Eczema is a skin condition that falls under the category of a disease called dermatitis. A weakened immune system causes symptoms that include rashes, irritation, itching, skin discoloration, scaling, cracking and crusting of skin, and sometimes even bleeding. Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient Indian medical system that uses natural healing methods such as herbs, massage and specialized diets to cure disease. It is also well established in the United States and trusted by homeopathic and traditional therapists alike. According to Ayurveda, the main part of the treatment of disease is discovering the cause. For eczema, one must determine what causes the symptoms, totally eliminate them and rebuild the immune system. The cause could be something that is inside, outside or both. To treat and heal the baby, the blood and skin must be purified. Dr. James Balch is a medical doctor who shares the same healing method philosophy as Ayurveda. He uses American herbs and foods to accomplish the same goal.
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Causes of eczema
According to Ayurveda, the causes of eczema differ from baby to baby. They may include outside sources such as bath soaps, lotions, powder, shampoo, laundry detergent or clothing. They may include food allergies such as eggs, dairy products, peanuts, wheat or broccoli. They may be a combination of inside and outside sources. Whatever the allergies are, they will trigger or worsen rashes, itching, dryness, and all other associated symptoms. Simply put, anything that disturbs the balance of the body's natural chemistry, inside or outside, will aggravate the symptoms and must be eliminated. The baby, his clothing and his environment must be kept clean at all times.
Remedies for the outside causes of eczema
For outside causes, there are baby skin care products available online and in health food stores or pharmacies that are specially developed for eczema. They soothe and treat the condition so that healing can begin. When reading the labels, check for Indian herbs such as neem, haridra, and patola. Ayurveda recommends that these herbs be mixed into the baby's bath water. These herbs, as well as a full line of baby eczema skin care products, can be found in certain health food stores or herb shops, or ordered online. American skin care products and symptom relievers include a poultice made with redmond clay, chickweed, red clover, calendula, comfrey, or any combination of these. These poultices can be found in health food stores, herb shops or can be made at home using olive oil and beeswax as a base. The poultice should be applied directly on affected areas three times a day or when needed. Chickweed or red clover tea can be applied to affected areas also, if you are unable to use the poultice, although they are not as easy to utilize. Apply these remedies until skin has healed and itching has stopped. Pure cotton and silk are best for babies who are allergic to certain materials. This means that a 100 percent cotton receiving blanket may be needed to line any surface that is not cotton or silk and touches the baby's skin. To strengthen the immune system so that these skin sensitivities do not continue, it is necessary to also follow the treatment procedure for inside causes of eczema.
Remedies for the inside causes of eczema
For inside causes of eczema, the blood must be purified in order to get the full effects of eliminating food allergies from the diet. This will allow the baby to start healing. Ayurveda recommends the herbs, shatavari, Ashwaganda or Ashwagandha, sariva and manjishta. Taken separately or in any combination, these herbs can be ordered online, or purchased in herb shops or health food stores. For American blood purifiers, Dr. Balch recommends dandelion root tea. Buy the teas in a bag, steep for two to three minutes, and then give the baby one to four baby dropperfuls a day, depending on the age of the baby. If the baby is old enough to reject the taste of the tea, put the same amount in 4 oz. of distilled water and baby apple or grape juice, mixed. Calcarea carbonica is a homeopathic remedy that is another option for blood purification. A baby should be given one-fourth the dosage recommended for an adult or one-half the dosage recommended for a child. Administer these remedies until there are no more rash outbreaks and the itching no longer returns.
In addition to avoiding all food or skin allergies, Dr. Balch recommends foods and supplements to include in the daily diet that will encourage a healthy balance of the immune system, as well as foods to avoid that will upset the balance. Feed the baby essential fatty acids every day such as flaxseed oil. The baby will also need foods that contain vitamin A and the mineral, zinc. These are green leafy vegetables, carrots, butternut squash, beans, whole grains, whole grain breads and fresh fruit. If the baby is less than eight months, give him multivitamin infant drops and consult a pediatrician with knowledge of nutrition so that foods and flaxseed oil are introduced at the proper time. If the mother is breastfeeding, she may simply eat these foods rich in fatty acids like salmon, herring or mackerel, herself, or take natural supplements to be sure the baby gets them in his system. Also, feed the baby yogurt for digestive enzymes. Dairy free varieties are available.
Foods that may lead to itching
Do not feed the baby foods and beverages containing additives, such as artificial colors, flavors or seasonings. If the baby is old enough to take a bite of fast food or a sip of pop, do not give it to him, as these may cause a direct reaction. Determine if there are food allergies and, if so, which foods they are. Many people with eczema are allergic to eggs, tomatoes, citrus fruits, soy, shellfish, wheat and gluten. (Soy oil is the base in most condiments, such as ketchup, mayonnaise, salad dressings, sauces dips, spreads and processed foods. It is also used in most restaurants and diners.) Do not give the baby sugar, spicy foods or anything with caffeine, because this may cause inflammation. As the baby grows and his condition improves, continue these dietary rules to maintain healthy skin and immune system.
- AyurvedicCure.com: Eczema in Children
- "Prescription for Natural Cures"; Balch, M.D., James, Stengler, N.D., Mark; 2004