When someone wants to express the fact they are nervous, they may say something like, “I feel like I’m going to break out in hives.” For many people, this is not just an expression, but a reality. Hives, which is also known as urticaria, is characterized by the spontaneous outbreak of sudden pale, ruddy bumps on the skin.
Hives can result from a variety of causes from anxiety and stress to allergies or food sensitivity. The breakouts are a reaction to histamine released in the blood which causes vessels to release plasma under the surface of the skin which appears as small bumps.
There are acute and chronic versions of hives. Acute hives last less than six weeks and are often attributed to temporary causes such as minor illness, allergic reactions and stress. Chronic hives have more complicated underlying reasons and are a reason to seek medical attention.
You might recognize this golden herb from spicy curries. However, don’t confuse turmeric with curry–the latter contains tumeric and the former is the actual herb that has multiple health properties, including benefits for the skin. Tumeric comes from a small root that is bright orange or yellow on the inside. Sometimes called circumin, tumeric has a variety of health benefits including preventing blood clots and introducing antioxidants into the body that can eliminate free radicals.
Tumeric has a host of benefits for the skin and has been traditionally used in India as a skin treatment prior to weddings. It works well on hives and other skin problems because it is a natural antihistamine and has anti-inflammatory properties. You can use the actual root grated and placed directly on the affected area as a poultice or taken internally by dissolving some powder in a glass of water.