Today’s Blog Entry is a Case Reflection: Demonstrating how we arrive at contributing factors to imbalance development and herbal approach.

Applying Example: Female Individual presents with visual changes followed one week later by Hives — raised, itchy bumps on her torso/neck. This progressed into a wildfire of Eczema on the face, neck, arms and hands. Let’s discuss!

A number of potential contributing events can trigger these — which can include a variety from Food Sensitivities to traumatic/emotional events, and environmental/topical exposures including high mold levels to cosmetics and laundry products. 

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but hopefully help demonstrate triggers of reactivity.

Casting our attention to the months prior to symptoms, we typically look at 3-4 months prior to the onset of first symptom. However, we can sometimes look back decades to discover added Triggers.

In this case, we discovered that there was some ongoing emotional stress and chronic sleep disruption prior to two corticosteroid injections: one into each hip for Bursitis in the month of November. This Individual’s medical history includes Hypothyroid / Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which is addressed by medication. She also has early stages of Macular Degeneration in both eyes – so we had much to consider in her herbal support.

Within weeks of injection, visual disturbance occurred as “sparkly lights” and her doctors fully examined and cleared her of optical concerns. Visual symptoms resolved on their own.

One month later, Hives appeared on her torso. Once again, no cause could be determined as personal care products, laundry care, and dietary habits had not changed in at least a year. 

We addressed the Hives as a result of this ongoing emotional stress, sleep disruption, and corticosteroid use in her hip injections applying custom herbal medicinesconsidering existing Thyroid and Visual conditions in the overall formulation. 

In this situation, the post-steroid period compounded by stress and sleep deprivation can disrupt Adrenal Gland function — triggering what is known as Cholinergic Urticaria. 

Hives resolved within 4 weeks of herbal support, and we continued for one additional month to RESTORE Adrenal function WITHOUT Adrenal or Nervous System stimulation. 

CRITICAL POINT: Since these symptoms resulted from Adrenal Depletion with added Nervous Agitation, “stimulating” Adrenals would demand increased hormone output from an exhausted system — and can make this condition worse. Not all “Adrenal Fatigue” herbs are appropriate in every situation – notably in an already over-stimulated, depleted system.

The following month, painfully inflamed, itchy Eczema developed on her face, neck, arms and hands. Once again, we returned to herbal support, modified for more attention to cooling weepy, inflamed areas in the skin and support restorative sleep.

All-in-all, symptoms that were triggered around December had relapsing pattern, and we resolved both Hives and Eczema within 2-3 months for each relapse. 6 months in-total for full resolution.


Tami Bronstein

University-qualified Medical Herbalist-Physiologist — via University of Wales/College of Phytotherapy (Cardiff/London, U.K.), Hofstra University, Exercise Physiology + Psychology (New York), and Post-Graduate Fellowship alongside Medical Doctors (France) in NeuroEndocrinology support via Plant Remediation. Clinical Nutrition perspective is part-and-parcel of Clinical Herbal Medicine + Exercise Physiology education and perspectives. Nearing 30 years in-practice.

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