THE SKIN: Essential Oils are of benefit to the skin because their solubility in lipids draws them readily into the skin and allows them to diffuse and penetrate in the skin. Their antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, emollient, analgesic, and healing properties are of direct benefit, while calming, immunostimulating, detoxifying properties support the correction and healing of underlying causative processes.
Since skin disorders are often the first indication of systemic imbalance, it is important to treat at the systemic level (food allergy, chronic stress) since failure to do so may cause the ailment to go deeper and manifest as a more serious complaint.
For this reason, essential oils should be used as adjuncts to a broader treatment approach or they will be no better than mainstream suppressive therapy.
Two months ago we covered Acne and last month we covered Athletes Foot and Ringworm – This month the series on the skin continues with Eczema.
Eczema: Eczema is characterized by itchy red patches, scaly skin, and small blisters that burst, leaving the skin moist and crusty. There are two main types: atopic (chronic) and contact dermatitis. Atopic usually occurs where there is a family history and associated hay fever, allergies, and headaches are also frequently seen. Food allergies are often implicated. Contact dermatitis is caused by contact with an offending substance. Eczema can be aggravated by fixed oils and ointments and/or by bathing. Scratching can lead to infection. Eczema can be quite refractory to treatment; medical approaches typically use corticosteroids; dietary intervention is often crucial. Alteratives are the classical herbal remedies (Hoffman).
Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica): antiseptic, cicatrisant, lymph tonic, circulatory stimulant, sedative, antiseborrehic.
German Chamomile (Matricaria recutica): antiinflammatory, antiallergenic, antibacterial, digestive, hepatic, stimulates leukocytes, calms the nervous system.
Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens): good for weeping eczema; analgesic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, astringent, cicatrisant, digestive, lymph decongestant, calming.
Juniper (Juniperus communis): antiseptic, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic, sudorific, stimulant (circulatory), tonic.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): antifungal, anti-inflammatory, calming, cicatrisant, tonic (general).
Rose Otto/Rosa Damascena (note: do NOT substitute Rose Absolute for Rose Otto) – antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, astringent, cicatrisant, general tonic, neurotonic.
METHODS OF USE: luke warm or cool compresses, hand and foot baths; if lesions are localized full body massage can be helpful to reduce stress but do not massage or apply fixed oils near or over affected areas. Skin tonic sprays (5% eo diluted in 95% distilled water).
RELATED HERBAL REMEDIES: Red Clover, Nettles, Chickweed (topical), Cleavers, Alfalfa.
SUPPLEMENTS: B complex, EPO, zinc.
OTHER: Flower remedies. Manage stress, test for allergies. Homeopathy.
*This information is provided for educational interest only and is not intended for the diagnosis, management, treatment, or cure of any mental or physical illness.