Allergies & Your Skin


When I was a kid, allergies amongst my friends and schoolmates were few and far between. I was allergic to a few things here and there, but it was quite rare to hear about deadly peanut allergies or major skin complications due to the foods we eat. The environment in which we live and grow our food, combined with the changes in the foods that we eat, could all be argued as cause for this. But what do you do about it when it strikes you or your children? This week’s blog takes a look at a few remedies for allergies as they relate to your skin.

A few years ago I caught a virus that one would gain just as you did the common cold. The problem was that it resulted in massive hives all over my body, and my doctor told me there was nothing I could do about it. I went for allergy tests, was put on steroids, tried elimination diets and nothing was working. So I visited a naturopath doctor for the first time and dived into my own research. Here are some of my learnings that can be utilized for rashes, hives, psoriasis, eczema and many other conditions.

Most skin conditions are a result from stress and/or your body not flushing out toxins as quickly as it needs to be. So step one is try to reduce your stress with lifestyle changes, breathing exercises, yoga or acupuncture. Over and above that, there are a few things you can do to help with the toxins your body is housing. Your body releases what it does not need three ways – your breath (i.e. carbon dioxide), going to the washroom, and through your skin (i.e. sweat). When the first and second of these two options are not getting the toxins out at the rate they need to be (and by toxins, I don’t mean anything ‘abnormal’, just what the average person has due to our food, air, environment, etc), your skin releases it, which can often cause irritations to the skin, hives and/or psoriasis. Therefore it is key to get your body working a bit more efficiently so that ceases to occur.

To begin, you can do a Liver Cleanse, which is definitely something I would recommend. Start by doing this every six months, and eventually taper off to once year. It is not terribly hard to do, but it can make a massive difference for your health. Here is the cleanse to follow for seven to ten days:
Drink your liver cleanse cocktail (not nearly as good as it sounds!) – one table spoon of extra virgin olive oil, one table spoon of flax seed oil, 1-2 cloves of garlic crushed, half a lemon squeezed. You may want to add water to dilute it, or use garlic pills rather than the raw stuff. Swig that back. Tastes horrible, but it is key to this entire thing.
Half an hour later, eat one piece of fruit and a drink a cup of green tea.

Remainder of the Day:
Eat as much as you want, but you can only have fruit, veggies and brown rice. In terms of seasoning, the only thing you should really have is what you are allowed in your morning cocktail – garlic, extra virgin olive oil, flax seed oil and lemon.

So that’s it – 7 days of this and you’ll be on the right track. In terms of supplements during this time (and therein after) try Milk Thistle. You can buy it at any health food store. It is a really good supplement for liver support during this cleanse and overall increases the flow of bile secretion, and is an antioxidant. It is also recommended to help treat psoriasis.

Another thing I would suggest is organic apple cider vinegar. Add an ounce of it to a full glass of water and drink it five days per week. It doesn’t taste overly fabulous, but you’ll get used to it. It truly is great for numerous reasons including reducing water retention to major antioxidant benefits, and especially great for your skin as it honestly keeps your skin clean. Another option in to use it for skin conditions is to dilute it 1 part vinegar, 3 parts water and put it on some gauze and put it directly on your skin.

Other supplements that are terrific for skin health are Vitamin E and Zinc. Below is a list of foods that are really good for your skin – and are actually things most of us already eat, so should be easy for incorporate. When dealing with allergies, you may just want to try and reach for them a bit more often:

  • tuna (sashimi is amazing – and who doesn’t love that!)
  • wild salmon
  • crayfish, oysters and lobster – all really high in zinc
  • avocados
  • mangoes
  • blackberries
  • brazil nuts, walnuts, hazlenuts
  • chilies
  • broccoli
  • garlic
  • kale
  • red bell peppers

I hope you find this helpful. Speaking with a naturopath really helped me get through some of my own allergy issues, so I would highly recommend speaking to one for your own issues so they can tailor a plan specifically for you. The team at Centre for Natural Medicine in Winnipeg  are wonderful!

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