What is ECZEMA | Two-Way Remedies for ECZEMA | Soothing Lotions and Potions for ECZEMA | ECZEMA Treatment | ECZEMA Herbal Remedy
Eczema is most usually caused by an allergic reaction to any one of the substances referred to under Allergic Reactions. Man-made fibres, cheap jewellery, metal zippers, nickel, zinc, aluminium, lanolin and specific plants such as poison ivy, hellebore, hog weed and primrose are particularly likely to bring on this condition which can vary from a mild red irritation to small but extremely unpleasant blisters which join up to form large weeping patches which then crust over and flake again.
Olden-day psychologists believed that the area of the eruption was preordained by inner problems: on the face betokened overweening vanity, around the mouth meant that you had been speaking ill of someone, itchy feet showed a desire to run away, on the hands meant overwork and anxiety, whilst on the neck it denoted a longing for pretty things. This diagnosis was not too difficult to work out really, and such were the yardsticks by which witches were hounded to death.
Nevertheless, eczema is considered to be the outer manifestation of emotional and physical problems not yet come to light. Diet should be examined and refined as for asthma and hayfever and highly spiced food, pickles and alcohol should be avoided. Constipation and problems with the kidneys are also thought to be contributory factors in eczema.
Children, particularly bottle-fed babies, occasionally suffer from a milk allergy which causes eczema. Some authorities suggest that ½ a teaspoon of sunflower oil a day will cure the problem and are adamant that cow’s milk is the cause. Others suggest rubbing a little oil of evening primrose into the affected area to help it heal quickly. If eczema is diagnosed, safe infusions suitable for a baby’s bath water are marigold and camomile. Use a few drops of a prepared tincture or an essential oil. If the condition persists consult your health visitor again.
Old-fashioned remedies, of which there are many, vary from the moderate starch poultice or strips of linen soaked in olive oil to reduce scabbing, to starch and talcum powder or tar ointment in Vaseline to dress and soothe.
The less humane remedies included strapping children’s arms to their sides so that they could not scratch! Two eminently sensible and sage ideas are to wash in water and oatmeal (which cleanses without irritation) and to dress the itchy areas with calamine lotion.
Two-Way Remedies for Eczema
Marigold, sage or camomile: These three healing herbs can either be drunk several times a day to soothe the beleaguered spirit or used as an infusion to bathe the irritated area. Essential oil of camomile diluted in almond oil may be rubbed into the skin to promote healing.
Cabbage: The juice may be drunk daily or take the well-pulped leaves of a fresh, green savoy.
Carrots: Eaten raw in salads they will do much to promote a healthy body, as will the juice. A poultice made of raw grated carrots is a very old remedy for skin complaints which even today is still used in some beauty parlours.
Bilberries: settlers travelling to new countries made sure that they took a good supply of bilberries with them for they were an indispensable part of country medicine. Drink the juice or chew a few dried berries at a time to cleat the skin of blemishes. Or make the following strong decoction to drink in the quantities of 1 small glass hourly. Place 50g(2oz) of dried bilberries in a stainless steel pan with 900ml(1½ pints) of lukewarm water and leave to stand for 1 hour. Bring slowly to the boil and boil for 20 minutes then remove from the heat and leave until soft. Strain and use as needed. It may also be used as a healing skin cleanser.
Slippery elm: Slippery elm soap was used to replace soaps which contained damaging animal fats and chemicals. A little of the powered bark mixed with warm water will give a healing paste which can be used on the hands and other sore places at night, whilst an emollient glass of slippery elm and honey taken each morning before breakfast may prove to be a necessary laxative: 1 dessertspoon of each, whisked into hot water and seasoned with a pinch of cayenne. Both English elm (Ulmus fulva) are almost endangered species since the plague of Dutch elm disease and are, thankfully, being left at present to regenerate.
Birch leaves: Simmer 50g(2oz) of birch leaves in 1 litre (1¾ pints) of water for three minutes. Leave until hand hot then add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda. Allow to cool for several hours before using as a useful disinfectant wash and a therapeutic daily drink.
Watercress: Eat regularly and use the juice to wash the affected areas. The juice can be either expressed fresh or extracted by placing in cold water, bringing to the boil and gently simmering for 10 minutes. Leave to cool.
Remedies to Take for Eczema
Try the famous ‘green cocktail’ but include also some beetroot and parsley.
Green cocktail: Place a good selection of green vegetables into a blender with the addition if carrots, peppers, tomatoes, plenty of seasoning, the juice of 1 lemon and a little water. Blend well and dilute if necessary. These leafy green vegetables not only contain a lot of chlorophyll which will dispel bad odours but they also have a laxative and diuretic effect, thus purifying the whole system.
Nettle or dandelion: Drink the tea of either plant. Alternatively eat the nettles in a nourishing soup, and chop the well-washed dandelion leaves into a salad of cucumber and watercress, which are also expressly recommended to alleviate eczema.
Horehound: For many years the chopped leaves of horehound were added to the diet in order to clear the blood of impurities when a skin disease was in evidence. However, as the generic term Murrubium from the Hebrew word for ‘bitter’ makes clear, the leaves taste unpleasant as well as being hairy. Horehound tea well sweetened with honey is a better idea.
Goat’s milk: This can be a valuable addition to the diet for anyone suffering from an allergy.
Evening primrose oil: Amongst many other things this remarkable cure-all reduces tension and stress.
Burdock: An infusion of burdock can be used to bathe damaged skin and burdock and camomile will strengthen the body against skin irritations if a small cup is drunk four times a day for two weeks.
Burdock and Camomile Drink
25g(1oz) each dried burdock seed and dried camomile flowers
600ml(1 pint) water
Daisy infusion: Place 25g(1oz) of daisies in 1 litre(1¾ pints) of water and bring gently to the boil. Boil for two minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Drink 3 cups a day between meals. Could this be the same daisy wine once recommended for concussion.
Sweet-scented herbs: Orange blossom, rose and camomile pot pourri tucked into a small pillow or tied into a large handkerchief and placed beneath the sheet will ensure sweet dreams and a tranquil spirit.
Food for recovery: People suffering from concussion are rarely hungry. Therefore it is best to provide plenty of warm, nourishing drinks which are refreshing without being sickly and there are plenty to choose from within the health information topic. When the appetite begins to improve encourage it with beef tea or a home- made tomato soup incorporating sage and basil, which not only tastes wonderful but is rich in vitamin C.
Soothing Lotions and Potions for Eczema
Walnut leaves: Use an infusion of 15g (½ oz) of fresh leaves to 600ml(1 pint) water to bathe the affected area daily.
Speedwell: An infusion of 1 teaspoon of the dried herb to 1 cup of water can be used to bathe the afflicted part morning and night.
Flax (linseed): Add it to the bath water to soften the skin and act as a tranquillizer. Boil 50g(2oz)of linseed in 1 litre(1¾ pints)of water for just two minutes. Strain and use the liquid.
Essential oil of rose: Added to the bath water this has the same effect as flax with the extra attraction of a delightful fragrance.
Wheatgerm and vitamin E oils: These are now used extensively to heal damaged skin.
Milk whey: This will reduce irritation when used to clean dry skin.
Lavender oil: Fill a glass jar ¾ full of lavender flowers and pour in enough virgin olive oil to practically fill the jar.
Put in a double boiler and heat gently for two hours. Cool in the pan then filter. Store in small bottles in a dark place and use regularly on sore spots.