Years ago, I began to experience eczema. This was when I was living in Washington, D.C.  I had a stressful job and was homesick. If you ever watch the movie “The Devil Wears Prada,” I was Andy, working for Miranda Priestly. Only…she didn’t throw her coat and purse onto my desk as she entered the office.  These flare-ups would happen in response to job stress and eating processed food from the cafeteria and shops near the office.  That, my friends, was when I was first introduced to inflammation. I would get warm-to-the-touch rashes, small bumps, and rough skin emerged on my skin around my earlobes, neck, arms, and belly button area.  Baffled, and running out of my hydrocortisone skin cream with aloe, I contacted my primary care physician and requested a referral to a dermatologist. Naturally, the dermatologist diagnosed my skin’s condition as contact dermatitis and eczema, and prescribed medicine for me and sent me on my way.
After picking up my prescription, I did an internet search for “home remedies and eczema” and saw results as goat’s milk and rooibos (red) tea.  I immediately went to my local organic foods market and found both products.  I started to use them and felt instant results with the discomfort. The heat and itchiness of my skin went away, and afterward the redness on my skin’s surface went away.  My skin thereafter proceeded with its natural healing process. I was relieved to find something that worked!
Later, I learned that inflammation is a major contributor to a number of chronic diseases, and more specifically what caused my eczema flare-ups..  Inflammation can be caused by stress, free radicals, as well as inflammatory foods and beverages.  I incorporated anti-inflammatory foods and beverages into my diet as often as possible to counteract these reactions going forward. I cooked 90% of the food I consumed and prepared my meals each week.   I ate a handful of unsalted/un-roasted walnuts or almonds for breakfast as a way to get omega 3 fatty acids in my diet. I made my food from scratch and avoided processed and preserved foods as much as possible. I made these changes gradually and when necessary.  I paid attention to what my body needed so I could feel as good as possible each day.  I  noticed my immune system improved as well and I caught less colds.
The following products have helped me for years. These herbal teas, Chamomile and Rooibos (Red Tea), are anti-inflammatory and are also natural sedatives.  These teas can help with sleep, but I drink them throughout the day because I can get pretty wired.  You should drink these teas lukewarm or iced (never hot) to protect your throat from any potential damage.  You can also purchase krill oil, which provides quality omega-3 fatty acids and helps with inflammation of the joints and pulmonary system, and enhances brain activity.
See if you can incorporate these into your daily routine long-term to optimize benefits.
Remember to eat yourself well and treat yourself well!
Chef Traci