induced Dermatitis: a Self-Controlled Clinical Trial. Curr Oncol. 2013 Aug;20(4):e345-8. DOI: 10.3747/co.20.1356.
- Heggie, S.; Bryant, G.; Tripcony, L. et al. A Phase III Study on the Efficacy of Topical Aloe Vera Gel on Irradiated Breast Tissue. Cancer Nurs. 2002;25(6):442-51.
- Langmead, L.; Feakins, R.; Goldthorpe, S.et al. Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial of Oral Aloe Vera Gel for Active Ulcerative Colitis. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2004;19(7):739-47. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2004.01902.x.
- Paulsen, E.; Korsholm, L.; and Brandrup, F. Double-blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of a Commercial Aloe Vera Gel in the Treatment of Slight to Moderate Psoriasis Vulgaris. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2005:19(3):326-31. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2004.01186.x.
- Suksomboon, N.; Poolsup, N.; Punthanitisarn, S. et al. Effect of Aloe vera on glycaemic control in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta‐analysis. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2016;41(2):180-8. DOI: 10.1111/jcpt.12382
- Zhang, Y.; Liu, W.; Liu, D. et al. Efficacy of Aloe Vera Supplementation on Prediabetes and Early Non-Treated Diabetic Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients. 2016 Jul; 8(7): 388. DOI: 10.3390/nu8070388.
Robyn Hughes has been writing since 2008 about health, nutrition, fitness and botanical medicine. She is a naturopathic physician and freelance writer based in Durham, N.C. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in cognitive science from Indiana University and a doctoral degree from the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Ore.