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What are Hives?

Hives are an outbreak of the white patches against a red surface. They are also known by the names nettle-rash and urticaria. The outbreak is usually sudden, starting in a small region and spreading rapidly. It is possible for hives to appear in one place, disappear and recur in another part of the body. When they first start, they are followed by a burning sensation which later turns into intensive itch.

In the most severe cases hives can affect mucous membrane of the mouth, tongue and lips, or the respiratory and gastrointestinal system, causing diarrhea, vomiting and respiratory problems similar to an asthma attack.

Hives are generally not considered to be dangerous and they usually go away after a few hours or days even without a treatment.

Causes of Hives

In most cases hives represent an allergic reaction to a substance which comes in contact with the body. It can be a food allergy, an insect sting or bite, but also fluctuation in temperature, emotional stress or even intensive scratching of the skin.

Many foods can potentially cause an allergy, especially shellfish. Food additives are known to cause allergies in some people, and they can be preservatives, colorings or artificial flavorings.

Foods like dairy products, nuts, berries and eggs are known to cause allergic reactions in many people.

Hives can become worse with the use of stimulants like coffee, alcohol and cigarettes.

Certain gastrointestinal conditions, especially those which cause a great permeability of intestine walls, may lead to sensitivity to certain foods and substances.

Hives can also be caused by and abscessed tooth or another hidden infection.

Herbs and supplements for Hives

Persons who are in good overall health and whose immune system is strong are less likely to have hives outbreaks. If hives do occur, supplements can help relieve the symptoms and speed up the recovery, especially vitamins C and B12.

Essential fatty acids are necessary for the treatment of recurring hives. They build up prostaglandins, which are necessary for a healthy immune system.

Evening primrose oil is an excellent source of an essential fatty acid called gamma-linoleic acid, which plays an important role in relieving the symptoms of hives.

Juice made from the leaves of stinging nettle can be very helpful and cure the hives in a very short time. The juice should be taken in one tablespoon three times a day.

Herbs like horsetail, valerian, birch leaves, St. John’s wort, peppermint and lemon balm bring significant relief for the pain, discomfort and itch caused by hives. The dosage of these herbs is three cups of combination tea a day, until the hives subside.

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