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URTICARIA (hives) is a very irritating skin disease hives_on_backcharacterized by itchy, raised rashes and is sometimes also accompanied with aching throat, head, eyes, nausea, fever. Allopathy calls it as an allergic reaction and uses anti-allergic (anti-histamines) medicines which do not remove the root cause and rather suppress the symptoms only. This blog will explain you the root cause of this irritating disease (and rarely life threatening) and factors that trigger it along with its cure.

***This post is an extract from the book THE ROOT CAUSE- Ayurveda, Astrology and beyond for a blissful life”. To pick up a copy of the book, please click the link/s mentioned at the end of this post ⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓. Also to visualize basic concepts of Ayurveda, do watch Videos on youtube channel.


Like an oven, our body too requires heat (referred to as Pitta in Ayurveda) to breakdown digested food. And lack of pitta leads to poor digestion leading to generation of toxins in the body. Once toxins start to build up in the body, they create obstruction in the blood flow thereby increasing vata and inflammation, manifesting in the form of inflammatory patches on the skin and other symptoms as mentioned above.

Thus primary reason for this disease is lack of pitta (that’s why it is called as Sheetapitta where sheeta means cold) which normally gets triggered out of one or both of the following two factors:-

(a) Sudden exposure to cold winds leading to sudden inadequacy of pitta,

(b) Not having enough pitta in the body corresponding to the kind of foods being ingested/fed. Here are some examples :-

     (i) Having difficult to digest lentils like kidney beans without enough pungent spices like ginger etc. unless the beans have been mashed and heated so well that they have almost dissolved in the curry and can easily be digested by the body even without adding pungent spices or having enough pitta in the body. Infact that is the right way of having pulses/lentils- to dissolve them properly during cooking process, which unfortunately is rare in today’s world.

     (ii) Feeding cereals to infants without mild pungent spices like a pinch of asafoetida.


Following should be the approach to remove these toxins from the body which should be practiced till such time toxins disappear from the body:-

  • To have mildly pungent spices like mustard, rye, ajwain, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, asafoetida, ginger which will help in digesting these toxins,
  • Consuming light to digest foods like khichdi, moong dal and rice, soups (not sour ones), fermented whole-wheat breads with astringent vegetables and herbs but not to be consumed with sour foods as such breads are already sour,
  • Abstinence from difficult to digest foods like kidney beans, chickpeas, horse grams, urad dal (unless they are thoroughly cooked and mashed to a curry-like state before ingesting), since they can increase more toxins in the body,
  • Abstinence from sour foods as sourness can trap toxins,
  • Abstinence from red, green chillies as well as capsicum as these foods despite being pungent do not digest toxins and rather create them because they give a sudden kick to the body,
  • Abstinence from cold foods which reduce pitta and increase excessive sweetness like ice creams, too much of ghee, yoghurt (unless consumed in diluted state with ginger, mustard etc),
  • Consumption of curcumin(turmeric) as curcumin’s warmth helps to digest toxins and it’s astringency helps to remove sourness and deep seated toxins. Taking it with warm milk helps to fills sweetness in gaps created when the toxins are removed.
  • Avoiding exposure to the cold atmosphere.
  • In extreme cases, ayurvedic therapies like Vaman (induced vomiting) and Virechan (induced motions) also help to remove toxins from the body, however Abhyang (massage) should be totally avoided as it pulls more toxins towards the skin.
  • Local application of aloe vera helps to remove deep seated toxins from the skin however it cannot remove toxins from the blood.

*** Antihistamines used by allopathy do not remove the root cause i.e. toxins, instead they dilate the blood vessels and reduce pitta and blood flow to the skin, thus removing hives and giving a false impression that the disease has been cured (In fact they neutralize histamines which are generated by our body as reaction to toxins).  Exactly the same happens when antihistamines are used for cough and cold.. The result is that body slowly keeps building toxins which hide inside the body and do not show up on the skin thereby increasing vata diseases in the long run as toxins obstruct blood flow.

*** Some experts also attribute consumption of salty/sour foods as a reason for this disease however the fact is that salt and/or sour foods increase the volume of blood thereby pushing these toxins towards the skin which otherwise are there in the blood but not appearing on the skin. Thus removal of salt/sourness from diet will not remove toxins from the blood but the precautions/cure as mentioned above definitely will. Infact even massaging the skin too can pull toxins towards the skin and create hives, giving an impression that the oil used for massage has created some allergy.


Astrologically as a thumb rule, those people who have a very dominating moon (especially moon in first house or in the center with moon’s zodiac in first) and a weaker sun are likely to develop this disease more often and that too during Moon’s period. This is because moon represents Gaba- the calming neurotransmitter which literally means Sheetapitta (the cold pitta) whose job is to negate the effect of Glutamate- the excitory neurotransmitter. The disease can also surface during Venus period as venus being sour, surfaces the hidden toxins in the body towards the skin (as mentioned above).

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