Lagundi (Vitex negundo) as an effective remedy for urticaria (hives)
Note that the following is based on my personal experience. I make no claims that lagundi will have the same effect on all persons suffering from chronic urticaria. I suggest that you do your own research and experiment.
Early in October last year, wheals started to appear on my face. The wheals were light red, slightly raised, irregularly shaped and what started as small wheals would expand and spread outward. They were itchy. They would disappear after a day or two, reappear in other parts of my face and, after several days, they had spread to my scalp, neck, arms and legs.
Extreme heat made them worse. Extreme cold brought on the same reaction. At first, I wondered if I had become allergic to certain brands of bath soaps and shampoos. I switched brands. Still no relief. I wondered if it was a food allergy since every time I ate eggs, chicken, nuts or anything with cream, more wheals appeared. So, I avoided them. Imagine… I baked cookies and cakes, and cooked chicken dishes for my family but I could eat none of them.
I went to the dermatologist and the diagnosis was chronic urticaria, more commonly known as hives, which lasts for about six weeks. There is no cure; in most cases, the cause cannot even be isolated. I was given medication to relieve the itchiness but, other than that, I was resigned to the fact that I would just have to wait for six weeks to pass. I rarely went out of the house. I declined all party invitations.
Before the end of November, I got hit by a flu-like virus. I was down with fever for two days. I had a bad cold and persistent cough. I was taking Lagundi tablets for my cough. At around the same time, the urticaria episode was over. But I did not connect it with Lagundi. I slowly went back to my usual diet but consciously spaced the days when I’d consume anything that could trigger allergic reactions. The week before Christmas, I could eat small amounts of pastries with eggs. I was so confident that I was fully recovered that Speedy and I decided to serve roast turkey for a post Christmas party, preceded by a dry run with roast duck.
Just before New Year’s Eve, wheals started appearing on my face again. And I started avoiding all the known culprits again. By the second week of January, despite a very strict diet, things were getting really bad. I wondered if I’d have to patiently bear another six weeks of discomfort (and ugly skin) again. I wondered if I should go back to the dermatologist and ask if chronic urticaria could recur over and over again. I wondered if I’d have to suffer for the rest of my life.
Then, a few days ago, I got hit by the flu-like virus again. I got it from Speedy who had it worse because he went down with a fever. We cancelled a post New Year party that we were supposed to host at home. My cough was really bad. Two days ago, when Speedy felt well enough to go out, he went to the drug store to buy Lagundi. This time, he bought Lagundi Forte capsules which I started taking three times a day. By yesterday morning, a day and a half and some four capsules later, the coughing started to subside and the hives were gone. Just like that. And I wondered if there was a connection. I’m a Doubting Thomas by nature and I had to make sure. So, I did an experiment. On myself.
Lunch yesterday was corned beef style adobo. Leftovers from the previous evening’s dinner. I wondered if there would be enough and I decided to fry some eggs to go with the adobo. Five extra large eggs. One for myself. I downed a capsule of Lagundi Forte while cooking the eggs and I declared to Speedy, “Now, for the great experiment.” Speedy looked so shocked and disbelieving and said, “What are you, the mad scientist?” Well, I had to find out, didn’t I?
And just what did I find out? That, yes, there is a connection between Lagundi Forte and the disappearance of the wheals. One huge egg and no wheals. It couldn’t have been a coincidence. Speedy asked if I planned on continuing to take Lagundi Forte after the cough was gone, I said “maybe” and he told me to do a research first. And so, I did. And, yes, lagundi is a known treatment for skin ailments.
The lagundi plant also has anti-inflammatory functions, and its cooling effects are ideal as treatment for skin diseases such as leprosy.
There is another site that says boiled lagundi roots are used as aromatic baths for skin diseases. More interesting information here.
Apparently, for treating skin ailments, lagundi is not taken internally but, rather, applied on the skin. For some reason, in my case, ingesting Lagundi anti-cough capsules also relieved the chronic urticaria. So far. I am still taking Lagundi Forte three times a day, I ate a small piece of chicken and bacon omelet for dinner last night and still no hives. I’m really tempted to find a lagundi tree that I can plant in the garden. Or, to find a source for fresh leaves and roots.
I repeat: Note that all of the above is based on my personal experience. I am a lawyer, not a doctor, and I make no claims that lagundi will have the same effect on all persons suffering from chronic urticaria. I suggest that you do your own research and experiment.