Info on Natural Remedies for Eczema
Chances are you know someone who suffers with eczema. It has become such a common skin issue. The most common form of eczema, atopic dermatitis, affects between 10 and 20 percent of the world’s pre-adolescent population. (source)
I had childhood eczema, which wasn’t optimal, but for me the treatment was great!
My doctor advised my mother that I should to stop handling my New Zealand rabbit AND avoid doing dishes. The latter makes me consider the diagnosis (but really the advice) as one of the great moments of my young years, which I still follow to this day. I avoid doing dishes religiously!
Eczema is an intensely itchy, allergic disease. In an outbreak, skin is usually dry, red, thick, and irritated. It can also develop areas that are crusty or weepy. The rash most often shows up on areas where skin rubs together, like the insides of elbows and knees. It is also commonly found on the face. Eczema used to mainly affect children, but unhealthy diets and lifestyle mean we’re seeing more and more adult sufferers.
Eczema commonly flares up in those who are stressed or are exposed to things to which they are specifically sensitive – such as food, airborne and topically applied chemicals, etc. Several studies suggest a link between the overgrowth of Candida albicans and Staphylococcus aureus and the appearance of the eczema rash. This suggests that when we want to help relieve the itching and dryness of eczema, both internal and external components need be considered.
Natural Remedies for Eczema: Internal Solutions
Starting a food journal is a necessity. If the sufferer is a nursing baby, the mother must keep a food journal. Making a connection between certain foods and a flareup is extremely helpful in preventing future outbreaks.
Use a bitters formula (learn how to make bitters). Bitters help increase stomach acid, which improves digestion. Eczema sufferers are typically low in stomach acid, thus often suffer digestive issues.
Note from Matt and Betsy: Check out this eBook about how one holistic practitioner healed her daughter’s eczema with mainly dietary changes.
Natural Remedies for Eczema: External Solutions
Be aware of the chemicals in your laundry, bathroom, kitchen, etc. While each of the products you use on a daily basis may be studied individually for safety, there is an endless way to combine them. These combinations have not, and really cannot, been tested on an individual level. You may be sensitive to one product, or to a combination of several. So stop using them all, then add them back one at a time while keeping a journal.
Note from Matt and Betsy: this is a perfect reason to purchase and employ our book, DIY Natural Household Cleaners.
The following herbs can be used topically to soothe, heal, and prevent infection:
- Chickweed (Stellaria media)
- Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)
- Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
- Plantain (Plantago spp.)
- Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)
- Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)
- Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
One of my favorite external herbal combinations is the comfrey calendula soak. I watched Rosemary Gladstar treat one of my fellow students who was suffering with a painful eczema outbreak on her arms. The herbs are made into a tea, and the area soaked (herbs can remain or be strained out). What a difference it made in just a day!
For more on eczema and other natural solutions to common health problems check out my book: Heal Local, 20 Essential Herbs for Do-it-Yourself Home Healthcare.