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Holistic Treatment for Hives

Holistic Treatment for Hives

By Dr. Patrick Lovegrove Medically Reviewed by Lindsay Langley, BSN, RN, CHT
Posted Monday, February 19th, 2024
Holistic Treatment for Hives


Battling with hives can feel challenging when they crop up on your skin and cause discomfort. But you’re not alone! You can use various holistic remedies to relieve the itchiness and reduce inflammation caused by hives.

Understanding Hives: Causes, Symptoms, and Triggers

Hives, or urticaria, are red or skin-colored welts that can appear anywhere on your skin. They’re often itchy but could also burn or sting and vary in size. The cause of hives can be challenging to pinpoint as many factors can trigger them. These could range from food allergies, medications, and infections to heat, exercise, or stress.

Different Types of Hives: Acute and Chronic

The duration that hives last can help determine their type. Acute hives last for less than six weeks and are often caused by allergies. On the other hand, chronic hives persist for more than six weeks, and their cause is often more challenging to identify.

Holistic Treatments to Try

If over-the-counter medications aren’t desirable or practical, a holistic approach might be the way. Here are some natural remedies:

  1. Oatmeal baths: This household staple can be mixed with warm water to create a soothing bath that calms inflamed skin.
  2. Cool compress: Try applying a cold, damp washcloth to your skin to help reduce inflammation and soothe itchiness.
  3. Herbal supplements: Some people find relief with supplements like quercetin, which has anti-inflammatory properties. However, consult your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.
  4. Reducing stress: Techniques like yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises help decrease hive flare-ups caused by stress.
  5. Probiotics: These beneficial bacteria support a healthy gut and immune system, potentially minimizing hives.

While these remedies can provide relief, if your hives persist or worsen, you should see your healthcare provider for professional medical advice. Remember, it’s all about finding what works best for you.

Conventional Treatments for Hives

Sometimes, despite your best attempts with holistic approaches, you might still need conventional treatments to manage hives effectively. A blend of conventional and holistic treatment methods can offer you significant relief, especially when the hives are persistent or severe.

Over-the-counter Medications for Immediate Relief

Over-the-counter options are accessible treatments you can use to alleviate symptoms instantaneously.

  1. Antihistamines: When hives occur, your body releases histamines, causing skin inflammation and itchiness. Getting OTC antihistamines in your local pharmacy can help you combat these symptoms, as they work by blocking the histamines. Examples include Cetirizine (Zyrtec), Fexofenadine (Allegra), Loratadine (Claritin), or Diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Be aware, though, that some of these can cause drowsiness.
  2. Corticosteroid Creams: These are topical applications used to treat inflammation. Hydrocortisone creams can provide effective relief for itching and inflammation caused by hives.

It is worth noting that although OTC medications can offer immediate relief, they are not a permanent solution to persistent hives. Always follow the package instructions and seek medical advice if symptoms persist.

Prescription Medications for Long-term Management

Consult your healthcare provider for hives lasting more than six weeks or chronic hives. They may prescribe additional treatments alongside any holistic remedies you may be using.

  1. Prescription Antihistamines: Your doctor may prescribe higher doses or non-sedative antihistamines to help manage symptoms effectively.
  2. H2 Blockers: Called so because they block histamine-2 receptors, they can be used in conjunction with antihistamines. Examples include Cimetidine (Tagamet) and Ranitidine.
  3. Omalizumab (Xolair): This is an injection given by a doctor for individuals suffering from severe chronic hives. It works by reducing the immune system’s response to allergens.

Remember, individual responses to treatment vary. What works best for one person may not hold for another. It’s about finding a balance and receiving a plan tailored to your needs. So, it’s crucial to work closely with your healthcare provider to find a treatment plan that’s right for you and fits comfortably within your lifestyle while effectively managing the symptoms of hives.

Holistic Approaches to Treating Hivese

If you’re struggling with hives, understand that there are plenty of methods to try for relief. Beyond conventional treatments, many individuals turn to holistic approaches, which typically focus on addressing root causes rather than symptoms. It’s about acknowledging and treating your body as a whole system, aiming for overall well-being and equilibrium.

Identifying and Avoiding Triggers

The first key to your holistic approach is identifying potential triggers for your hives. Triggers could be anything from food allergies and environmental factors to stress. A food diary could help identify if a specific food is causing your hives. Tracking your daily activities and stress levels can help you determine potential triggers.

Once identified, be proactive in avoiding these triggers when you can. For instance, if a particular food item causes an outbreak, try to swap it out for a similar, non-irritating option. Suppose you’re continually getting hives after stress. In that case, it might be beneficial to incorporate stress-relieving practices, like meditation, into your routine.

Natural Remedies for Hives: Herbs, Essential Oils, and Supplements

In your push towards a more natural route, several herbs, essential oils, and supplements may bring relief:

  1. Aloe Vera: Aloe vera has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe the skin and reduce itching and swelling. You can apply the gel directly to the affected area for quick relief.
  2. Nettle: Stinging nettle is often used in tea form and has been found to effectively treat hives by reducing inflammation and itching.
  3. Essential Oils: Chamomile, lavender, and tea tree are known for their anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. Properly dilute these oils before applying them topically to avoid irritation.
  4. Probiotics: Probiotics can help support a healthy gut, integral to your immune system’s health. You could reduce your body’s overactive response to allergens by nurturing your gut health.

Remember to consult with a healthcare provider before trying new treatments. They can provide valuable guidance tailored to your particular situation. Also, remember that holistic treatment is about the journey to understanding your body and learning what needs to be in its best state. So keep an open mind, be patient, and remember it’s about overall wellness, not just treating hives.

Lifestyle Changes for Managing Hives

When you’re eagerly searching for ways to manage your hives, it’s important to remember that treatments aren’t confined to just pills and creams. Adopting specific lifestyle changes can be vital in effectively managing this persistent condition. Let’s delve into some key areas where you can introduce positive changes.

Stress Management and Relaxation Techniques

You may not always make the connection, but stress can trigger or exacerbate hives. Stress-induced hives are your body’s response to extreme tension or anxiety. To help prevent or lessen these episodes, consider integrating stress management and relaxation techniques into your daily routine.

Meditation: Practicing mindfulness meditation can be highly effective in managing stress levels. Setting aside a few moments daily to center your thoughts can promote a calm state of mind and reduce stress-triggered hives.

Yoga is a powerful holistic therapy combining physical postures, controlled breathing exercises, and meditation. This combination can significantly reduce stress levels and induce relaxation. By incorporating yoga into your daily regimen, you can actively manage your stress and potentially decrease the occurrence of hives.

Dietary Modifications and Allergen Avoidance

Another crucial lifestyle modification revolves around your diet. Food allergies are common triggers for hives. Awareness of food allergens and consciously avoiding these triggers can help prevent outbreaks.

Food Diary: Record everything you eat and any hive outbreaks. Spotting a pattern can help you identify potential food allergens for you.

Dietary Changes:

  1. Once you’ve identified potential food allergens, change your diet to avoid them.
  2. Replace problematic foods with hypoallergenic options that don’t cause an adverse reaction.
  3. Always consult a dietician or nutritionist to ensure your diet remains balanced and nourishing.

Allergen Avoidance: Avoiding known allergens extends beyond your diet. Certain ingredients in various skincare or household products might trigger your hives, too. Be mindful of this and switch to hypoallergenic alternatives where possible.

By incorporating these lifestyle changes and holistic treatments into your life, you are actively taking steps toward better managing your hives, reducing uncomfortable outbreaks, and enhancing your overall well-being.

Complementary Therapies for Hives

For some, the journey to managing hives integrates traditional medicine and holistic health. You’ve committed to alleviating stress, adjusted your diet, and are better informed about allergens. But what else can you do? Numerous complementary therapies can further help you manage this condition. We explore two methods, acupuncture and homeopathy, that could provide relief.

Acupuncture: Easing Symptoms and Balancing Energy

Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that involves inserting thin needles at specific points on the body, known as acupoints. Acupuncture can help ease the symptoms of hives as it is believed to restore balance and influence your body’s energy – also referred to as Qi.

According to TCM, hives result from an imbalance in your body’s Qi flow, usually due to external factors like allergens or internal factors like stress and anxiety impairing body systems.

Acupuncture treatment for hives may involve specific acupoints, like ‘Large Intestine 11’ (found right at the elbow’s end), which, according to TCM, is often used to clear heat from the body and might help contain the skin inflammation observed in hives.

Naturally, this is something you’re considering. In that case, you should contact a licensed practitioner who can create an acupuncture plan tailored to your condition.

Homeopathy: Individualized Treatment for Hives

Homeopathy is based on the principle of “like cures,” in which minute doses of substances that cause symptoms in a healthy person are given to stimulate the body’s self-healing abilities in someone with that condition.

There are several homeopathic remedies for hives, depending on the unique attributes of your condition – the type of welts, associated itchiness, etc. For instance, if you have burning hives that feel better with cold applications, ‘Apis Mellifica’ – a substance derived from honeybees – may be recommended.

Suppose your hives occur alongside joint pain and are relieved with motion and heat; ‘Rhus Toxicodendron’ – a substance sourced from poison ivy – could be suggested.

Lay emphasis on consulting a professional homeopath who can determine the best-individualized treatment for your hives based on your symptoms and overall health. Remember, these holistic therapies can aid you in managing your hive symptoms and improving your quality of life. Combined with your diet and lifestyle modifications

Case Studies: Holistic Treatment Success Stories

Let’s delve into some real-life experiences of individuals who turned to holistic treatment for hives and found positive outcomes. Understanding their journey might inspire you to explore these alternative approaches yourself.

Real-life Experiences and Positive Outcomes

One of these uplifting stories comes from a woman in her mid-30s who had suffered from chronic idiopathic urticaria for the better part of a decade. Despite following the conventional treatment plans to the letter, her hives persisted. Frustrated, she reached out to a holistic health practitioner and decided to switch her focus to her overall health and wellness.

The first step was to look at her diet. She began an elimination diet, removing common inflammatory foods and then slowly reintroducing them to see which might play a role in her condition. She also added several nutrient-dense foods to support her immune system.

She integrated stress relief techniques such as mindfulness, yoga, and deep breathing exercises into her daily routine in conjunction with acupuncture treatments. She found that not only did her hives improve, but she also experienced fewer episodes of fatigue and improved sleep quality.

Another successful story is that of a young man plagued by hives due to stress and anxiety. He turned to homeopathy for help after traditional medicines failed to offer relief. The homeopathic remedy that worked for him was a wonder! ‘Ignatia Amara,’ produced from the seeds of the St. Ignatius bean tree, was used due to its effectiveness in dealing with emotional distress.

It was not an overnight success, but with continued use, the incidences of hives noticeably reduced. They also started practicing meditation daily, which helped significantly reduce their anxiety.

These case studies testify to how holistic therapies can be as effective as traditional medicine when tackling chronic hives. They illustrate the importance of treating the underlying issues causing hives, not just the hives themselves. But remember, each individual is unique; something that works for others may not necessarily work for you. Always consult a professional before trying new treatments.

Prevention Tips for Hives Recurrence

You’ve heard the expression “prevention is better than cure,” which applies when dealing with hives. Since numerous factors can trigger hives, understanding them can help you avoid future outbreaks or lessen their severity. Here, we offer some tips for preventing hives recurrences.

Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle and Preventative Measures

As we’ve seen from the case studies, a healthy lifestyle is pivotal in managing hives. Daily practices that support general well-being can significantly counteract the occurrence of hives. Here is how you can incorporate a health-supporting regimen into your life:

1. Balanced Diet: Food allergies can trigger hives. Maintain a food intake diary to track potential triggers. Once identified, keep these items off your menu. Eating a balanced diet filled with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can strengthen your immune system and reduce the chance of hives recurrent.

2. Mindfulness and Stress Management: Stress can beckon on hives. Implement stress management techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises along with leisure activities you enjoy to keep stress levels in check.

3. Exercise: Regular physical activity can boost your immune system and keep hives at bay. However, intense workouts can sometimes trigger hives for some individuals. Therefore, finding an exercise routine that suits your body is critical.

4. Adequate Sleep: Lack of sleep can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to hives. Ensure you sleep 7-9 hours every night to support overall health.

In addition to these lifestyle changes, consider preventative measures such as wearing loose clothing to prevent chafing and body heat, avoiding chemicals or substances that irritate your skin, and refraining from scratching hives as they may worsen the symptoms.

Lastly, remember that each person is unique, and what works for one individual might not work for another. Always consult a health professional or allergist before significantly changing your lifestyle or treatment plan. They can offer advice tailored to your needs and circumstances, helping you best manage and prevent hives recurrence.


An integrative, holistic approach can be beneficial when managing hives and preventing their recurrence.

Summary of Holistic Treatment Options for Hives

Beyond conventional treatment methods, there are many holistic alternatives that you can incorporate into your hives management plan. For starters, lifestyle modifications such as a balanced diet, regular exercise, sound sleep, and stress management can bolster your immune system and reduce your propensity for hives.

Similarly, specific complementary therapies may prove beneficial. For example, acupuncture has been associated with reducing symptom severity and frequency. At the same time, homeopathic remedies such as Urtica urens, or apis mellifica can offer relief for some individuals.

Nutritional supplements can also play a significant role in managing hives. Vitamin C, in particular, has antihistamine properties, which can help reduce inflammation, itching, and swelling associated with hives. At the same time, probiotics can support overall immune health.

Taking Charge of Your Hives: Finding the Right Approach

When managing your hives, remember that you are in the driver’s seat, and you can make choices that positively impact your condition. You can explore treatments and lifestyle changes with your healthcare provider, continually assessing their effectiveness and adjusting your approach as necessary.

Remember that every person’s experience with hives is unique, so what works for one person may not necessarily work for you. However, by adopting a proactive approach and being willing to experiment with different methods, you can find solutions that provide the best symptom relief and negligible side effects.

You may have to be patient as you try different treatments and strategies – some may offer immediate relief. In contrast, others might take longer to show results. Always consult your healthcare professional before starting any new treatment or making significant changes to your lifestyle.

Remember, managing hives successfully requires a comprehensive, holistic approach, and the aim is to build a healthier lifestyle that helps manage your hives and improves your overall health and quality of life. Keep exploring, keep learning, and most importantly, keep hopeful!

About the author

Dr. Patrick Lovegrove