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Natural remedies for eczema

 Home remedies and natural treatments can soothe the dry, itching skin that comes with eczema.

People can use creams, natural products, and dietary and lifestyle changes to manage or prevent eczema flares, especially in the winter, when symptoms tend to be at their worst.

Natural substances, such as aloe vera gel and coconut oil, can moisturize dry, broken skin. They can also combat inflammation and harmful bacteria to reduce swelling and prevent infection.

Natural remedies cannot cure eczema, but they can help manage the symptoms and prevent flares. Let’s take a look at some of the best natural remedies for eczema.

Aloe vera gel

Aloe vera gel is derived from the leaves of the aloe plant. People have used aloe vera gel for centuries to treat a wide range of ailments. One common use is to soothe eczema.

A systematic review looked at the effects of aloe vera on human health. The researchers reported that the gel has the following types of properties:

  • antibacterial
  • antimicrobial
  • immune system-boosting
  • wound-healing

The antibacterial and antimicrobial effects can prevent skin infections, which are more likely to occur when a person has dry, cracked skin. Aloe’s wound-healing properties may soothe broken skin and promote healing.

How to use it

People can buy aloe vera gel in health stores or online, or they can purchase an aloe vera plant and use the gel directly from its leaves.

Choose aloe gel products with few ingredients — others can contain preservatives, alcohol, fragrances, and colors, all of which can irritate sensitive skin. Alcohol and other drying ingredients could make eczema worse.

Start with a small amount of gel to check for skin sensitivity. Sometimes aloe vera can cause burning or stinging. Generally, however, it is safe and effective for adults and children.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a popular home remedy for many conditions, including skin disorders.

The National Eczema Association (NEA) report that apple cider vinegar may help with the condition. However, they recommend using caution, as the vinegar’s acids can damage soft tissue.

No research has confirmed that apple cider vinegar reduces eczema symptoms, but there are several reasons why it could help:

Balancing the skin’s acidity levels

Vinegar is highly acidic. The skin is naturally acidic, but people with eczema may have less acidic skin than others. This can weaken the skin’s defenses.

Applying diluted apple cider vinegar could help balance the skin’s acidity levels, but vinegar can cause burns if it is not diluted.

In contrast, many soaps, detergents, and cleansers are alkaline. They can disrupt the acidity of the skin, which can leave the skin vulnerable to damage. This may explain why washing with certain soaps can cause eczema flares.

Fighting bacteria

Studies have found that apple cider vinegar may fight bacteria, including Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Using apple cider vinegar on the skin could help keep broken skin from becoming infected.

How to use it

Always dilute apple cider vinegar before applying it to the skin. Undiluted vinegar can cause chemical burns or other injuries.

People can use the vinegar in wet wraps or baths, and it is available in most supermarkets and health stores.

To use apple cider vinegar in a wet wrap:

  • Mix 1 cup of warm water and 1 tablespoon of the vinegar.
  • Apply the solution to cotton or gauze.
  • Cover the dressing in clean cotton fabric.
  • Leave it on the area for 3 hours.

To try an apple cider vinegar bath soak:

  • Add 2 cups of apple cider vinegar to a warm bath.
  • Soak for 15–20 minutes.
  • Rinse the body thoroughly.
  • Moisturize within several minutes of leaving the bath.

Colloidal oatmeal

Colloidal oatmeal, also known as Avena sativa, is made from oats that have been ground and boiled to extract their skin-healing properties.

A study reports that colloidal oatmeal lotion had antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, resulting in improved:

  • skin dryness
  • scaling
  • roughness
  • itch intensity

According to the results of a randomized controlled trial, a colloidal oatmeal moisturizer worked better than a control.

How to use it

Add powdered colloidal oatmeal to a warm bath and soak.

Choose a colloidal oatmeal product that has oats as the only ingredient and avoid those with fragrances or additives.

Colloidal oatmeal is generally safe for all ages, but people who are allergic to oats should avoid it. Individuals who are allergic to gluten should use caution, as oats are often processed with wheat.

Baths

Bathing is an important part of eczema treatment. When a person has a skin condition such as eczema, their skin needs extra moisture because the outer layer is not functioning as it should.

For some, washing often can dry out the skin and make eczema worse. This can occur when:

  • using water that is too hot or cold
  • using the wrong soap
  • not moisturizing afterward

Avoid bathing too frequently. Most babies and children need bathing once or twice a week.

NEA recommend that adults:

  • bathe or shower at least once a day
  • use lukewarm water
  • limit bathing to 10–15 minutes
  • avoid scrubbing the skin
  • use gentle cleansers instead of soaps
  • try different types of medicinal baths, such as those with baking soda, vinegar, or oatmeal

A long, hot shower can remove natural oils and moisture from the skin. Take shorter showers and keep the water at a warm, not hot, temperature.

After bathing, moisturize within 3 minutes of getting out. Gently pat the skin dry with a towel and apply an oil-based moisturizer before the skin has fully dried. This can help seal in water from the shower or bath before it evaporates.

After washing and drying the hands, apply moisturizer to help prevent eczema flares on them.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil contains healthful fatty acids that can add moisture to the skin, which can help people with dry skin and eczema.

Also, virgin coconut oil may protect the skin by helping combat inflammation and by improving the health of the skin barrier.

A randomized clinical trial looked at the effects of applying virgin coconut oil to the skin in children. The results show that using the oil for 8 weeks improved the symptoms of eczema better than mineral oil.

Extra-virgin coconut oil is generally solid at room temperature, but the warmth of a person’s body turns it to liquid. People who are allergic to coconuts should not use coconut oil.

Honey

Honey is a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent, and people have used it to heal wounds for centuries.

Conclusions of a review confirm that honey can help heal wounds and boost immune system function, which means that it can help the body fight off infections.

Another review states that honey is useful for treating a variety of skin ailments, including burns and wounds, and that it has antibacterial capability.

Applied directly to eczema, honey could help prevent infections while moisturizing the skin and speeding healing.

Tea tree oil

Manufacturers derive tea tree oil from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree. People often use this oil to help with skin problems, including eczema.

A 2013 review identifies anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and wound-healing properties in the oil. It may help relieve skin dryness and itching and help prevent infections.

Always dilute essential oils before using them on the skin. Try mixing tea tree oil with a carrier oil, such as almond or olive oil, then applying the solution. Some products include tea tree oil in a diluted form.

Dietary changes

Eczema is an inflammatory condition, which means that it causes inflamed, red, sore skin.

Certain foods can cause or reduce inflammation in the body, and making a few key dietary changes could help diminish eczema flares.

Examples of anti-inflammatory foods include:

  • fish
  • leafy greens
  • beans and lentils
  • colorful fruits
  • vegetables
  • turmeric and cinnamon

Common inflammatory foods include dairy, eggs, soy, and wheat. Try eliminating some of these from the diet and keep a food diary to help identify which foods may be problematic.

Gentle soaps and detergents

Many body washes and cleansers contain detergents, which help provide a soapy lather. Detergents and other lathering agents can dry out the skin, especially in people with eczema.

Bar soaps can also be harsh on the skin because of their alkalinity.

Try using a gentle, no-lather, fragrance-free cleanser. Avoid products with rough particles for scrubbing or exfoliating, as these can further irritate the skin.

Many people with eczema also find that switching to a more gentle, fragrance- or color-free laundry detergent can help improve symptoms.

Try skipping fabric softener, which lingers on clothes and often contains fragrances and chemicals that can cause skin irritation.

Avoid strong heat sources

Sitting next to a fireplace or near a furnace may feel good, but it can make eczema symptoms worse. The hot, dry air can dehydrate the skin and aggravate the itchiness of eczema.

Use a humidifier during the dry winter months and avoid getting too close to heaters and fireplaces.

Wrap up in cold weather

Cold, harsh winter winds can dry out skin and cause eczema flares.

Keep the skin covered when temperatures are low. Also, consider covering the face with a scarf if eczema occurs on the face.

Recap

Although there is no cure for eczema, using the remedies listed above can certainly help ease the symptoms.

Hallowed Ground Essentials Body Cream contains several of the ingredients listed above, including Non-GMO coconut oil, raw local honey and tea tree oil. We have also seen very good initial success in treating eczema symptoms with this product.

Products and information from Hallowed Ground Essentials have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health condition or disease. The content in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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The Bug Stops Here!

tick on finger

With the growing concern about Lyme disease and West Nile virus, more people are spraying and slathering on insect repellent. Most commercial repellents contain harmful chemicals that should be used with extreme caution. Someone recently shared a story that occurred when they were on vacation at the beach. A parent used an insect repellent with DEET on her 2 year old child. The child went unconscious within minutes of application and was rushed to the hospital where she was later revived. This child was lucky, as others have died from it. Keep in mind, whatever you put on your skin ends up in your bloodstream. The famous estrogen, birth control and nicotine patches have proven that beyond a doubt.

Using commercial repellents with toxic chemicals may not cause sudden death to an adult, but as any toxin, it builds up in our tissues and organs, especially our liver. Our livers are already overloaded with toxins and this is one that can be easily avoided.

There are natural insect repellents that repel mosquitoes, ticks and other biting bugs. They contain various essential oils that are safe and effective. This is a healthy alternative, since essential oils contain many nutrients. The essential oils most popular for their ability to repel insects are citronella, tea tree, cedarwood, eucalyptus, lemongrass, orange, rosemary, clove, oregano and peppermint. If you have any of these essential oils at home and need a quick repellent, add a few drops of essential oil (single or in combination) to one teaspoon of olive, jojoba, almond or coconut oil and rub it on.
If you don’t happen to have these ingredients readily available, Hallowed Ground Essentials offers Ugg-A-Bug natural bug repellent which contains a blend of geranium, citronella, lavender, rosemary, and lemon eucalyptus essential oils.

There are some people that are just bug magnets. There is always at least one person at outdoor events that is slapping themselves silly getting eaten alive, when no one else is. Either they are wearing too much cologne or perfume, or they may be lacking in B vitamins, especially Thiamine (B1). It is never advised to take just one of the B vitamins as it could cause imbalances in the body. A good quality B complex is recommended. When the body has a sufficient amount of B vitamins, an odor is emitted through the pores that bugs don’t like. No one else can smell it, thank goodness. One could also consume foods that are high in thiamine such as salmon, eggs, black beans, lentils or sunflower seeds. Eating garlic also provides for a natural repellent, but might repel more than insects. On the contrary, consuming sugar not only depletes our B vitamins, but emits a sweet odor through our pores that attracts biting bugs. Consuming alcohol also depletes B vitamins and causes the blood vessels to dilate, which attracts mosquitoes and biting flies.

This article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Always consult with your doctor when seeking medical advice.

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Top 5 Best Essential Oils for Allergies

woman with allergies

These essential oils used for allergies contain anti-inflammatory, expectorant, antimicrobial, and immune-boosting properties. Consequently, the essential oils have been praised for their ability to unclog sinuses, fight inflammation, eliminate toxins, and boost the immune system. Read on to learn which essential oils can best help with allergies.

1. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is one essential oil used as a remedy for allergic rhinitis. Peppermint oil may be great for helping clear out the effects of allergies on all the organs associated with breathing. Inhaling peppermint oil could help unblock nasal passageways and sinuses, as well as reduce the inflammation in the lungs and respiratory system. It could also help soothe coughs, reduce phlegm, and relax your windpipe.

A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2010 had examined the effects of peppermint oil on the tracheal rings of rats. The researchers discovered that peppermint oil had antispasmodic and relaxant effects that clear the sinuses and soothe cough.

Another study published in the European Journal of Medical Research in 1998 suggested that peppermint oil has anti-inflammatory effects and, as a result, lowered symptoms of chronic inflammatory disorders such as bronchial asthma and allergic rhinitis.

2. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) oil may be an effective essential oil to reduce inflammation. Eucalyptus oil might help relieve congestion of the nasal passages if inhaled, but it might also help with chest congestion when used as a balm or chest rub. It could also help reduce swelling of the respiratory tract mucous membranes and soothe coughs.

If you suffer from asthma attacks, sinus pain, and seasonal allergies, eucalyptus oil could be the right essential oil for you. Research suggests that eucalyptus could potentially improve airflow due to its expectorant, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties.

In a study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2011, researchers found eucalyptus essential oil to be effective for upper respiratory tract infection symptoms, including sore throats, coughs, and hoarseness. In the study, patients treated with eucalyptus spray reported greater improvement in respiratory symptom severity than those in the placebo group.

3. Lavender Oil

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) oil is another commonly used essential oil for allergies, itchy eyes, and other related symptoms. It is thought to soothe these symptoms due to its ability to lower inflammation.

Lavender oil is useful as it may help relieve allergic reactions as they are happening. Lavender oil appears to work best on the allergic reactions that occur on the skin, so it could work on hives and even insect bites (most insect bites that itch are in fact an allergic reaction to the bug’s saliva).

A study published in 2014 showed how the anti-inflammatory effect of lavender essential oil can combat the symptoms of bronchial asthma. The chemicals in lavender oil may also be able to inhibit histamine production, which suppresses inflammation in the airways.

Another study from the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, published in 2003, showed that the anti-inflammatory properties of lavender help reduce pain associated with inflamed skin and speed the healing process.

4. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil is another popular essential oil for runny nose, skin rash, and other allergy symptoms due to its reported ability to destroy airborne pathogens that trigger allergies.

Tea tree oil can be used as a decongestant, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic. It can also be used as a topical treatment for skin outbreaks caused by allergic reactions.

In a 2000 study, German researchers found that tea tree oil exhibits antimicrobial activity that fights the fungi, yeast, and bacteria that impair the immune system. Other research indicates that anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil might reduce skin swelling due to its antihistamine effect.

5. Lemon Oil

The citrus-scented lemon oil (Citrus limonum) is an essential oil for sore throat and other seasonal allergy symptoms, such as nasal congestion, due to its ability to support lymphatic system drainage. Lemon oil may be able to help relieve the respiratory issues that often come with an allergic reaction, opening the airways and making it easier to breathe.

Research shows that lemon oil is able to boost immunity and inhibit bacterial growth, and when diffused at home, it may disinfect and eliminate potential allergens in the air.

A study published in the journal International Scholarly Research Notices reported that lemon oil can help alleviate hay fever, and therefore may also be a good remedy for seasonal allergies.

Wrap Up

A good essential oil combination will include lemon oil, peppermint oil, and lavender oil. Our “Bless You!” allergy aromatherapy roll-on contains all three, plus eucalyptus oil which may help reduce nasal inflammation. Simply roll on either your chest or back of your neck twice daily (once in the morning, once in the evening).

For informational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health condition or disease. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.