Your skin is the largest organ in the body, providing a protective barrier against bacteria, helping to regulate body temperature and holding in our internal organs. Common skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne may be a sign of nutritional deficiencies, intolerances and sensitivities causing disharmony in the body. With a little help from herbs, vitamins and dietary changes, you can help your skin to become healthy again.
Avoid Potential Triggers:
Food and chemical sensitivity testing can help identify things that your body may be sensitive to.
Here are some examples:
- Dairy and eggs.
- Fish and shellfish.
- Artificial colours and preservatives.
- Household cleaning products such as disinfectants and detergents.
- Personal care product such as soaps and deodorants.
- Tobacco smoke.
- Synthetic fabrics and woollens.
- Pet hair and dust mites.
- Grasses and pollen.
Healthy Foods and Drinks
What we eat and drink everyday can have an impact on the health of our skin. Here are some considerations to help promote healthy skin:
- Eat your greens and drink liquid chlorophyll daily – they’re alkalising, cleansing and rich in nutrients.
- Drink fresh lemon juice in warm water on rising, to help kick start your metabolism each day.
- Hydrate with two litres of filtered water daily, to encourage proper elimination from the body.
- Eat anti-inflammatory foods such as ginger, onion, garlic and turmeric.
- Consume oily fish, such as tuna, salmon and sardines daily.
- Choose low glycemic index (GI) carbohydrates.
- Choose foods for liver health, such as beetroot, and cruciferous vegetables broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts.
- Eat a high fibre diet with brown rice, steamed vegetables and whole grains to minimise constipation.
- Eat a bitter salad before meals, using endives, rocket and dandelion leaves to stimulate digestion.
- Try dairy alternatives such as rice or oat milk.
- Eat antioxidant rich foods such as berries and other brightly coloured fruit and vegetables.
Lifestyle habits can make a big difference to the health of our skin; adopt these healthy habits for great skin:
- Head for the beach! Psoriasis and eczema can respond well to sunshine and swimming in salt water.
- Wear breathable natural fibres.
- Choose allergy-friendly bedding materials.
- Change bed linen regularly.
- Choose a vacuum with a dust filter.
- Keep the house well ventilated.
- If stressed try meditation, walk in nature or Tai chi.
- Exercise daily to sweat out toxins and improve circulation.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Swap to chemical-free personal care and cleaning products.
Soothe and Heal Topically
Herbal creams and natural moisturisers can help soothe flaky, inflamed skin and reduce itch. Patch test a small area of skin first. Try calendula to reduce skin inflammation and speed up healing of skin lesions and aloe vera gel to cool and soothe red, inflamed skin.
Nutrients for Healthy Skin:
Healthy connective tissue requires specific vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids.
- Vitamin C - Involved in the formation and maintenance of collagen and aids skin healing
- Vitamin A - People with acne have been found to have lower levels of vitamin A when compared to healthy individuals
- Zinc - helps to maintain healthy skin and may be of benefit in minor skin conditions such as acne. Zinc is also involved in the normal functioning of the skin’s oil glands
- Fish Oil - Reduces the severity of skin conditions such as dermatitis/eczema and improves the appearance of scaling of the skin
Herbal medicine has been traditionally used to help skin conditions by improving digestive, liver and immune function and by encouraging the body’s natural elimination process. Certain herbs may help relieve itching and assist skin healing. Some beneficial herbs to consider include:
- Burdock - Traditionally been used to assist with skin conditions, especially eczema and psoriasis.
- Sarsaparilla - Used to relieve itchiness of psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis and may help bind endotoxins in the body which may be involved in the inflammatory process in conditions such as psoriasis.
- Globe artichoke - Helps improve liver detoxification and the removal of wastes from the body and may help relieve itchy skin.
- Echinacea - Traditionally known as a blood-cleansing herb and is traditionally believed to reduce skin inflammation, assist skin healing and stimulates the immune system.