Many people suffer from the common skin condition known as eczema. In How to Control Eczema Holistically it explains what eczema is, what causes it and how to holistically control eczema. Finding the underlying cause of eczema can be a lengthy process, but is ultimately the best way to reduce flare ups. The use of herbs can help support eczema in a few different ways. While trying to work through the process, these herbs may give some effective ease to irritating symptoms. Herbs can be used both internally and externally to ease the severity of flare ups while also supporting the underlying cause(s).
Ways to use herbs to support eczema:
Herbal extractions: Tinctures are a liquid that is taken orally made by extracting herbs in alcohol, glycerin, or apple cider vinegar. Herbal extractions should always be taken as directed.
Herbal infusions: Like tea, herbal infusions are made by infusing one or more herbs into water. They can be drank warm or cold, and also used as a rinse or toner.
Herbal infused oils: Bath and body care products can be created with herbal infused oils to provide your skin with a healthy barrier to lock in moisture. Infused oils can also be applied directly to the skin.
Herbal poultice: An herbal poultice is made by grinding up herbs and placing the paste directly on the infected area. Fresh or dried herbs can be used. This helps to heal the troubled area by absorbing the benefits of these herbs quickly and effectively.
Herbal bath soaks: Adding herbs and minerals to your bath water is a great way to relax and nourish your skin.
How to know what herbs will help:
Some herbs are better for internal use and others work more effectively when applied externally. Understanding the properties of your chosen herbs, also called constituents, will help to narrow down what herbs will benefit an individual with eczema. Remember to always do your own research to know if a herb is more supportive when taken internally or externally.
Alterative herbs are herbs that to restore proper function of the body. They function by increasing over all health and vitality by way of the metabolism. Promoting healthy absorption of nutrients and elimination of waste. Here are some examples of alternative herbs that support eczema burdock root, cleavers, nettles, figwort, yellow dock, and red clover.
Anti-microbial herbs help the body destroy pathogens and micro-organisms by building resistances to microbials. Some eczema friendly anti-microbials are thyme, rosemary, marjoram, garlic, myrrh, lavender, and yarrow
Herbs that are anti-prurtic are used to relieve itching. Here are some examples of anti-puritic herbs that benefit rash flareups calendula, oats, licorice and chickweed.
Astringents herbs help tighten and tone skin reducing the production of discharge. They also cleanse unwanted dirt and excessive oils from pores. Some examples of astringent herbs that are suggested for eczema sufferers are comfrey, nettle, witch hazel, horsetail, raspberry leaf, oak, goldenrod, meadowsweet, sage and yarrow.
Anti-inflammatory herbs reduce inflammation, swelling and redness. Here are some herbs with anti-inflammatory properties aloe, comfrey, lavender, marshmallow, calendula, chamomile, meadowsweet, myrrh, arnica*, plantain, and St. John’s wort.
Herbs that are emollients help to soften and soothe irritated and inflamed skin. Emollient herbs replenish moisture by providing a healthy protective barrier on skin. These are best used externally but can also be used internally as demulcents. Herbs that are demulcents soothe and protect irritated, raw and inflamed tissues like emollients, only they work internally. Marshmallow, borage, coltsfoot, comfrey, licorice, mallow, mullein and slippery elm are a few great examples of emollient and demulcent herbs.
Vulneraries herbs promote the wound healing process in major wounds, micro wounds, sores and/or scars. Some great vulnerary herbs to look into are calendula, comfrey, lavender, marshmallow, St. John’s wort, aloe, plantain, willow bark, mullein, and burdock.
The more you study herbs the more you get to know which herbs work more efficiently for you. You can self study with books and with online sources. If you are looking for a more structured way to study you should check out the courses The Herbal Academy has to offer.
The more you try herbs the more you get to know what works best for your family. You can find lots of herbal teas, tinctures and other herbal preparations at the grocery store, health food stores, specialty stores and online. Etsy is a wonderful site to find lots of herbal products from the comfort of your own home. Finding a local herbalist or holistic practitioner can open up an array of possibilities to guide you on your journey. Many herbalist and herbalist in training create sensitive skin friendly products and may even already have eczema related products.
Where can herbs be found?
- Fresh herbs can be found at grocery stores and green houses. Also outside in your back yard. (When collecting plants in the wild it is called, wild-crafting. Always double check that you have identified the plant correctly. Make sure you follow all wild-crafting guidelines for your region.)
- Dry herbs can be ordered online and sent to you, local shops that create herbal products and herbalist may also sell herbs.
- You always want to make sure you are buying from reputable sources. To ensure the quality of your herbs and herbal products.
What are some trusted brands of herbal products?
How can I find herb suppliers?
Who creates skin healthy herbal products?
- JEM’s Eclectic Home (My shop is slowly growing but you can follow me on social media to find out when new products come out. You can also subscribe at the top right of the home page to receive emails when I publish new blogs. Check out the About Me section to find ways to follow me throughout social media)
- Cattail Apothecary
- Barefoot Roses Soaps
- Naturally Devine Herb Apothecary
*Arnica is for external use only. Do not put arnica on broke skin as it may increase bleeding.
Part one: How to control eczema holistically.
Part three: Using oils to support eczema.(coming soon)
Part four: Creating a herbal salve for eczema flare ups(coming soon)
Skin Care Flip-book. Unit 10 Intermediate course. The Herbal Academy. 2017
The Herbal Handbook: A User’s Guide to Medical Herbalism. David Hoffmann. 1998
The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to New World Medicinal Plants. Mathew Wood. 2009
The Practice of Traditional Western Herbalism. Matthew Wood. 2004
Making Plant Medicine. Richo Cech. 2016
Eczema. University of Maryland Medical Center. 2017
Vitamins and Supplements Search. WebMD. 2005-2017