A few people know that the largest organ in the body is our skin. The skin can have a wide spectrum of colors and it is the organ that wraps and safeguards our internal organs, tissues, muscles, blood, and bones. The skin becomes sticky in the summer and dry in the winter. From the viewpoint of TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine, possessing a healthy skin begins inside our body. Commercial skin products proliferates the market and each of them claims they can endow you with wrinkle free, smooth, and amazing skin. In the United States, Europe and Japan, the skin care industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, yet a majority of the products companies offer is loaded with strong and harsh drugs or chemicals that are not even needed to tackle the underlying cause of the problem. What’s worse, a lot of these products may actually make the problem even more severe. On the other hand, TCM products that help improve the health of the skin are all natural and are often derived in gardens, trees, and flowers.
One of the specialties of TCM is dermatology. Practitioners will observe the internal problem causing the dry skin and this helps give the practitioner an insight on how to clear up the external symptoms of the problem. We usually think that dry skin is due to external factors affecting our body. in reality, the condition stems from an imbalance of our yin or yang or could also be because of a blockage of vital energy (QI) leading to the manifestations hives, eczema, dry skin and other types of skin conditions. Once the blockage or the imbalance has been resolved, our skin will become healthy once more.
In TCM, in order to specifically treat dry skin, your TCM practitioner would mainly concentrate on the strengthening of your body’s immune system in order to lower your body’s sensitivity to cold and other adverse environmental conditions. Your practitioner may also use acupuncture to address this blockage or imbalance and help the body filter away toxins that have been causing the skin to become hot, red, and itchy. After acupuncture, the practitioner can then recommend herbal formulas to repair and soothe the damaged skin.
There are a number of herbs that help promote skin care. There are herbs that are considered diuretics that can aid in the cleansing of the body. There are herbs that heal the skin, boost immune function, or purify the blood. This article will focus on two herbs that possess skin healing qualities.
Goji berries have been used as treatments to address dry skin problems in China since time immemorial. These berries, in TCM, can help restore and nourish blood, kidney, and liver. Loaded with antioxidants such as riboflavin, bate-carotene, thiamine, linoleic acid, vitamin C, these berries help tighten the skin, and give it a healthy youthful glow.
Calendula possesses antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that make it an excellent herbal choice in the treatment of dry and infected skin. It is also a great natural moisturizer for dry skin. This herb can help relieve inflammation related to dermatitis and eczema and help the skin to heal in a natural manner. It can help soothe the itching and burning caused by condition such as dermatitis and eczema. Calendula’s petals have vivid colors, which is derived from 19 different carotinoids.
Calendulas’ Benefits to the Skin
-Relieve itching and heal chapped dry skin
-Slow down the formation of wrinkles
-Lessen damage gotten from too much sun exposure
-Smooth complexion and soften rough skin
-Improve elasticity and decrease fine lines
Dry Skin Healer – Goji Berry and Calendula Salve
-1 oz calendula ifsued oil – 32 0z glass jar, 16 oz sunflower oil, fresh calendula flower heads; allow 2 to 3 weeks to sit
-3 to 4 drops lavender essential oil
-0.5 oz glass ointment jars
G-erman chamomile essential oil 6 Drops
-Grated beeswax 1tbsp
-Glass ointment jars 0.5 oz. – store in jars Place and refrigerate, apply as needed
This salve is ideal for acute dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, and general dry skin and can be used for burns and wounds, as well.
Dr. Vickery is a licensed acupuncturist in Tarzana, CA., and the founder and clinical director of Vickery Health and Wellness.