Hives natural treatment, alternative remedy, herbs, vitamins
November 22 2015 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.


Urticaria is the medical name for hives. Hives are pale red swellings that occur in groups on any part of the skin. Each hive lasts a few hours before fading without a trace. New areas may develop as old areas fade. They can vary in size from as small as a pencil eraser to as large as a dinner plate and may join together to form larger swellings. Hives are usually itchy, but may also burn or sting.


Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2014. Beneficial role for supplemental vitamin D3 treatment in chronic urticaria: a randomized study. Add-on therapy with high-dose vitamin D3 (4,000 IU/d) could be considered a safe and potentially beneficial immunomodulator in patients with chronic urticaria.


Cause, why it happens
There are many factors that can cause hives.


Food allergens: Milk, cheese, egg, protein products, wheat, cereals, certain daals as used in India, peas, orange, fish, chicken, etc. Synthetic and natural food additives and artificially-flavored food articles. Non-allergic food reactions, from salicylates in fruit, azo dye food coloring agents, benzoate preservatives and other food additives, or from histamine due to bacterial decomposition e.g. scombroid fish poisoning.

Hives and alcohol: Most reactions to ingested alcoholic beverages are secondary to other chemicals in the beverage such as metabisulfite, papain, dyes or yeasts. However, there are reports of true allergic reactions in which the offending agent was shown to be the ethanol itself.

Exposure to pollen, house-dust, buffalo dander, fungi, change in temperature, etc. are known exciting factors. Extreme cold, heat, pressure may also induce hives.

Drugs: The major cause for hives are man-made drugs such as antibiotics (Penicillin), anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin, indomethacin), quinine, ipecac, vaccinations, hormonal preparations, contraceptive pills, etc.

Infections and infestations: The bites of bedbugs, wasps, bees, mosquitoes, flies, and certain kinds of caterpillars can be a cause of hives. Fungal, protozoal, frequent bacterial infections (Urinary tract), viral infections (Hepatitis), helminthiasis (worm infestations such as round worms, tapeworms), etc. are factors known to cause hives. One cause of hives appears to be infection with H. Pylori. There is some evidence of a relationship between H. pylori infection and both chronic idiopathic hives and atopic dermatitis. Treatment of infection demonstrated by reduction in C-urea breath test and anti-H. pylori antibody titers resulted in partial improvement of clinical symptoms in some patients with atopic dermatitis. Domestic contact with the pet animals should be examined as cause for hives. Dental abscess and candida (thrush) could be a hives cause.

Synthetic products : Use of personal products such as deodorant, perfume, and talcum powder, cosmetic products, hair dyes, animal derivatives, and similar synthetic substances may induce this disorder.

Emotional factors: Emotional stresses, such as a fight with a spouse, may directly or indirectly make one susceptible to develop a tendency to hives.

Systemic and general disease: Hives in some cases may present as a sign of other systemic or general internal disease such as hormonal disorders (hyperthyroidism), SLE, polycythaemia, reticuloses, etc. In certain variety of malignancies (cancer) hives may present as a precursor.


Hot summer weather can be a factor.

Hives and royal jelly
Royal jelly consumption and hypersensitivity in the community.
Clin Exp Allergy. 1997.
Royal jelly consumption has recently been linked with acute asthma, anaphylaxis and death. A cross-sectional survey was conducted to determine the prevalence of and the relationship between royal jelly consumption and hypersensitivity reactions. 1472 hospital employees of a teaching hospital in Hong Kong completed a questionnaire on royal jelly consumption and related allergic symptoms, and 176 questionnaire respondents and 300 consecutive asthma clinic patients were skin tested to royal jelly. RESULTS: Royal jelly consumption was high, with 461 out of 1472 subjects (31.3%) having taken royal jelly in the past. A total of nine subjects reported 14 adverse reactions to royal jelly, including hives, eczema, rhinitis and acute asthma. Thirteen out of 176 questionnaire respondents (7.4%) and 23 out of 300 consecutive asthma clinic attendees (7.3%) had positive skin test to pure royal jelly. All but one of the 36 subjects with positive royal jelly skin test were atopic to other common allergens. Royal jelly consumption is high in the community of Hong Kong. Atopic individuals are at high risk of sensitization to royal jelly but the precise relationship between royal jelly use, positive royal jelly skin test and clinical manifestations of adverse reactions to royal jelly, remains to be defined.


Q. Please can you give me some suggestions on what to take for hives seems every time i get stressed or upset i break out in small itchy or painful bumps on my neck and face. i take doxycycline but it does not keep the hives from attacking whenever !!
     A. At this time we are not aware of a natural treatment for hives. Rest, relaxation, meditation, yoga, less stress, avoiding foods that cause allergy are all good options.