“Go home to nature and let nature heal you” ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh
There’s a way you can make your healing journey a little easier by reaching out into nature.
You have the creative freedom to use it in a way that suits you the best.
I’ve been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease of the skin from the combination of traumatic stress and genetics. It’s been a year or so since the diagnosis, the treatment process, and my healing journey.
I have limited knowledge about other autoimmune diseases in terms of their treatment and effects, but I believe there are some practices that can help everyone. The most commonly diagnosed autoimmune disease of the skin is eczema. In my case, it was a rare condition of psoriatic eczema—both equally painful and difficult to heal.
It commonly appears on the palm of the hands, fingers, and feet. I was in immense pain every breathing second. It felt like something was eating up my hands and feet. I had an extreme sensitivity of my skin; I couldn’t wear clothes, cook, or even hold blunt objects; I couldn’t walk.
General medicine was not helping at all, so I turned to Ayurveda. I started my consultation under an Ayurvedic dermatologist.
Inflammation is one of the biggest effects of almost all autoimmune diseases, and honestly, I did not realize until recently that my body had taken a beating over several years. In addition to a strict treatment that involves oral medication and the application of ayurvedic ointments and oils, I adopted some practices that have immensely helped me.
I want to share some easy-to-do Ayurveda hacks with natural ingredients, which you may use every day if you like:
1. Turmeric (external and internal use)
As already known, turmeric is one of the most effective natural ingredients that nature has given us. It is an antiseptic and has anti-inflammatory properties. It has antioxidants and helps with many health disorders. Turmeric can contribute to healthy digestion; it’s used in Ayurvedic medicine as a digestive healing agent. Turmeric can help with gut inflammation and gut permeability.
In the case of an autoimmune disease of the skin, raw turmeric root can be used in your diet. Add it to soups, curries, pickles, chutneys, dips, health drinks, and many more.
You may also make a paste of it and apply it to the area of your skin where you have lesions. You may also soak your feet and palm in turmeric water. Simply boil the root in water, cool it a little, and soak it for 20 minutes. Make sure the water is warm (not too hot, not too cold).
Note: do not use packaged turmeric powder. Always get hold of the turmeric root.
2. Red Sandalwood (external use only)
Red Sandalwood is known to have anti-inflammatory factors that help soothe not only autoimmune skin conditions but other skin issues, like acne. It is best if you use a Red Sandalwood stick and make the paste yourself at home, rather than getting the packaged powder or paste. If worse comes to worst, it is okay to use the powder or paste you get in the market. Apply this to the affected areas. You may choose to do this at your convenience on a daily or weekly basis.
Please make sure you do not have contact dermatitis to red sandalwood.
3. Coconut (external and internal use)
This magical drupe is a life savior. You can use it in any form: milk, oil, yogurt—it will only add value to your health. Have fun with this beautiful gift of nature.
Use coconut milk in your diet as much as you can, as long as you do not have an allergic reaction to it. You may use it in soups, pancakes, curries, parfaits, cold beverages, and much more. Get innovative while using coconut milk—you’ll enjoy it. It can also be used as a moisturizer before taking a shower or bath.
Use coconut oil in your diet; replace vegetable oils with this. If you are not fond of the taste, you may also use the oil on your skin directly. Use it on the affected areas whenever the skin gets hard, brittle, and forms cracks. Warm the oil a little, and soak a cloth in it and apply it to the affected area.
Use coconut yogurt (unsweetened) in your diet, and also apply it to your skin directly. It is extremely soothing when you mix it with other ingredients like turmeric and red sandalwood. In your diet, the yogurt can be used creatively, including in parfaits, curries, and salads.
Some other herbs you may use in your diet and for external application: cardamom, cinnamon, neem, Triphala (which is a combination of three herbs: Haritaki, Bibhitaki, and Amla), and Indian sarsaparilla. You may also try getting hold of Ashwagandha (in the form of capsules or powder), which brings down the cortisol levels, helping to reduce inflammation in the body.
Combining these Ayurveda hacks with other mindful practices, such as meditation, has helped me a lot. I wouldn’t deny there are days when I feel terribly down, but that’s when I feel those feelings, rather than beating ourselves up.
If you have tried any of these or know of other natural remedies to help ease an autoimmune disease, do share it.
May your healing journey be of abundant discoveries.