Hives are characterized by an outbreak of swollen, pale red bumps on the skin that often appear suddenly -- either as a result of the body's reaction to certain allergens or for unknown reasons. Researchers believe that approximately 1 in 6 or 40.8 million people in U.S. suffer with them annually.
Typically these lumpy visitors cause itching, but may also burn or sting. They can appear anywhere on the body, including the face, lips,and ears. Hives vary in size (from the size of a pencil eraser to the size of a dinner plate), and may join together to form larger areas known as plaques. They can last for hours, or even days before fading.
Itchy, lumpy and worrisome…ugh!
The good news? Homeopathy can help.
Remember - the key to choosing the correct/helpful remedy is always the same. One must match the “characteristic symptoms” (i.e., unusual or peculiar) of the person you are caring for (not the common ones like headache, sore throat, cough, fever, etc.) to a remedy capable of producing similar characteristic symptoms to have success. If you choose a remedy with characteristics most similar to the characteristic symptoms of your family member, you should have a happy outcome every time. If you don't - you or they will either feel no effect or one that is mildly positive at best, but there is never a bad effect from choosing the “wrong” remedy.
Here are a few remedies for you to consider if you find yourself with hives:
Apis mellifica – this homeopathic remedy is made from the venom of the common honeybee. Someone needing this remedy for hives typically experiences red, inflamed, raised patches of skin. These patches burn and sting – much like a bee sting. They may also be tender to touch. These raised patches of skin are known to itch intolerably at night, an itching that is made worse from the warmth of the bed. The itching is also worse in cold weather. The skin may feel better in fresh air.
Arsenicum album: One should think of this remedy when the eruptions are clearly worse at night and accompanied by great restlessness. The eruptions tend to burn more than itch, and usually feel better from heat. This remedy is sometimes helpful even as the eruptions recede.
Belladonna – a person requiring this remedy will often find themselves with a very red and hot face – and any eruptions are going to be very red as well. They may occur over the whole body with most appearing on the inner side of limbs, less so on the face. The hives themselves sometimes resemble mosquito bites. They itch most in the mornings and the evenings. Scratching feels pleasant.
Rhus toxicodendron – Someone needing this homeopathic remedy may find that they get hives from getting wet or chilled or they may find that joint pains accompany the eruptions… or that the hives appear when they have a fever. Hives requiring Rhus tox itch intensely. The person with the problem typically feels worse in cold, damp conditions and a bit better from being warm. They may also feel generally restless.
Urtica urens – this homeopathic remedy is made from a plant called Stinging or Annual Nettle (an appropriate name!!). A person needing this remedy will experience itching and burning of skin as if the skin was scorched - with plenty of raised, red blotches. The skin may require constant rubbing for the patient to remain comfortable. Cold air and cold bathing will also tend to make this person uncomfortable.
Once you have chosen a remedy that appears to match your symptoms (remember – homeopathy is individualized medicine – the remedy you need must match your symptom profile) dose with either a 30C or 200C potency to start - placing one pellet under the tongue or one pellet in water, stirring vigorously and taking teaspoon doses as needed. Always cease dosing when relief begins and only redose if symptoms again worsen. As with any medical condition, consult with your physician if you have any concerns about the severity of your problem as it may first require medical diagnosis and/or intervention and monitoring. If you or the family member you are helping has a known allergy and hives are suspected as part of an allergic reaction, please follow the instructions your physician has given you and/or your allergy action plan.
About Dr. Lisa Samet
Dr. Lisa Samet N.D. provides Washington Homeopathic Products with a weekly column on using homeopathy for the family. She's a naturopathic physician who specializes in homeopathic medicine and she's a partner with Dr. Andre Saine N.D. She is perhaps best known as a guest expert on homeopathy used by Dr. Mehmet Oz M.D. on the popular TV program - the Dr. Oz Show. Dr. Samet graduated from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1998 and has been practicing in Montreal since then. She was born and raised in New York.
Dr. Samet has chosen to focus on homeopathy because in her experience it is the deepest healing modality available in that it does not just soothe or palliate symptoms but can actually stimulate the body to start to heal itself. Dr. Samet sees patients in her Montreal office as well as long distance using Skype. Learn more here: Dr. Lisa Samet. You can follow her on Facebook as well.