Skin Problems? Appleseeds very own experts, Georgie our nutritionist, Tracy our medical herbalist and Karin our aromatherapist are here to help!
In our natural approach to health we considers all skin conditions to be an expression of what is going on inside the body and at times even the mind. We have 2 ways in which we treat skin issues. One is through the application of topical medicines to try and sooth and ease uncomfortable conditions. Secondly we look to ﬁnd the route cause of the problem and treat that.
The skin is our largest organ of eliminations. We eliminate waste, toxins and other excesses via our kidneys, skin and lungs, but mainly it is our liver, which ﬁlters the blood, and passes waste material out, via the bile duct in the form of bile, into the digestive system and on out of the body.
If the digestive system, liver and gall bladder are healthy, then this elimination should work efﬁciently. But if there are issues anywhere along the line here or if we are eating a diet that does not suit our body, then this system can become congested. In this situation another solution is required. Most commonly this will be to use the skin and the respiratory system as a alternative route for waste to escape. Mucous conditions like coughs and colds are a way for the body to eliminate waste. Women also have another emergency release valve in the form of their menstrual ﬂow. Heavy periods show us the liver needs help.
In chinese medicine the skin is referred to as the third kidney, because just as the kidney ﬁlters excesses from the blood into urine, the skin sweats out excesses from the blood.
When the body’s other eliminatory systems are compromised the skin maybe used for the elimination of more toxic waste than normal and skin conditions like acne arise. Usually some
simple changes to the diet can help this condition. In particular removing unhealthy fats from the diet, like those found in foods deep fried or baked in vegetable oils. Also excess heavy saturated fats from foods like cheese.
When we eat foods that we are intolerant to, this may be expressed in the skin, as the body tries to get rid of the irritant quickly. An excellent example of this is childhood eczema which is commonly caused by an intolerance to cows milk. A simple switch to goats milk can often remedy the problem.
Dry skin is a sign of not enough healthy fats in the diet. Greasy skin is a sign of too many unhealthy fats plus not enough healthy ones.
Rosacea, hives, urticaria and other conditions show us that the liver is out of balance, possibly because of dietary factors. Emotions can also play a part in creating an imbalance. Chinese medicine considers the liver the seat of anger, and that excess anger is injurious to the liver.
Psoriasis can be caused by excess acidity in the internal environment, from eating too many acid forming foods like dairy, meat and alcohol. These need to be balanced with mineral rich plant foods, especially leafy green vegetables.
The skin can tell us many things about the internal environment of our body. We can learn to read what the skin is telling us so we can then treat the cause of the problem and not just the symptoms that show up on the skin.
In the natural health world we consider the treatments used by pharmaceutical doctors to treat skin conditions as highly detrimental to the body. Mostly treatments act to suppress the body in its desperate attempts to get rid of something toxic, by pushing it all back in. This creates more problems in the long term as the body’s internal environment gets increasingly toxic.
Natural Remedies for your Skin
The ﬁrst remedy is to avoid using skin care products that contain toxic ingredients like the preservative methylparabens. We live in a toxic world, so we want to avoid, where possible, adding to the body’s toxic load.
Karin’s Preston’s “Inner Range” of Bath Soaks contain sea salt, Epsom salt and aromatherapy oils and are an excellent way to detoxify the body and skin.
Sea salt is a natural detoxiﬁer, removing toxins and dead cells from the skin, improving circulation and reducing water retention. Epsom Salts (magnesium sulphate) have the same beneﬁts as sea salt but also help ﬂush out heavy metals from the cells, replenishing magnesium in the body and therefore easing muscle pain and relaxing the nervous system.
The aromatherapy oils in natural creams and massage oils are absorbed through the skin into the blood stream, so their beneﬁt are far reaching. For example Lavender is good for fungal infections, acne and burns and stimulating new skin cell formation. Rose Otto, is known to beneﬁt skin conditions such as eczema, scaring, wrinkles and promotes regeneration.
Dry body scrubbing or brushing, using either a body brush or bath salts mixed with oils, boosts circulation and stimulates the lymphatic system to release toxins, reducing pufﬁness and cellulite. It also removes dead skin cells and encourages cell growth, therefore leaving the skin with a bright glow. The best time to do your body brushing is ﬁrst thing in the morning, before a shower. Using gentle, circular movements brush towards your heart. Start from the soles of your feet and work your way up your legs to your heart, then likewise from your hands.
Massage oils can work to detox and nourish the skin at the same time.
Karin’s Massage oils contain almond oil, grape-seed oil and aromatherapy oils. Rich in Vitamin C, these oils are anti ageing, great for dry skin and soothing to irritated or inﬂamed, itchy skin.
Tracy’s moisturizers provide your skin with the hydration and nourishment they need with the knowledge that you are not putting anything toxic into your system. Her Rose and Neroli creams are perfect for moisturizing a tired face at the end of the day!
With any serious skin conditions, as discussed overleaf, dietary changes can be a key treatment in the long term. Georgie our nutritionist is the best person to advise on this.
Herbal medicines are also very useful in treatment as they can be highly effective at helping creating a shift. One of Tracy’s favourite remedies is the herb Blue Flag, it is excellent for stimulating elimination through out the body, so acts to draw toxins and irritation away from the skin and out through the correct routes.
Tracy prescribes combinations of herbs for different conditions. For example childhood eczema can be greatly helped by a mixture of Cleavers (lymph stimulant), Chamomile (gentle liver cleanser) and Viola (blood cleanser).
The beauty of working with herbal knowledge is that each herb has multiple actions. Chamomile for example is a liver cleanser but also has anti-histamine properties.
Tracy can make you up the right herbal remedy for your particular condition, which along with Georgie’s dietary advice and Karin and Tracy’s skin care ranges, should have you glowing in no time!!