Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Rita
Posted on: January 27, 1999

I am interested in finding an herb to heal or prevent neurodermatitis. Please help me find a cure for the skin disease.

Neurodermatitis is defined as a skin inflammation with itching that is associated with, but not entirely due to, emotional disturbance.

Since the nerve tissue and the skin tissue are closely related, it is usually helpful in skin problems to work with the possible causes of emotional disturbance, possibly through counseling, relaxation techniques such as meditation, and daily exercise to promote the eliminative functions and to promote a sense of well being.

Herbs that are useful in skin diseases that are related to the nerves are:

* Oats (Avena sativa) nourishes the nerves

* Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) relaxes the nerves

* St. John’s Wort is used if the skin problems are related to depression caused by unresolved life changes

Improving the digestive system increases the absorption of nutrients that the skin needs: German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) tea is relaxing and improves the digestion. Linden flower (Tilia cordata) is relaxing, supports the digestive system and the blood circulation

Encouraging means of elimination other than the skin helps rid the body of toxins: Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) is relaxing, anti-inflammatory and encourages cleansing through the lymph glands. Dandelion root supports the liver in its role of processing chemicals including hormones and toxins, and encourages elimination by the bowel Dandelion leaf supports elimination by the kidney

Other useful skin herbs are:

* Viola (Viola tricolor) is anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, skin-nourishing and rich in zinc.

* Calendula is anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine. External application of Calendula cream or tincture helps skin tissue regeneration.

* Chickweed creams help to relieve itching.

Diet is important in skin problems. A skin nourishing diet is high in fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, low on fatty foods such as dairy products and meat, and eliminates caffeine, alcohol, sugar, white flour products and junk foods. Six to eight glasses of water or herbal teas help to cleanse the body. You might want to experiment with allergic causes by eliminating common food allergens such as dairy or gluten products from your diet to see if there is a relationship.

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