You may have noticed in some of my past blog posts and Instagram photos that I have been experiencing a bit of an issue w dry, itchy legs. I know that it isn’t the most inspirational or appetizing thing to talk about, but the more people I mention it to, the more I learn that A LOT of people are experiencing a similar thing. So, I am taking this opportunity to not only address it, but talk about some of the remedies I have tried and which ones have worked for me.
So this itchy leg issue is much more then dry skin… I drink plenty of water and I am quite a moisturizer. It seems to go much deeper than the surface of my skin. Although I have yet to diagnose myself (change in weather? stress? allergy? eczema?) I have learned through my herbal classes and books that a lot of skin issues are a result of an inner imbalance.
After trying many different moisturizers, raw honey, oils, and exfoliation, I decided that I would use this inner approach. I looked to my library and found a few suggestions that I am still using today.
Calendula; such a beautiful herb. It is antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, calmative, and has an extremely healing effect on the skin (along with many other effects). It’s anti-inflammatory properties are known to heal and soothe irritated skin, so it seemed like the perfect match. I found an oil made with calendula that I found to be really helpful, and still use to this day after every shower.
After some time of using this oil, I also began incorporating a “blood purifying” tea. A friend mentioned some herbs that are used to clear the blood, and it just so happened that I had 3 of those herbs in my cabinet (love when that happens). Every morning, I would brew a tea that consisted of burdock root, red clover and nettle. I measured out equal parts (1 tablespoon of each) and let the herbs steep in a covered mason jar filled with boiling water for about 30-40 minutes. This wasn’t my favorite tasting tea, but after about a week or 2, I noticed that I was no longer scratching. I was on my way to self-healing!!
I grew to love this tea. I loved the idea that I was creating my own medicine every morning, and that it was actually working! But in all honestly, after a few weeks I was beginning to miss some of my other tea blends. I decided that I would create a tincture using some of these skin-soothing herbs so I could get my “medicine” in a simpler fashion.
A tincture is a concentrated form of an herb (or herbs) and can be used for many different reasons or in different treatments depending on the herbs that are used. I decided to make a tincture out of a mixture of detoxifying and cleansing herbs that are typically used in treating skin issues.
My “skin clearing tincture” consists of burdock root, dandelion root, red clover, calendula, nettle, and oregon grape root. This tincture is still in its brewing process. It sits on my windowsill absorbing sunlight which helps to draw out the healing properties in the herbs. When it is ready to harvest, I will strain out the herbs and have a super-concentrated healing liquid that I can take each day.
Brewing a tincture can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks, which is timely, but these homemade tinctures can be crafted to exactly what you are looking for. For treating more general ailments (headaches, nausea, lack of energy), you can find many options at Mountain Rose Herbs (or another online herbal shop) or in your local health food store.
with herbal love,