ImageAre you planning a southern vacation?

Many people experience a rash from the sun, especially those of us from northern climates when we travel to southern destinations for holiday. This is typically red, bumpy and itchy and can make a person feel quite unwell. It is known as ‘hives’ or ‘urticaria’.

The main homeopathic remedies used to treat hives acutely are Apis, Dulcamara, Rhus-toxicondren and Urtica Urens. Hives that are recurrent or long-lasting can be a sign of more serious problems, and require treatment by an experienced homeopath. As well, hives that are associated with difficulty breathing or swelling of the mouth or airway should also be evaluated by a medical physician.


I recommend the 30C potency for acute prescribing. Take a dose of the indicated remedy every hour or two (depending on the severity of the condition) for up to 4 to 6 doses. If the condition has not improved after this time, try a different remedy. If the condition improves, stop giving the remedy and repeat only on relapse of the symptoms.

Apis – Worse at night, from warmth and from perspiration. The hives are intensely itchy and may be accompanied by swelling around the eyes. There can also be fever. For Apis, think hot, swollen, red and shiny (just like a bee sting).

Dulcamara – The hives of Dulcamara are brought on by getting cold. The rash burns after scratching and is worse for warmth. It is described as lumpy.

Rhus tox – The hives of Rhus tox are worse for cold and after scratching. They can come on after getting wet or chilled, from cold air and during a fever. They can be accompanied by joint pain which is better for continued movement.

Urtica Urens – Made from stinging nettle, the hives are worse from warmth and vigorous exercise. May be worse by bathing and better by lying down. Hives may be accompanied by joint pain. Constant desire to rub the rash.

Have a great vacation!

Sources: Castro M. The Complete Homeopathy Handbook, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1990.

Cummings S., Ullman D. Everybody’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicines, The Putnam Publishing Group, New York, 1991.