Shara (Urticaria)

Shara (Urticaria)


Urticaria (Shara) is a common condition affecting 15-20% population on at least once in life. It is also called “Hives” by the medical professionals. It is a skin condition that is characterized by sudden outbreaks of red, itchy welts on the skin. Any area of the body may be affected. The welts may vary in appearance, from tiny, goose-bump like spots to rashes that cover significant areas of the body. These are itchy bumps or areas of raised skin that are light red in colour and cause intense itching. This condition is commonly known as hives and while it is most commonly caused by an allergic reaction it can also have non-allergic causes. It usually go away within a few hours to two days, but in rare cases they become chronic and may last for six weeks or more.

It is a focal oedema of the dermis due to a transient increase in capillary permeability. It may appear as cutaneous manifestations of localized non pitting oedema usually surrounded by an area of erythema. Lesions of urticarial can involve any part of the skin and appear in crops of 24 to 72 hours duration with old lesions fading as new ones appear.

In modern medicine for the treatment of urticarial there are different antihistamines and steroids are used in clinical practices. These drugs produce some serious side effects if used for longer duration of time. Moreover, chronic urticarial does not always respond to conventional antihistamine drugs and hence, other drugs are sometimes needed.

Symptoms of Urticaria/ Hives (Shara)

Urticaria (Shara) is a major health problem causing patient's distress. It may appear anywhere on the body and may appear and disappear without warning. The remarkable symptoms are burning or itchy white bumps appear, surrounded by areas of redness and inflammation.

Unani Concept of Urticaria

Ancient Unani physicians have described this disease by the name of ‘Shara’, commonly known as Pitti or Chhapaki.

According to Unani literature, Shara (Urticaria) is a disease of skin which is caused by impurities of blood (Fasaad-e- Dam). As per Unani scholars it is caused by exaggeration in hiddat-e- damawi (Blood), balghami (Phlegm), safrawi (Yellow bile) and saudawi (Black bile) akhlaat (Humours).  Excessive amount of yellow bile (Safra), black bile (Sauda) or abnormal phlegm (Balgham-e- Shor) may be the reasons for this disorder. Along with above mentioned causes severe heat of blood (Hiddat-e- dam) produces weakness of the nerves, which ultimately results in urticarial rashes.

Types of Urticaria: It can be of two types and this is dependent on how long the outbreak of the disease lasts.

  1. Acute: It lasts for less than six weeks
  2. Chronic: It lasts for more than six months

Aetiology of Urticaria (Asbaab-e- Shara)

There are a lot that we still do not understand about exact causes of urticaria (Shara) although we do know that there are certain triggers and certain reactions that could cause the symptoms associated with utricaria (Shara) to flare up.

Acute urticaria (Shara Haddah) is generally the result of an allergic reaction while chronic urticarial (Shara Muzmina) often has autoimmune causes. The body’s defence mechanism (Immune system) reacts to the allergen as if it were a dangerous organism, in trying to neutralize the antigen, the body releases histamine, which produces the allergy symptoms. The allergy may be to something that comes into contact with skin, such as a hairy plant or wool; to a food; or occasionally to a chemical in the environment. Strawberries, eggs, and shellfish are common agents among the food allergies.

Other allergens include house dust mites, animal fur, perfumes, silk, pollens, penicillin, asprin, and a heat rash from a hot bath is also a form of Urticaria. It can also appear, with or without an allergic cause, at times of emotional stress and anxiety. Urticaria (Hives) are also known to be caused by local pressure, friction, extremes of temperature, and sunlight. Cosmetic products like lipsticks and foundation as well as perfumes and deodorants are common triggers of this disease.

An acute viral infection can also be a cause of acute urticaria (Shara Hadda). The aetiology of chronic urticria (Shara Muzminah) remains undetermined in approximately 80% of cases. Therefore there is an enduring need for symptomatic treatment that are well tolerated, efficacious and safe on long term use.

Effective Home Remedies for Urticaria

These are some of the most effective home remedies for urticaria:

  • One can get instant relief by applying a cold compress over your itchy skin. Alternatively you could also use a cold compress to soothe your inflamed skin.
  • Aloe vera gel can also be applied over the affected area to reduce inflammation. Aloe vera gel is known to have a cooling effect and this will help provide relief, especially if you have the urge to scratch the inflamed area.
  • A food allergy attack can last for quite a while as the allergen remains within your system and this increases the severity of the reaction. Drink plenty of fluids such as fresh fruit and vegetable juices as this will help to get rid of the allergen and reduce the recovery period.

Unani treatment for urticaria (Shara)

Unani medicine, which is herbo-animo- mineral in origin is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. In Unani medicine, the selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the signs and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of Unani medicine is not only to treat urticarial (Shara) but to address its underlying causes and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several drugs are available to treat urticarial (Shara) that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensations and modalities of the complaints.  For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified Unani physician in person.

Some undermentioned qualities of Unani drugs which are helpful in the treatment of urticaria (Shara) are:

  1. Cooling agents
  2. Blood purifiers
  3. Anti-allergic Drugs

Fundamentals of Management (Usool-e- elaaj)

  • Istifragh-e- Mawaad-e- Faasida
  • Tanqiya-e- balgham
  • Tanqiya-e- sauda
  • Ta’adeel-e- dam

Ta’adeel-e- dam ke liye Nuskha (Unani prescription for internal use)

  • Take Cydonia oblonga (Luaab-e- behdana), Zizyphus vulgaris (sheera-e- unnab), Santalum album (Sheera-e- sandal) all in equal quantity along with Sharbat-e- Neelofar.

Ta’adeel-e- dam ke liye Nuskha (Unani prescription for external use)

  • Mix Raughan-e- Gul with Arq-e- Ghulaab and apply externally

Tanqiya-e- balgham ke liye Nuskha (Unani Prescription for evacuation of phlegm for internal use)

  • Use Gulqand and Sikanjabeen along with arq-e- gulab and arq-e- mako thrice in a day or as directed by physician

Tanqiya-e- balgham ke liye Nuskha (Unani Prescription for evacuation of phlegm for external use)

  • Take flour of Hordeum valgare (Aard-e- jau) Apium graveolens (Tukhme karafs) and vinegar make paste and apply externally at least thrice a day for better result.

Tanqiya-e- sauda ke liye Nuskha (Unani Prescription for evacuation of black bile for external use)

  • If urticaria is caused by hiddat-e- sauda (black bile) give joshanda-e- afteemoon BD and Joshanda-e- Halela OD
  • Along with this prescription take Ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi) power 10 gm. Use it singly or mix it with 20 gm sugar. Take it in the morning empty stomach

Ilaj bil tadbeer

  1. Venesection (Fasd-e- haft andaam) if caused by hiddat-e- dam (Excessive heat in blood)
  2. Hammam (Medicated bath)

Tanqiya-e- safra ke liye Nuskha (Unani Prescription for evacuation of yellow bile for internal use)

  • If urticaria is caused by hiddat-e- safda (yellow bile) use Maa-ul- jubn

Dietotherapy (Ilaaj Bil Ghiza): Some recommended diets are:

  1. Vinegar
  2. Butter milk
  3. Pomegranate juice

Dietotherapy (Ilaaj Bil Ghiza): Some restricted diet are:

  • Pungent and spicy diet
  • Sweet dishes
  • Meat itself and meat items



  • Along with medicine the patients have to follow strict regimen as per the concept of Unani system. The patients are therefore, strongly advised to avoid self-medication.
  • They are advised to visit the nearest authorized Unani treatment centre for advice and treatment.





  • PUBLISHED DATE : Jun 07, 2017
  • CREATED / VALIDATED BY : Dr. Mahtab Alam Khan
  • LAST UPDATED ON : Jun 07, 2017


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