For those of us living in dry, cold climates, winter can be challenging. And, especially, after all the holiday sweets, our immune systems may be clogged and overheated. Overwhelming the immune system can result in dry, red, hot skin, eczema, and inflammation. If your skin is dry and itchy right now or if your child is showing signs of eczema, here are some things that might help.
Oil your dry skin or your child’s dry skin every morning with coconut or sunflower oil. This is called Abhyanga, in the Ayurvedic tradition, and here’s a tutorial.
Have a drink of warm water upon arising. And, drink plenty of water (without ice) throughout the day.
Eat cooling foods like cucumbers, asparagus, artichoke, and tofu. Eat lightly for awhile, mostly fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats like chicken and turkey or freshwater fish like trout.
Go easy on the fried foods, red meat, refined sugar, flour products, tomatoes, and hot peppers or spicy food.
Take 2 TBL of aloe vera gel 3 times a day to help chill out.
Wearing or looking at the color blue and wearing pearls are both thought to be cooling.
If your face or eyes feel enflamed, put a washrag in a bowl of ice water and put cold compresses on your face and especially your eyes, every couple of hours throughout the day.
Homeopathic Sulphur (30X) is indicated for rashes aggravated by heat and water, like eczema. For more on eczema, see our article, “Healing Eczema Naturally.”
Lots of essential fatty acids (EFAs) help.
Do some sun salutations.
Turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory. Take one dropper full of the tincture in the AM. Make this yummy drink with it before bed.
Golden Milk (original version)
Make a paste of turmeric and black pepper. Turmeric works best with black pepper.
- 1/4 cup turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup water
Mix well. Cook over medium heat and stir constantly until a thick paste forms. Cool. Refrigerate.
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp. ghee
- 1/4 tsp. turmeric paste
- Honey to taste.
Combine first three ingredients. Heat. Add honey to heated mixture. Serve hot.
Golden Milk (variation)
Combine in a saucepan:
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp. ghee
- 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
- Several gratings of fresh black pepper
- Dash of cinnamon
- Honey to taste
Combine first five ingredients. Heat. Add honey to taste. Serve hot.
Cilantro is also your friend if you’re feeling overheated internally. Mix a bunch of it with 1/3 cup water and drink the liquid. You can also use the pulp on your face.
Put a few drops of pure rose water in your eyes. Here’s a tutorial on how to make your own rose water.
CHILLING OUT IN WINTER
It’s odd to think of chilling out in winter, but while we have to keep our bodies warm, we also have to keep our internal temperature cool to prevent inflammation. I hope these ideas help you to chill out in the winter, or during any season, or any time that you feel overdone.
Peggy O’Mara is the editor and publisher of peggyomara.com. She was the editor and publisher of Mothering magazine from 1980 to 2011 and the editor-in-chief of Mothering.com from 1995 to 2012.. The author of Having a Baby Naturally; Natural Family Living; The Way Back Home; and A Quiet Place, Peggy has conducted workshops at Omega Institute, Esalen, La Leche League, and Bioneers. She is the mother of four and grandmother of three.