by Dr. Hui Hwang
The annoying itchiness keeps you up at night. The stubborn oozing, blisters, patches of redness and rashes on the skin are a clear sign that you are suffering from eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis. Steroids, antihistamines, even immunosuppressants may alleviate the symptoms for a short while, unfortunately, there is no cure for the condition since the cause is unclear according to western medicine.
Understanding eczema through Traditional Chinese Medicine will give to you a different perspective and provide an outlook on how to permanently clear eczema from your skin.
Traditional Chinese Medicine, often just called TCM, goes back 4000 years and originated in China, where it’s still practiced today in the country’s health system. TCM looks at the exterior and interior of the body as being interconnected. What appears on the skin is a reflection of what is happening inside the body. If the body is not in balance, for any of many possible reasons, then a sickness will occur.
This simple paradigm, can get very complex when we dive into the details of TCM. We use terms like dampness, heat, cold, fire, earth and so on to describe conditions which tends to sound very weird for anybody who is used to western medicine. As you read on, don’t take these terms literally, they are just words that TCM uses to describe groups of energies and pathogens that are acting on your body.
Ok, with that out of the way, let’s see what causes eczema. TCM believes it’s due to wind, dampness and heat through factors both outside and inside the body. Outside factors include climate and seasonal changes, environmental pathogens, and allergens. Most commonly involved inside factors are excessive heat and dampness blocking circulation and inhibit optimal organ function. The itchiness and redness are due to heat, and the oozing and blisters are due to dampness.
Outside factors trigger the condition only when inside foundations are not strong, meaning the internal organs are not balanced. Let’s talk about how our internal organs can get thrown into an imbalance.
Emotional distress (anger, frustration, or revenge) hurts the Liver, creating stagnation and heat, which cause symptoms such as itchiness and dry scaling skin.
Excessive consumption of spicy, cold, or rich foods damage the Spleen, and create dampness, which causes symptoms such as oozing fluids.
Experiencing stress for a prolonged time harms the Heart and Lungs by generating more internal heat which can combine with the heat from emotional distress and dampness from improper food intake, to exacerbate skin conditions, such as eczema.
To treat eczema, herbal formulas are used to clear out the dampness and the heat and to fortify organ functions. The herbs are crucial to balance the body and treat the root of the issues. Typical ingredients in a TCM formula for Eczema are Glabrous Greenbrier Rhizome, Coix, Gardenia and Hypoglauca Collett Yam Rhizome.
Additionally, patients can accelerate the regeneration of healthy skin by resolving charged emotions and learning the appropriate foods to eat or to avoid.
To conclude, clearing heat and dampness from the body, balancing emotions, and conscious food choices are the key to ingredients to being eczema free.
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|TCM vs. Western views on certain health issues|
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