Herbs & Natural Remedies:
Evening primrose oil (Oenothera biennis), witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) and chamomile.
Evening primrose oil: capsules. Witch hazel and chamomile: compresses.
How it Works:
Evening primrose oil contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Many studies show that GLA helps treat eczema. Witch hazel and chamomile compresses soothe the skin.
Evening primrose oil: 2 to 6 standard capsules containing 70 to 240 mg of GLA. Chamomile: 2 to 3 heaping teaspoons of flowers per cup of boiling water. Steep until cool and apply with a cloth or cotton balls. Witch hazel: apply with a cloth or cotton balls.
To maintain healthy fatty acid levels, do not exceed 6 evening primrose oil capsules daily.
Hot baths followed by moisturizing lotions can help control itching. Get tested for allergies and consider an elimination diet. Studies show that common eczema triggers include milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts and chemical food additives.
San Francisco health writer Michael Castleman is the author of 11 consumer health books. Visit www.mcastleman.com .