by guest blogger Isaac Eliaz, MD, MS, LAc, integrative medicine pioneer, researcher, clinical practitioner, author, and lecturer
Your skin is vulnerable. As the largest organ system, it performs numerous essential tasks and is the frontline of defense against bacteria, viruses, allergens, toxins, and more. You do your best to protect your skin, but it’s out in the open, exposed to sun, wind and environmental pollutants. Skin structure is complex, and part of an intricate network involving other organs. To keep it healthy, you need to support this system. Healthy skin is a vital component to wellness and vice versa. Here are some recommended ways to love your skin and promote overall health.
- Fight Inflammation Poor diet, stress, dehydration and environmental factors can all lead to chronic inflammation, which can damage fibers that keep skin elastic and supple. Inflammation can also increase toxins in the body. Several traditional Chinese herbs can reduce inflammation and underlying infection, by clearing “toxic heat”, the Chinese medical term for reducing inflammation. Most commonly used are Jin Yin Hua (Japanese Honeysuckle), Huan Lian (Coptis Rhizome) and Huang Qin (Baikal Skullcap), recommended by Traditional Chinese doctors for centuries to support skin health.
- Rally the Circulatory and Immune Systems A strong circulatory system is vital to skin health. Foods like ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, and citrus fruits increase circulation, help to bring nutrients to the skin, aid detoxification and help reduce inflammation. Balanced immune activity also supports skin health, particularly for inflammatory skin conditions, such as eczema and acne. Foods that boost immunity include yogurt, garlic, shiitake mushrooms, and sweet potatoes.