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Hives. Apis or Urtica urens?

Joette Calabrese, HMC, PHom M

June 13th, 2021  |  40 Comments

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Joette Calabrese



When we hear “allergies,” many people think only of hay fever in the spring.

But allergens are year-round. Some present as minor annoyances, while others can be downright dangerous.

Are you or a loved one Allergic?!

If so, perhaps you’ve experienced the madness of hives. The medical term for hives is urticaria. Conveniently, urticaria can help you remember the name of an effective homeopathic remedy for hives: Urtica urens.

Apis is generally the first remedy most people think of for hives. However, Apis is more often effective in cases of hives (and the resulting edema) that occur in mucosal areas — the eyes, lips, tongue, uvula, throat, nose.

Because of this, Apis is generally called upon in more dangerous allergic reactions, such as mucosal hives causing the throat to swell or begin to close. (Most often, I choose Apis 30C for emergency intervention. It would generally be used as often as every 5 minutes, depending on the severity of the reaction, until noteworthy improvement is made — as taught in the blog post, Answering Questions: Homeopathy During Pregnancy).

Urtica urens, however, is a secondary medicine chosen more often for reactions in non-mucosal areas of the body.

For instance, Urtica urens is a good choice for hives on the body from an allergic reaction to shellfish. However, if the problem is present within the throat (a mucosal area), a better choice would likely be Apis. See how we make our distinction?

Urtica urens is derived from stinging nettle — a fascinating plant. Cooked, it’s called a “pot herb,” and you can add it to your meatball soup. Dried, it makes a healthful tea with wide-ranging applications, from reducing inflammation to lowering blood sugar levels (certain studies have shown).

In its gross form, stinging nettle is a fabulous botanical for vitamin K. I personally drank stinging nettles tea daily during each of my pregnancies. (Vitamin K shot at birth? Don’t be silly; nature’s got you covered. I’m going to talk more about this topic later in the week in my Memo to Mighty Members.*)

But when prepared homeopathically, it excels in addressing hives.

Here’s another example: Some individuals are allergic to snow! Can you imagine? There they are, bundled up tight in their snowsuits. Yet if a bit of snow gets caught in between their mittens and their cuffs, suddenly, their wrists are covered with hives.

Besides moving to Florida, what are they to do? What is the solution for their snow-induced urticaria?

Yes! Urtica urens.

Generally, we would choose Urtica urens in the 30th potency. If severe, it would be employed every 15 minutes or so until the reaction calms down. After that, then we continue to use it every 6-12 hours until very much better.

Now, you may be thinking, “Why is that? Why do they have an allergic reaction to snow on their skin?”

I say, “Who the heck cares?!”

Many of the most profound things in life don’t have definitive answers. As long as we can address the problem with the right homeopathic medicine, the “why” is not germane to the discussion. We need only go straight to the solution and move on with enjoying life.

The secret is to know the solution! And, you may have noticed, I’m terrible at keeping secrets about homeopathy!

I want every household to know how to address allergies — no matter the source or severity — with the appropriate homeopathic medicine.

As I’ve expressed time and again, there is usually more than one way to skin a cat in homeopathy. For instance, in addition to Apis and Urtica urens, several other remedies can successfully address hives. You just need to learn how to make the correct assessment for your particular symptoms.

That’s why I wrote my course, Allergic?! Escape Allergies, Sensitivities, and Intolerances, with Homeopathy. Practical Protocols to Get Your Life Back. I’m relaunching the course this month and encourage you to consider what this knowledge could mean to you and your family.

The chronic allergies I suffered from as a child and young woman were imprisoning. The more drugs the doctors prescribed, the more imprisoned I became. But homeopathy provided the relief I desired — not for just itchy hives, but for all the various symptoms allergic reactions can generate.

Imagine the freedom you would gain if you could Break Out of Your Allergic Prison as I did.

But you don’t have to believe me. Here’s an inspiring story from one of my students who reclaimed her life:

“I have a true victory from the Allergic?! course!

My extreme chemical sensitivity has plagued me for 20+ years.

If I was around a strong odor, I would get allergic/chemical bronchitis, and sometimes, it would turn into pneumonia. 

I started Calc carb 1M last May and have not had one bout in a year! 

My husband jackhammered out the sewer pipes in our basement 3 months ago. With the dust, fumes, etc. … all of our smoke detectors went off … I was scared … Nothing!!!!”


Now, that’s what I call passing on the good news of homeopathy!


Joette Calabrese

*P.S. If you’re not a Mighty Member yet, what are you waiting for? Join me for more candid conversations in weekly emails and occasional videos. Plus, get to know other Mighties in the discussion group hosted on our private server. (No prying eyes from Facebook or spammers.) So, join today, and you can read more later this week about using stinging nettle.

And remember — all of my Mighties (Joette’s Mighty Members) qualify for a 10% discount on course purchases. If you need assistance getting your discount, email contact@practicalhomeopathy.com for more information.


06/13/21 Hives. Apis or Urtica urens?


I am a homeopath with a worldwide practice working with families and individuals via Zoom. I'm also a teacher and most importantly, a mom who raised my now-adult children depending on homeopathy over the last 31 years. I lived decades of my life with food intolerances, allergies, and chemical sensitivities until I was cured with homeopathy, so I understand pain, anxiety, and suffering. You may feel that your issues are more severe or different than anyone else’s, but I have seen it all in my practice and in my work in India. My opinion is that nothing has come close to the reproducible, safe and effective results that my clients, students and I have achieved with homeopathy.

Call today and learn how homeopathy might just be the missing piece in your health strategy.

Joette is not a physician and the relationship between Joette and her clients is not of prescriber and patient, but as educator and client. It is fully the client's choice whether or not to take advantage of the information Joette presents. Homeopathy doesn't "treat" an illness; it addresses the entire person as a matter of wholeness that is an educational process, not a medical one. Joette believes that the advice and diagnosis of a physician is often in order.

We've provided links for your convenience but we do not receive any remuneration nor affiliation in payment from your purchase.

The Author disclaims all liability for any loss or risk, personal or otherwise incurred as a consequence of use of any material in this article. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


40 thoughts on “Hives. Apis or Urtica urens?”

  1. Jo says:

    Excellent, dear lady. I appreciate how you share needed information. God bless 💗

  2. Daphne says:

    Literal answer to prayer right now. Just ate dinner out and have huge puffy hives on my legs. Thanks for all you do and share. God bless.

  3. Sue says:

    I love these newsletters. They are so informative and seem to show up always at the right time!!
    I have a question regarding the usage of Calc Carb 1M for chemical sensitivities that I hope can be answered here. For someone who has CS or MCS, to obtain the most benefit from this remedy, what is the initial frequency protocol? Should you then follow up with a maintenance protocol and if so, for how long? I realize everyone is unique, but what would be the general suggestion? Thank You!!! xo

    1. Janie says:

      Hi Sue, I can highly recommend that you take the Allergic! course – I have found it very useful for myself, family and friends, and our dog too.

  4. Sheena says:

    I’m allergic to ice…ice packs or any contact with ice. One of my daughters has the same issue. We get a big red “rash”. I’m looking forward to trying Urtica. I’m almost tempted to put ice on my skin just to try it out.

    1. kathleen says:

      Was it helpful? have you tried it in a cream? having huge hives from exposure to cold.

  5. Sharon says:

    What about Histaminum hydrochloricum? About a year ago I started getting a huge allergic reaction to mosquito bites…turning into bruises and swelling up my calf painfully. Apis did NOT work, but benadryl did in my scared urgency. Since then, I’ve been learning and dealing with Histamine Intolerance. I’ve got it fairly balanced out right now, but fairly dependant on Claritin, which is ultimately a catch 22. I take Histaminum hydrochloricum 200c when I can’t really be as limited in the dietary limitations for keeping low histamine production in my body (traveling so extra fresh food can be hard) Anyway, I greatly appreciate this post, but wanted to know how Histaminum hydrochloricum fits in the hives issue, since that has helped me, as I still get a hive swelling from mosquito bites, but no more bruising.

    1. Debbie says:

      Sharon, I know Ledum works really well for mosquito bites. you might want to give it a try. check it out in Joette’s Materia Medica book or you can look it up on line. best of luck to you.

  6. Cherie says:

    I have tried both Apis and Urtica for my hives in the past, and neither worked for me. More recently I tried Ledum palustre 200, and it’s been working wonders!

    1. Barbara M says:

      Cherie, what do you think caused your hives? My nephew is struggling with hives. It was gone after 4 doses of Sulphur 30 but came back the next morning. Then it took 6 doses to go away. It came back last night. I’m looking to try a different remedy so I wondered if you could explain what you think caused your hives. For him it was the c-vid virus last October.

  7. LindaD says:

    Wow, I was just talking with a Sister at church that has developed a very red itchy rash from something she used to clean with at her work.

    She has no idea which product it may be or even what she came in contact with. Just on the inside of her left arm.

    I will recommend Urtica now that I know about it. Many thanks as always 🙂
    ttfn. , L.

  8. Anne Hodapp says:

    I’ve never had hives, but my daughter got them in 2009. I have no idea what triggered them! I used sulphur 30C.

  9. Jamie says:

    My daughter broke out in awful hives a year and a half ago. They lasted a good week and her eyes swelled shut. So, we drove an hour away to the closest place that had homeopathic remedies in stock and dosed urtica urens dry a few times on our way home. By the time we were home, her eyes were significantly less puffy and the hives were almost completely gone in 24 hours.

  10. Terry says:

    When I became very sensitive to light and developed severe hives over my whole body, the only thing that worked was Rhus tox.

  11. Stephanie T says:

    Hello Joette–thank you for sharing information like this. I appreciate that you offer solutions to address issues that people may be experiencing currently.

  12. Jacquelyn Wierzba says:

    Would the Allergy course be helpful for treating my young son who is allergic to dogs?

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      Yes, this is fully covered in the course.

  13. Janet says:

    I truly depend on Urtica Urens for hives that I get on the inside of my thighs. This remedy stays in my night stand. I seem to get hives from tight fitting jeans or shorts. This remedy along with Urtica cream has been a life saver.

  14. Daphne Fay says:

    This is such helpful differentiation! Is there a book or even a course that can help me understand more about differentiating between medicines? Almost a way to get to know the individual personalities of each medicine so I know how to choose one over the other? Thanks for all your great info, Joette!

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      I’ll be covering differentiations in my upcoming academy.
      But you can learn plenty by studying your materia medicas.

  15. Jane Ryksen says:

    Im still a little confused about the potencies – A 30C works but wouldn’t a 200C work better and quicker and may not need to be administered as often? Some acute situations call for a 200C or higher – does it depend on the severity? Trying to find some rhyme and reason to this.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      You’re looking for potency rules, otherwise called the study of posology. They don’t always apply.
      Having said that, I would certainly use Hypericum in a very high potency after a severe accident causing extraordinary pain and not consider Hypericum 30 but for something such as hives, we’ve learned clinically that all of the potencies have their place.

      There’s more to this than what I’m stating here but I’m restrained by the format of this forum.

      I assume you’re a member of Joette’s Mighty Members and Gateway to Homeopathy’s Study Group. These questions are more fully covered in more in-depth forums.

      1. Jane says:

        Thank-you! and yes I am a member and currently working my way through Gateway II.
        I am trying to decide which course to start with as I would like to help my daughter with her gluten intolerance which presents in hives and other skin issues. My question is which course would cover this the best? Skin? Allergies? Or GGBG ?

        1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

          I would start with GGBG, followed by Allergic, and lastly Allergic.

      2. Jodi Lassell says:

        My daughter presented with hives yesterday at the tail end of a stomach virus that she had suffered from. I dosed her with 200c Urtica twice with good results. Should I go down to 30c if I need to dose again. Thanks for your answer. I have taken three of courses, and listen to your podcasts. Learning a ton!!!

        1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

          We don’t tinker with success. If a specific medicine, with a specific potency acts, we stay with it until it has either stopped acting or is no longer needed.

  16. Penelope says:

    Can Apis 30c be used prophylactically to prevent anaphylaxis? I have Mast Cell Activation Disorder. I recently read that Thuja was being used by Dr. Banerji prophylactically to prevent COVID as it acts as an antiviral. So I wondered if Apis could also be used prophylactically to prevent angioedema/anaphylaxis.
    Thank you in advance for help!

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      I’ve never used Apis prophylactically. Instead, I use it when the condition occurs.

    2. Christina says:

      Hi Penelope,
      Fellow MCAS sufferer here. Did you try Apis prophylactically? Any results? It’s scary waiting til a reaction happens to treat it. 🙁

  17. Penelope says:

    Thank you Joette so very much for your quick response. So greatly appreciated!

  18. Aly says:

    When would someone choose histiminum 30C for hives as you mentioned in one of your other articles as opposed to apis 30C or urtica urens 30C for whole body hives/welts, redness & itching, from something like food or chemicals?

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      I urge you to learn the medicine to determine that if it fits the symptoms that the person experiences. That means you must read your materia medica for the differentials. Having said this, if you carefully read this article, you’ll likely find your answer.

      1. Aly says:

        Thanks, I read the materia medica & other homeopathic advice on those multiple times & was having a hard time deciding. So according to this article, it sounds like the only time to use Apis 30C for hives is if they’re near the eyes, nose, or mouth, and Urtica Urens 30C be for hives on the entire body, from any food or chemical or environmental cause, is this correct? And what about Histiminum 30C, when would we choose this instead for hives?

        1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

          Good work. Histiminum may be used at any time for a histamine reaction while Apis and UU are specific for how and where the condition presents.
          I hope that you’ve taken my online course titled Allergic. If you haven’t, I urge you to do so. That’s where I go into great depth not with just acute presentations but how to get the underlying issue.

  19. Kayla says:

    I am trying to figure out a remedy to take for hives during pregnancy. They come and go randomly around the body and are very itchy. I am thinking urtica urens. Is this remedy safe during pregnancy (1st trimester) and how do I look up what remedies are safe and unsafe during pregnancy?

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      When you have a question regarding homeopathy you simply key in the words into your browser. For example “JoetteCalabrese Pregnancy”.

  20. Andrea says:

    This came at such a great time! My husband woke up with a rash of some sort and I came here to find a remedy. However, even though the article is clear I, myself, am having a tricky time figuring out a description for his reaction. It does appear to be hives but more like a patch, here and there. Itching but no burning, no pain, no discomfort. He’s kinda hard to read. My 3 year old is better at describing her symptoms. Gotta love him! Haha not asking to take my case. My question is this: can urtica be used as a remedy to take when you can’t pinpoint the description of the rash? For ex, in his case, I would’ve done apis as I thought “ok, clear reaction” held off bc no anaphylactic symptoms. Move on to sort of looks like hives except they are bigger and more like a patch. No known allergies and not a heat rash so I’m a little stumped. If this ever happened again I’m wondering if I should just employ utrica if I’m having trouble identifying a CLEAR description/symptom? Maybe I’m overthinking! I tend to!
    Thank you for all you do, Joette!

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      Before commencing, you want to identify what the condition is.
      Then use the protocol specific for the condition.
      Over a little time, it’s likely that it will become clear.

  21. Hanna says:

    Thank you for these blogs, Joette! I have been using homeopathy for my family for a few years and my husband (playfully) teases me about it being like “snake oils” but will still let me drop doses under his tongue when he has an ailment.
    Today when we were getting our Christmas tree he carried it to the car and ended up with hives all over his hands and arms. As we drove home I quickly did an internet search for “Joette hives” to make sure I chose the right remedy. Within 3 doses of Urtica over the next hour there was remarkable improvement and he confessed that it really must work!
    Benadryl usually knocks him out for hours but we were able to enjoy the evening with family and friends instead.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      Way to go, Hannah.

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