A Naturopathic Perspective on HIVES

One of the very first cases that I worked with was an extreme cases of hives. This particular patient had been experiencing chronic hives for several months. She believes the reaction was caused by a reaction to an antibiotic. She was prescribed high dose steroids for the reaction which worked initially. Several days after stopping the steroid, the hives returned and were even worse. Eventually the steroids were not able to control the hives and upon re-examination, the patient was told that she may be in liver failure.

From my Naturopathic training, I knew the hives were an indicator that the liver was compromised and/or struggling to perform as it should. For the liver is like the "FILTER" of the body and when it is not functioning well, inflammation tends to try to exit the body through the skin, which is actually our largest excretory organ.  So anytime I see an inflammatory skin condition, I always start with making sure the colon/gut and the liver are working optimally.

Below is a diagram that I show most of my clients, when I am explaining the relationship of the gut and liver and how this effects our state of health.

HIves are seen in our office relatively often and we typically find that a simple "cleanse" can help cure the hives, quickly! First one has to significantly reduce the workload of the liver in order to give it a "break".

We usually recommend a very simple diet or a broth fast. Once the body is this inflamed, there are usually a significant amount of food reactions, therefore food further STRESSES the system.  A broth, made from carrot and celery (organic of course - with purified water), is recommended for the first couple days (along with plenty of clean water).

We alkalize the body with a buffered vitamin C formula. The vitamin C provides immune support and helps to stabilize the mast cells. When you use buffered vitamin C, it also helps to raise the pH which decrease inflammation also.

Activated charcoal or psyllium, can help to bind and excrete toxins and inflammatory mediators. We recommend using these types of binding fibers at night because the between 1-3 am is the time in which the liver does the majority of its work. In Chinese medicine, it is believed that if you are waking between 1-3 am that you have liver stagnation.

Quercetin is also a standard product that I use. Quercetin is derived from the white part of citrus fruits and it is a powerful anti-inflammatory and mast cell stabilizer. Quercetin can reduce the histamine levels very well, but it has to be used in high doses. I typically recommend 1200mg, 2 x daily.

Other naturopathic tools, like homeopathy, hydrotherapy,  OR castor oil packs can all also be very beneficial and are often recommended.