Home > Health > Remedies > Herbal

Eczema

Atopic dermatitis is the official medical name for Eczema. The name means - allergic skin inflammation.
Unfortunately, the medical world did not find yet what role allergies play in this condition. Researchers do know that eczema seems to occur along with other allergic conditions, such as asthma and hay fever.
Eczema affected skin areas are itchy and red sometimes. Scratching makes it worse; the patches become scaly, thickened and infected.
Eczema is considered to be hereditary but not contagious disease. Studies have revealed that a person is more susceptive to eczema if his family has a history of closely linked conditions like hay-fever and asthma.

Eczema can affect any part of the body especially elbows, knees, neck and, of course, the ankles. With babies, the eczema will normally appear around the forehead and the cheeks.
In more than 90% of cases, eczema is found to occur in children below 5 years of age.
Eczema is a very common skin disease of children. If a young baby does have eczema, it does not necessarily mean that he will have this condition all his life. Most of the children outgrow infantile eczema by the time they are around three years old. Approximately, 20% of all kids have this problem, and only about 1% of adults. It is clearly evident that this condition affects everyone.
Although as mentioned earlier, there is no proof that allergies cause Eczema. Research indicates that the following three types of allergens may contribute to eczema:

  • Food allergens - There is no perfect test that will determine exactly all food allergies. One of the common straightforward test is removing the suspected foods (common ones are milk, eggs and peanuts ) from the diet for at least four days and checking for changes in your skin and overall health. If a positive change occurred than continue the test by reintroducing the suspect foods one at a time with intervals of at least three days. If one or more of the foods recreates or worsens the symptoms than this is the one you may be allergic to.
  • Airborne allergens - These allergens can be inhaled or just come in contact with your skin and may be part of an eczema situation. The house dust-mite is the one of the most common ones. Others can be moulds, plant pollens and animal dander.
  • Microbes - Bacteria and yeast can aggravate skin allergies. Many people with eczema will also have more bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, on their skin than people without the condition. People with eczema are also more likely to develop fungal skin infections and allergic reactions to these fungi. Cleaning with antibiotic or antifungal products can help eczema.

Eczema could be aggravated by triggers like chemicals, detergents, smoke, solvents and more. Hygiene is one of the most importants factors in controlling this condition. Washing machine detergents residue may settle on your clothes and this can either trigger or worsen Eczema symptoms. Make sure that you use the manufacturer specified amount of detergent when washing your clothes. Rinse your clothes well to minimize detergent leftovers.
protect your hands with gloves when using cleaning liquids and solvents. Make sure that there is no skin contact with these liquids; if they do, make sure that you wash the area well with a mild soap and running water.
Extreme temperatures can also aggravate skin irritation, so it is important to stay cool in summer and warm in winter. Make use of different home remedies for Eczema on a regular basis to prevent the onset of this condition.

A part of any eczema treatment is to keep the skin moisturized and well hydrated. Unfortunately, a large number of the available commercial products that suppose to treat eczema do contain some amount of chemicals and fragrances that could make the situation even worse. The use of natural oils as an eczema cure is the recommended option. The virgin varieties of these oils are the preferable choice since the refinement processes may destroy or extensively reduce some of the oils natural properties.
Virgin coconut oil is one of the more effective natural oils that treat other skin conditions as well as eczema. The high content of lauric acid in virgin coconut oil contributes to its healing. Just apply the Coconut oil over the infected skin.
People suffering from eczema should be also ware of cosmetic products as much as possible due to the chemicals used in them that can aggravate the condition even further.
One good recommendation is to use an exfoliating cream. You will need to use it frequently if you want to get rid of the dry patches on your skin (dead skin).

The Fatty Acids in your Daily Diet

Fatty-acid imbalances is a common problem to some people with eczema.
To counter act these imbalances a person should consume more foods containing omega-3 fatty acids (main source is cold-water fish and flaxseeds) and also foods containing omega-6 fatty acid (also called Gamma-Linolenic acid - main source is borage, blackcurrant and evening primrose seeds).
Some studies have found that medicinal oils rich in Gamma-Linolenic acid such as evening primrose oil improve the condition.
To boost your overall health and skin's health, add to your diet foods rich in omega-3 by eating more cold-water fish as mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines, and anchovies) or eat ground flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and dark-green leafy vegetables.

It is all in the Mositure

Eczema is generally a dry skin condition. Try and following few pointers to help you keep your skin moist.
Bathing does hydrate the skin but you should turn down the hot water, which WILL often aggravates itching.
Don't soak too long or bathe too frequentl - doing that will deplete your skin's natural oils.
Most of your body parts do not actually require soaping and on the few parts that do need soap, try and use a mild variety.
Don't rub dry after you and a bath or shower - instead pat excess water and immediately apply plenty of body lotion or cream to hold the moisture in.
Use lotion or cream products that include skin-soothing herbs (Avoid products that contain alcohol, synthetic fragrances or lanolin).

Sunbathing can be a good thing

Sunlight often helps clear up eczema. To reduce the risk of sunburn, either keep sun exposure short or wear a hypoallergenic sun block. Go indoors if you start to feel hot and sweaty, which can aggravate itching

HERBAL REMEDIES

Liquorice

The anti-inflammatory properties in this herb are exactly what is needed to treat eczema. It may act same as corticosteroids related drugs, but without the negative side effects.
Cortical is the human body's own corticosteroid and Liquorice stops it from breaking down.
Tea: Boil 2 teaspoons of dried Liquorice root in 700 millilitres of water for 10 to 15 minutes, strain and let it cool. Since Liquorice is very sweet, other herbs may be added to the mix.

Typical dosage: see following options:
Drink up to 3 cups per day.
Up to two capsules of 400 to 500 milligram three times per day.
20 to 30 drops of tincture three times per day.

External Use: Boil 2 tablespoons of ground dried Liquorice root in 12 litre of water for 15 minutes. Strain, cool, and apply to eczema patches with clean gauze.

Caution: do not take internally for more than six weeks.Do not while pregnant or if you have high blood pressure, heart, liver, diabetes or severe kidney disease.

Burdock

Herbalists do use this traditional herbal remedy for a wide range of skin disorders, including Eczema and Allergies.
The Burdock root will decrease inflammation when taken internally.
Burdock is rich in minerals and contains Inulin. Inulin stimulates an immune pathway to destroy the bacteria in the skin .
Tea: Boil 2 teaspoons of dried Burdock root in 700 millilitres of water for 10 to 15 minutes, strain and let it cool.

Typical dosage: see following options:
1 to 4 cups of tea per day .
Two capsules of 400 to 500 milligram three times per day.
10 to 25 drops of tincture three times per day.

External Use: Boil 1 tablespoon of dried Burdock root in 12 litre of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain, cool and apply with a clean cloth.

Camphor and Sandalwood

Mix equal parts of camphor and sandalwood paste and apply on the rashes.

Dandelion

This quite common plant contains Inulin same as the burdock. As mentioned earlier, Inulin increases the body's capability to dispose of unwanted bacteria.
Dandelion also stimulates liver and digestion functions. It is full of vitamins and minerals, many of which assist in maintaining healthy skin.
The young fresh leaves can be eaten raw in salads or steamed as a vegetable.
Tea: Boil 2 to 3 teaspoons of dried Dandelion root in 12 a litre of hot water for 15 minutes, strain and let it cool down.

Typical dosage: see following options:
1 to 4 cups of tea per day.
Two capsules of 400 or 500 milligram three times per day.

Dandelion and Spearmint leaves

Crush and mix equal portions of Dandelion and Spearmint leaves. Add a few drops of oil.

Typical dosage:Apply the lotion to the affected skin and leave it there for at least 30 minutes. Rinse it off with cold water.

Blueberry leaves

The use of blueberry leaves lotion will reduce inflammation.

Gotu Kola

The Gotu Kola herb is quite versatile and can be used internally and externally to help heal wounds and reduce skin inflammation.
Tea: Boil 1 teaspoon of dried herb in 1/4 litre hot water for 10 minutes, strain and let it cool down.

Typical dosage: see following options �
1 cup of tea per day.
Up to eight capsules of 400 to 500 milligram per day.
20 to 40 drops of tincture twice per day.

External use: cool the above tea and apply it to eczema patches using a clean cloth.
Gotu kola can be found also as an ingredient in herbal creams.

Neem leaf and Turmeric

Mix fresh, crushed Neem leaves with one teaspoon of Turmeric powder (Fresh Turmeric root will be the preferable choice) and a spoonful of sesame seed oil.

Typical dosage:Apply on the affected skin once a day.

Echinacea Purpurea

This wildflower grows in America and contains substances that decrease inflammation, and stimulate the formation and repair of connective tissue.
An ointment made from the juice of the ground parts of Echinacea Purpurea may be effective in treating several types of inflammatory skin conditions, including eczema.
Tea: Boil 1 tablespoon of dried, minced Echinacea Purpurea root in 12 litre of water for 15 minutes. Strain, cool.

Typical dosage:Apply to inflamed skin with a clean cloth.

Nutmeg

Apply nutmeg paste to the affected areas.

Green leaves of finger millet

Apply over the affected area fresh juice of these Green leaves to treat of the eczema.

Comfrey

This traditionally revered herb contains allantoin, an ingredient in many skin lotions. Allantoin soothes the skin and speeds healing by promoting the growth of skin cells.
To use, apply comfrey as either a salve or a compress.
Solution: Boil 2 teaspoons of dried Comfrey root in 12 litre of water for 10 minutes, strain and cool.

Typical dosage: Use a clean cloth or sponge to apply the solution over the infected area.

Caution: do not apply to broken or scraped skin. Do not use if you're pregnant or breastfeeding. Avoid applying comfrey or comfrey products to large areas of skin.

Shark cartilage

shark cartilage reduce inflammation.

Watermelon peel

Dry the peel of a watermelon (the large variety watermelon with a deep green skin, bright red pulp and black seeds). Burn the dried peel to ashes . Mix pne spoonful of the ash with enough warm coconut oil to make a paste.

Typical dosage: Apply this on the infected skin.

Oregon Graperoot and Goldenseal

These herbs assist in the treatment of eczema for two main reasons.
First, they promote healthy digestion and liver function, thereby helping clean the body from minor toxins that can promote inflammation.
Second, both herbs contain barbering; a potent antimicrobial substance. It fights bad bacteria such as streptococci and staphylococci that can complicate eczema.

Typical dosage: see following options:
Up to six capsules of 500 or 600 milligram per day in divided doses.
10 to 20 drops of tincture three times per day.

External use: Boil 2 teaspoons of dried Oregon Graperoot or Goldenseal root in 1/2 litre of water for 10 to 15 minutes, strain, cool and use as a wash.

Caution: do not take either herb internally while you are pregnant.

Pine tar

Use pine tar soap to wash the affected skin.

Black strap molasses

Black strap molasses has high nutrition properties that make it a beneficial treatment for Eczema.
Mix one tablespoon of molasses in a half a cup of milk.

Typical dosage: Two cups per day. Improvements may be noticeable within two weeks.

Oats

It is not only breakfast! This well-known grain soothes and moistens the skin. Following are three ways for using oats for eczema.
Method 1: boil 2 to 212 litres of water, add 14 to 12 cup of oatmeal, simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain into a bathtub of water, or wait of the solution to cool and apply to your skin with a clean cloth.
Method 2: put 14 to 12 a cup of oatmeal in a sock. Plunge the oat sock in the bath while the hot water is running. The sock oat can be than used as a sponge on itchy areas.
Method 3: buy a commercial colloidal oatmeal mix (this is just oatmeal grounded to a very fine powder). It is designed to be poured directly into the bathtub. Avoid pouring whole oats directly into the bath or it will block your pipes and create major cleaning task.

Zinc

Zinc taken orally or in cream form applied directly on the affected skin will reduce redness and irritation.

Papaya seeds

Papaya is readily available and useful ingredient for treating eczema.
Mash the papaya seeds and apply to the affected skin areas to reduce the itchiness.

Olive Oil

Keep the rash under control using Olive oil by applying it to dry, scaly patches.

Tomato juice

Symptoms will be cured in a few days when drinking tomato juice daily.

Avocado

Avocado contains vitamins A, D and E so it is a very healthy food source. These vitamins make avocado also good for the skin.

Mash the Avocado into a paste and apply it directly to skin area with eczema. This should reduce the itching, dryness and inflammation.
If you are not excited about the messy mash than try and use Avocado oil.

Avocado, nuts & Lemon - Creamy Exfoliating paste

Soak 100 grams of nuts in a cup of water. Grind the nuts, mix with half an avocado and add a few drops of lemon (will help cleanse the skin).
Massage your skin with this paste and allow it to remain on the skin for around 10 minutes before rinsing it off.

Vitamin E

Apply natural (not synthetic) vitamin E on the affected skin to relieve the itching.