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Book Review: The Eczema Cure by Emily Bartlett – Cheeseslave


Did you know that if you or your kids suffer from eczema, there are solutions that can get at the root of the problem, rather than just treating symptoms?

Not only is there a way to treat eczema from the inside out, but it doesn’t involve steroids, petroleum=based lotions, antihistamines or desperate miracle cures?

If you suffer from an eczema rash, which often includes having itchy skin that you just can’t stop scratching, even though you know that it only makes a bad situation worse, you have probably already tried all the conventional methods for relieving symptoms.

They may work for a while to clear up your skin, but for most people they do not work long-term and the disease returns. The basic reason for this is because conventional medicine seeks to alleviate symptoms, but doesn’t address any of the root causes of eczema in the first place.

Emily Bartlett is a licensed acupuncturist and expert in Chinese medicine who has helped patients suffering from eczema in her practice. In her book, The Eczema Cure, she uses her knowledge and expertise in order to provide a holistic treatment that may help anyone suffering from eczema.

What Does Eczema Have to Do with Digestion?

While wanting to stop itching and the appearance of a rash on your skin immediately is understandable, merely addressing symptoms, she says, is like “painting a rickety house”. In The Eczema Cure, Bartlett shows how you can stop wasting money on expensive creams, lotions and drugs in order to identify and heal the causes of eczema rather than just seek to alleviate symptoms.

Did you know that one of the common causes of eczema is related to poor digestion? Bartlett writes:

“Leaky Gut Syndrome is a condition where the lining of the small intestine is damaged. This allows incompletely digested nutrients, toxins, bacteria, and wastes to ‘leak’ through the intestines and flood the blood stream. The foreign substances entering the blood then cause an autoimmune response in the body, which leads to inflammatory and allergic reactions such as headaches, joint pain, psycho-emotional imbalance, respiratory issues and digestive problems, and skin conditions – like eczema.”

While often misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all, she says that Leaky Gut Syndrome is most likely the cause of eczema in most individual cases, and provides ways to identify triggers, put out the fire (the immediate symptoms), strengthen defenses with probiotics and nutrients and heal your eczema with real food.

Why You Need This Book

If you or someone you love suffers from eczema, you will learn how to identify and avoid various triggers that may lead to eczema — such as your environment and the types of toxins you may be exposed to, various types of stress and how it impacts your body, and how improving your diet with real food can help heal eczema from the inside out.

In her discussion of defenses against eczema, Emily Bartlett discusses ways to lose the junk, which fats are good for you, how to make bone broth, render lard and the benefits of soaking and sprouting. Cultured foods, raw dairy and cleansing foods are also ingredients leading to better health and wellness, which are also beneficial in preventing or healing eczema.

She also not only offers several recipes, ranging from breakfasts and snacks to soups, main dishes and desserts, but also provides information on why the real foods used in her recipes are useful to you, and suggests ways of implementing them into your diet.

The Eczema Cure is not only useful in healing the skin disease for those who are suffering from its symptoms, thereby saving time and money on conventional treatments, but is also useful more generally with pertinent advice on being well.

Click here to get your copy of The Eczema Cure now.

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National Eczema Week: Dove pure and sensitive cream bar review …

nes logoThe 14th  – 22nd September is National Eczema Week and Dove® Pure & Sensitive have formed a new partnership with the National Eczema Society to help people look after sensitive skin.

If you suffer yourself or have a child that suffers from itchy skin you will be well aware of all the products that must be avoided and how this ailment causes great anxiety in the family.

I have suffered from dry skin since my early 20′s and have spent a small fortune over the past 20 years on creams to replace the lost moisture and calm the broken skin.

I have to wear gloves for washing up to protect my skin from the detergent, if I don’t patches of red start to appear and before I know it it’s gone quite deep and becomes painful. Dusting is the same or when I’m deep cleaning a room, the mixing of dirt and product is lethal to my skin.

Winter is worst, the combination of cold outdoors and heated indoors starts to play havoc and before I know it my hands are red raw and my face is itchy; in fact one product I have stayed clear of in all this time is the classic soap bar.

I have to admit at being surprised when asked by Netmums to review a product for sensitive dry skin and discovering the product was soap. Simply because soap and sensitive skin don’t mix in my eyes, but Dove were specifically looking for reviewers with sensitive skin so they must be aware of the doubt before even starting out, right?

Dove pure and sensitive soap

Dove® Pure & Sensitive is a mild non-soap, hydrating, emollient cleanser and is recommended for face and body cleansing. Dove® was the first to introduce the innovative Directly Esterified Fatty Isethionate (DEFI) technology. Dove® Pure & Sensitive preserves the skin barrier with a mild surfactant that minimises protein and lipid damage.

Washing hands

The soap lathers up less than a ‘normal’ bar of soap but once I had a good soapy mixture I was able to wash my hands well and rinse. Afterwards they felt smooth and moisturised, quite different from a normal soap experience.

Washing my face

The biggest surprise of all as I was very reluctant to lather up my face but I am really pleased to confirm that after washing and rinsing, my face didn’t feel tight at all, in fact it felt smooth and as if I had just put some cream on.

I am really impressed with this product and although old habits die hard and I can’t see myself reverting after all this time to washing my face with soap I can say that it didn’t harm at all or have any bad effect on me. I shall most definitely use the soap for my hands, especially after gardening when my hands are ingrained with mud and need a good scrub.

Thumbs up from me

Disclosure: I am a member of the Netmums Blogging Network, a unique community of parent bloggers from around the UK who have been handpicked by the Netmums team to review products and brands on their behalf. I have been paid expenses and supplied with a product sample for this review but retain all editorial control. All my Netmums Reviews will display the Netmums logo within the post.

This is a Netmum’s sponsored review.To find out more click the button:

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The Evidence for Using Hypnosis with Skin Disorders | Adam Eason …

When I was a lot younger and fairly new to this field, I worked with a lot of clients who suffered from skin disorders. I those earlier days, I did not really seek out the evidence-based approaches for what I was doing. I was originally taught that the skin was a mirror reflection of what was going on beneath; thus acne occurred in greater prevalence among teenagers going through uncertainty and physiological change. Then if you look at other types of happenings upon the skin’s surface, such as getting goose bumps, sweating and changes in temperature, these can all be influenced by thoughts and emotions felt.

Therefore, I used a lot of mental imagery processes for treating the skin’s surface, but also worked on helping clients to be more in control of their thoughts and emotions in order to aid the condition of the skin. Some of this still holds true for me today, though the years have shown me that there is so much more we can do with the use of hypnosis to help with skin conditions.

As of tomorrow, I am again going to be part of an online clinic organised and run by the TalkHealth Partnership, in collaboration with NHS Choices here in the UK. This particular online clinic is looking at skin disorders. The clinics offer lots of support from the panel of experts, but also from charities, support groups and sponsors.

If any of you reading this have an interest in this, have clients who might benefit, or have family, friends or colleagues with a skin condition, this would be an ideal place for them to learn more and ask questions, or seek support. 

Naturally, as part of my own preparations, I have been reviewing the literature and research that supports the use of hypnosis in helping with skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, ichthyosis, acne, rosacea or other conditions. This blog entry then, is really for fellow professionals interested in the research we have supporting what we can do in our hypnotherapy rooms, however, in coming days I’ll be sharing some techniques and strategies that that have been used within the research that anyone with skin conditions can apply in addition to the conventional medical treatment they are receiving.

There have been a couple of encouraging reviews that have supported the use of hypnosis as a treatment for a range of skin conditions (Scott, 1964; Shenefelt, 2000). However, there have also been a number of case studies to have been peer-reviewed and featured in journals that have show hypnosis to be effective in the treatment of eczema (Twerski & Naar, 1974; Mirvish, 1978; Sokel et al., 1993; Stewart & Thomas, 1995) as well as psoriasis (Kline, 1954; Frankel & Misch, 1973). With psoriasis, there is also a couple of randomised, controlled trials supporting the use of hypnosis as a treatment (Tausk & Whitmore, 1999; Zacharie et al., 1996).

Additionally, hypnosis has been used to help relieve the itching of eczema (Goodman, 1962; Motoda, 1971; Scott, 1960, 1964) and the itching of psoriasis (Biondo, 1975; Cheek, 1961; Hartland, 1970). Within my own therapy rooms, I tend to use the very evidence-based habit reversal (Azrin & Nunn, 1977) protocol to stop the scratching action which also tends to help lessen problems associated with some skin disorders, such as them bleeding or becoming infected and subsequently being made more problematic. The habit reversal has a 99% symptom reduction in studies.


One of the most impressive studies of the use of hypnosis in treating skin disorders was a case study and report by A. Mason (1952), a physician who used hypnosis as a treatment of a patient suffering from congenital ichthyosiform erythrodermia of Brocq (often referred to as ‘fish skin disease’). The report was published in the British Medical Journal in 1955 and showed the dramatic changes in the patient who started off with thick, scaly, immovable skin with an unusual colouration, that “fell off” as a result of hypnotic suggestions. The suggestions were initially given to just the left arm of the patient to show that the effects were attributed to the hypnotic suggestions and the difference between the two arms was incredible. Thereafter, suggestions were given to the right arm and the skin of the arms was 95% clear of the disorder after 20 days of treatment.

This is a rare condition, so there has not been the opportunity to conduct good quality controlled studies, however, there have been other case studies using Mason’s method that have had their results published with favourable outcomes (Bethune & Kidd, 1961; Wink, 1961; Kidd, 1966; Schneck, 1966).

Hypnosis has been used to help deal with and overcome allergic reactions upon the skin and has proven to be successful in lessening sensitivity of the skin and also successful at lessening the reactions to allergens (Fry et al., 1965; Dennis et al., 1965).

The largest body of research with using hypnosis as a treatment for skin conditions has been applied to the removal of warts. A study by Spanos et al., 1988) showed a 50% cure rate (percentage of warts gone) which was much higher than two different types of control groups. The numerous other studies tend to show impressive results (a number of which show 60-70% cure rate) spanning the past 75 years (Sulzberger & Wolf, 1934; Vollmer, 1946; McDowell, 1949; Obermayer & Greenson, 1949; Sinclair-Gieben & Chalmers, 1959; Ullman & Dudek, 1960; Tenzel & Taylor, 1969; Surman et al., 1972, 1973; Ewin, 1974, 1992; Clawson & Swade, 1975; French, 1977; Tasini & Hackett, 1977; Dreaper, 1978; Johnson & Barber, 1978; Chandrasena, 1982; Morris, 1985; Spanos et al., 1988, 1990; Felt et al., 1998; Kohen et al., 1998; Goldstein, 2005).

In conclusion, though we have some very encouraging results from the limited research, there is still not a strong enough body to start suggesting hypnosis can be a full-on alternative, stand-alone treatment. However, for those receiving medical care and treatment, it would make sense to potentially enhance that care with the use of psychological treatments, such as hypnosis.

Therefore, as of tomorrow, my next few blog entries are going to be offering techniques and strategies to directly help with a wide variety of skin-related issues.


Azrin, N. H., & Nunn, R. G. (1977) Habit Control In a Day. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Bethune, H. C. & Kidd, C. B. (1961) Psychophysiological mechanisms in skin diseases. Lancet, 2: 1419-1422.

Cheek, D. B. (1961) Possible uses of hypnosis in dermatology. Medical Times.

Dennis, M. & Phillipus, M. J. (1965) Hypnotic and non-hypnotic suggestion and skin response in atopic patients. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 17: 253-258.

Frankel, F. H. & Misch, R. C. (1973) Hypnosis in a case of long-standing psoriasis in a person with character problems. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 50: 332-363.
Fry, L., Et al., (1964) Effects of hypnosis on allergic skin responses in asthma and hay fever. British Medical Journal, 1: 1145-1148.

Goodman, H. P. (1962) Hypnosis in prolonged resistant eczema: a case report. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 5: 144-145.

Hartland, J. (1970) Hypnosis in dermatology. British Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 1: 2-7.

Kidd, C. B. (1966) Congenital itchthyosiform erythrodermia treated by hypnosis. British Journal of Dermatology, 78: 101-105.

Kline, M. V. (1954) Psoriasis and hypnotherapy: a case report. Journal of clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 2: 318-322.

Mason, A. A. (1952) A case of congenital itchthyosiform erythrodermia of Brocq treated by hypnosis. British Medical Journal, ii: 422-423.

Mirvish, I. (1978) Hypnotherapy for the child with chronic eczema. A case report. South African Medical Journal, 54: 410-412.

Motoda, K (1971) A case report of the counter-conditioning treatment of an eczema patient by hypnosis. Japanese Journal of Hypnosis, 15: 46-49.

Schneck,, J. M. (1966) Hypnotherapy for ichthyosis. Psychosomatics, 7: 233-235.

Scott, M. J. (1960) Hypnosis in Skin and Allergic Diseases. Charles Thomas, Springfield, Ill.

Scott, M. J. (1964) Hypnosis in dermatologic therapy. Psychosomatics, 5: 365-368.

Shenefelt, P. D. (2000) Hypnosis in dermatology. Archives of dermatology, 136: 393-399.

Sokel, B., Christie, D., Kent, A. & Lansdown, R. (1993) A comparison of hypnotherapy and biofeedback in the treatment of childhood atopic eczema. Contemporary Hypnosis, 10: 145-154.

Spanos, N. P., Stenstrom, R. J. & Johnston, J. C. (1988) Hypnosis, placebo, and suggestion in the treatment of warts. Psychosomatic Medicine, 52: 109-114.

Stewart, A. C. & Thomas, S. E. (1995) Hypnotherapy as a treatment for atopic dermatitis in adults and children. British Journal of Dermatology, 132: 778-783.

Tausk, F. & Whitmore, S. E. (1999) A pilot study of hypnosis in the treatment of patients with psoriasis. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 68: 221-225.

Twersky, A. J. & Naar, R. (1974) Hypnotherapy in a case of refractory dermatitis. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 16: 202-205.

Wink, C. A. (1961) Congenital ichthyosiform erythrodermia treated by hypnosis. Report of two cases. British Medical Journal, i: 741-743.

Zacharie, R., Oster, H., Bjerring, P. & Kragballe, K. (1996) Effects of psychologic intervention on psoriasis: a preliminary report. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 34: 1008-1115.

(Please note, the full references for all the wart studies have not been written up here, but if you would like them, get in touch – I was losing the will to live writing up the full bibliography!)


2 Responses to “The Evidence for Using Hypnosis with Skin Disorders”

  1. Amy

    Sounds amazing!! After years of unexplained ” contact dermatitis ” yes please!!! Where do I sign up?

    Posted by Amy on 17th September, 2013 at 7:55 pm.

  2. Adam Eason

    Amy, remember this is something that should not be used as a sole alternative to any other treatments, and certainly should not result in shunning of conventional medical care and advice.
    However, I’d recommend a suitably qualified and experienced hypnotherapist who can put a treatment plan in place for you – though make sure they adhere to evidence-based principles to utilise the research that I have discussed here in this entry. Any issues, send me a PM and I can assist.

    Good luck with it, I hope you find a solution, A.

    Posted by Adam Eason on 18th September, 2013 at 8:53 am.

Leave a Reply

Getting Cheeky: Cheeky Checklist: September 2013

Bobbi Brown’s Day to Night Warm Eye Palette (Original Review Here)
Thanks to the release of Bobbi Brown’s Rich Chocolate eye palette this autumn I was pushed to pull out an old favorite, Christmas of 2010’s Day to Night Warm Eye Palette. I can’t say much more than I did in my review only a few weeks ago apart from the fact that this is the perfect neutrals palette complete with matte and shimmering shades in the ideal combination of creams and browns.

Chanel Emerveille Illusion d’Ombre Long Wear Luminous Shadow
Chanel’s Emerveille has been a staple in my daily makeup since I purchased it this past summer. Easy to apply, incredibly illuminating and the most lovely shade of champagne this Illusion d’Ombre is one of my go-to shades when I’m uncertain what I’d like to wear to work. I should point out that I applied Emerveille yesterday morning at 5:30 am and wore it until 9:00 PM: it was still going strong at the end of my very long work day and due to its illuminating properties I still looked refreshed after thirteen hours in the office!

Le Métier de Beauté Brow Bound Eyebrow Pencil Brunette*
I’ve never written an official review of Le Métier de Beauté’s Brow Bound Eyebrow Pencil in Brunette, but it truly merits a post entirely dedicated to its capabilities. Likely giving my trademark brows a nod, Le Métier was kind enough to send me this pencil almost a year ago and I’ve been using the same pencil since then. Yes ladies, one pencil for almost a year. On top of this pencil’s pigmentation, perfect combination of color and waxiness and ability to last throughout the day it’s also the answer to one of my biggest complaints about brow pencils: the fact that they seem to disappear so quickly! Needless to say this will definitely be repurchased.

Medicine of the People Sage Lavender & Juniper Beauty Wax
I purchased Medicine of the People’s Sage Lavender & Juniper Beauty Wax while visiting my family in Tucson. As I’m sure you’re all quite familiar I purchase new balms whenever I have the opportunity and Medicine of the People’s selection is quite impressive! The woman who founded the company’s father was a Native American herbalist and she used this knowledge to create these healing beauty balms. Sage Lavender & Juniper is incredibly hydrating and smells like everything good. I’m eager to explore the brand a bit more and have my eye on a few of their lip balms next.

MAC Revenge is Sweet Lip Glass
Released with the Venomous Villains collection in early 2010, Revenge is Sweet is the only product from my massive and unnecessary “haul” of products that I still own and use regularly. Against my pigmented lips, this sheer electric purple creates the loveliest vibrant pink and I can’t get enough. I’m sure it would serve as a testimonial if I were to tell you that I’m almost out! (I’ve never finished a lip gloss in my life.)

Bruno Acampora Nero Perfume Oil
Earlier this summer I purchased a sample of Bruno Acampora’s Nero Perfume Oil from Lucky Scent and fell in love. My family evidentally knows me quite well, because they purchased me the full sized bottle as a birthday gift. I won’t say too much more (as I have a review scheduled for this weekend) apart from the fact that this fragrance is warm, seductive heaven.

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5
Eczema and psoriasis continue to challenge me, particularly as the weather becomes a bit drier and cooler once again. A very dear friend in France was kind enough to send Cicaplast Baume B5 to me last winter and it’s quickly become indispensable. Not only does this function as a hand cream when the frigid air has gotten the best of my hands, but it can also be applied as a spot treatment. I find that it almost instantaneously reduces dry and flaky skin and begins to help my eczema ravaged areas heal more quickly.

What items are on your checklist this month?

What is Eczema? – Natural Health Source


I can’t wear rubber gloves when I wash the dishes. I need to steer clear of many harsh soaps, industrial cleaners and bleached fabrics too. The reason? Eczema – a skin condition caused by inflammation and the most common dermatitis, which makes skin red, itchy, and just plain miserable to live with.

I guess I can take a little solace in knowing that I’m hardly alone in my struggles with skin. Lots of people have eczema; roughly 15 million in just in the United States, or about 3% of the population. That number is higher, between 10 and 20%, for children, though most of them will outgrow their skin sensitivities before they turn ten.

While eczema’s not going to kill anyone, it’s something to take seriously. Your skin is your largest organ, after all, and a visual guide to your inner workings. Many researchers believe the immune system is a leading cause of eczema. That’s something you’ll want to explore with your doctor.

What is Eczema?

Eczema is the most common dermatitis. The latter simply means skin inflammation; excema is a specific form of dermatitis, characterized by itching, swelling, redness and dry skin. To put it a little simpler, you can probably say that dermatitis is an acute condition, and excema is its chronic, more persistent cousin.

Some people call it atopic dermatitis.

Symptoms of eczema can vary but it just about always causes itching. When the itching precedes a rash, the latter usually occurs on the face, back of the knees, wrists, hands or feet. In fair skinned patients, these symptoms might appear dry, thickened or scaly. In darker people, these symptoms might make the skin look lighter or darker.

Risk Factors For Eczema

Eczema runs in families. Specific genes appear to make certain people have sensitive skin in which moisture escapes and germs come in. An overactive immune system is another likely culprit behind eczema, which makes sense considering it’s also responsible for a more aggressive skin disease, called psoriasis, which is a life-long condition and quite severe.

Some factors can make eczema worse, including:


contact with irritating substances

heat and sweat

cold, dry climates

colds or upper respiratory infections

dry skin

While eczema triggers are unique to each patient, latex, woolen or synthetic fabrics, soaps, detergents and common household products are among the more common offenders that can aggravate the skin.

There is no cure for eczema, but most patients find they can manage it with medical treatments and by avoiding irritants. Some evidence suggests that herbals may help eczema too, which we’ll discuss later in this article.

How to Prevent Eczema Flare-Ups

Know thy triggers. Whether that’s food, heat, cold, contact with specific materials, or likely a combination thereof, it’s important to watch your symptoms and note what you were doing when they got out of hand.

As a starting point, you might reduce eczema with the following guidelines:

moisturize often

avoid dramatic changes in heat, cold or humidity

avoid sweating

reduce stress

avoid materials that can scratch, like wool

avoid harsh soaps and detergents

monitor foods that trigger your symptoms

Keep in mind that triggers can develop with time. You might find it helpful to keep a journal of your symptoms, how and when they occur and keep an open communication with your doctor.

As well, it’s not uncommon for eczema patients to have food allergies, meaning that a healthy diet may reduce redness and allergic reactions. Start with some basic steps: avoid eggs, dairy, peanuts, soy, wheat, citrus and tomatoes, at least until you further identify which foods trigger your symptoms.

OTC and Prescription Treatment For Eczema

A pediatrician, dermatologist or primary care provider can diagnose eczema. A doctor can often do this visually, with a physical exam and some questions. Because eczema is linked to the immune system, he/she may also perform some allergy tests to identify possible triggers.

Your goal for eczema treatment is to reduce itching, which can lead to infection. You’ll therefore want to moisturize your skin with a lotion or cream and apply it when your skin is damp, like after a bath.

Cold compresses may help reduce itching as well.

Over the counter products like hydrocortisone 1% cream, or prescription creams and ointments with corticosteroids may reduce inflammation. If the affected area becomes infected, your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics to kill the offending bacteria.

Other OTC and prescription treatments for eczema include antihistamines, tar treatments, phototherapy (ultraviolet light applied to the skin) and a drug called cyclosporine for patients with more problematic eczema that does not improve with other treatments.

The FDA has also approved two drugs, called topical immunomodulators (TIMS) for mild to moderate eczema. These drugs alter the immune system’s response to flare-ups and are among the most effective eczema drugs to date. However, the FDA has warned they may also increase risk of cancer and should only be used on a short-term basis.

Children under two should not use either of these drugs.

Dietary Supplements That Might Help Eczema

Although fish can trigger allergic reactions in some people, they’re also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and may help people with eczema. Fresh vegetables and whole wheats might also help, along with dietary supplements including:

Fish Oil: This shows promise. In one study, researchers found that patients who took fish oil equal to 1.8 grams of EPA (an omega-3 fatty acid in most fish) significantly reduced inflammation. The benefit may be that fish oil reduces a substance called leukrotriene B4, which plays a role in eczema inflammation.

Speak to your doctor before taking fish oil supplements if you’re on blood-thinning medications or if you’re interested in a high dose. For the latter, choose a fish oil that removes most of the vitamin A, which can be toxic in high quantities.

Probiotics (bifidobacteria and lactobacillus): These ‘friendly’ bacteria that occur naturally in the gut perform many functions. Among them, they kill dangerous bacteria, increase nutrient absorption and strengthen the immune system. Some evidence suggests they may also reduce eczema symptoms, though more research is required.

You can get probiotics from dairy sources like yogurt or soft cheese, miso soup or a probiotics supplement like that in Digestive Science Intensive Colon Cleanse.

Evening Primrose Oil: Another natural supplement that frequently pops up on many a skin list, there is evidence that evening primrose oil may reduce itching related to eczema. Patients taking blood-thinning medications should speak with their doctor before taking primrose oil, however, and ditto for anyone interested in a high dose.

Borage Oil: Like evening primrose oil, borage oil comes with a healthy wallop of essential fatty acid GLA (between 500 and 900 mg per day) – a natural anti-inflammatory. The same health considerations apply with borage oil. Speak with your doctor if you’re on blood-thinners or if you seek the higher dose of borage oil supplements.

Vitamin C (1,000 mg, 2-4 times a day): Anyone ever told you to drink your OJ when you had a cold? That’s because vitamin C acts as an antihistamine, which may help people with eczema too.

Herbs That Might Reduce Eczema

Want to try a little ancient wisdom to reduce eczema and that terrible itching? There’s evidence suggesting that herbals can help, whether as a dried extract (capsule, powder or tea), glycerite (glycerine extract) or tincture (alcohol extract). The best way to do this often to make an tea with the following herbals:

Milk thistle seed


Licorice root




Stinging nettle


Heartsease (Viola)

Red clover

To make an herbal tea, mix one tsp herb for each cup of hot water. Steep leaf or flowers covered for five to ten minutes, and ten to twenty minutes for herbs. Drink two to four cups a day.

You may also find that herbal creams can help eczema, with chamomile, chickweed, licorice root or witch hazel. Herbal chamomile creams appear to be among the most effective herbal creams for excema. St. John’s Wort creams also show potential, beating a placebo cream in a clinical double blind study.

Herbals are generally safe, but be sure to speak with your physician regarding any concerns you might have about interactions with existing conditions or medications. More than likely, you’ll probably find they’re safer, and more suitable for ongoing use than eczema prescription creams and medication.

+Steven  Hutchings

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Do You Need a Food Detective? – Wise Healthy Living

Make Every Mouthful Count

Good morning!  Here’s to a wonderful weekend for you and those you hang out with!  Today’s blog is to introduce a new testing program I am now offering in clinic to help identify food intolerance reactions.  An intolerance is quite different to an allergy and often the mistake is made due to simple grammatical default.  Some say they are allergic to something when it is often an intolerance reaction they are experiencing – which is less severe but just as annoying and debilitating for some.

An allergy involves a predominantly different immunoglobulin (IgE) response to an intolerance reaction (IgG).  When your body has to launch an IgE (allergy) response – its literally all systems go!  This is why an allergy is often so severe or life threatening as in a bee sting or peanut – most of the vital tissues are inflamed as they deal with the allergen – hence the swellings and itch!

In an intolerance – the IgG response is relatively a lot slower to present and often over time – in some cases an untreated intolerance may lead to an IgE allergic response so it is important to manage intolerances effectively to avoid this.  I have seen more severe intolerance responses occur for example after a viral infection.  I like to describe an intolerance response to a game of hide and seek.  If the food for example is a low grade intolerant food – it stays ‘hidden’ from your immune system for a while longer whilst other poor hiding spots are revealed by the IgG response to other more obvious foods such as wheat or dairy or eggs.

Most of us will have some IgG response to foods – its when you are having symptoms such as recurrent hay fever, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, headaches and fatigue that are not explainable and digestive upsets that ups the ante on doing something about it.  For example – I have recently been working with a patient who initially came in for hay fever support so we started with the obvious areas there – yeast and sugar control diet which also removes wheat and dairy for a period of time.  During the first few weeks her hay fever improved remarkably – but her eczema was still present and on some days – flared up.  Her yeast control diet saw her eating a lot more protein in the form of eggs and fish.  On performing the Food Detective intolerance testing – it was found on the spot that her response to eggs was very strong.  She is now on a modified yeast control diet without eggs.  She revealed to me that she was eating up to 3 sometimes 4 eggs a day in the last week or so.  As this was just recent, we will keep you posted.

If you suspect you have an intolerance reaction to a food and some of the symptoms mentioned above – here is what I suggest:

1.  Remove the known foods if you are aware of them from your diet for at least an 8 week period.  Remember to remove also any traces of that food as well. For example if eggs are known to aggravate you – noodles with eggs in them may engage the IgG response still – even on a minute level it can affect how and if your immune system ‘resets’ itself.

2.  Increase the power of protein digestion in the stomach region. This can be done using apple cider vinegar in water sipped slowly with the meals or if you are really sluggish in the digestive area – a herbal/nutrient blend I suggest to super boost enzyme production through chain reaction from the stomach to the small intestines.

3.  Power up your immune system with the aim to dampen down the appropriate immune responses to inflammation. This is something I suggest you do with supervision and practitioner guidance as often it requires therapeutic doses.  Off the counter, you could try a good quality vitamin C preparation to start with.

4.  After the 8 week period, slowly introduce one food at a time to test for intolerance responses.  If there is a response – that food needs more time out of the hide and seek game.

5.  Consider probiotic super foods as a way to predigest foods that are being reintroduced – Super Kids Food is great for kids and adults.

Remember – if you suspect you have a sensitivity to foods, even a small amount can engage your immune system – don’t you want your immune system on the ready for more important jobs like viral and chronic disease management?

*Please note – the Food Detective is a finger prick test and can be performed on babies with a heel prick.  A very small amount of blood is needed to gather a very accurate 60 food test panel.


Aromatherapy and Essential Oils for the Seasons – Fall – Starchaser …

Aromatherapy and Essential Oils for the Fall

Subtle Aromatherapy and Essential Oils for the Fall
Many people ask me what are the best essentials oils for a particular season like winter. So, I decided to create four blogs – one for each season: winterspringsummer and fall.

I think the best choice of essential oils and aromatherapy applications largely depends on how a particular person experiences a season (e.g., allergies, dry skin), but there are some general responses we humans have to the changes in climate (e.g., increased metabolism in the colder months to generate more body heat, a sense of being less grounded during windy seasons).

Still, it’s difficult to generalize about what are the best essential oils or applications for a specific person. Each person and situation is different. For example, we’ve all experienced many different types of colds: some localized more in the head, others more in the throat and still others in the chest, etc.

The information included here is just a sample of all that’s possible. For specific concerns, the best action is to consult a professional aromatherapist. (A word of caution: essential oils sales people are not necessarily trained professional aromatherapists.)


Fall is definitely a season of transition and adjustment. In our area (Washington, DC ), fall brings great relief from the hot, humid and soupy summer. The climate becomes drier, cooler, breezier and fresher. Being outdoors is more pleasant so people are out and about and more physically active. But, fall in the DC area is also a time when the summer greenery fades, leaves dry up and fall from the trees and most herbaceous plants die back. Daylight hours diminish as well. In general, fall is a time when nature draws inward and people feel less grounded.  

In the fall, people return to their routines: school, work and other duties. Whereas summer is whimsical and playful, fall is structured and productive. For some, fall is a time to get motivated, focus, concentrate and start new projects. For others, fall is unsettling and can make them melancholy, gloomy, anxious or even depressed.

Fall brings with it some physical issues as well. Many people suffer from allergies and the associated symptoms such as nasal congestion, headaches, sneezing and itchy eyes and throat. Colds and flus become more prevalent. Eczema, psoriasis and other dry skin conditions can flair up with drier air, lower temperatures and less exposure to sunlight.

Some Good Essential Oils for the Fall

  • Dry skin, eczema and psoriasis – benzoin (Styrax benzoin), geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), German chamomile (Matricaria recutita), helichyrsum (Helichyrsum italicum), patchouli (Pogostemon cablin), rose (Rosa damascena) and sandalwood (Santalum album). The choice of carriers is important, especially with skin conditions. Rosehip and tamanu for eczema
  • Nasal congestion and sinus inflammation – cypress, pepprmint eucalyptus (Eucalyptus dives), hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), helichrysum B. (Helichrysum bracteiferum), pinon pine (Pinus edilus), ravintsava (Cinnamomum camphora), rosemary (Rosemarius officinales var camphor) and Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris).
  • Anti-Oxidants – cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), clove (Eugenia caryophyllus), narrow-leaft eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata), lemon (Citrus limon) and manuka (Leptospermum scoparium).
  • Relief from cold and flu symptoms – palo santo (Bulnesia sarmientoi), peppermint eucalyptus (eucalyptus dives), scotch pine (Pinus Sylvestrus), Siberian fir (Abies sibirica) and Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis).
  • Focus and concentration – Basil (Ocimum basilicum), black pepper (Piper nigrum), peppermint (Mentha piperita) and rosemary.
  • Grounding – Cedar (Cedrus altanica), imalayan Cedar (Cedrus deodora), Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin), Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium), Vetiver (Vetiver zizanoides)
  • Antidepressants – Bergamot (Citrus bergamia), clary sage (Salvia sclarea), lemon (Citrus limon), myrtle (Myrtus communis), orange (Citrus sinensis) and ylang ylang (Cananga odorata).
  • Support during transitions – Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), Himalayan cedar (Cedrus deodora), myrtle (Myrtus communis), tangerine (Citrus reticulata blanco) and yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

NOTE: It’s important to know the specific plant species from which a particular essential oil was derived (e.g. Lavandula angustifolia and not just any lavender plant) in order to ensure that the essential oil you use has the healing properties you seek. That’s one reason why the botanical names have been included in parentheses above. Some essential oils are counter-indicated for people with certain medical conditions. Consult a professional aromatherapist to determine the appropriate blend of essential oils for you and your specific condition or intention.

Aromatherapy Applications for the Fall

Essential oils are the primary aromatherapy ingredient, but carriers and the type of application are critical considerations as well. In fact, in situations such as when the skin is very sensitive or inflamed, an aromatherapist may recommend only a simple blend of soothing carriers. Some applications are better suited for certain conditions: the skin tends to absorb lotions rapidly for quick delivery of their nourishing attributes (e.g., moisturizing) while balms and ointments persist on the surface of the skin and offer more extended healing to the skin’s surface (e.g., wound and acne treatment).

In choosing essential oils for the fall, select one to four essential oils the create an integrated, complementary and mutually reinforcing blend. Resist the temptation to use every essential oil that has an appealing attribute given your condition or intention.

Personal inhalers can offer a convenient, portable personal treatment for an individual. An inhaler can be filled with an essential oil blend  to clear the sinuses, increase focus and concentration, ground or uplift the spirits. Blends can be tailored to an individual’s unique autumn experience and intensions. (See our blog on personal inhalers and Starchaser personal inhalers.)

Diffusers scent an entire space effecting everyone present or moving through the space. They can be used as an alternative or a complement to personal inhalers. Depending on the blend of essential oils used, diffusers can address sinuses congestion and moodiness, instill mental clarity and focus or provide an immune boost. Where spaces are shared, diffuser oil blends tend to designed for more general purpose use. (Starchaser diffuser oils.)

Lotions, creams and butters – are excellent applications for dry skin, eczema and psoriasis and other skin conditions prevalent in the fall. The healing properties of carriers make important contributions to these products. Many oils and butters, rich in beneficial fatty acids, moisturize the skin: avocado (Persea americana),  jojoba (Simmondisia californica) and shea butter (Butyrospermum parkii) are three commonly recognized examples. Tamanu (Calcophyllum inophyllum), evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) and calendula (Calendula officinales) cold pressed or infused oils address both eczema and psoriasis. Carrot seed oil (Daucus carota ) calms the itchiness that often associated with these conditions.

Bath oils – are a wonderful way to get a little “me time,” and to modify moods. Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of carrier oil to soften and sooth the skin. You can use more oil, but the more you use, the oilier the bath and your skin will feel. You can also add essential oils that support your personal intentions. Use only essential oils that are considered nonirritating to skin, and be aware that warm water can increase the potential for irritation. Also, make sure to dilute the essential oils in an emulsifying carrier (e.g., vegetable oil, vegetable glycerin and even milk) before adding them to the bath to assure that they disperse and are, therefore, less concentrated. You don’t want little essential oil bubbles floating on the surface and making direct contact with your warm skin.

Appropriate Essential Oil Dilutions

NOTE: Essential oils are extremely concentrated and can cause irritations when used improperly.

As general rule, use these dilutions of essential oils for specific applications:

  • 3% for products applied to specific limited areas of the body
  • 1-2% for body oils and other applications that are applied to large portions of the body (e.g. massage oil, lotion, cream, body butter)
  • 4-8 drops per bath: the essential oils should be added to the bath with a dispersant such as vegetable oil, milk, vegetable glycerin or salt (those with sensitive skin should use fewer drops)
  • 100% essential oil or essential oil blend for inhalers
  • 2-6 drops (100% essential oils or essential oil blend) for a diffuser (for a 12 ft x 12 ft room). Much less for energetic blends.
  • 1% dilution for children, the elderly and those with sensitive skin or compromised systems.

FINAL NOTE:  The best way to benefit from the wonderfully healing properties of aromatherapy is to consult a professional aromatherapist who will conduct a consultation, including a thorough holistic health assessment, in order to determine the appropriate blend of essential oils for you and your specific condition or intention.

See other Essential Oils for the Seasons blogs: WinterSpringSummer and Fall.

For more information contact us.