Hives are itchy red welts on the skin that commonly present on people that have allergic reactions such as hay fever. They usually appear in groups and can be very uncomfortable. Also known as urticaria, they release histamines and other chemicals that result in localized swelling and itching.
Symptoms include itching and swelling of the skin surface into red welts with defined edges. They may appear and disappear suddenly, and welts turn white when pressed. The welts can get larger, spread or join together to form large flat raised areas. In some cases, the welts can change shape, disappear and reappear within hours or even minutes.
Hives can be caused by allergic reactions to medication, foods, pollen, animal dander and insect bites. Some cases may be attributed to stress. Hives may also appear after an illness or infection. Some scientists think there is a hereditary factor for the ailment. Less common causes may include lupus, tapeworms, hepatitis, mononucleosis, and cold urticaria. There are two different types of hives: acute urticaria, which is often due to a food or medication allergy, and chronic urticaria, which is diagnosed if the rash lasts for longer than six weeks.
Coffee, tobacco and alcohol may aggravate the condition, so avoid using these things if you have an attack.
- Alfalfa this herb helps cleanse the bloodstream and may help resolve the problem. Drink as a tea or take as a supplement.
- Antihistamine Herbal Tea make a tea from chamomile, basil, fennel, oregano and tarragon. The tea can be taken internally to add the antihistamines inside your body as well as being added to a bath or applying it directly to the skin blemishes as a compress.
- Papaya juice a fresh papaya and add it to some vegetable juice for a delicious way to fight the ailment.
- Valerian prepare a tea and drink it to relieve stress and anxiety when suffering.
- Catnip this herb makes a soothing tea that will help calm the nerves. If you are suffering from a bad case, catnip herbal tea may help you get some rest.
- Chamomile - drink 3 cups of tea a day to help reduce inflammation.
- Milk Thistle - take tables three times a day to soothe the liver.
- Aloe vera apply the gel of this herb directly to the hives to reduce inflammation and relieve itching. This herb may also help prevent infection.
- Chamomile add the tea to your bath to help reduce inflammation and soothe irritated skin.
- Stinging nettles apply the juice directly to skin blemishes to help them heal quickly. Supplements or tea can also be taken internally to help heal hives.
- Jewelweed used most frequently to ease the sting from nettles, jewelweed is equally useful for hives. Apply the juice of the herb or a cream that contains lawsone, the compound within jewelweed that provides relief.
- Ginger simmer slices of ginger for five minutes and add it to a hot bath. Steep yourself in the bath and sponge off with chamomile tea.
- Oats adding finely ground oatmeal to your bath is a classic remedy to itchy rashes.
- Peppermint one of the compounds in mint, menthol, is useful in relieving itches. Take as a tea or use as an external wash to relieve the itch.
Soothe the skin with a compress made from Lavender, Thyme or Chamomile - apply 3 drops of essential oil to bowl of tepid water, dampenen a cloth in the water and apply 3 times a day to affected area.
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