Do you feel good in your own skin? For specific skin problems please click here
If blemishes, acne, and other skin problems are making you uncomfortable in your skin, natural remedies can help.
Although we may say, "Don't judge a book by its cover," the truth is that most of the time it's the book's cover that makes us curious to learn what's inside. Without a good cover, a book is less likely to be opened and read.
The skin is the cover for the body and while we say, "Beauty is only skin deep," having healthy skin gives us more confidence to "face" life. Like the cover of a book, our skin represents us to the world. Blemishes, pimples, rashes and other skin problems can leave us feeling less confident and cause embarrassment and a loss of self-esteem.
Unfortunately, most people try to solve skin problems only by working directly on the skin. They apply various creams, lotions and cosmetics or get skin treatments. They don't realize that the beauty (and health) of the skin isn't "skin deep" at all. It is a reflection of the health of our body as a whole.
By improving the health of internal organs like the colon, liver, kidneys and thyroid, skin problems can be cleared up, leaving a person feeling more comfortable in his or her own skin.
In this issue, we provide you with important tips on holistic care for the skin. We also provide basic
suggestions for natural remedies for common skin problems.
A Holistic View At Healthy Skin
To understand how to properly care for our skin, we need to take a closer look at the skin and its many functions. This will serve as a guide to general health practices that promote radiant and beautiful skin.
We'll start with something very few people consider beautiful, the sweat glands.
Under the regulation of the hypothalamus, the sweat glands in our skin help to regulate body temperature. When the body is too hot, tiny muscles in the sweat glands open to secrete moisture onto the skin. As this moisture evaporates, it cools us down.
The sweat glands are also a channel of elimination.
The body can use sweat to eliminate irritating substances when other eliminative organs (particularly the kidneys) are overloaded. Inducing perspiration through the use of diaphoretic herbs, saunas, sweat lodges and steam baths has long been used as a therapy for easing acute illnesses such as colds, flu, fevers and skin eruptive diseases like measles and chicken pox.
Sweating has also been used to improve general health. Working up a "good sweat" whether through exercise or sweat therapies, usually makes us feel better.
This points to the first general practice we need to adopt for healthy skin and that is drinking enough water. Just drinking adequate amounts of pure water will improve skin health because it will dilute irritating substances and make it easier for the kidneys, sweat
glands and other eliminative organs to do their jobs.
The skin also helps protect us, which is why we talk about very guarded people as having a "thick skin" and people who are easily hurt as being "thin skinned." In this protective function, we actually have two "skins," the outer skin we see and the inner skin we don't see. The inner skin is the mucus membranes that line our respiratory, digestive and urinary passages.
The skin and the mucus membranes are linked in their immune functions, which also means that the health of the internal skin will affect the health of the external skin. Many skin problems are actually a sign of poor health in the digestive tract, particularly the colon and liver. Constipation, sluggish liver function and the overgrowth of yeast or harmful bacteria in the colon will all adversely affect the health of the skin.
Internal Cleansing Keeps Skin Healthy
This is why the second basic health practice that keeps your skin glowing with good health is to "clean up" your internal skin by doing some cleansing. Make sure you're getting adequate fiber by eating fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. You may also want to use a fiber supplement like Psyllium Hulls Combination.
Traditionally, herbalists have used blood purifiers or alteratives to help clear up skin conditions like acne, rashes and skin eruptive diseases. If you have a lot of skin problems it may help to take good blood purifier such as Chinese Liver Balance or Skin Detox. It may also be helpful to do the 14-day Tiao He Cleanse program.
Some skin conditions may be due to yeast overgrowth in the intestines. Yeast overgrowth occurs when antibiotics and other drugs destroy the friendly bacteria living in the colon, allowing yeast to proliferate in their place. Signs of yeast overgrowth include cravings for sugar, fuzzy thinking, fungal infections and reduced immunity (catching colds and flu easily). If yeast overgrowth is a problem, doing the Candida Clear program may help clear up your skin problems. It may also help to take Probiotic Elevento build healthy intestinal flora.
Underneath the skin is a layer of fat which helps insulate the body and keep us warm. The skin also contains oil ducts called sebaceous glands that secrete a waxy oily substance called sebum. Sebum may help protect the skin and the fats and oils in the skin are part of what keeps skin feeling soft and smooth.
This is why disturbances in fat metabolism or the presence of fat-soluble irritants can cause skin problems. The liver and thyroid are important organs of fat metabolism, so disturbances in the function of the liver and thyroid often result in skin problems such as oily skin, dry skin, acne and itching. This is another way that blood purifiers, especially herbs like burdock, can help to clear up skin problems. Seaweeds, such as Liquid Dulse, feed the thyroid and aid fat metabolism, so they are also helpful for many skin problems.
Watch What You Wash With
The skin shields the body from harmful microbes and dirt. We also wash our skin to keep it clean, but what many people don't realize is that washing with the wrong kind of soap actually compromises the skin's role in our immune system. Just like we have friendly bacteria growing on our inner skin, we also have friendly microbes on our outer skin. The overuse of chemical disinfectants and harsh cleansers alters the pH of the skin and destroys the friendly microbes living there. This makes a person more prone to skin infections.
So, another practice that promotes healthy skin is to be careful what we put on our skin, starting with what we wash it with. Using mild natural soaps that don't disturb the pH balance of the skin or destroy the friendly microbes on the surface of the skin leads to healthy skin.
Remember that the skin (and scalp) absorb what is applied to them. So carefully read the labels of cosmetics and other skin and hair care products. Avoid products that are laden with chemicals and opt for products with more natural ingredients. Nature's Fresh and Silver Shield Gel, applied topically to the skin after washing or bathing can really improve skin health. The enzymes in Nature's Fresh help regenerate skin and the patented silver in Silver Shield Gel kills harmful bacteria without disrupting friendly flora.
The Mind-Skin Connection
The skin is the largest sensory organ in the body. Loaded with nerves that allow us to sense heat, cold, texture, pressure and pain, the skin allows us to "touch" the outside world. The fact that the skin is so connected with our nervous system is also revealed by how our skin communicates what is going on inside of us mentally and emotionally.
Through our skin we flush from excitement, we blush when we're embarrassed, we grow pale because of fear and we sweat over the "small stuff" that sometimes makes us feel overwhelmed and nervous. It is why we say that a person who is confident is "comfortable in their own skin." This strong connection to our emotions suggests we shouldn't discount the importance of positive mental attitudes and emotional healing work in keeping the skin healthy.
Thanks to Steven Horne and his staff for this excellent article: Vol 22, No.2. For more info on his educational tools, go to www.treelite.com
Specific Skin Problems Reprinted
from Sunshine Sharing
Note from Four Winds Nutrition: check this page (for very serious skin issues)
remember that the following suggestions are not the last word on solutions
to your problems. Use care in using any suggestion, and unless you are
competent, see a health professional for solving serious problems.
Grate carrot or potato and apply. Bind with bandage. You could also use
a little cornstarch with a few tsp. of castor oil and apply as poultice.
Also useful is PLS, Pau D'Arco lotion, Tei Fu Lotion.
Abscess Activated charcoal can perform miracles and is non-toxic. Apply liberally
into any infected wound. Sometimes a drawing poultice will bring out the
morbid matter. This can be made from bentonite clay, applied and left
to dry. Wash off carefully, remembering that it is highly communicable.
Take high amounts of vitamins A and C.
Suspect certain drugs. Stress can alter hormones. Lavender oil sniffed
or applied externally may help calm nerves. Eruptions on chin may indicate
sex hormone imbalance as the cause.
Need zinc, vitamin A, B-complex (especially B6), brewers yeast. Homeopathic
Acne should be tried. You can apply crushed zinc tablet or brewers
yeast to the eruption.
Check for low thyroid.
Rub on aloe vera gel or comfrey ointment. If caused by free radical damage,
use antioxidants like vitamin E, C and Ginkgo-hawthorn. Also, Liver Cleanse
(LIV-A), LIV-J, pau darco, Immune Stimulator, Barley Green, and chlorophyll.
Even acidophilus has helped some people. You can also rub in castor oil
morning and evening. Fasting will hasten skin clearing.
Heated honey applied externally. Allow to stay to draw out impurities
and wash off. To loosen blackheads, make a paste of honey, oatmeal and
the white of an egg. Apply to skin, massage for a few minutes and remove
with lukewarm water. Take lecithin internally to disperse oils.
May be lack of pantothenic acid plus B complex.
Cool tissue immediately without freezing cells. Bath in aloe vera or fresh
carrot juice until pain is diminished.
Apply vitamin E or aloe vera for
fast healing. Increase internal zinc supplies. Take vitamin Seletal Strength and HSN-W to help body repair damage. Lecithin internally helps dissolve
Remember injuries, infections and especially burns cause the formation
of many free radicals; your need for antioxidants is high.
Vitamin A, Beta-Carotene, Cod liver oil; Zinc, 30-50 mg./day.
oil packs or olive oil.
Rub in well; also for fingernails that are brittle
Cut down on sugar intake, take B-complex supplements, especially PABA.
After washing hair, put 2 tsp. of vinegar on scalp, or you can rub in
A decoction of thyme should be rubbed into scalp. You can
also experiment with yogurt.
Sometimes fungus and bacteria cause itching and more flaking (antibiotics
could therefore cause dandruff by killing off bacteria that control fungus
on the scalp).
Stress is another cause.
Olive oil, walnut oil, sage tea or willow leaf
tea can be used on the scalp. Also jojoba oil and HSN Complex.
with TS II.
Eat more fish oils (cod-liver, omega-3 EPA). B-complex, especially biotin
is important, especially for infants. For this reason, acidophilus is
useful, taken internally. These bacteria manufacture biotin. Bee Pollen,
acidophilous, Natures Three, vitamins A, D, E, zinc, Vitamin Calcium
w/Magnesium and SKL will help the body heal.
Eczema May be related to weak thyroid or adrenals (licorice root and B-complex should help). Eating a raw potato every day may help. Include brewers
yeast. Zinc, magnesium, B-complex, blackstrap molasses (2 tsp./ day) safflower
oil (for linoleic acid), garlic, carrot, celery and lemon juice, vitamin
C (up to 10,000 mg./day).
Erythema nodosum (red bumps)
Could be an allergy to a wide variety of infections or drugs. For pain
and swelling, potassium iodide (by prescription) may work (see your doctor).
Use large amounts of vitamin C, eat only natural, chemical-free foods
if possible. Cleanse liver, bowels, blood.
Erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP) (light-sensitive
Vitamin E up to 400 I.U./day, plus large amounts of beta-carotene..
Goose Pimples (permanent)
Possibly Vitamin A (beta-carotene) deficiency. (See Ichthyosis below)
Hives Suspect drugs, nerves, rancid oil, shell fish or even unripe fruit.
This is usually caused by toxic blood overload.
Use BP-X, chlorophyll, vitamin C,
Could be a deficiency
of vitamin B12 and C.
Try 1 tsp. of cream of tartar in half a glass of water 2-3 times daily
for 2 days.
Take bath with 3 tbsp. of ginger in water, or dip bag of oatmeal in warm
water and dab affected skin with water, allowing to dry. Apply pau darco
Poultice of comfrey or plantain leaves (keep them damp).
Vinegar and witch
hazel may also be applied.
Homeopathic remedy Inflammation may also
Take yucca, IF-C and horsetail, vitamin C and zinc supplements. Licorice helps adrenals produce anti-inflammatory hormone.
May be iron deficiency.
Often an application of vinegar will stop it immediately. In other cases,
cornstarch or baking soda. Capsicum extract should stop itching on contact. Bentonite helps draw out and neutralize irritants.
Take extra pantothenic acid and yellow dock. If caused by parasites, use
Para-Cleanseten day program.
Keratoma (horny growth)
Apply 400 I.U. vitamin E under bandaid.
Change every two days.
Moles (FWN: We recommendC-Herb external)
Apply castor oil daily.
Eat lemons, mint (peppermint, spearmint, catnip), apply poultices or masks
A facial mask of crush strawberries or lettuce in a blender,
or a weekly brewers yeast mask will help.
Dont forget bentonite clay to absorb oils and impurities. Then cut down
on greasy foods.
Papillomas (see Skin tags)
Take lukewarm baths and apply cornstarch to relieve itching.
of vitamin C are needed.
(Could be caused by hypothyroidism.)
Take B complex, especially folic acid. Black currant oil (6/day), garlic, BP-X to cleanse
blood, aloe vera juice (6 oz./day), vitamin A & D and zinc in high amounts
to build up these elements in the body along with B-complex and lecithin.
Oatmeal packs to reduce skin inflammation.
Drink lemon juice daily. Emphasize fruits and vegetables.
Stress is a major cause.
If stress caused, it requires BP-X to cleanse blood, loads
of vitamin C (unless rash gets worse from over-acid condition of the body),
and plenty of mineral water.
May be iron deficiency, or reaction to drugs, even oral contraceptives,
Try fenugreek and vitamin B6 with B complex.
Cod-liver Oil, Vitamin A, Beta-carotene, PABA (150 mg./day), Omega-3 fish
Scars Lecithin helps dissolve, also Vitamin E and B vitamin Choline (its in
lecithin). Glycolic acid, a compound from sugar cane.
(see Abrasions above)
Suspect biotin deficiency.
Biotin can be manufactured by friendly bacteria in the bowel, which are
encouraged by talking acidophilus. PABA (150 mg./daily) important.
Apply mashed raw carrots (blender) or potatoes.
In some cases, cornstarch will help and either lemon juice or baking soda,
depending on your skins pH problem. Also look for food allergy and nervous
stress as causes.
Could be a B-complex need, especially biotin.
Relationship between these and polyps of colon.
Clean up the colon by
eating more fiber and antioxidant vitamins/minerals/herbs.
Apply C-Herb external once a day for 2 days. Use a toothpick and apply a tiny bit of C-Herb in the center of a BandAid then apply over the skin tag.
(see Abscesses, Abrasions. above)
Pantothenic acid helps maintain normal pigmentation. (see Red blotches,
Vitiligo and White spots)
Warts (FWN: We recommendC-Herb external)
Many remedies work: apply grated carrot, change twice daily, dandelion
(fresh sap), castor oil night/morning, raw potato directly on wart for
several days, or vitamin E on bandage.
Taking zinc internally has also proven effective.
Sometimes applying mayonnaise will help for light patches of skin. Pantothenic
Keep feeding skin with plenty of beta-carotene (vitamin A), vitamin C
w/ bioflavonoids, vitamin E (400 I.U./day), Skeletal Strength (SKL) and
HSN-W. Massage area for better circulation.
Extreme case of hypothyroidism
may cause it, or the liver/ gall bladder are toxic and bile acids
are building up in the skin (Jaundice). BP-X, Liver Balance, chlorophyll, B complex, Oregon Grape Extract. Copyright 1990 by Robinson & Horne, L.C., P.O. Box
1028, Roosevelt, UT 84066. This material may be duplicated
for educational purposes only (not for resale) provided it is not altered
in any way. Distributed by: Four Winds Inc.
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