Some Herbal Remedies For Eczema And Skin Rash

David Trammel's picture

In the November 2019 Open Post on Ecosophia comments JMA asked:

"A question for the commentariat! Can anyone recommend a good, natural treatment for eczema? Asking for a friend."

Which lead to a lively sample of remedies and herbal medicinals used by the Community. Here is the list of recommendations.

(Not to substitute for professional advice. If the rash is severe, see a professional.)

Graeme says:
JMA, depending what you mean by ‘natural’, it might be worth having a look at
My daughter struggled with conventional and unconventional therapies. This one worked for her.

philosofloof says:
JMA, here’s what works best for my eczema:

Really anything with lanolin and beeswax is good, and no alcohol (it’s in most lotions to make the excess evaporate and therefore not feel “greasy,” but ends up just drying out your skin and continuing the cycle). Taking evening primrose oil internally seems to be helpful as well. Also try to find gentler soaps that are sulfate free if possible (sulfates are unnecessarily harsh), or cut down on your washing with soap. And good luck! Am commiserating with you!

Maxine Rogers says:
Reply to JMA
I have seen oatmeal and cornstarch work wonders on eczema. The oatmeal was cooked up and patted on the skin which returned to normal in a few hours. The corn starch was mixed with water and put on the eczema with similar results.
Best of luck with that..

Rose Red Loon says:
@JMA, for anything skin related I am a big fan of Surgeon’s Secret

I don’t know about eczema, but it is good for psoriasis, radiation burns for cancer treatment, and super dry skin.

methylethyl says:
@JMA re: eczema: A couple of people I know treat theirs semi-successfully by sunbathing. I have a couple of patches on my face that flare up now and then, and have had good results applying argan oil in the morning, and a frankincense-and-jojoba oil mix at night. I’ve never seen anything specific to eczema for either of those, but they’re both anti-inflammatory, and that seems to be enough. Note: you can pay a ton of money for grade-A argan oil. For me, it doesn’t seem necessary. I use the cooking-grade stuff that smells like toasted nuts and is diluted with coconut oil. Still works great. Costs a lot less.

Steve says:
JMA: As with all other ailments, the best treatment is to isolate and eradicate the cause. I myself was plagued with chronic eczema for decades, and nothing ever worked for very long to treat it – natural or otherwise. Then one day about 12 years ago a naturopath tested me for a variety of food allergies/intolerances, and in so doing discovered my allergy to something found only in sugarcane. I promptly eliminated all cane derivatives from everything in my diet and the eczema vanished, never to return again.

Get tested immediately – but by a naturopath, not a conventional doctor. Mainstream medicine is all about signing the patient on as a steady repeat customer: the last thing on earth they want is to see you get cured!

Elodie says:
Eczema, for me was the soap : cold saponification extra-virgin olive oil, preferably from olives grown herbicide free. No oil or creams, while the eczema is peeling (a couple of days). I don’t know how hard is to find this kind of product where you live, but you can do it yourself if you can't find the olive oil. Just be sure never to allow the saponification to exceed 104 F, so it keeps most of the natural glycerin in the soap. Best wishes!

Walt F says:
@JMA, I’ve had pretty persistent eczema (but only peripheral, on fingers and until my teens, toes) all my life. Over the decades I’ve tried creams, pills, moisturizers, diets, lotions, sunlight, and lots of other things, and with two exceptions it seems to come and go as it pleases regardless.

One exception is halobetasol 0.05% ointment, a strong topical steroid that doctors seem reluctant to prescribe. “Oh, that works, you say? Well, let’s try [some other thing] instead.” (To be fair, it likely has significant risks or side effects.)

The other, I’ve only figured out recently. When I’m doing work or activities that involve plenty of scrapes, cuts, blisters, burns, sunburn, or poison ivy exposure, my eczema subsides. Perhaps those insults keep my immune system otherwise occupied, or something of that nature. I haven’t gone so far as to deliberately injure myself to test this, but I’ve taken note of it through my last three cycles of eczema spreading and then subsiding so far. Of course this is only my own personal anecdote and may or may not be more than coincidence, or apply to anyone else. But I’d be interested in any other reports of similar experiences.

Peter says:
For eczema, jojoba oil or jojoba and frankincense both can clear flare ups. For myself though I found stress reduction to be the permanent solution. Specifically it was my exercise program that was the trigger. I replaced hard runs with long slow walks in Nature and that put an end to eczema forever.

Evan says:
Take this, as you should all online advice, with a pinch of epsom salts.

I was diagnosed with nummular eczema, primarily on the legs and arms, over two years ago and treated by an old school dermatologist who insisted that I limit my exposure to water!
Suffice to say that he didn’t receive any return visits from me, and it led me down my own path of exploration.

My belief is that most, if not all inflammatory skin conditions, are a manifestation of a deeper underlying problem; namely the digestive system. Traditional allopathic doctors tend to roll their eyes if there is any mention of “leaky gut syndrome” but, regardless, I self treated myself with, amongst other things, a spoonful of slippery elm powder diluted in water (apparently it lines the intestines). Anyhow, my digestive issues improved considerably and the eczema became a lot more manageable too (after an initial application of steroid cream I never again used anything except a sparing application of your garden variety, off the shelf, moisturizer)

Step two – and this may be controversial – I’m a big advocate of regularly taking cold showers – and the colder the better! Not everyone’s cup of tea, I know, but in my experience a few moments of discomfort are well worth the benefits received.

Anyhow, good luck and good health!!

patriciaormsby says:
Regarding eczema, applying coconut oil and raw apple cider vinegar is recommended. I had a student with atopic dermatitis, on steroids, having a miserable time and I did some hunting around about that about ten years ago. She found some relief applying salt water. I rolled some mugwort leaves into a paste and that also provided some relief. I also encouraged her to get more sunshine on her skin. She went on a school trip to an island one spring and swam in the sea there, found it to make the difference between night and day. She seemed to recover from her dermatitis after that. As this involved the immune system, some people might find it helpful to get a corded landline telephone and wired Internet connection, and use a cell phone for emergencies only

patriciaormsby says:
Commenting again on eczema, I just received a paper from a Japanese researcher for editing that found a significant relationship between use of parabens or triclosan (antimicrobials) and allergies, including atopic dermatitis (i.e., eczema). This can occur in babies of mothers using these antimicrobials too, and is thought to be due to perturbations of the gut microbiome. The latter has received a lot of attention recently. I find natto essential for restoring mine after antibiotics, but everyone is different, and you have to search around to find what works for you.

JMA says:
Thanks to everyone for the helpful leads!