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ECZEMA INTERPRETATION AND TREATMENT METHODS FROM

    AN ALLOPATHIC, NATUROPATHIC, AND AYURVEDIC

                     PERSPECTIVE



                           By

                      Olivia Noble

              Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist

             California College of Ayurveda

                         2004
                                                                                         2
                                     Table of Contents




Allopathic interpretation of Eczema with the treatment options………………………………….…………………………………3



Naturopathic interpretation of Eczema with the treatment options……………………………………………………………..8



Ayurvedic interpretation of Eczema with the treatment options………………………………………………………………….13



Taste Therapies for Eczema-Herbs…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………16



Taste Therapies for Eczema-Diet……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………18



Touch Therapies for Eczema………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………19



Aroma Therapies for Eczema…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….23



Color/Gem Therapies for Eczema…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….25



Sound/Mantra Therapies for Eczema………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………28



Closure………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………31
                                                                                                              3
The purpose of this paper is to explain the Allopathic interpretation of Eczema, Naturopathic, and

Ayurvedic perspective followed with each of the treatment methodologies.



The skin is the largest organ in the body, serving many functions essential to life, and it is also considered

an important expression of beauty. It plays a very important role to protect our body and the

internal organs and from the external environment.




It is believed that skin acts as the mirror of all that is felt by living beings, whereas the face reflects

all the mental stress, fatigue, fear, tension, happiness, sadness etc. Thus rise the question of a healthy

and glowing skin. 1


From an Allopathic approach atopic dermatitis is often referred to as “eczema,” which is a general term

for the many types of dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is the most common of the many types of eczema;

Several have very similar symptoms. 2



Atopic dermatitis is a chronic (long lasting) disease that affects the skin. The word “dermatitis”

means inflammation of the skin. “Atopic” refers to a group of diseases that are hereditary and

often occurs together, including asthma, allergies such as hay fever, and atopic dermatitis.2



There is a large genetic component to atpoic dermatitis; seventy percent of those who have it have

a positive family history of atopy. Atopic eczema or atopic dermatitis is a common inflammatory skin

problem marked by extremely itchy patches of red, dry flaking skin and other patches that are inflamed

and oozing. A ongoing cycle of first itching, then scratching, followed by a rash formation that again

triggers itching is a hallmark of the problem. It is a part of an atopic, or allergic, state in which an

individual is vulnerable to flare-ups of eczema, asthma and hay fever.
                                                                                                         4
There are three distinct variants of atopic eczema: an infantile form, and childhood form, and an

adolescent or adult form. However, an intensely itching rash is a feature of all of these stages.

The infantile form of eczema develops more commonly in bottle fed than breast fed babies,

starting as early as two months and almost always developing by the age of two years. Sixty

percent of all eczema dermatitis suffers develop the rash by the age of on year old. Red,

extremely itchy, oozing, crusty lesions can involve in the face, scalp, neck, and outer aspects of the

arms and legs of the infant. This often improves by age five, but asthma or hay fever then

develops in more than half of the children.   3




   1. Fascinating Facts http://www.ayurveda-herbal-remedy.com/ayurveda-cosmetology/
   2. Skin Health information for teens by Robert Aquinas McNally
   3. Jeanette Jackin, MD (Web based article)
                                                                                                            5



Short-term symptoms of eczema include skin itching, redness and tiny bumps or blisters. If these

symptoms remain untreated; the skin can become thick, scaly and dry, with areas of hair loss and color

changes. Skin affected by long-term eczema also is more vulnerable to secondary infections, usually

caused by bacteria.

Each type of eczema also has specific characteristics and pattern of symptoms:

Atopic eczema (atopic dermatitis) — Atopic dermatitis appears as wet (weeping) or crusted

patches that are very itchy and irritated.

Contact dermatitis — When an irritant causes contact dermatitis, symptoms can range from a mild

redness to severe skin blistering or ulceration. When contact dermatitis is triggered by an allergic

reaction, it usually causes skin redness, fine red bumps or blisters and severe itching.

Hand eczema — Irritant hand eczema usually appears during the winter as areas of dry, cracked skin,

with or without redness.

Nummular eczema — Nummular eczema begins as small areas of irritation that turn into round red,

crusted or scaly patches.

Asteatotic eczema — Asteatotic eczema usually occurs on the lower legs and causes itching or stinging

pain in areas of dry, cracked, reddened skin, with or without tiny bumps.

Stasis dermatitis — Stasis dermatitis usually begins with mild redness and itching of the lower legs,

which are already slightly puffy or very swollen as a result of poor circulation in the legs.

Lichen simplex chronicus — This rash creates thickened, leathery skin with darkening of skin color. It is

very itchy, but scratching makes the problem worse.

Seborrheic dermatitis (seborrhea) — Seborrheic dermatitis causes red, scaly patches with yellow,

greasy crusts. These appear most commonly on the scalp as dandruff, but also can occur elsewhere on

the body, including the eyebrows, eyelids, ears and skin creases near the mouth and nose. 4
                                                                                                                 6



The question may arise, how can we prevent eczema? It can be avoided with some simple suggestions

that can reduce the frequency and intensity of flare ups.

    1.     Moisturize frequently
    2.     Avoid sudden changes in temperature or humidity
    3.     Avoid sweating or overheating
    4.     Reduce stress
    5.     Avoid scratchy materials (e.g., wool or other irritants)
    6.     Avoid harsh soaps, detergents, and solvents
    7.     Avoid environmental factors that trigger allergies (e.g., pollens, molds, mites, and animal dander)
    8.     Be aware of any foods that may cause an outbreak and avoid those foods

One of the most important components of an eczema treatment routine is to prevent scratching.

Because eczema is usually dry and itchy, the most common treatment is the application of lotions or

creams to keep the skin as moist as possible. These treatments are generally most effective when

applied directly after bathing (within three minutes is a common recommendation) so that the moisture

from the bath is "locked in." Cold compresses applied directly to itchy skin can also help relieve

itching.

If the condition persists, worsens, or does not improve satisfactorily, another effective

treatment is the application of nonprescription corticosteroid creams and ointments to reduce

inflammation. Alternatives to nonprescription corticosteroids include more potent prescription

corticosteroid creams and ointments, which are effective, but which may have some side effects. To

prevent side effects such as skin thinning, the doctor may limit the length of treatment time and

locations where you can apply treatment. 4

For severe itching, sedative antihistamines are sometimes used to reduce the itch and are available in

both prescription and over-the-counter varieties. Because drowsiness is a common side effect,

antihistamines are often used in the evening to help a person restless from eczema get to sleep. Because

of the same sedative effect, though, persons taking these agents should not drive. Tar treatments and

Phototherapy are also used and can have positive effects; however, tar can be messy. Phototherapy
                                                                                                           7
requires special equipment (lights). In cases where eczema is resistant to therapy, a physician may

prescribe the drug cyclosporine A, which modifies immune response; however, this is used only in extreme

cases because of its association with serious side effects.




Topical immunomodulators (TIMs) is a new class of drugs for the treatment of eczema. One drug in this

class—tacrolimus—has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of

moderately severe eczema. TIMs are topical drugs that modulate the immune response (alter the

reactivity of cell-surface immunologic responsiveness). Studies have shown that this class of drugs will

improve or completely clear eczema in more than 80 percent of treated patients, with a side-effect

profile comparable with topical steroids. 4




Other treatment methods and prevention is stress management, avoid sweating, rubbing the area or

scratching, Identify food allergens, cosmetics, perfumes, soaps, animal hair, pollen, dust, ragweed and

chrysanthemums. Apply moisturizers that are greasy like Vaseline not creams. Allergy testing with an

allergist can be helpful in determining and avoiding aggravates.




4. Medline (Web based article 6-7-04) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/
                                                                                                            8



When approaching eczema from a Naturopathic perspective one must find the balance between helping

patients deal with the immediate social consequences of skin problems, while addressing the deeper

underlying causes that have led to the susceptibility that results in the signs of eczema.



Naturopathic medicine, or naturopathy, is an alternative approach to health care that emphasizes

preventive measures to maintain health; patient education and active participation in therapy; and

non-interference with the body's natural healing processes. In most states of the United States,

Naturopaths (practitioners of naturopathy) do not prescribe synthetic drugs or practice major surgery.

Naturopathy is not a distinctive or unique tradition of alternative medicine. It is best described as a

collection of therapies or treatment methods that share a common philosophy of health care and draw

upon a variety of alternative traditions ranging from traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic thought to Greek

medicine and European homeopathy. The term naturopathy, or nature cure, was first used in 1895 by Dr.

John Scheel, a physician practicing in New York City. 5



As the eyes are the reflection of one's inner health...they are literally as we know a window into a

person's vascular and neurological system as the only location in the body where the nerves and vessels

can be seen without invasion. Yet, an even more profoundly evident barometer to one's overall health

happens to be the largest single organ in the human body that is visible. The skin ranges in thickness from

one to two millimeters and varies from 0.6 millimeter on the eyelid to three millimeters on the soles and

palms. It comprises approximately 12-15% of total body weight and has a surface area of 1-2 meters.



The skin consists of two distinct layers, the outer layer (epidermis) and the thicker underlying layer

(dermis). The epidermis and the dermis differ in function, appearance, and origin. Beneath the innermost

layer, the subcutaneous layer (hypodermis) binds the skin to the underlying structures such as the hair,

nails, and sweat glands. Collectively these structures are considered appendages of the skin, as they are
                                                                                                         9

all of epithelial origin. Specialized skin cells also synthesize melanin and carotenes, which serve as

pigmentation sources and production of vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin.   6




Some of the causes can be due to food and environmental stressors. Studies involving the use of double-

blind, placebo-controlled food challenges show that upon repeated exposure to a known food allergen,

eczematous lesions can result in susceptible patients. The most common foods that exacerbated the

eczema in these patients were…cow's milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, eggs and fish. 7




5. Dr. Joseph F. Smith Medical Library (web article)
6. Skin Health, Eczema, and Preventative Strategies by Chris D. Meletis, ND, Dean of Naturopathic
Medicine/Chief Medical Officer NCNM and Jason Barker, ND
7. Boguniewicz M., Leung DYM: Management of atopic dermatitis. In: Atopic Dermatitis: From
Pathogenesis to Treatment. RG Landes, 1996.
                                                                                                          10
Another link in the development of eczema may lie in an improperly functioning epidermal barrier that

exposes the patient to rapid dehydration of the skin due to its inability to retain water, resulting in

shrinking and gapping of the epidermal barrier. Epidermal barrier dysfunction has many suspected causes,

and several studies have implicated psychological stress as a negative influence on cutaneous barrier

function, and may trigger or aggravate skin disease.8



New research surrounding the use of probiotics in the prevention and treatment of eczema in the

unborn is extremely enticing. Probiotics are food supplements comprised of billions of live microbial

organisms that have numerous beneficial effects on human health, and may be used both prophylactically

and therapeutically. Certain strains have demonstrated powerful anti-pathogenic, anti-inflammatory, and

anti-allergic effects. The early composition and subsequent development of the gastrointestinal

microflora is now considered a pivotal determinant of both normal gut barrier functions (relating to food

allergy) and phenotype of immune response.




The hygiene hypothesis postulates an inverse relationship between hygiene, in its broadest sense, and

allergic disease. This theory suggests that atopic disease may arise from a lack of counterbalancing

microbial exposure at an early age. Recent studies suggest that many hygiene related factors might

influence immune development in favor of an allergic phenotype. Antibiotics in the early stages of life

have been associated with increased risks of allergic disease in later childhood, while farming exposures

lead to protection. The role of bowel flora in modifying immune development has been suggested as an

explanation for the risk associated with antibiotic exposure and has led to various studies exploring the

effects of bowel flora modification with probiotics — both to influence established allergic disease and to

prevent it.   6


_______________________________________________________________________________
8. Denda M, Tsuchiya T, Elias PM, Feingold KR. Stress alters cutaneous permeability barrier homeostasis.
Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 2000 Feb;278(2):R367-72
                                                                                                            11
Exclusive breast feeding in only the first few weeks after birth exerts positive effects on the incidence

of allergic and infectious disorders. In newborn siblings of children with atopic disease exclusively

breast-fed for only six weeks, the incidence of eczema, recurrent wheezing, elevated serum IgE-

antibodies to cow's milk, complement activation in vivo after milk challenge and hemagglutinating

antibodies to beta-lactoglobulin was significantly lower compared with formula-fed matched group. 9



While not a cure, applying zinc oxide locally often helps relieve the severe itchiness of eczema. Topical

treatments include: Evening Primrose oil applied directly to cracks and sore areas of the skin (folds such

as elbows and behind the knee.) 10



Integral to the treatment of the eczematous patient is an approximation of gastrointestinal integrity.

The concept of "leaky gut" runs through the principles of practice for Naturopathic physicians treating

patients in which defective intestinal permeability plays a role. If the eyes and the skin are the portal

through which we may observe the body's internal health, the gut then is the door through which a

majority of disease initiates its entrance into the body. It goes without saying that many factors in

today's lifestyle compromise the meticulous integrity of the gut lining, namely food choices and antibiotic

therapies.6
                                                                                                             12
Each Naturopath would use a different treatment plan when it comes to dermatitis. Most view skin

disorders originating from the liver. The Liver might have a dysfunction with the digestion of fats,

therefore liver lab work would be taken. The Naturopath would take a history of the individual that

includes emotional issues, diet, family history, and the environment. Food allergies are very much

associated with eczema especially in children. Blood work would also be taken for a list of allergies.



A diagnosis of eczema is determined from external signs. For example Psoriasis is bilateral and is on the

extensor side rather than on the flexor side, it will appear on the elbows, buttocks, it is very itchy and

inflamed with a raised surface and slivery papules. Eczema does not have patches as highly raised like

Psoriasis. Eczema can be weepy, flaky and is non-bilateral. It typically appears on the hands, legs, and

scalp.



The individual’s diet reveals a lot of information for a Naturopathic Physician. A common finding is the

S.A.D. diet (Standard American Diet). A poor diet with not enough nutrients and low quality foods. The

bad fats from the diet go into distortion in the cells and the skin.



Zinc has been proven to be helpful in adults and especially in children. Essential fatty oils such as fish

oils, borage oil, and particularly cod liver oil because it contains Vitamin A and Vitamin D which helps anti-

proliferative disorders (where the skin cells are turning over at a higher rate). Vitamin A and D

normalize the cells growth rate. For dry skin diseases one would use external applications like

thick moisturizers. Custom ointments can be made for topical use the ingredients would include zinc,

calendula, coconut butter, bees-wax, chickweed, and licorice.   11




    9.  Chandra RK. Prospective studies of the effect of breast feeding on incidence of infection and
        allergy. Acta Paediatr Scand 1979 Sep;68(5):691-4
    10. Alternative Medicine-The Definitive Guide Deepak Chopra MD, compiled by the Burton Goldburn
        Group. Page 914- Naturopathic Medicine
    11. Interview with Michael Uzick, N.M.D. Tucson, AZ - Arizona Naturopathic Physicians – 8/30/04
                                                                                                           13
Ayurveda is that which makes ayus (life) known. 17 The following texts is an Ayurvedic perspective and

treatment plan for Vata, Pitta, and Kapha Eczema.



Thus man, dispossessed of right understanding, resolution and recollection and taken possession of by the

ego and attached to action and given to doubt, his understanding clouded with conceit, and merging

himself in his environment, with distorted vision, lacking discrimination and going astray, becomes the

dwelling tree of all afflictions which have for their root cause defects of the body and the mind.   12




One who cares to take preventive measures before the occurrence of disease or who takes the curative

treatment from the early stages of disease does attain everlasting happiness.13



Explaining the reason Cakrapani says that Ayurveda is eternal because knowable (ayus), Knowledge

(buddhi) and knower (ayuso vedita) are beginningless. This practical eternity of Ayurveda is provided by

continuity of tradition. Moreover, the definition is not man made and as such is eternally continuing. So

Ayurveda dealing with that is also such. The nature of entities in respect of their causing and curing

disorder is eternal as such Ayurveda dealing with them is also eternal. 16



Skin diseases in Ayurveda are classified under the broad category of Kushtham, the root of which means

“that which comes out from the inner part to the outer part.” The implication here is that skin disease

is more than skin deep even if their only manifestation is a skin lesion. The multilayered nature of the

skin was appreciated in Ayurveda and its function was felt to be 1) to produce color, 2) to regulate heat,

and 3) to absorb and digest medicinal substances contained in fats and decoctions that may be put over

the body.   14


   12. Caraka Sanghita, Sarira Sthana Chapter 5, Verse 10
   13. Lord Atreya (One of Ayurveda’s great masters)
   14. Ayurvedic Specific Conditions Review: Psoriasis Raymond Rosenthal, M.D., M.P.H. The Protocol
       Journal of Botanical Medicine Volume 1, Number 1 Summer 1995
                                                                                                            14
Ayurvedic texts list eighteen varieties of kushtam, seven great ones (mahakushtas), and eleven minor

ones, (Kshudrakushthas). To determine the specific kind of kushtham, it is necessary to understand the

predominate doshic disturbance and the degree to which the accompanying dushyas are deranged.



As in other diseases, vatic kushtham is diagnosed by the presence of 1) dryness, 2) atrophy, 3) prickly

sensation, 4) pain, 5) contraction, 6) hardness, 7) roughness, 8) horripilation, and 9) cyanosis, and reddish

color implying dilation of blood vessels. Swelling anesthesia, and diaphoreses are due to vata as described

by Susruta.



Pittic kushtham is characterized by 1) burning, 2) redness, 3) exudation, 4) suppuration, 5) smell of rancid

meat, 6) softening, and 7) sloughing, as well as 8) “falling body parts.” Breaking of the local skin, sinking

of the ears and nose, and redness of the eyes also can accompany pittic kushtham as described by

Sustruta.



Kaphic kushtham is characterized by 1) whiteness, 2) coldness, 3) itching, 4) localization, 5) elevation (of

lesions), 6) heaviness, 7) sliminess or glossiness, 8) presence of bacteria or other microbes, and 9)

discharges. Itching, discoloration, and swelling have also been described by Susruta.14




The etiology of eczema can start from many sources. There are seven causative factors of Kushtham

which include the three doshas, vata, pitta, and kapha, and four levels of “morbid” bodily tissues called

dushyas, skin (twak), blood (rakta), flesh (mans), and lymph (laseeka). These seven substances (dravyas)

or factors are the cause of all varieties of kushtham.14



    14. Ayurvedic Specific Conditions Review: Psoriasis Raymond Rosenthal, M.D., M.P.H. The Protocol
    Journal of Botanical Medicine Volume 1, Number 1 Summer 1995
                                                                                                          15
Treatment from the classic text suggest “Tuttha (copper sulphate), daruharidra, kasisa, kampillaka,

musta, lodhra, sulphur, rala, vidanga, realgar, orpiment and bark of Karavira- these powered should be

prescribed for dusting on the body smeared with oil. Thus ringworm, itching, kitibha, popular eruptions

and eczema are relieved.” [10-11] 15




Generally diseases that involve the seven dravyas without penetrating deeper into the fatty tissue or

beyond are considered more curable. When vata and kapha are deranged together the prognosis is

better. When pitta is involved the prognosis is worse.




Caraka says that in cases of kudhtaham when vata is the dominant factor, take medicated ghees (ghritta);

where kapha is dominant, use emesis (vamana karma) and where pitta is predominant use blood letting

(rakta-moksha), or purgation (virechana). Internal Purification-Pancha Karma.   14




Eczema is predominantly aggravated by pitta & vata. It is caused by ama (endo & exo toxins) accumulation

due to low Agni (digestive fire) and poor elimination. Complicated by further ama build-up due to food,

inhalants and contact with allergies, and sensitivities. 18




15.   Caraka-Samhita Volume 1 Chapter III page 20 [10-11]
16.   Caraka-Samhita Volume 3 Chapter XXX Page 264
17.   Caraka-Samhita Volume 3 Chapter XXX Page 265
18.   Dermatology Ayurvedic Academy & Natural Medicine Clinic-Eczema Protocol-Dr. Vikek Shanbhag 1999
                                                                                                           16

The skin reflects the plasma (rasa dhatu), which is the first tissue produced from the food that we have

digested, and mirrors overall bodily health and nutrition. Since the skin related to the rasa dhatu, plasma

it is considered the outer disease pathway and to the blood. Skin diseases, therefore, relate to the lungs

and the liver. The use of expectorants and diaphoretics to cleanse the lungs, and alteratives and bitter

tonics to cleanse the liver are important in the treatment of skin diseases.




There are many good herbs for cleansing and healing the skin. Among the best are common blood-

cleansing herbs like dandelion, burdock, red clover, plantain, yarrow and self-heal. Ayurvedic herbs

include turmeric, barbarry, sandalwood and guggul. Such herbs are mainly for acute cases. In chronic

cases, demulcents and tonics such as marshmallow, licorice, shatavari, and gokshura are required. 19




An Ayurvedic heral mixture of: kutki 200 mg., manjista 300 mg., tumeric 200 mg. and neem 200 mg., one

teaspoon of this mixture generally taken twice a day after lunch and dinner. Externally apply neem oil. Do

not eat salt, sugar or yogart.20




Surface-reliving herbs influence the sudoriferous (sweat) glands. Some also are useful in treating

eczema, scarlet fever and other skin diseases. This is because the sebaceous glands are activated

through the use of diaphoretic herbs like burdock seeds and sassafras. The oils in both of these herbs

are useful in the treatment of dry eczematous skin. 21




    19. Ayurvedic Healing 2nd revised and enlarged edition by Dr. David Frawley Pages 274 to 277
    20. Alternative Medicine-The Definitive Guide Deepak Chopra MD, compiled by the Burton Goldburn
        Group. Page 914 - Ayurveda
    21. Planetary Herbology Michael Tierra, C.A., ND Page 85
                                                                                                          17
Other useful herbs in the treatment of eczema include:

Gotu Kola is a close relative of Brahmi (Hydrocotyle Asiatica). It is a powerful blood purifier and is

specific for chronic skin diseases, including leprosy and syphilis, as well as eczema and psoriasis. 22




Neem is indicated for use of skin diseases such as (urticaria, eczema, and ringworm). Neem is one of the

most powerful blood-purifiers and detoxifiers in Ayurvedic use. It cools the fever and clears the toxins

involved in most inflammatory skin diseases or those found in ulcerated mucous membranes. Neem can be

taken whenever a purification or reduction program is indicated. Yet it should be used with discretion

where there is severe fatigue or emaciation.   22




Echinacea is also used for eczema. Echinacea is probably the best detoxifying agent in western herblism.

It is a natural antibiotic and counters the effects of most poisons in the body. It cleanses the blood and

lymph systems, catalyzes the action of the white blood cells and helps arrest pus formation and tissue

putrefaction. In terms of Ayurveda, it is used in destroying Ama. 22




Golden Seal is a good herbal antibiotic, antibacterial and antiseptic agent. Its strong detoxifying action

extends throughout the circulatory system as well. It sedates and regulates liver and spleen function,

along with sugar and fat metabolism, reducing toxins and excess tissue from the body. It purifies the

mucous membranes and is good for all catarrhal conditions. It is perhaps the strongest anti-Pitta herb

available in this country.22




22. The Yoga of Herbs 2nd revised & enlarged edition Dr. David Frawley and Dr. Vasant Lad Pages: 171,
179, 115, 122
                                                                                                              18
Specific diet and herb treatment for Vata type, Pitta type, and Kapha type eczema are below as follows.



Vatas should follow and anti-Vata diet. Soothing oils such as sesame should be applied to the skin on a

regular basis. Laxatives and enema therapy are helpful. Triphala should be taken on a regular

basis, 5-10 grams before sleep. Triphala guggul or myrrh tincture is good. Avoid exposure to wind, cold

and sudden temperature changes.23



For Pitta type skin diseases one should follow an anti-Pitta diet avoiding possible allergens foods like

nightshades, tomatoes, peaches and strawberries as well as sour dairy products. Drink coconut,

pomegranate or sweet pineapple juice to clear the system. Exposure to sun and heat should be avoided.

The best oils for external application are coconut or sunflower and ghee is also excellent. Aloe gel or

cilantro juice is excellent externally. Brahmi or Bhringaraj oil, or herbs in decoction, is good for rashes

on the head, neck and face. Most typical alteratives, like burdock or red clover, are good. Bitter

laxatives, rhubarb root or aloe, are helpful. Formulas include the herbal febrifuge and blood purifier (no.

7) taken with aloe gel or dandelion tea.23



Kaphas should implement an anti-Kapha diet avoiding all heavy, greasy and oily food particularly cheese

and yogurt. No oils should be used externally or internally. Dry powders on the skin are often helpful,

using such anti-Kapha herbs as calamus, ginger or mustard. Diuretic herbs are helpful like plantain,

burdock seeds or pipsissewa. Formulas include Gokshura guggul or Triphala guggul, as well as the Herbal

Febrifuge and Blood Purifier, with warm water or ginger tea. 23




23. Ayurvedic Healing 2nd revised and enlarged edition by Dr. David Frawley Page 277
                                                                                                          19
Touch Therapies include Dry Brush Massage, Reflexology, and Ayurvedic Self Massage (Abhyanga).



Skin brushing and special designed skin-care products can boost blood flow to the surface of the skin,

which will benefit our general health by stimulating the lymphatic system and increasing the skins ability

as an eliminative organ, aiding the entire body.




Stimulating the skin increases the blood and lymph circulation to this vital organ, nourishing and cleansing

it as it supports its many functions. The step in stimulating the skin is with a popular European technique

called dry brush massage. Dry brush massage has been used for hundreds of year to benefit the skin as

well as overall health. This technique cleans the skin without removing the protective pH mantle or

natural skin oils. It stimulates the hormone and oil-producing glands in the dermal layer. By sloughing off

the top layer of dead skin cells, dry brush massage opens the pores and assists the respiring function of

the skin. It can assist in the breaking up fat deposits, removes dry skin cells that are clogging the outer

skin so the skin can breathe.




Dry brush massage is best done before a bath or shower so the dead skin cells will be rinsed off the skin.

Use a long handles, natural vegetable bristle brush that is used exclusively for this purpose.   24




Dry-brush the skin every morning to increase local circulation and lymphatic flow to stimulate your

sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. Dry-brushing also removes dead skin. Before bathing, use a

bristle brush to gently rub your whole body. Brush in small circles. Start with the soles of the feet and

move up the legs, arms, trunk toward your heart. Finally, use a gentle face brush for your face, again

brushing in small circles. 25


24. Web based article http://www.bodyandfitness.com/bodyandfitness1.html (Body Care)
25. Smart Medicine for your Skin Jeanette Jacknin M.D. Dermatitis (Rashes) Page 184
The word ‘eczema’ is taken from the Greek Ek Zeein, meaning to boil, seethe, or anything thrown off or
                                                                                                             20
Eczema and many other skin disorders often manifest because of poor function and activity in the

internal organs. Vata’s can benefit from body brushing by stimulating the sebaceous glands. Pitta type

eczema implies excess heat or excess turmoil within. Kapha types can benefit by breaking up stagnation

and increasing circulation.



Often eczema sufferers have a totally congested and acidic system. This is shown by the color of their

skin, which may have a gray tinge or poor color. The feet or hands will be puffy and inflamed.



When patients come for reflexology they are often unsure as to whether they will get a response or not.

They are therefore amazed at how the essential moisturizing factor of the skin seems to be improved

with regular reflexology treatments. Treatment appears to advance the whole natural process of skin

shedding and skin renewal; it is the stimulation to cells within the stratum geminativum that helps in this

exfoliating process. Stimulation also seems to help its secretory functions. The two main excretory

substances are sweat and sebum.



Reflexology also brings about a profound sense of well-being and complete relaxation, thus reducing any

stress, which is often very evident in people suffering with a skin complaint. A reflexologist will aim to

help regulate the general homeostasis of the body. As the kidneys play such a vital role in regulating the

composition of the internal environment, extra stimulation on this reflex point is very important. The

kidney reflex needs to be worked several ways to ensure proper activity within the organ. The internal

environment of the body is kept within narrow but normal limits by feedback mechanisms; many systems

or organs of the body are involved. The hypothalamus regulates many hormonal functions. The lungs

improve the gaseous exchange within the alveolus helping the intake of oxygen and expulsion of carbon

dioxide which is by diffusion. The liver balances the blood glucose concentrations maintaining the correct

levels. The role of the skin is in making sure that the body temperature does not deviate too much beyond

accepted limits. 26
                                                                                                             21

Reflexology has a wonderful way of helping balance all the above systems of the body and all secretory

functions. Secretion is one of the skin’s most important functions. Sebum, a natural lubricant from the

sebaceous glands, keeps the epidermis supple and helps to reduce any tendency to dryness; it also

protects with its antibacterial action and antiseptic properties. Perspiration contains some sodium

chloride, small quantities of urea and lactic acid; it is secreted from the sudorific glands. These two main

substances together create what is known as the ‘acid mantle’.



The sweat glands are governed by the sympathetic nervous system. Often when there is excess stress or

an emotional overload, activity within the glands increases and they discharge cellular matter as well as

fluid. This is shown when there are sweat spots on the feet or hands; these often arise when there has

been any overload on the emotions or there is undue stress. Eccrine sweat is a slightly acid and watery

fluid which contains and excretes a certain amount of urea, one of the chief waste products of the body.

Excess tension in the body can exacerbate this natural process. If the liver or renal function is slightly

defective, this waste product will then try to pass out through the skin. If the person has a skin disorder,

this action can be inhibited further causing internal imbalances. It is vital that the sympathetic nerves

are calmed down and the hormones of the endocrine system are stimulated, as both are involved in the

regulatory mechanism. Thus, in the case of skin disorders, such as eczema, reflexology seems to help in

the healing process with an action similar to an emollient softening and soothing the skin if it is dry, hard

or cracked. 26




   26. Beryl Crane is the founder and director of the Crane School of Reflexology (Reflexology for skin
       disorders) www.positivehealth.com
                                                                                                            22

Reflexology, with special attention to the thyroid and adrenal gland reflexes in the hands and feet, has

been found to be helpful for dry skin. 27



A whole body massage with specific herbal oils to nourish and revitalize the body tissues (Dhatus) and

to allow the toxins to be removed from the cells. Abhyanga has much deeper and farther reaching

effects than an ordinary massage using mineral oils and lotions. Abhyanga achieves deepest healing

effects by naturally harmonizing Body - Mind & Spirit. This massage is performed symmetrically by

two therapists for one hour and is usually followed by a medicated steam bath (Sweda). It is one of the

most rejuvenating treatments of Ayurveda. Increases tissue strength, Improves blood circulation,

Rejuvenates the whole body, Removes the Cellulite, Beautifies the skin, Delays aging, Induces sound

sleep, Promotes vitality, Pacifies Vata imbalance, Reduces stress and Removes toxins. 28




Ayhyanga can also be applied by the person affected by eczema. The term is called Sneha Abhyanga.

Sneha, means oil, or love. Abhyanga is derived from the root ang meaning "movement" and the prefix abhi

meaning "into" or "toward". Thus the word "abhyanga" has the meaning of moving energy/love into the

body or, alternatively, moving toxins towards the alimentary canal for elimination.




Abhyanga treatments for eczema include neem oil, which is the most cooling of all Ayurvedic oils. It is the

best oil for pitta related skin irritations. It is traditionally used for scabies, ringworm eczema, psoriasis

and all types of dry, red rashes. Neem is naturally anti bacterial and anti fungal. The neem oil that is

preferred is made with certified organic neem prepared in a base of organic sesame oil. Other oils

include Bhringaraj oil, Bala oil, and sesame oil.
                                                                                                           23
Aroma therapies used for eczema treatments are in the form of essential oils.

Essential Oils contain volatile components and active ingredients that support the immune system. When

essential oils are inhaled, psychological, and physical changes are instantly produced, directly stimulating

the nerve pathways between the nose and limbic system, our primitive brain, where memories, desires, and

emotions are stored and accessed. The chemical constituents of essential oils are compatible with many of

the allopathic medicines that are used today. In fact, the chemistry of many of essential oils is often

utilized in the development of today’s pharmaceuticals.29

Scent is the most enduring of our senses. It has the power to transform our emotions, and heal our

bodies. It can take us to another place and time. Suggestions for use of essential oils: Use a few drops of

essential oil added to the bath or combine essential oils with carrier oil and massage into the skin.30



For Dry Eczema: Chamomile’s effects are soothing, relaxing the aroma is a middle note and the sent is

sweet, herbal, fruity. Its properties are analgesic, antibacterial, antiseptic, digestive stimulant.

Chamomile is used in skin conditions such as (dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis).30

Geranium’s effects are comforting, healing and the aroma is a middle note and the scent is floral, sweet.

Its properties are antifungal, antiseptic, antispasmodic, and it is a diuretic. It is used on burns, eczema

and edema.   30


Lavender’s effects are calming, therapeutic and the aroma has a middle note, the scent is floral, sweet,

woody and herbal. Its properties are analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, diuretic, insecticide, and is

a sedative. Lavender is used in acne, burns, circulatory problems, dandruff, eczema, skin problems,

sunburns and tension.30




    27.   Smart Medicine for your Skin Jeanette Jacknin M.D. Dermatitis Other Therapies Page 184
    28.   http://www.ayurindus.com/user/Rej.html
    29.   Ayurvedic Strengthening of the Immune System by Light Miller, N.D.
    30.   Web site (Treatment of Eczema using Essential Oils) www.aworldofaromatherapy.com
                                                                                                          24
For Weeping Eczema:



Bergamot effects are refreshing, uplifting aroma and has a top note, the scent is sweet, and spicy.

The properties are antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic and the uses are for abscesses, acne, and

boils. The contra-indications are that bergamot is a photosensitizer (increases the skins reaction to

sunlight making it more likely to burn) so it should not be used when exposed to sunlight or tanning beds.

Bergamot has antispasmodic properties and therefore should be avoided during pregnancy.30




Juniper effects are cleansing, refreshing and the aroma has a middle note. The scent is fresh, woody,

and sweet. The properties are analgesic, astringent, diuretic, and it is an expectorant. The use is for

acne, cellulite, cystitis, and dermatitis. It is used for weeping eczema. Contra-indications are that

Juniper should not be used during pregnancy or if you have a severe kidney disease. 30




Other essential oil used for eczema are Bergamot, Chamomile, (German) Eucalyptus, Geranium,

Helichrysum, Juniper, Lavender, Melissa, Patchouli, Rosalina, Rosewood, and Sage.31




Dry Eczema- Bergamot, Chamomile, Geranium, Hyssop, and Rosemary.

Wet Eczema- Chamomile (German), Hyssop, Juniper, Lavender, and Myrrh. 31




   30. Web site (Treatment of Eczema using Essential Oils) www.aworldofaromatherapy.com
   31. Reference Guide For Essential Oils by Connie and Alan Higley Personal Guide page 274
                                                                                                            25
Color therapy is the basis of gem therapy and is an important therapy in itself. After sound therapy it is

the most important of the sensory therapies. Color is the light absorbed primarily through the eyes

(Alochaka Pitta), through it can also be absorbed through the skin (Bhrajaka Pitta). It is part of the

subtle nutrition for the mind and life-force, the impressions, which feed them. It serves to energize the

nerves and through them to simulate the mind.32



The use of gemstones in healing is not new. For over 5,000 years, various precious stones have been

valued not only for their beauty or rarity but also for their medicinal properties. Throughout Asia,

medicines are, to this day, produced from finely powdered gemstones, which are prepared as pills or

balms. The powders are microscopic crystals and, unlike all chemical medications, they do not dissolve in

water and are not absorbed by the body but pass through and are eliminated by the digestive tract.

Powdered gem medicines are extremely powerful and effective and they influence biological energy at the

atomic level by dielectric resonance (inductance and capacitance) with the valence electrons of atoms that

make up living cells. The blood circulating around the stomach and intestines is energized with the specific

frequencies dictated by the color of the gem powder. The blood then transports the energy to other

parts of the body.



Many diseases and infections such as candida, influenza, eczema, psoriasis, asthma, edema, ME, MS,

diabetes, thrombosis, depression, senile dementia, cancers, hepatitis etc. involve malfunctions and

imbalances of the patient’s organs and glands. Gems used for eczema are Emerald and Sapphire. 33




   32. American Institute of Vedic Studies Part IV - Dr. David Frawley, page 17 Color Therapy
   33. Gem Lamp Therapy for Health by Angela Blaen, BA, Ph.D
   http://www.positivehealth.com/permit/Articles/Energy%20Medicine/blaen61.htm
                                                                                                              26
The color yellow is used as light/color therapies for eczema. The color yellow is associated with the

solar plexus chakra, which is concerned with intellect and judgment. Yellow stimulates mental ability and

concentration, and aids detachment. It can be used to treat rheumatism and arthritis, as well as straw

related illnesses. Its complement is violet.




Yellow activates the motor nerves. It generates energy for the muscles. Disturbance in the supply of

yellow energy to any part of the body can cause disturbance of function in that area including partial or

complete paralysis from the deficiency of sensory and/or motor energy. The color yellow affects the

digestive system, gastrointestinal tract, adrenal activity and the left hemisphere brain activity.




Yellow is excellent for the nerves and the brain; It is a motor stimulant and a nerve builder. Yellow rays

strengthen the nerves and aid the brain. Yellow has a stimulating, cleansing, and eliminating action on the

liver, intestines, and the skin. Yellow purifies the blood stream. It activates the lymphatic system. Yellow

is a spleen depressant, cathartic, cholegogue, anthelmintic.




Yellow is a mixture of red and green rays. It has half the stimulating potency of red and half the

reparative potency of the green. Hence, it tends both to stimulate function and to repair damaged cells.

Yellow light directed at the intestinal tract for short periods is a digestant. For longer periods, it acts

both as catharsis and as a cathartic. It also stimulates the flow of bile and has an anthelmintic action

(antagonistic to parasites and worms).34




34. Online web site for Eczema and Color Therapies- www.holisticonline.com Color Therapies
                                                                                                            27



Yellow predominantly affects the solar plexus chakra, and it is stimulating to the mental faculties of the

individual. It can be used for depression. It helps awaken an enthusiasm for life. It awakens greater

confidence and optimism. It is also effective in the treatment of digestive problems. It is beneficial to

the stomach, the intestines, the bladder, and the entire eliminative system as well. It is very effective in

the treatment of most headaches. It helps to balance the gastrointestinal tract.




The color yellow treats Eczema, Digestive Processes, Diabetes, Constipation, Flatulence, Kidney, Liver,

Spleen, Rheumatism, and Mental depression/exhaustion.34




34. Online web site for Eczema and Color Therapies- www.holisticonline.com Color Therapies
                                                                                                          28

Mantras, being sacred sound vibrations, are composed of sacred syllables representative of and containing

within great spiritual power, or energy. Utilizing mantras allows us to concentrate and focus this spiritual

energy. The mantras were perceived originally by the great seers or rishis from the primeval or cosmic

era and translated into definite syllables with rhythm and melody.



The word "mantra" is composed, in Sanskrit, of two root words. "Man" means" mind", or "thinking", and

"tra" to "release or free". Therefore the meaning is to free the mind and thinking from the material

sphere of consciousness and to be able to transcend the wheel of "samsara" or "birth and death within

this physical world"35



Mantras are special powerful sounds, usually root sounds of the Sanskrit language, the legendary language

of the gods.



According to the Vedic system, all creation proceeds through sound, as sound is the sense quality

belonging to ether, the origin of all other elements. 36



The mind is like is like a sixth sense organ or sixth element (the mind-space or mind-ether). It’s sensory

quality us the mental aspect of sound, which is the word: sound that has a meaning and is a vehicle of

communication. The term mantra itself literally means “the instrument of the mind”, “what protects the

mind”. Mantras are the most important of the spiritual and mental therapy of Ayurveda. 36




35. Meaning of Mantra web link- http://www.jyotishweb.org/mantras/mantra_meaning.asp
36. American Institute of Vedic Studies Part IV - Dr. David Frawley, page 28 Mantra and Sound Therapy
                                                                                                            29
The Earth God Mantra which is used for eczema is as follows:

Namo san-man-doh, moo-toh-nam, om, doo-loo-doo-loo, dei-wei, soha.

The Earth God Mantra is usually chanted before reciting a sutra. This is to summon the Earth Gods from

the four directions to guard over you while you recite the sutra. Pan Li spent his entire life reciting this

mantra. His sincerity attracted the Earth God to protect him. This mantra is neither from the Buddhas,

Bodhisattvas nor the Vajra Protectors. It is not a major mantra, yet it should not be underestimated as it

contains amazing power.

If anyone is troubled by spirit entities and recites this mantra, the spirits will retreat and give you their

respect. If anyone contracts illness and recites this mantra, the illness will leave. All pain will disappear

and one's health will return.

In the past this has been taught to people on how to chant this mantra as it is especially helpful for

curing several forms of dermatitis such as athlete's foot, chronic dermatitis, discoid eczema, etc. By

chanting the mantra, those who have skin-related illnesses should be cured because the Earth God

devours the bacteria on the skin.37

If one recites this mantra diligently and upholds the Five Precepts and Ten Wholesome Deeds, then one


will not fall in to the three lower realms and hell. In fact, one will be reborn in the heaven realm and

enjoy utmost bliss and pleasure. The Earth God Mantra is also most effective in terms of accumulating

wealth because the Earth Gods and their attendant ghosts will help those who recite the mantra to

receive countless fortunes.

Pan Li devoted his life to chanting this mantra and achieved great results with it. The mala had been

passed down from grandfather to father, and from father to son. Nonetheless, the blessings followed and

were passed down as well. This is simply incredible.37



36. American Institute of Vedic Studies Part IV - Dr. David Frawley, page 28 Mantra and Sound Therapy
37. The Power of Mantra Chanting Book 148 Chapter 2: Grandfather Mala
http://www.padmakumara.org/books/book148/chap2.shtml
                                                                                                         30
Similar mantras relate to the seven tissues (dhatus) of the physical body and can be used to strengthen

them. If a particular tissue is deficient, the respective mantra can be used to increase it. If a particular

tissue is unstable, the mantra can stabilize it.



For plasma which is the rasa dhatu (skin) the element is air and the mantra is YAM. For the blood which

is rakta dhatu the element is fire and the mantra is RAM. For the muscle which is mamsa dhatu the

element is earth and the mantra is LAM. For the fat which is called the medas dhatu the element is

water and the mantra is VAM. The bone which is called asthi dhatu and the mantra is SHAM (as in ship).

The nerves are called majja dhatu and the mantra is SHAM (as in shut). The reproductive system is

called shukra dhatu and the mantra is SAM.36




36. American Institute of Vedic Studies Part IV-Dr. David Frawley, pg. 30 Mantras & The Bodily Tissues
                                                                                                          31
In Closing:

Everyone's unique beauty shines forth through Bhrajaka Pitta (skin) when they have radiant health

and personal happiness.



Beauty is a side effect of a balanced fulfilled life. The skin represents the rasa dhatu (plasma) and when

rasa is in harmony we feel happy and a sense of satisfaction, and when it is deficient or toxic we feel

a sense of disharmony and dissatisfaction.



Supreme personal beauty is accessible to everyone who is willing to become aware of their health in the

day to day life through time-tested principles of Ayurvedic Medicine. What we do daily either makes us

or breaks us. Ayurveda - the science of life teaches us to live in harmony with our environment and cycles

of nature with in and with out.



For most of us, beauty is not a gift but a choice. Every person can be radiantly beautiful simply by

beginning to lead a healthier life. The reward of the glowing effects that you will see in your mirror

each day and the powerful, bliss-producing effect your special beauty has on everyone in your life.



Ayurveda teaches us that we create our own reality by our belief systems and if we choose to shift our

Consciousness from beliefs that do not serve us well to new and sometimes opposing thoughts and actions

we can change our own inner landscape, and when we change ourselves we change the world.




Om shanti shanti shanti…

				
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