When you’re reading this article, you may already be familiar with eczema. For those who are not yet familiar with it … eczema is classified as an autoimmune disease with physical symptoms such as: inflamed, dry, itchy and sometimes flaky or scaly skin. In addition to these physical irritations, eczema is often accompanied by other symptoms, such as sleeping problems, insomnia, mental and emotional disturbances due to, for example, a lack of self-confidence, feeling insecure about seeing the eczema.
In Western medicine, as with many other autoimmune diseases, eczema is often only treated with immunosuppressive drugs that cause side effects. For example, these drugs are toxic to the liver and suppressing the immune system is generally not a good idea because it can ultimately lead to a generally weak immune system. And it doesn’t give your immune system the chance to develop antibodies and deal with whatever imbalance the immune system has to eventually become stronger. However, to turn to Chinese medicine (TCM) rather than immunosuppressive drugs, TCM takes a holistic approach that includes lifestyle, diet, nutrition, supplement use and even the mental and emotional aspects of the individual who deals with these complaints.
Looking at eczema from the perspective of TCM, probably the biggest difference between this medicine and Western medicine is that eczema is not considered a disease, it is more considered a symptom. Eczema is often a symptom of other underlying symptoms. It is therefore not uncommon for people with eczema to also experience other symptoms, such as poor digestion, food intolerance, sleep complaints, mental and emotional complaints (chronic stress, or depression). So in TCM, unlike Western medicine where the symptoms are treated, in this case the skin, TCM takes a holistic approach and considers the underlying factors that lead to the relevant complaint.
To give you an idea, in TCM the skin is considered the “outer liver”. So in general, everything that goes wrong with the skin indicates that a function of the liver is not working properly. Something goes wrong with the liver. Things that cause the liver to malfunction will be the general underlying factors in eczema. Things like this include a poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption, chronic mental and emotional stress, and probably the biggest culprit is a surplus of toxins in the body. The body is overloaded with toxic substances. And that is why the treatment of eczema in TCM differs so much from that of Western medicine. In general, the purpose of TCM is to address the underlying factors that cause these complaints. Treat these or eliminate them and then the eczema will disappear on its own in a typical and natural way without doing too much to the skin or applying direct medication. So there is a kind of two step approach to treating eczema in TCM. The first part is to detox, eliminate the underlying factors, the toxic overload of the body which triggers or causes eczema in the first instant. This will reduce the overload on the liver. And sometimes that self-contained eczema can disappear. And from that point, when there are still complaints, there are still interventions with herbs. Taking herbs to tonify the underlying symptoms or imbalance that cause eczema. Therefore, when you deal with eczema and try a more holistic approach, the first thing you want to do is take a look at the underlying factors as described above. You can therefore look at how you can improve your digestion, how you can get toxins out of your body (detoxes) by doing a detox efficiently and qualitatively, and how you can eliminate toxic emotions. So you can already do a lot yourself to clean up the underlying factors that cause eczema and so treat your body as a whole, instead of just addressing the symptoms and thus treating only the eczema.
So the first things you want to address to treat your eczema is to improve your digestive function, improve the health of your liver and to control the emotional stress factors that you have become so used to and are an important trigger for skin complaints. Something that not many people realize is that the skin is directly connected to the nervous system. There are stress receptors in the skin and therefore, when you have a lot of stress mentally or emotionally or through diet or something else then you get skin complaints. Rashes on your skin. So you want to ensure that you can manage all aspects of the stressors and you do that by preserving the health of your entire body
So the first things you want to address to treat your eczema is to improve your digestive function, improve the health of your liver and to control the emotional stress factors that you have become so used to and are an important trigger for skin complaints. Something that not many people realize is that the skin is directly connected to the nervous system. There are stress receptors in the skin and therefore, when you have a lot of stress mentally or emotionally or through diet or something else then you get skin complaints. Rashes on your skin. So you want to ensure that you can manage all aspects of the stressors and you do that by improving the health of your entire body.
The second thing you can do is look at herbs that you can take to help you support your health. These can be herbs that improve the digestive system, and help to tone, detox and strengthen the liver. There are three herbs that can help with this if you have eczema: 1. Semen Cuscutae, 2. Schizandra Berry, 3. Siberian Gingseng. These herbs together help to address the underlying factors that cause eczema; digestive complaints, the potential toxic heat in the liver and lastly increasing the resistance to stress.
This article is a short summary about eczema from a TCM perspective. The conclusion is that eczema is a symptom of and not necessarily a disease and that there may be underlying factors / imbalances that nourish the eczema and that you can already do a lot yourself to improve your health and to tackle it.
Are you curious about what TCM can do for you? Contact us or make an appointment.
Note: Bio Qi takes no responsibility in the herbs mentioned above. The suggested herbs can complement a healthy diet and lifestyle and are not a substitute for medicines. If you want to stop taking medication, do so in consultation with the providing doctor.