Category Archives: Skin

Shingles Alert!

Maybe it’s just me, but shingles seems to be on the rise. Like any other herpes virus (e.g. cold sores) it may be helpful to supplement with the amino acid lysine to decrease the duration, while avoiding the amino acid arginine (arginine can worsen or prolong the outbreak). Foods high in arginine are turkey, pork, chicken, soy, dairy, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, and peas. Talk to your ND to see if this is the right choice for you.

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Vitamin B12 for Shingles??

Learned this when one when a school elder treated my colleague for her early outbreak of shingles. Vitamin B12 injections around the rash site (“Surround the Dragon” in Chinese Medicine terms) had the rash gone within the next couple days. If you think you have shingles – go see your Naturopathic Doctor!

Acne Removal Service In My Backyard?

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is plant found to grow in a lot of places, possibly even your own backyard. It has been given a bad wrap for being banned in some countries due to its pyrrolizidine alkaloid content. This is unfortunate, and to quote my teacher, “You would have to drink about a bathtub of comfrey tea every day for months or a year to experience its toxic effects.” People should remember, herbs are not drugs.

So, now that you’ve been warned, here is a comfrey paste to apply to acne infected skin:

  • Pick comfrey leaves (take only as much as you need)
  • Boil for 3-5 minutes
  • Food process the boiled leaves into a paste
  • Apply to the affected area (once the paste is no longer hot)
  • Leave for 20-30min before washing off

As always, it is best to speak with your ND to see this is the right treatment for you. Also, an ND can prescribe an herbal tincture or tea to enhance the efficacy of the comfrey paste.

How To Prevent A Scar?

Applicable for oozing injuries/wounds:

If the wound can be covered by a band-aid, apply organic, unpasteurized honey to the bandage and cover the wound. If the area is large (especially in the case of a burn), apply the honey to a sterile gauze, then cover with a sterile linen, and then wrap in plastic.  Change the bandage twice a day. If you see black dots appearing after a while, don’t freak out, they are most likely hair follicles growing back. This remedy has been successful since ancient Egypt.

The Zit Remedy

Sorry Degrassi fans, it’s not Joey, Wheels, or Snake to the rescue; Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) is nature’s real zit remedy. Simply pour 100% Tea Tree oil on a cotton pad and apply to affected area. Personally, I have found Holistica to be the strongest Tea tree on the market (and cheapest), but if you can’t find that then Nature’s Harmony or St. Francis run a close second. Most other brands “will take your money and never give up.”

First Aid Rescue For Bites & Stings

Got an animal bite, insect bite, or a simple sting? Ledum is the classic homeopathic first aid remedy used to treat such a case. Try a 30CH potency and take as directed or with increased frequency. Obviously seek medical attention if injury is severe or if you are worried about infection.

Take a Contrast Shower To Kick a Cold In the Butt!

Whether you feel a sore throat or cold coming on, or have been fighting one for weeks, try taking contrast showers to boost your immune system. Here’s what to do: shower hot for 3-5 minutes and then switch to 30 seconds cold. Then repeat 5-7 times. The heat will dilate all vessels, sending your immune fighters out closer to the surface. The cold water will then contract vessels and bring the fighters in. This acts as a natural pump causing lots of fighters to be circulated around the body quickly, thus increasing the chance of more specific fighters hitting the target areas. Always finish with cold, but never allow yourself to get a chill. Contrast showers also boost metabolism if you are looking to lose weight,  can help clear the skin, and dump toxins.

Quick tip: cold water is less of a shock to the body if it hits your head first. Each cold repetition will become easier as you go along.

OMG, Cabbage! Quit Blowing My Mind With VeggieTales!!!

Cabbage is great for reducing swelling around areas of:

  • Bursitis
  • Cysts
  • Superficial ulcerations
  • Mastitis

Simply slice off the spine, and remove some leaves. Steam until soft and once cool, gently squish (a rolling pin works well) to break out the juices. Since the leaves naturally fit around the body they can be apply directly to the affected area, and then secured in place by tying a towel. Keep on for at least 20 minutes; more repeats = more benefits.

Warning: I thought it would be cool to make my girlfriend a cabbage bra. She didn’t have mastitis, but dropped a cup size. Now she won’t speak to me.

You Had Me At Potato…

Just like the carrot, a potato can be used as a beneficial poultice. Grate and wrap in a damp tea, paper, or thin towel (or use without wrapping) an apply to affected area for a minimum of 20 minutes (more repeats = more results) in the case of:

  • Sprains
  • Skin and Eye Inflammations
  • Burns (the lesser burn that you don’t go to the emergency room for)
  • Eczema

Caution: potatoes will stain purple or black. Do not apply heat to this poultice.

A Carrot… Really??

Got a skin condition like eczema, or acne? Need to draw out an abscess, cyst, or boil? Simply grate a carrot (the juicier the better), throw it in a damp tea towel or paper towel, and apply to affected area for at least 20 minutes. For optimal results, cover with a hot water bottle or heating device. Repeat as often as possible. Be warned… carrots stain.

Caution: Do not use on an open wound skin condition or one irritated by moisture.