How many eczema treatments have you tried, how many so-called miracle eczema cures are gathering dust in the back of your bathroom cabinet? If you’re anything like me there is probably an embarrassing number.
In fact my attempts at banishing the eczema on my face for good have now graduated from the bathroom cabinet and are starting to take over the kitchen. It can’t go on!
I have probably read the entire output of the internet on natural treatments for eczema and for the sake of my sanity and my bank balance I have decided to streamline. I am narrowing them down to my favourite five natural remedies for eczema:
1. Oolong tea, so long eczema?
Oolong tea is somewhere between white tea and green tea and is hugely popular in Japan and China – until recently you had a real struggle to even get it in the UK.
There is lots of anecdotal evidence to suggest that drinking oolong tea has a positive effect on the symptoms of eczema and atopic dermatitis and there also has been a scientific study.
Many of the patients observed in the study showed clear signs of skin improvement after just one week and after six months the majority were still seeing the benefits. Apparently it’s all to do with the “antiallergic properties of tea polyphenols.”
Although there is no reason to believe that oolong alone provides these magical anti-allergeic polyphenols – green tea also packs polyphenols – there is a certain beauty in the origins and discovery of oolong tea involving an ancient Chinese shepherd and mysterious misty mountains.
I have been drinking oolong tea three times a day – as they did in the study – since the beginning of January and I am hesitant to say that I have seen an improvement in skin irritation. It’s far too early to tell – but it’s one of my favourite remedies so far. But be warned it does contain caffeine so not one for relaxing late at night.
I’m using Mightyleaf Orchid Oolong (with tropical fruits) – luxury! And Birt and Tang Pure Oolong tea
2. Goats milk Kefir for eczema
I have written loads on this in the past so I won’t bore you with it all over again – but suffice to say goats milk kefir packs a powerful probiotic punch when it comes to hitting eczema symptoms right in the gut.
Probiotics were the darling of anti-immune disorder treatments in 2015. You couldn’t Google eczema and atopic dermatitis treatments without stumbling across some claim of a miracle bacterial cure for eczema.
In a nutshell, eczema is an anti-immune disorder – your body thinks that the perfectly normal things that are floating around in the air are plotting an evil attack – so your immune system rebel forces swing into action ready destroy the alien invader. (Sorry it’s not long since I’ve watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens).
But you get my point. Your body starts attacking itself and the inflammation that you see is the scorched earth of the battleground! Simplistically – probiotics help to quell the immune response.
I am making my own goats milk kefir from live grains (raw organic goats milk no less) – see here for instructions.
I am obviously not yet eczema-free or I wouldn’t be bothering with anything else so it has not been a cure-all solution. But I have had very few colds since I have been using it and I am pretty good general health. So there.
3. Fish oils for eczema
I am going to revisit the old omega oils this year. Yes, I’ve tried evening primrose and yes I’ve tried fish oils for eczema. Did they work? No. But maybe I didn’t stick them out for long enough. So I’m giving it another go.
There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that we eczema sufferers are lacking in the essential fatty acids and that ingesting these oils can get them back into our system. Evening Primrose oil contains the essential fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which in some studies has been shown to reduce the symptoms of eczema but has been discredited in others.
Fish oils on the other hand seem to have a more reliable affect. See here for more.
I’m taking cod liver oils supplements and eating plenty of oily fish.
4. Banish stress/banish eczema with yoga
Stress = eczema. Only the most stubborn eczema sufferer would refute this. But how do you stop yourself from becoming stressed? If you have found the answer, please let me and the rest of the known-world know will you?
I have actually been practising yoga for about five years now but I have never put in sufficient time for the benefits to truly kick in. Not going to go all woo woo over this, but the stretches/asanas get the juices flowing around the body and the breathing and meditation help to centre and calm the body and mind.
With everything aligned and at peace the body has a much better chance of winning the eczema battle.
5. Reduce sugar, booze and cow’s milk
I’ve saved the worst till last. And I can barely bring myself to type these words. I am going to cut down on booze, sugar and cow’s milk. There I said it.
There’s a ton of material written on the damage sugar, alcohol and cow’s milk can do to your body and your skin. From dehydration (booze) through potential allergens (cow’s milk) to suppressing the body’s immune system (sugar).
I can’t bear to dwell on this so I’ll leave it there.
Needless to say I’ll let you know how I’m getting on with my favourite five natural remedies for eczema. Wish me luck!