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I’m writing this for people with hives who are looking for ideas on what to do about it. Here is my personal experience.
Hives are on the Rise
Many scientists believe allergic reactions like hives — officially known as urticaria — are on the rise, but they don’t agree why. It may be due to a lack of healthy bacteria in the gut, overuse of antibiotics, or environmental pollution, they say. I think mine are due to lack of necessary vitamins and minerals in the food chain, an overload of toxins in our water, food, and environment, not enough good gut bacteria, exacerbated by stress.
Apparently, there are various kinds of urticaria and the triggers are not the same as the underlying causes. Triggers can be foods, additives, chemicals, insect bites, stress, intestinal parasites, and other irritants. The medical establishment says there is no known cure except to identify the cause and avoid it. Meanwhile, doctors prescribe a host of drugs that don’t help much in a lot of cases, plus they have side effects.
A hives attack, unlike anything I’ve dealt with before, is extremely stubborn and unresponsive to remedies. I started coming down with hives after being pretty strong and healthy most of my life, and never allergic to anything. I also have a lot of positive experience with natural cures that support self reliance rather than dependency on big pharma.
The Best Ways I’ve Found to Control the Discomfort of Hives
Hives disrupts the normal flow of my life because I get it on my face. I’m going to tell you the few ways I found to manage the discomfort of the flare ups and what I’m doing long term to try to ward it off for good.
Toward the end of last August my face got flaming red for the first time, burning, swollen and itchy, then hyper dry, followed by the skin peeling off. I had these flare ups about every three days until the beginning of October.
The flare ups would start between late afternoon and early evening, and as September wore on, the intense burning and itching got stronger and lasted longer, up to 12 hours. I noticed a metallic taste in my mouth and back of throat during the flare ups. I thought this indicated heavy metal build up. I later read that adrenaline, which is released during hive attacks, can cause that metallic taste.
I spent hours putting anything I could think of on my face for relief; colloidal silver, cortisone cream, comfrey tea. Nothing made a dent. After a while, I realized that ice cold water was the only thing that helped reduce the burning. Plain organic yogurt was a distant second.
I had some tincture I made on hand — a special formula made of herbs that benefit people with type A blood. I discovered that dabbing it on was the only thing that made the itching to subside. It burned a little, but it relieved the itch without my scratching it. I kept applying it every time the itch started up again until it went away completely so I could sleep. I had a couple of other tinctures on hand that also worked. I read some people use rubbing alcohol, which I tried, but it didn’t do nearly as well as the tinctures.
As the flares progressed through September, the condition encompassed my eyes, which were swollen half shut, the corners raw, and they were covered with a film that made it hard to see.
The next day my face would be swollen with hyper dry skin. My lips were also dry and the corners raw. I could barely open my mouth. I spent much of the third day applying oils and peeling the dead skin off.
I tried vitamin E oil and also castor oil to moisten the skin, but they only helped a little for a few minutes — still, a little bit felt better than nothing. During the second bout, the doctor said coconut oil is anti bacterial and anti fungal, so I tried that and it worked slightly better. But the thing I finally found the most moisturizing for hours was raw organic honey, which I patted onto the affected area.
I’m a nomad and itinerant worker on the financial edge. My chosen lifestyle makes it hard to eat the kind of diet I’d like. I thought I was doing pretty well, but apparently my body is telling me it’s not good enough. I had picked up a few bad habits along the way, like drinking a lot of coffee and not enough water. I smoked Top rollies on and off, and also drank wine often. I suspect the sulfites might be triggering the flare ups. One in 10 people have a reaction to sulfites, with symptoms ranging from rashes and itching to restricted breathing, asthmatic attacks, hives and anaphylactic shock.
More often than not, I don’t have access to a kitchen or refrigeration. and although I travel with fresh fruits and nuts, I rely on cheap canned food and ramen too much because of storage and budetary reasons. I trade some of my work for meals at restaurants (non organic) and occasionally eat processed food out of a box when I’m hungry and there is nothing else. So, there is definitely room for improvement.
I say I eat healthy because I try to stick with food choices on the A-blood type diet. I avoid junk food and stay away from the GMOs, which isn’t easy. The Grocery Manufacturers of America estimates that between 70 percent and 75 percent of all processed foods available in U.S. grocery stores may contain ingredients from genetically engineered plants. Breads, cereal, frozen pizzas, hot dogs and soda are just a few. The most common genetically engineered crops in the US are corn, soybeans, cotton and canola. The genetically engineered hormone, BGH, is injected into dairy cows in the US. Those in the alternative health movement link allergy uptick to the spread of GMOs.
Do you and your children have allergies? If your family eats any processed foods, it is highly likely that you are eating genetically modified foods.
The Homeopathic Option
After reading hundreds of Internet posts by people who turn to mainstream doctors for hives relief, and suffer for years with drugs that don’t resolve the situation, I decided to work with my homeopath at Coeur d’Alene Healing Arts. I’d had great success with Dr. Todd for some 30 years, and in my previous experience with remedies he prescribed, I observed noticeable relief within a few hours — even with childhood diseases like chicken pox, impetigo, and whooping cough. I really believe in homeopathic medicine because I’ve seen it work fast like a miracle, but that wasn’t the case this time.
I was actually not dealing with my tried and true homepathic doctor because he is retiring end of this year, so I got the new guy, Dr. Hunter. When things weren’t working, I suspected it was his fault. Selecting the correct homeopathic remedy involves sorting through a long list of physical and mental indicators, and I felt the new guy wasn’t paying close attention and didn’t seem motivated to drill down to the heart of the problem.
I eventually saw both doctors, and between the two of them, they kept talking about inflammation as the root cause of my problem. I do have chronic inflammatory things going on and thought I could just continue to ignore them and go on with my life. Now I’m trying to deal with them and I will tell you how.
First I’m going to explain what the homeopaths prescribed during the first bout, and what happened during the second bout, which struck on Thanksgiving and lasted ten days.
The Cleansing Diet
I first went to see Dr. Hunter toward the end of August. I filled out a long medical history form and we talked for a while. He suggested I do a juice fast. I had been thinking of doing a cleansing fast anyway, and was staying at a friend’s place, where it would be possible to make the fresh juices. But I didn’t have a juicer or the money to buy one at the moment. Meanwhile, I did the rest of the homeopathic regime, which consisted of daily showers finished with a cold rinse, drinking 80 ounces of water a day, daily exercise, and a simple diet of fruits and vegetables recommended by Dr. Hunter. I had access to a sauna and asked if that would be good way to move the toxins out of my system, and he said yes.
I left his office with specifications for the diet and the following supplements:
Ortho Bone Advanced MCHC Osteo Formula capsules
Thorne Basic B Complex capsules
Rx Vitamins D3 liquid
Apis 30c, a homeopathic remedy, often effective for insect sting allergies.
I expected to see a change after starting the Apis but nothing happened. When a flare up started I would also take Benadryl out of desperation, but it never helped.
Hot and Cold Water
I would sneak to the pool and sauna facility after hours of peeling my dead skin off on day three, and hoped nobody would be around. Swimming in the pool felt great because it softened my hyper dry skin to where I could actually open my mouth for a while. After the third sauna, however, I noticed a new flare would start within an hour after each session. I later found out that heat can exacerbate hives. Sometimes cold does as well, however the ice water really helped the burning in my case.
After eight days of no relief with the Apis I asked for a different remedy. Dr. Hunter said the only other thing he would prescribe is Nat-M 30c, so I tried that. It didn’t help either. He kept asking me if I was ready to do the cleanse fast.
Get a Juicer
A couple of friends were trying to chase down juicers that were in storage or loaned out, to no avail. Then one of them called and told me about a Jack LaLane juicer at a thrift shop down the road from where I was staying. I was able to score it for $5! (I burned out the motor on it today. I guess I got my $5 worth though).
One of my clients had paid an invoice so I could afford a trip to the health food store where I got everything needed for the cleanse diet. While there, I also picked up a tincture made from black walnut hulls, wormwood, and clove buds to kill intestinal parasites that might be causing my problem. I started taking it, along with a product called Deep Cleanse to help eliminate environmental toxins.
Dr. Hunter’s cleanse diet involves several days of fruits and vegetables followed by a few more days of fresh organic juices, lots of water, and enemas or colonics. I didn’t feel comfortable doing enemas in somebody else’s house and didn’t have money for a professional colonic, so I settled for Oxy-Powder, made from ozonated magnesium oxides.
Dr. Hunter’s Cleanse Method
The breakfast recommendation is a smoothie with protein powder. I opted for Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro. Hemp seed is high in Amino Acids and adds fiber, protein and a few vitamins. The morning routine aids elimination required to remove toxins from the system.
After several days of the fruits and vegetables, the diet switches to juices. I made vegetable juices from carrots, beets, celery, and cucumbers. I tried to juice green leafy vegetables, but the juicer spit them out whole. I also juiced apples, plums, and pears.
You are supposed to make the juice fresh every day. I cheated and made a couple of days’ supply. Buying enough fresh organic produce for the diet is quite expensive. The whole experience, with the doctor visit, supplements, and health food store set me back more than $500.
Being on a fresh juice diet is very time consuming. Cleaning the food, especially the root veggies, takes forever, and then there is the juicer mess to deal with. My conscience won’t let me throw the remains in the trash, so I collected them in a covered plastic bucket and drove them to a friend’s compost pile.
By the third week of September the symptoms were not abating. In fact, the flare ups were getting worse. I finally emailed the clinic and asked to see Dr. Todd. He’d never let me down before. I was able to meet with both doctors, who seemed to be on the same page. But Doctor Todd suggested another homeopthic remedy, Ars 6c, every two hours. He also prescribed a natural antibotic herbal mixture to ease my mind because my friend kept freaking out and saying I was going to die from cellulitis. Dr. Todd said it definitely was not that.
He also said the cleanse was a slow process. After that, I stopped taking the walnut tincture and Deep Cleanse, thinking I might be overdoing it. It was about 10 days later that the final flare up occurred.
The Hives Finally Went Away
I wanted to continue with the juice fast since I felt great on it and was never hungry. But circumstances were calling me to the family property off grid. So, I switched to vegetable broth for a few days. Life there is physically demanding. Camp chores and providing for daily needs require constant movement, which is really good for moving toxins, so it was a trade off. But by day three there, I was getting hungry, so I started eating good and healthy solid food. I had quit coffee when I started the fast and have not taken it up again. When I got back to civilization, I was back to drinking wine and eating whatever came across my path.
The Hives Came Back
The hives returned on Thanksgiving. I still had the supplements, powdered herbs, and homeopathic remedies so started taking the Ars and Nat-M, for what it was worth. I was also doing the olive oil and lemon water, since I had those on hand. All I had, though, was lemon juice from concentrate with sodium benzoate and sulfites, both of which naturopaths say are harmful.
Previously, I resisted going to an allopath, despite the fact that my friend had kept trying to pressure me to go. But I couldn’t lose another five weeks of work. So, this time I decided to get some pharma drugs to deal with the symptoms. That would hopefully buy me the time I needed to see some clients and raise money to get back on the juice fast.
I went to the doctor the next morning. She prescribed steroid pills and a topical steroid cream. Neither one made the slightest difference. She said I could have some tests done to try to find the cause, but I’d have to wait three weeks for the steroids to clear out of my system. I was supposed to call her back if the symptoms persisted for more than four days. I had read about all the different drugs prescribed for hives, so thought the doctor would offer something else, but not in my case. The only option presented was to have the tests.
Cleansing Diet & Supplements — The Next Level
Meanwhile, I was sequestered in a motel room looking like a horror movie, and not able to meet with clients. So, I decided to try a Go-Fund-Me that would provide money for someplace to live during this bout and the ability to start up the special diet and supplements again. A friend and I drove into town and she went into the store for me, to stock up on the veggies and stuff I would need to hole up for a while. The organic selection was sparse, but better than nothing.
The Magic of Red Onions
I got red onions because they contain quercetin, a good anti-inflammatory. I ate some raw when I got home and felt my head start draining immediately. I put some in my juice too and reeked of onion in a five foot radius for days. Later, I bought Quercetin in a tablet form so I could take it without the odor. The pills don’t have the immediate draining effect.
Much to my surprise, the flare ups stopped after ten days.
Toxic Waste Dump in my Body
My goal is to work on the systemic inflammation and clear my body of toxins, whether heavy metals, parasites, or any of a host of compounds that suffuse our modern world and bodies. I think it will take a while since I have decades worth of garbage in me now.
Liver Cleanse Method
I decided to do a liver and gall bladder cleanse first, then focus on the heavy metals and any parasites that may have taken up residence in my gut.
I got Liver Shield from Infowars. It’s an herbal formula made with borotutu bark, yellow dock root, dandelion root, chanca piedra, celandine, chicory root, milk thistle seed, turmeric, peppermint leaf, and fulvic acid. Liver Cleanse is to be taken with water every couple of hours for four days and alternated with 12 oz glasses of water that contain a cap full of organic Bragg’s vinegar.
First thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, I take liquid B12 to support the adrenal glands and red blood cell formation.
I am also taking three drops a day of nascent iodine. Nascent iodine has a high electromagnetic charge that aids metabolic function and detoxification.
Throughout the day, I drink fresh organic veggie juices made from carrots, beets, celery, and cucumbers. (Well, I was until the juicer broke). I alternate with apple juice. Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. I discovered that throwing a few chunks of fresh ginger root in with the carrot and apple juices turns out to be very good.
Organic avacados with lemon and Himalayan salt are also recommended. The avacados contain glutathione a liver cleanser. So do organic walnuts, which have glutathione, omega 3s, and arginine, which helps remove ammonia from the liver.
The Himalayan salt contains 84 naturally occurring trace elements in their natural mineral form. The benefits of natural Himalayan Crystal Salt include: regulating the water content throughout the body, and promoting healthy pH balance in the cells.
Fresh organic salads and vegetable soup can be eaten for lunch. I made the soup with kale at first, then learned from Dr. Group that brassicas like kale may counteract the iodine. So, I switched to swiss chard, beet greens, dandelion greens, turnips, garlic, celery, and red onion. I also use cilantro in the salads. The greens suck up environmental toxins from the blood stream and neutralize heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides. They also increase the flow of bile, which removes waste from the organs and blood.
On day five of the liver cleanse, at precisely 7 pm, the regime calls for quickly gulping down 1 tbsp. of edible (it has to say USP on the label) Epsom Salt in 8 oz of warm purified water, then laying on one’s right side with legs drawn up for 30 minutes. Then, at 8:30, you have to drink 6 oz of olive oil. It can be mixed with a little vinegar if that helps get it down. Then go to bed. First thing in the morning, take six caps of oxy powder, then expect to pass liver and gall bladder stones.
After this, I will continue with the cleansing diet and start taking Deep Cleanse, which features shilajit, lovage root, cleavers, tamarind, orange peel, cilantro, milk thistle seed, fulvic acid, and zeolites. It is to be taken in the morning and afternoon on an empty stomach. I will take it in conjunction with bentonite, a clay that is used to promote internal cleansing of toxins such as mercury, cadmium, lead, and benzene.
Aside from warding off bouts of hives, I am gauging the effectiveness of all this by a couple of chronically inflamed areas on my body. I haven’t noticed much of a change so far, but they’ve been there for a long time.
A friend says it’s possible that the swelling problems are from energy blockages. She recently learned a method called Jin Shin Jyutsu, that helps facilitate energy flow in the body. She offered to give me a one hour treatment to see if it would help, so I’m looking forward to giving it a try.
I would not be able to work with these hives remedies or have time to do this write up had it not been for the concern and generous donations of the Go Fund Me supporters. Thank you all so much.
Hoping this Helps Others
If you have hives or any other kind of allergic reaction, think about what you are taking into your body on a regular basis.
I hope something I’ve shared here will help others to get over their debilitating hives or other allergies.
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