Eczema is an itchy, inflammatory skin disease usually found on the elbows, knees, wrists, neck, and scalp. Sometimes crusts and raw patches appear and in severe cases there is oozing and even bleeding. In most cases the cause is unknown but can sometimes be due to an allergic reaction or stress.
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Avoid rich dairy products. Cutting back on dairy foods may bring quick relief. Good diet with plenty of organic vegetables can sometimes heal the lesions and stop eczema outbreaks.
There are many herbs that help eczema and itchy skin although it may take time to find the best one for each individual person. Milk thistle seed, myrrh, licorice root extract, ginger, borage, and comfrey are some herbs known for helping eczema.
Stinging nettle or yellowroot tea may bring soothing relief. Soak a cloth in warm tea and apply to rash for 20 minutes five times a day. Stinging nettle and yellowroot contain substances that fight bacteria, redness, and inflammation. Yellowroot can be purchased at Payne Mountain Farms.
Burdock leaf is especially good for scaling skin. Combine with yellow dock, cleavers, heartsease (viola), and red clover for best results. This tea should be consumed three times a day and applied often to the affected areas of skin.
Evening primrose or chickweed ointment helps heal lesions and crusty areas. Apply often throughout the day, after baths, and at bedtime. Chickweed also makes excellent infused oil for use in bath or massage. (Chickweed grows abundantly in the North Georgia area -- most people think of it as a weed!) Read more about making herbal ointments at home.
Heartsease (also known as viola tri-color) can be beneficial in the treatment of eczema and other skin problems. Make tea from aerial parts (flowers, leaves, and stems) and drink three or four cups a day for a couple of weeks. Also use heartsease in ointment for soothing external applications.
Slippery elm is considered a good herbal remedy for eczema. Make an herbal paste from dried, powdered leaf and a little water. Apply and leave on for one hour. Rinse and gently pat dry three times a day.
Some essential oils are well suited for treating eczema. Blend almond or olive oil with a few drops of rose essential oil, geranium essential oil, juniper essential oil, or lavender essential oil. Never blend multiple essential oils without testing for reaction on normal skin. Remember that essential oils are powerful substances that must be treated with care. Do not use essential oils around the eyes.
Calendula is another effective remedy for eczema and is an excellent moisturizer. Apply as ointment or lotion.
Many times tea tree essential oil and witch hazel can help. Some herbalists recommend jojoba oil and morning sunshine. Elder leaves and aloe vera are also known to be good for healing eczema. Other remedies include bathing in baking soda, adding cranberry juice to the diet, and applications of zinc sore-throat spray.
Turmeric may also be used in the treatment of eczema. Take capsules daily for six weeks and condition should improve.
* Always consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedy especially if pregnant or suffering from a serious health problem requiring prescription drugs.
"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... Janice Boling, herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer
* Note - the information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
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