Eczema is a catch-all label for any skin rash that is characterized by dry, flakey skin, itching, red oozing rash, or unsightly scaly-ness. It is most often treated with cortisone creams or immune suppressant creams that curb the symptoms. This herbal eczema cream is rich in moisturizing oils and nourishing botanicals that hydrate the tissues, as well as botanicals and probiotics to nourish the skin encouraging normal cell growth. While you can use this as an eczema cream, it isn’t a medicated lotion. This is safe to use for any skin issue that needs a little extra moisture.
What is eczema?
Eczema is a catch-all term for a skin rash. No one really knows what causes it. It might be caused by food allergies, toxins, or even stress. Herbalists teach that when the liver and kidneys are overwhelmed dealing with toxins or allergies, the excess toxins in the body can be pushed out to the skin. If there are too many toxins, the skin can become compromised and eczema can result. While the person suffering with eczema may think eczema is the problem, eczema might actually be a symptom of a systemic issue in the body.
Many naturopaths recommend that those who suffer from eczema remove common allergens like wheat, eggs, nuts, and dairy products, as well as sugar and alcohol, from their diet, while they are healing from eczema. Once the skin issue is fully resolved these common allergens are reintroduced to the diet one at a time. Detailed notes are kept during this time, to ascertain whether the eczema is associated with one of the common food allergens.
In our family, eczema is most commonly diagnosed by our doctor as a stress response. Not very helpful, is it?
When to talk to your doctor?
As you know I’m not a doctor, just a friend sharing the things that are working for our family. If your dry, red, flakey skin begins to ooze pus, or the tissue surrounding it reddens and swells, you might be dealing with a secondary infection, cellulitis, or even MRSA. These are serious infections that can quickly become a medical emergency. If you suspect an infection talk to your doctor.
How to make an herbal eczema cream
This eczema cream includes deeply moisturizing oils and butters, to nourish scaly, flaking skin, as well as aloe gel to hydrate deeply into the tissue, and colloidal silver, kombucha and green tea extract to combat mild infection and encourage new skin cell growth naturally.
This body lotion is rich in moisturizing shea butter and coconut oil. The myrrh and bayberry herbs are antimicrobial and astringent, tightening skin and combatting infection, while sea buckthorn adds vitamins, antioxidants, and nourishment to encourage healthy, glowing skin. The essential oils are chosen for their soothing, calming actions. Each also offers some anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial actions.
How to make an herbal lotion
If you’ve never made a lotion before, you’re in for a treat. Lotion making is a key skill in the herbal apothecary repertoire.
A lotion is an emulsified mixture of oil and water ingredients. You’ll need an electric mixer or an electric whisk, or a hand blender to make a lotion. Some folks use a blender for this. A hand whisk is more difficult since the emulsification requires a lot of beating. But if that’s all you have, add the liquid ingredients more slowly, since you are beating more slowly.
Since lotions incorporate both oil ingredients and water-based ingredients they are the ideal vehicle for transporting herbs deeply into the skin, for healing.
Key ingredients and substitutions
Beeswax and Sunflower lecithin are major players in this recipe. Together they allow equal portions of oil based and water based ingredients to mix together in an emulsion, forming the lotion. If you left out either one, your lotion might not work. If it did seem to work, it might separate in storage.
If you want to leave out beeswax or sunflower lecithin you’ll need to substitute both ingredients with an emulsifying wax. Don’t try to make this recipe without either an emulsifying wax or BOTH beeswax and sunflower lecithin. Since the recipe is formulated with beeswax and sunflower lecithin, you’ll need to reformulate it if you choose to use an emulsifying wax instead.
Eczema or dry skin lotion
A lotion is an emulsified mixture. If you’ve made mayonnaise you can easily make a DIY lotion.
Yield 5 ounces
- 2 tbsp. myrrh and bayberry infused oil (see directions)
- 1 tbsp. beeswax (12 grams)
- 2 tbsp. shea butter
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 tsp. sunflower lecithin
- 1 tsp. sea buckthorn fruit oil
- 1 tsp. vitamin E (natural)
- 5 drops rose geranium essential oil
- 5 drops tea tree essential oil
- 5 drops lavender essential oil
- 2 tbsp. aloe gel
- 2 tbsp. green tea extract
- 1 tbsp. colloidal silver
- 1 tbsp. kombucha liquid
Make a double boiler using a glass measuring cup in a pot.
To make the bayberry and myrrh infused oil
Place 1 teaspoon of bayberry root bark and one teaspoon of myrrh powder in a sealable tea bag. Seal with a hot iron. Place in a glass measuring cup. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the tea bag. Create a double boiler by placing the glass measuring cup into a saucepan and filling the saucepan with water until it is half way up the outside of the measuring cup. Simmer the saucepan over medium heat to warm the oil. Allow the herbs to infuse in the oil for one hour. Remove from the heat. Squeeze the tea bag to strain the oil through the tea bag.
To mix the oil portion
- Add the beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil, and sunflower lecithin to the measuring cup with the infused oil. Melt the mixture over medium heat until the beeswax melts. Remove from the heat.
- Stir in sea buckthorn oil, vitamin E, and essential oils. Allow the mixture to cool slightly, so that it is still liquid but just warm to the touch.
To mix the water portion:
- In a separate glass measuring cup mix together the aloe vera gel, green tea extract*, colloidal silver, and kombucha. It should be room temperature to protect the probiotics in the kombucha.
(*Green tea extract is an infusion of green tea and water. )
Making the lotion
- Using an electric whisk or immersion blender, begin whipping the oil portion of the lotion.
- Slowly drizzle in the water portion, a little at a time.
- Continue whipping until all the water portion is incorporated into the mixture. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally in order to incorporate all of the oil mixture into the liquid mixture. The lotion will become thick, lighter in colour, and form peaks. Continue mixing for 5 additional minutes.
- Using a spatula, transfer the lotion to 1 or 2 ounce glass jars. Smaller jars protect the lotion from microbial contamination. Total yield: 5 ounces.
There is no germicide included in this lotion recipe. This lotion should keep for a month if refrigerated. If it is left at room temperature the shelf life will be decreased. If a longer shelf life is desired, a germicide can be added to the lotion. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for the germicide chosen.
Don’t double this recipe.
How to use this eczema lotion
Rub this on dry, flakey skin as often as you need to, to relieve the itching and pain associated with eczema and to nourish and moisturize the skin. Use it frequently to prevent the skin from scaling up and peeling. Scratching and peeling can introduce secondary infections. By using this lotion generously, and keeping the skin moisturized, more serious complications might be avoided.
Other things we’ve tried that have brought some relief
We’ve found that a multi-faceted approach has been the most effective in healing eczema, one that includes diet and hygiene.
We tried an elimination diet and found that the eczema was made worse with eating wheat and food that “may contain wheat”. Avoiding wheat as much as possible has greatly reduced eczema symptoms.
Additionally we include kefir and kombucha eaten daily along with fermented vegetables to counter any microbiome imbalances. We include bone broth and lots of fruits and vegetables to ensure that the body has enough vitamins and minerals plus collagen to rebuild as it heals.
We use lotions and salves to keep the skin moisturized and protect against infection. In addition, aloe vera gel and colloidal silver, plus kombucha poultices and clay poultices cool the skin and draw infection and toxins out of the area.
We’re still working on this though. Things seem to lessen for a while and almost completely resolve but then will flair up again.
What have you found that has helped heal eczema in your family?