Allergies & Eczema
Allergies are very common in the developed world. It affects 20% of the population in developed countries and the numbers are set to increase. Allergies arise due to the hypersensitivity of the immune system to common substances in the environment.
These diseases include allergic rhinitis (hayfever), food allergies, atopic dematitis (otherwise known as eczema), allergic ashtma and anaphylaxis. Symptoms may include red eyes, an itchy rash, sneezing, a runny nose, shortness of breath or swelling. Atopic dematitis (eczema) is the most common affliction and affects a person's quality of life.
There has been research shown that probiotics can be used to help manage these conditions.
The cause of these allergies is due to a faulty immune response, and one of the possible remedies to strengthen the immune system is through the use of probiotics. 70% of the immune system lies in the gut. Therefore, by increasing the amount of good bacteria helps to tip the balance towards a robust immune system.
In 2017, a study has shown that probiotics can prevent children with a higher genetic risk from developing eczema.
A 2016 study also concluded that probiotics may have a positive effect on atopic dermatitis treatment.
Allergies and eczema have to be treated via a 2 prong strategy - internally and externally.
Treating it internally refers to the diet and externally refers to lifestyle changes.
Changing a diet :
- Avoid any food that has triggered the allergies. Do consult your physician if you have not identified the allergens and triggers.
- Take food that is rich in probiotics.
Changing a lifestyle :
Remove allergens from your environment if you are aware of environmental triggers, e.g. dust mites, pollen, animal hair
- Wear natural fabrics to reduce skin irritation.
- Use natural skincare products if possible, e.g. soaps, lotions, detergents
Food Rich in Probiotics like Kefir & Kombucha Can Help
Kefir, Kombucha and other fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimbchi etc are high in probiotics and can help manage allergies and eczema in a holistic way. At Craft & Culture, we recommend taking kombucha and kefir regularly and externally, we use topical balms to manage inflammation and itch. See below for a marked improvement in eczema conditions.
(From left to right: Original milk kefir, original kombucha, 7 day Milk kefir detox)
(From Left to right: Improvement in eczema at neck area after taking eczema detox, eczema detox, kombucha skin balm)
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that add to the "good" bacteria in our gut, supporting a healthy digestive system. The live bacteria in probiotics attach to the gut wall, leaving less space for undesirable or "bad" bacteria to grow. This promotes a healthy balance of bacteria in the digestive system, improving its function.
Some foods are naturally rich in probiotics. These include:
- Milk kefir
- Natural cocoa powder
Benefits of Probiotics
Eating food which is rich in probiotics has other health benefits, beyond the potential treatment of allergies and eczema. These include:
- Relieves allergies and maintains skin health
- Improve immune system, especially related ailments such as chronic fatigue syndrome, herpes, cancer and AIDS
- Tranquilizing effect on the nervous system e.g. sleep disorders, depression, and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
- Improves gut health and intestinal disorders with its cleansing effect
- Beneficial for those on diets as it helps eliminate unhealthy food cravings by keeping the body nourished and balanced.
- Regulates blood pH levels
- detoxifies the liver
- Improves energy levels