Turmeric, a bright yellow spice often found in Indian curries, has become popular in recent years for its health promoting anti-inflammatory properties. Controlling inflammation is important because chronic, low-level inflammation is thought to be at the root of many modern diseases, such as certain types of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, and type 2 diabetes. However, if you are suffering from a skin problem, it is important to note that turmeric is not appropriate for inflammatory skin conditions! Although it may be beneficial for joint inflammation, and various other types of inflammation, it can actually make skin problems worse.
In traditional Chinese medical theory, turmeric is known to possess a very ‘hot’ and spicy characteristic, and therefore creates more ‘heat’ in the skin. If you have a chronic inflammatory skin condition, your skin is said to have too much ‘heat’ already. This skin inflammation is actually an immune system reaction. The immune system has been overloaded by something in your environment, a food you are eating that doesn’t agree with your system, or certain emotions, such as anger, irritability, or stress. The immune system is therefore irritated and over-reacting to the specific substance or bodily process. The result can be seen as the cardinal signs of ‘heat,’ or skin inflammation: redness, a physical sensation of heat, swelling, and possibly even pain.
When you are suffering from a chronic inflammatory skin condition, such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, acne and even vitiligo, dietary changes are a must. If you don’t change what you are putting into your system, the symptoms will not change. Period. It is important to avoid spicy foods. Spicy foods include (but are not limited to): ginger, garlic, cinnamon, black pepper, onions, and any of the hot peppers, and of course, turmeric. Other foods that are best avoided with chronic inflammatory skin conditions are: alcohol, coffee, shellfish, dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.), any foods containing gluten, lamb, beef, and chocolate, and foods with an acidic nature, such as citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit), and vinegars.
Some foods that are more cooling, and therefore beneficial for inflammatory skin conditions and should be included in the diet are: green tea, pears, watermelon, cucumbers, leafy green vegetables. Eating a balanced diet and avoiding sugar are also important.
Also helpful in decreasing inflammation are certain lifestyle factors, such as getting enough sleep, moderate gentle exercise, such as yoga, tai chi, and walking, and reducing stress. With all of these factors combined – herbal medicine, proper diet and lifestyle – your skin condition will no doubt improve.
Merry Clinic’s herbal formulas for the skin will greatly help to decrease the skin’s inflammation and allow the skin to heal. These formulas include: Psoriaid herbal tablets for psoriasis, EcDermaid herbal capsules for eczema and dermatitis, Acneed herbal capsules for acne and rosacea, and Vitilax herbal capsules for vitiligo. We also carry many supplemental products which can also help to control the symptoms. For more information, please visit our website, www.merryclinic.com, or call 1-888-880-1499.
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