Dear Ayurvedic Abbie is a feature where you ask Abbie your most important ayurveda-related questions. Anything goes! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and your question may be in the next issue!
Dear Ayurvedic Abbie,
Please help! I have eczema that comes and goes generally around my fingers and sometimes on my legs. Lately, I have been getting it on my face near my eyes—what can I do? I look all scaley and my eyes itch and burn. I am told that I have a pitta (fire) nature but I always get confused on those dosha tests. Sometimes I think I am a Vata, sometimes I think I am a Pitta? I am 50 years old and practice yoga almost every single day. My doctor said it would go away with a gentle, all natural moisturizer and to use Visine for the itching. Got any other ideas?
Dear Dry Eye,
Do not worry, in fact, worry itself can create more issues for you! I am putting my money on the idea that you “gotta lotta vata” and some high fire too. You may be a dual dosha, Vata-Pitta, and that is why you get “confused” on those dosha tests… don’t worry it happens to us all. :)
We have a few ayurvedic home remedies that might help calm your nerves and soothe your skin at the same time. Sound good? First of all, try a cooling diet with veggies of the season. Use dark green veggies with some ghee (clarified butter) and Vata Churna spices.
Without a consultation it is difficult to know how to bring you back to balance, but we can do some general calming and cooling that should decrease the agitation of your blood and calm your skin. Ayurveda supports your doctor’s idea of moisture. I use medicated ghee on my skin when it becomes dry, hot and flakey. Eczema can be either an imbalance of V,P or K. When Kapha, it is gooey and will ooze in which case you want to dry it out. You did not describe your excema like that, rather yours sounds dry, inflamed and itchy. Those words mean we have the qualities of vata being expressed and some high pitta too. We need warm moist oil, in this case ghee, and we want to soothe the skin by mixing bhrami into the ghee. You can purchase this at www.banyanbotanicals.com or make it at home.
Other options that are easy to get and simple to use with excellent effect are: rose water spritz to the skin, aloe vera gel or two tablespoons of the juice internally, turmeric, coriander. Helpful therapies for external application include rose water, coconut juice, Aloe Vera gel, coriander leaf juice, a paste made of turmeric, sandalwood and neem is excellent as well (be careful around the eye as it can stain) or taking this turmeric along with saffron in a nighty-night drink can be useful to soothe the overtaxed immune system too!
There are a few other things I would suggest you try to do as we move into the season of summer: try reducing any hot and spicy foods, maybe take a gentle kitchari cleanse to balance your agni, drink coconut water to cool you down, start a practice of yoga nidra or deep relaxation daily for 20 or 30 minutes. Once the excema clears, use cucumber on your eyes in the afternoon for 10 minutes as a refresher, and practice alternate nostril pranayama to help you balance your right and left hemispheres and calm your mind.
Hope you’re feeling bright eyed and rejuvenated very soon~