Category Archives: Home Remedies

Our Precious Melody, and her Eczema

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The Lord is good. He led us through the darkest hours. No….I should say, He carried us through……we hardly managed to walk.

Our little lovely Melody is now 18 months. When I was pregnant with her, my body condition was very weak because of Candida yeast. Therefore, as expected, Melody’s health was affected. It did not show at first, not until she was almost 3 months old.

At that time, little red spots started to show on her cheeks. As it got worse and spread to her forehead, I started thinking maybe it’s allergic reaction. I first tried to eliminate common allergens like diary from my diet and thought she would be fine again soon once I figured out what she’s allergic to. However, it’s not as easy as I thought. Her condition grew worse, and on some days she flared up really bad. She seems to be allergic to everything. It was face eczema and then there were some patches on her tummy and legs as well, though not as severe as her face. The photos you see below are already not the worst days of Melody. Taking the camera out would be the last thing that we would think of doing during those days….

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Since Melody started to know how to scratch around 4 months old, things got more complicated and we got more miserable. As we would find her face all bloody even if we failed to keep her from scratching for just a few minutes. Since then, we had to struggle between chores, cooking, school work and 24 hrs surveillance on her. The other children had to take turns as well guarding her hands from scratching. At night, me and Derek have to take turns staying up to make sure she did not scratch, thus we only got half the sleep. Derek gets a little more sleep as he has to go to work. But his “extra” sleep had to be on the couch with Melody in his arm. During those worst times, she had to be tied up by receiving blankets because her hands were just faster than we could response.

People’s hearts ached when they saw Melody. We were even asked if her face was burnt.

We are so thankful that Melody’s condition is so much better after her first birthday. We do not need to bundle her up that much as a few scratches would not make her bloody anymore. And as she’s more curious about her surroundings now that she does not scratch as much. Thus, she finally develop her mobile skills by moving around on her bum! Yes, she did not start by rolling over or crawling or sitting up by herself. =)

She’s still reacting to lots of food, therefore, there are still good days and bad days. However, the days are much more enjoyable now!

We can only offer our thanks to God, for His grace and mercy, and to others who pray earnestly for Melody. We are amazed how God connects us with other Christians through this difficult time.

So why didn’t God heal Melody completely in a blink? We have no answers to that. But we trust that, in God, everything has a purpose. Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” And before Melody was born, I was almost thinking she will be just another baby, we will handle her okay, we will just do this and that and everything will be fine. Well, Melody has her way telling me she’s not just another baby. She’s special from day 1. She is the baby I pushed for the longest time during labor. And she’s the baby who stay in my arms for the longest time, even more than our first baby. I do appreciate the special bonding between Melody and I today, though it’s been really tough….really tough….

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Melody is now very sweet and fun and adorable, we all enjoy her so much every day wih laughters. Thanks so much again for praying for her. I do not know how to express my appreciation for all your caring hearts. Please keep praying for her complete healing, as she is still on a very restrictive diet and still flares up from time to time though on a much lower degree.

We did try a lot of remedies and supplements, but honestly, we do not exactly know what is working and what is not.

However, I do want to share what we did here, as some of the information might be helpful to someone. Besides relieving her itchiness, building up her immune system is our goal. We did not do all these things together at the same time, but different combinations at a certain time period.

Food Intolerance Blood Test

First, we need to figure out what she’s sensitive to. It can be anything, like chemicals and material in clothing, furniture, and particles in air, and anything in any household cleaning and laundry products and skin care products. For these things, we can only do our best to go for all natural products. There’r blood tests that can be done like ALCAT, besides expensive, it just cannot cover all. Last but not least, is the food. In the beginning, I thought it would just be wheat or dairy, some easy to detect thing. However, I spent months and just couldn’t figure out. Then we finally decided to spend $500 dollars to pay for a blood test called Hemocode. We were really desperate. And Derek was out of job at that moment thus we were not covered for this cost. Well, at least we found out she’s even sensitive to garlic, rice, lemon among many other things that we wouldn’t think of. However, to be honest, it was just a basic list to start with. There were still other things that I needed to add to that list to keep her well like sugar, too starchy things…etc.

There are other kinds of tests that can detect food intolerances as well. However, we found blood test the most netural as in not contraditing our believes and convictions.

Apply on Skin

Coconut oil with Garlic & Tea Tree oil – It is very nourishing for the skin as well as killing bacteria and promote healing. It worked beautifully for me, but Melody was reacting to it so I had to stop applying it on her. Later, we did find out that she is allergic to Garlic through blood test.

Concentrated Herbal tea – I made tea of burdock, comfrey, plantain and yarrow. Then I damped pieces of Bounty with the tea and put them on her face to relieve her and promote healing of her wounds.

Dead sea salt & grapefruit seed extract – dead sea salt is very rich in minerals that nourish the skin and ease pain. Magnesium, said to have amazing skin healing properties, is also known for accelerating cell metabolism. The salt also exfoliates dead skin cells, acts as a strong skin treatment as it rubs away the layer of dead skin cells that sits atop your skin. Besides, it cleans our skin by gently abrading the skin, picking up oils and dirt from skin pores. And the salt stimulates blood circulation and removes toxins as well. For this, I also damped pieces of Bounty to put on her face.

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Salve – It is the Amazing Salve that I made myself, click here to know more.

Coconut oil – it softens the skin, protects it against damage and infection, promotes healing to wounds, blood blisters, rashes, etc. It helps to keep connective tissues strong by preventing destructive free-radical formation and provides protection against them, so that the skin doesn't sag and wrinkle, thus a more youthful and healthy appearance. It can also help to keep the skin from developing liver spots, and other blemishes caused by aging and over exposure to sunlight. Coconut oil will absorb easily, penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin, keep the skin soft, and yet without feeling greasy. It will help to reduce chronic skin inflammation within days.

Calendula salve – And I also specially put in calendula to our homemade salve. Calendula has wonderful healing properties on skin wounds and any other skin conditions. It soothes our skin as well.

Take Internally

Cod liver oil – Good source of DHA and EPA (Omega-3), vitamin A, and vitamin D, which leads to healthy skin, strong bones and teeth, healthy joints, healthy cardiovascular system, healthy nervous system, prevention of depression and other mood disorders, and a healthier digestive tract. I started giving this to Melody when she’s around 6 months old. However, since she seemed to react to it, it only lasted for around 2 weeks.

Coconut oil – It strengthens the immune system as it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. It kills viruses that cause influenza, measles, hepatitis, herpes, etc. It kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, etc. And it is effective on fungi and yeast that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete's foot, thrush, diaper rash, etc. Moreover, it helps in improving the digestive system and thus prevents problems like irritable bowel syndrome. Coconut oil also helps in absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

Evening Primrose Oil – includes linoleic acid (LA) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which both belong to the omega-6 family of fatty acids.  It can help relieve eczema symptoms including itching, crusting, edema (fluid, swelling), and redness.

Colostrum – It contains a lot of different types of anti-oxidants. It also contains antibodies against allergens, contains IgE binding factors which suppress IgE expression, so it can prevent or inhibit allergic reactions. Moreover, it is good for skin health. It helps maintain skin health from the inside, by healing leaky gut syndrome and through its antioxidant effect. And also externally, by healing skin inflammation and stimulating cell growth with its growth factors.

Probiotics – a lot of health issues start within our guts. Keeping good bacteria inside our guts is a very important step towards healing or maintaining our health.

Coconut Water Kefir – Coconut water is very rich in dietary fiber, potassium, calcium and Vitamin C. When it is added to kefir, a natural probiotic, it becomes highly beneficial to the digestive track. It aids digestion and cleanses the liver, thus good for the skin among many other benefits.

Vitamin D – – It is crucial for the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous, which have various functions, especially the maintenance of healthy bones. And It also strengthen the immune system.

Mangosteen juice – rich in vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, B1, B2, B6, potassium, iron, and calcium. It is also very rich in xanthones and antioxidants.

Sea Buckthorn oil and juice – it is very rich in vitamin C, good for healing. And it also contains flavonoids and other antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin E and beta-carotene that help the body fight free radicals. Contains omegas 3, 6, 7, 9 that promotes healthy skin, hair, and lots of other benefits as well. It is also rich in proteins and free amino acids, and other elements like nitrogen, phosphorous, iron, manganese, boron, calcium, aluminum, silicon and others.

Chia seed – Since Melody’s diet is very restrictive, I just need to find ways to boost her nutrition. For this seed, there’s more calcium than milk, more vitamin C than oranges, more antioxidants than blueberry, more omega-3 fatty acid than salmon, more iron than spinach, more magnesium than broccoli, and loads of protein and fiber.

Bath : Epson salt, baking soda, herbs (burdock, comfrey, plantain), dead sea salt

Candida, Diet & Natural Treatments

What is Candida?

Candida is a short name of Candidiasis, to describe having yeast-Candida Albicans-overgrowth in the body. Candida Albicans is a kind of fungus that lives in all our mucus membranes. Its function is to recognize and destroy harmful bacteria and toxins for us. However, if they get out of control and overgrow in our body, a large number of symptoms, diseases and malfunctions can happen.

Almost any kind of symptoms and diseases can be related to Candida. Some of the examples would be feeling sick all over, cold hand and feet, headache, muscle aches and pain, rheumatoid arthritis, joint pain, kidney & bladder infection, sinus inflammation, respiratory problems, thyroid diseases, digestive problems, allergies or intolerances, Celiac Disease, skin diseases, hair loss, body odour, fatigue, panic attack, insomnia……

In short, the immune system is severely depressed:-
When Candida gets out of control, it starts raising large families called colonies. These colonies can put out 79 different types of toxins into the body and weaken the immune system, thus the results of numerous symptoms and malfunctions. These toxins make all the cells in the body become rigid, which means nutrients and hormones cannot go in the cells freely and neither can waste go out. This does not sound good at all. Moreover, Candida has very long root-like structures that can damage the walls of the intestines causing leaky gut, which leads to poor digestion and mal-absorption of nutrients.

 

So, what causes Candida?

Generally speaking, a good healthy immune system can keep Candida in balance with other micro-organisms in the body. However, there are a lot of factors that can contribute to the overgrowth of Candida. Some major ones are overuse of antibiotics (even it’s been years ago), poor nutrition, vaccinations, stress, exposure to toxins, virus, bacteria, yeast, and parasites, stress……….

If you want to find out whether the symptoms that you are having is Candida related, you can try taking Dr William Crook’s Questionnaire, or just go ahead and try the Candida Diet for a few weeks to see if the symptoms disappear. Most laboratory tests cannot really prove that you are having Candidiasis.

 

Candida Diet

If you search through books and the internet, you will find that there are many different versions of Candida Diet. In my opinion, go through several of them and try to understand the reasons behind them. Then pick one that fits your personality and life style. A Candida Diet can be real tough and challenging, you need to know what you are doing and stick with it in order to succeed. Researching for lots of Candida diet recipes would help, as you would enjoy a lot of new dishes. In my case, I do need to constantly ask God for strength to resist the temptation of eating th food that I used to love in front of my eyes. A wonderful opportunity for training self-discipline and perseverance indeed!

The basic ideas of all the versions of Candida Diet are the same though: to starve the yeast, to aid digestion, and to build up the immune system.

 

1) To Starve the Yeast

In order to starve the yeast, one needs to avoid sugar of any kind. Whether it is refined sugar, natural sugar, fruits, and even some vegetables that are high in sugar, it’s best to avoid them for a month or two. After that, one can try to add those sweet vegetables and fruits back to the diet. However, it’s better to be done gradually one by one and just one kind a week. For refined sugar, i.e. white sugar, brown sugar, molasses etc, one might need to avoid them for years. There’s nothing good in refined sugar anyway, therefore, don’t get too upset about this! By the way, our body sees white sugar and white flour (that includes enriched flour, unbleached flour and even store bought whole wheat flour-which is basically white flour with wheat germs and bran added) as the same thing.

Another thing that feeds the yeast is high carbohydrate foods such as grains, beans and some vegetables like potatoes, yams, carrots, etc. Some suggest to avoid them completely for the first few weeks, and others suggest to eat these food less than 15% of your total intake. So, at least eat them cautiously.

Mold, bacteria, alcohol, caffeine, and yeast also feed the yeast. Therefore, food like dried fruit, hard cheese, mushroom, leftover, walnuts, yeast bread, soya sauce, smoked and processed meats like sausages etc, should be avoided too.

 

2) To Aid Digestion

Efficient digestion is very important for Candida sufferers, as if food is not properly digested in time in the intestines, mold and bacteria grow and yeast will then multiply. Also, as Candida sufferers are having leaky gut, food that is not fully digested will also be absorbed into the bloodstream causing a lot of allergic reactions. Therefore, it’s also suggested that during the first few weeks of carrying out the diet, one should also avoid common allergy causing food like gluten, wheat, dairy products, corn, etc, to avoid upsetting our digestive system and immune system. For grains, go for rice, millet, buckwheat, quinoa and amaranth seed. Also, in order to avoid developing new food allergies/intolerances, one should rotate the food eaten every 4 days. That is, if you eat rice on Monday, it’s better to eat it again on Friday!

To aid digestion, one can :-

  • eat less red meat as they need more energy and time to digest.
  • have at least two tablespoons of fermented vegetables like sauerkraut or kimchi with each meal.
  • soak the grains and beans for 24 hours in acidic fluid before cooking.
  • avoid eating store bought roasted nuts and seeds. Instead, buy them raw and soak them in sea salt water for at least 7 hours, then dehydrate them.
  • have good fats with each meal like unsalted butter and coconut oil.
  • avoid over cooking meats.
  • avoid eating more than one kind of meat and grain each meal.
  • eat less dairy products if they are not made from raw milk except unsweetened yogurt with real probiotics, as pasteurized milk basically contains no enzymes to digest the milk protein, thus creating a lot of stress for our digestive system.
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    3) To Build Up the Immune System

    When our immune system is strengthened, it will be harder for Candida Yeast to get control. Several things to do would be eliminating all processed food and oils, soy products, chemicals, antibiotics, i.e. choosing food that is as fresh and natural as possible. Also, supplement with good quality natural supplements of vitamins, cod liver oil, fish oils, minerals and probiotics. Probiotics are very important, they counteract the growth of Candida yeast, and also aid in recolonization of good intestinal bacteria, thus keeping our digestive system healthy. Moreover, drink GOOD & CLEAN water, and EXERCISE. Last but not least, HAVE JOY!

     

    Candida Natural Treatments

    The diet alone cannot solve the yeast overgrowth problem. One has to also use an effective antifungal. There are antifungal drugs out there to kill the yeast. However, it is wise to see them as last resort. Besides, there are a lot of natural antifungal treatments to choose from. Pick one or two at a time to see if they work for you. Do not overdo with too many different kinds to confuse our body. Some people would first starting the diet for two weeks to starve a good proportion of yeast then adding the antifungal treatments gradually, as it would lessen the die-off symptoms. Die-off symptoms are reaction caused by the rapid killing of candida and other harmful pathogens. When large quantities of pathogens die at the same time, a large amount of toxin will be released into the bloodstream and thus the entire body. This would produce “flu-like” symptoms, making the person feeling very sick and tired. Any symptoms one has before because of Candida will also intensify for awhile. If you choose to do the “killing” gradually, although it takes a longer time, you will experience less dramatic reactions.

    Some of the natural antifungal treatments are garlic, coconut oil (caprylic acid), clove oil, cayenne pepper, aloe vera juice, biotin, citrus seed extracts, Pau D’Arco tea……etc.

     

    Resources to Start for More Details

    Websites
    http://www.healingnaturallybybee.com/candida/index.php
    http://www.yeastconnection.com/
    http://candidapage.com/

    Books
    “The Yeast Connection” by Dr William Crook
    “Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook” by Jeanne Marie Martin

    Thanks the Lord for Healing Me!

    For the last 16 months, it was quite an experience for me! I was experiencing this “skin problem” – eczema, and it took me 9 months to figure out that I was actually having Candida Albicans Yeast overgrowth in my body.

    It was first just lots of tiny blisters on my palm and extremely dry skin on my thumbs that they always split open with blood coming out. I remember I had to avoid touching water with my hands completely that I had to wear gloves during shower. And my hair also got sticky and started to have lots of dandruff which I had no idea why. I did use herbal poultice to speed up the healing process of those broken blisters and skin. However, those blisters will come right out again after healing. Then I figured there must be something wrong inside my body.

    It was a time that I was under great stress as the bug in our house kept circulating among us. For almost two months, I could only slept 2.5 hrs each night on average as the girls took turn vomiting or crying in the middle of the night. Once I myself was off the hook of coughing, I stuffed myself with chocolate as a way to relax. That’s when my skin problem got even much more worse. My arms started to itch, and my neck, legs, etc. Then I started to scratch till bleeding especially during my sleep. Derek and I had to think of ways to prevent me from scratching when sleeping, like tying my hands together, tying my hands to the side of our futon, wearing gloves and secure them with belts….etc..but I could undo all these in the middle of the night and just scratched. Many times I’d have to get out of bed and focus on researching on the internet for hours that the itch could finally subside. As I researched, some websites mention that if bruises appear along with itchy skin like I did, may need to check for thyroid disease. So I asked my doctor, and he just said I was having eczema. Since then, I kept researching on eczema. I changed my diet a bit, I stopped using any soap and shampoo with chemicals, and I kept using herbs that are supposed to be good for eczema. My skin did improve at times. However, I noticed that whenever I ate sweets after church service, my condition would get worse.

    It was March last year that I got my first horrible break out on my face which lasted a month. It was large patches of inflammation on my face, around my eyes and mouth, and also thick crusting on those patches. The crusting was so thick that I couldn’t even have facial expressions. It was really weird and scary looking. And yes, it hurt and itched at different stages. I used aloe vera juice to wash my face and apply the herbal salve that I made myself. And I also drank the burdock and dandelion tea every day, which are blood purifier and cleanser that can be used to neutralize and eliminate toxins in our body, good for chronic skin problems. At this point, I still didn’t know the exact cause of the break out. And many areas of my body darken to gray in colour. Even my fingernails were gray. And I was still having bad hair. I tried to avoid eating refined sugar, refined flour and chemicals, i.e. processed food. As I did not really follow a strict diet, my condition fluctuated. However, it was getting better slowly in general.

    The second episode of the horrible break out on my face was August last year. I remember I thought I was better, then I ate some white buns, hot dogs, desserts during some summer gatherings. Then that was it. I had to hide at home for several weeks again. I was really frustrated as I had tried everything that I know of and couldn’t keep this kind of break out from happening. Therefore, I kept researching. I started the Elimination Diet, hoping to figure out if I had any food allergies or food intolerances. My skin problem improved in two weeks, but it was not all clear though, like it’s still itchy and I still scratched. That indicates there’re still some other underlying factors as well. Finally, I decided to try the Candida Diet and treatment . I came across Candida Yeast overgrowth in my research earlier, but I did not want to believe that it was my problem as it seems hard to due with. However, at this point I had no choice. Therefore, I began this cruel diet. It was very challenging. At first, I cheated a little from time to time as the diet almost seems impossible. However, as I noticed my symptoms keep disappearing when I was more disciplined, I knew it worths the effort! I didn’t even need to have my hands tied before going to sleep anymore!

    As I was A LOT better after being on the diet for almost two months, I thought again that maybe I could eat some sweets! It was apple pie season and I couldn’t resist a piece that I made for the family! A week after, we went to the Maxwell conference and stayed at a bed and breakfast. I couldn’t resist the homemade white toast there…….and so it went my third episode of the horrible break out on my face. I was extremely discouraged at that time. It seems that it only takes a few bites of food to make my condition reverse for a few months. I wanted to give up and just eat whatever was in front of me, no more special planning and preparation for MY meals! But I couldn’t do that….as when I was having a break out, I had to stay home and couldn’t take the girls out for activities for weeks, and I was just pregnant too, how could I put the health of our new baby in jeopardy..…? I cried out to the LORD, but still had no idea of what to do. More details about that period was written in A Battle.

    I did need help and encouragement from someone who understands my situation. I needed to talk to someone who knows what I am talking about, not just searching through books and internet. Therefore, the idea of seeing a naturopathic doctor and a chiropractor came up to me and Derek! We did have coverage, so we thought why not give it a try. Then, I had on going visits to both doctors for about 2 months. Most of the things they talked about I already knew, but it was good to have someone to talk to. And I was given some homeopathic remedies as well. My naturopathic doctor even offered me muscle testing and NAET treatments. It is a basically very simple testing (like pushing my hand while having me hold a particular food sample in my hand) to indicate what food I am sensitive/allergic to and a treatment to remove my sensitivity to it! I found out that I was actually sensitive to dairy products, rice, oats, eggs, beans, etc. Therefore, I had to drop those food and red meats as well on top of my Candida Diet! It sounded really crazy as it seemed like I could eat nothing. But I did improve faster once I did that! Also, one particular allergy can be removed in just one or two days with a NAET treatment! So there’s hope! It all sounds so perfect although it seems quite mysterious as well, as I don’t really understand how that works. Me and Derek did have conversation about if all these are related to some evil force, but our eagerness of me being well again in a short time stop us from doing any more research about these kinds of practice, especially that we did not notice any idol worshipping involved. However, we did ask God to show us whether our decision was right or not. The doubt was still in our mind.

    Then, we met some new families at the New Year’s Eve gathering, and somehow we talked about healing, alternative medicine, etc. A lady mentioned that she once read a book by a Christian author who did quite an extensive research on alternative medicine. And he found out that a lot of these things are New Age related. Besides, the founder of Homeopathy was actually quite a weird man. This bit of knowledge made us feeling uncomfortable to go on with treatments, but the temptation of being well again ‘instantly’ (i.e. verses waiting for my body to get strong again to overcome the yeast and allergies, that could take months or even years with diet) made me continue with the appointments. At the same time, we did research more about it. But I could only find one article that talks briefly about how alternative medicine does relate to New Age philosophy, so I kind of putting it aside and asked God for more direction.

    One week later, we had a Bible study with some other families. A lady there suddenly mentioned about an article that she read recently by David Cloud which explains why alternative medicine are not biblical. At that time, we were like, “Wow, God keeps giving us hints!” We searched that article on internet and it’s much more detailed. Therefore, no more excuse for us to go on with those treatments. We told God that although we still did not fully understand about alternative medicine, but it does appear it’s something that God does not like and I should gave up the idea of depending on ‘them’ to heal me. Rather, I should depend on God Himself alone. One thing that I should point out is that, during the period of receiving treatments, I had nightmares quite often, which I do not usually have. And after I stopped all the treatments, my nightmares are gone! I cannot really say they are related, but it’s how it happened!

    Around that time, my condition was improving. After I stopped all my NAET treatments and homeopathy remedies, I even stopped using any natural treatments like taking garlic, herbs and grapefruit seed extract. I was not sure why, maybe I wanted to take a break. Then it was time of my sister’s wedding banquet in the middle of January this year. I tried some food again, even some white sugar. And I told myself I should take the garlic and grapefruit seed extract again to prevent the yeast from growing back. But I did not. I even ate more ‘forbidden’ food the week followed. I guess I lacked the perseverance to ‘endure’ the diet for a real long period. I told God that I knew drugs are not good for us so I searched for alternatives. But then, God also does not like alternative medicine, so what should I do? However, I do know that eating garlic, herbs and grapefruit seed extract should be fine with God, I stopped all those just to pretend I was well already because I did not want to think about this anymore. Stupid me, that led to my 4th episode. All over my face, horrible. This time, I even got a time limit to get well as we had registered for a Mission Conference in Pennsylvania that held in the middle of February. I had only 4 weeks.

    A friend suggested that we should trust God can heal me instantly and asked Him for that in faith! Like those miracles in the Gospels! This idea made us into thinking! For a whole year, we asked God to heal me, to give me strength to endure and to have joy over those depressing and frustrating times, but we never thought of asking God to heal me instantly! Didn’t Jesus heal the blinds, the lames, the sick and even raise the dead when the people just asked or even just touched His clothes? I realized that my underlying reason of not asking for a miracle was somehow I thought I did not deserve a miracle. It seems that it would be too good to be true for a person like me to experience a miracle like that. But when I came to think about it, it’s not a matter of deserving or not, but a matter of having faith or not. We started to meditate the following verses and others.

    Matthew 9:20-22 “And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.”

    Matthew 9:27-29 “And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us. And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.”

    Matthew 21:21-22 “Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”

    Mark 10:46-52 “And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me…….. And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee. And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.”

    Mark 16:15-18 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

    James 5:13-16 “Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

    Therefore, we started to pray and pray differently. We asked God to teach us how to pray and how to have faith. We prayed for a miracle! We asked specifically that God would take away my yeast, my allergies, and heal my face. I also told God that if there is any reason for not healing me, like training my self-discipline, I would accept that as well. But please let me understand the lesson! What happened then? My face did not clear overnight. However, the healing process was speeding up!! Just a few days before the conference, my face was OK enough to meet people again! I am so thankful! Every time I look at the mirror I have to say thanks to the Lord! However, I did not dare to test my allergies yet at that point. The conference trip in the States was a total of 7 days for us. I tried my best to prepare what I could eat to take along with me, but it was impossible to prepare everything that I needed for 7 days. We continued to pray that God would take away my allergies, and would control the yeast in my body.

    During the conference, I still avoid to eat sugar and refined wheat products. But I did learn to try beans, rice, oats, tomatoes, red meat, and dairy products with thanksgiving! 1Ti 4:4 – 5 “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.” Nothing really bad happened! After we returned, I did go back to my strict diet before, to give my body a rest I think. Then after a few weeks, I tried to eat one piece of fruit a week like bananas, pears, and berries. And I WAS OK with those! I didn’t eat any fruit for half a year! Then I tried brown rice, couscous, oats….etc. Wow, till this day, I’m still OK! No flares up! I am so happy and thankful! I believe the Lord is healing me indeed!

    To our surprise, we came across a book called “On Alternative Medicine” by Rodney Mast on a booth in the conference. We got it of course. It’s God’s answer to us about our doubts concerning the issue. And we are glad that we stopped involving with them in time. We do not want to do anything that God hates!

    I cannot say I’m all well already. Like my hair is still a bit strange and my arms still get a bit dry and a bit itchy at times. But there are no bleeding, no pain, no skin inflammation of any kind. I believe the Lord is healing me! I am still paying attention to what I eat as I do think it’s my own responsibility to eat well to nourish my body. I try not to eat the same food over a few days in a row to trigger allergy, and I still avoid both refined and natural sugar, and also refined wheat products. I just do not want to give any chance to the Candida Yeast to grow at least before the baby is born.

    And I will keep on praying, and learning how to pray! The Lord is faithful indeed!

    Mosquito Bites – Garlic Again!

    There are quite a number of herbal remedies for mosquito bites, like comfrey extract, aloe vera, eucalyptus oil, Chinese herbal oils, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, etc. Last month, I found an exciting remedy for our family. It’s garlic again! Since garlic is good for almost everything, so I tried putting a fresh slice of garlic on top of the new itchy bite and use a piece of tape to secure it. After awhile the itchness was gone! But I let the garlic stayed there for more time like half an hour or more as I was afraid the bite would be itchy again. After that, the bite reduced so much in size that I could hardly find it! The only drawback is that it looks kind of weird when you have to go to work or run errands in the city =)

    Cold/Flu and Cayenne Pepper

    Last wednesday my dear hubby was ill. He got muscle pain all over his body, headache and feeling so tired. He put a garlic in his mouth and went to work. His situation didn’t worsen any more, but due to lack of rest (as he went to work), he lost all his energy. He slept in the car during lunch hour and slept half an hour right after he was home. But his head still felt so “stuffed”. After dinner, I fixed him a ginger cinnamon drink that I metioned before, and sprinkle some cayenne pepper on top to surprise him (and to heal him of course =) ). He was surprised indeed! As it definitly was a VERY SPICY drink! But it’s good for him. His head felt a lot better afterwards. He drank a cup more of that spicy drink that night before going to bed. And he was nearly all well again the next morning!

    I always thought spicy things are not good for us and avoid eating them. I was totally wrong! It’s hard to believe that the cayenne pepper that you use to cook chickens can do a lot of wonderful things! Just to name a few, it can help boosting the immune system, relieve painful muscles, improve stiffened joints, enchance circulation, good for sore throat, heart attact, bleeding, depression, tireness, normalize blood pressure…..etc etc! If you are bleeding heavily, sprinkle some on top of the wound to stop the bleeding! And you can even brush your teeth with cayenne pepper to prevent gum diseases!

    Why don’t you buy some today? =)

    I don’t normally give cayenne pepper to my young children though, as I think it will be too strong for them. Besides, as their body has less exposure to processed food and drugs than us adults, their body are not that “ruined” yet and can already react very well with milder herbs like cinnamon or ginger.

    Fever

    Last Saturday night, we found out Odelia and Sonia was having fever during dinner time. They lost their appetite and that’s a very strange thing to happen =) We checked their temperature and they were both around 38.5 celsius degrees. Anyway, I gave them each 2 drops of Sleep Sweet tincture. And I prepared the sleepy time tea with yarrow added. Then I gave Odelia and Sonia, and also Tiffany and Viviana each a cinnamon stick, and the tea with raw honey. After that, Odelia and Sonia went straight to bed as they didn’t have any energy at all. We put them in the same room that night.

    Thanks God that the next morning they are up and running again! And they didn’t pass the fever to anyone else in the house too! How many times that I have to praise God for giving us herbs! God takes care of us by putting benificial herbs all around us in the yard. Actually, you can see them everywhere. And we don’t need to have Advil or Tempra at home for backup, and only to wait for them become expired. And most of the time we don’t need to rush to the doctor or drug store. I just need to prepare a tea, that’s all. And use my prepared tincture to help us sleep better during illness. Isn’t that great?! Besides, there’s no worries of side effects. In fact, using herbs will make our bodies stronger as they help stimulating our bodies to heal itself more effectively whereas drugs will weaken our immune system as they keep telling our bodies that healing itself is unnecessary, just kill all kinds of good and bad bacteria and surpress the symtons. The symtons are actually our bodies’ process of self-healing.

    YARROW – It’s is great to keep yarrow at home. It’s said that if you drink generously at the beginning of a cold, it will break up within 24 hours. Drink with warm water or peppermint tea is good for fever. And it is good for all childhood diseases, kidneys and bladder problems, respiratory problems etc.

    CINNAMON is a stimulating aromatic herb same as ginger, which helps to increase the energy of body tissues, improves digestion, clears blocked respiratory passages, fights infection…..etc.

    Herbs in the tea and tinture that I used which are beneficial to fever :

    PEPPERMINT is excellent for fevers, flu, colds, diarrhea, ulcers, and colitis. It strengthens nerves and heart muscles. It cleanses and tones the body. It can be used instead of aspirin for headaches. And it stimulates blood circulation.

    CHAMOMILE is good for fevers, sore throats, aches, pains, intestinal and menstrual cramping. It helps to settle the stomach, aids digestion, expels gas from the bowel, reduces inflammation. It is also soothing and relaxing to nerves, helps sleep. It is probably one of the very best nervine herbs for children.

    LEMON BALM – It is antibacterial, and antiviral. Lowers fevers, relaxes spasms, improves digestion, mildly sedative.

    HOPS reduces high fevers and pain like headaches. It is a relaxing nerve tonic.

    Treating Eczema Naturally — Part 1: Internal

    Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin disorder that involves inflammation, scaling, flaking, thickening, crusting, colour changes and itching of the skin. The affected area is often dry, and sometimes with blisters. For young children, it’s often on the cheeks, elbows or knees. And for adults, it’s commonly seen on the inside of the knees and elbows, hands, neck and face. Eczema is not contagious.

    The itchiness of eczema can be intense and almost unbearable, which make your days very frustrating. And you can’t claim a sick day because of it! My 11 months old daughter and I are both eczema sufferers, there are sleepless nights struggling with the itching, and days tolerating the pain from the cracked, weeping skin resulted from scratching. I am reluctant to apply the steroid creams and the antibiotics that my doctor prescribed to myself and my baby, hence, I have to search for natural treatments. Here, I’m going to share with you my findings. These information are for your reference, they don’t meant to replace any medical treatments .

    To treat eczema naturally, we have to treat it both externally and internally. According to herbalists, any kind of skin disorders is the body’s way to remove impurities from the blood. Besides, eczema is often associated with food intolerances and with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity from exposure to many chemicals over a period of time. Therefore, it’s not just about what you apply to the skin, but also about what you eat and use.

    First, let’s talk about the internal aspect.

     

    INTERNAL

    The skin inflammation is a sign of toxins inside our body. Therefore, we need to detoxify our body by getting rid of the toxins, and nourish our skin with good nutrients. This is how we treat the root of eczema, and to let our skin healed, tighten, toned, hydrated and stay healthy.

    1. Clean Up Your Diet

    • Chemicals in our diet should all be avoided. Go for all natural, non-processed, organic food as much as you can.
    • Beware of white sugar and white flour. They create extra work for our liver, immune system and gastrointestinal tract. They take away the energy we need to help digestion. Also, these foods add toxins to our body. And if our liver is overwhelmed with processed foods, it will be too stressed out to handle toxins and mild allergies. Therefore showing up through your skin. Besides, refined carbohydrates feed Candida bacteria, of which a possible cause of skin problems.
    • No alcohol, caffeine, refined and hydrogenated vegetable oils, refined salt. These made the itching burn so much worse due to leaching precious nutrients from our body.

    2. Find Out Any Food Intolerances

    • Avoid foods that may trigger eczema out breaks. These may include citrus fruits, tomatoes, chocolate, eggs, nuts, dairy products, shellfish, and wheat, etc.
    • Do a simple test to find out if you are allergic to a certain food. First, avoid that particular food for at least 4 days. Then eat some of it on an empty stomach and test your pulse before and after eating that food. If your pulse per minute increases significantly, or if you have other reactions, then most likely you are allergic to this food.

    3. Probiotics

    • Look for lactobacilllus acidophilus, bifidobacteria and lactobacillus bulgaricus. These friendly bacteria are our body’s first line of defense against harmful microorganisms that go into our body. They produce their own antibiotics thus can boost our immune function, which effectively fight against many harmful bacteria, viruses and fungi. Another beauty is, they can help cancel out the effects of toxins and environmental pollutants.
    • If buying culture to make your own yoghurt with probiotics, be sure the above bacteria are included. Store bought yoghurt may not necessarily contain these friendly bacteria.
    • Fermented vegetables like sauerkraut has excellent natural probiotics. It is good to eat a tablespoon with every meal!

    4. Nourishing and Cleansing Drinks
    Skin with eczema is usually dry, hence it is important to ensure that we drink plenty of liquids every day. And the constant flow of fresh new liquid helps remove toxins from our body.

    Pure Water

    • We have to drink pure water, which is good quality filtered water.

    Green Drinks

    • Wheat Grass is a very good source of chlorophyll. And chlorophyll is a great natural healer and contribute to the regeneration of the skin, since it can create good quality blood and heal wounds effectively. It is a cleanser which counteracts toxins. Besides, wheat grass is known as a complete food which contains all vitamins and high in enzymes.
    • Green Barley Grass is another toxin eliminator. It is high in antioxidants and will eliminate toxins, chemicals, radiation and metals inside our body. It contains enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, chlorophyll and minerals. It also contains SOD (superoxide dismutase), an important antioxidant ingredient that clears toxins.
    • Spirulina is a micro-algae, another excellent source of chlorophyll, also protein, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. It can be easily digested. I mix the powder with warm water and raw honey, and drink it first thing in the morning.

    Blood Purifier

    • When our body is trying to remove impurities from the blood through our skin, blood purifiers help to quicken this process. Example of blood purifiers are burdock root, dandelion, neetle, and alfafa. I drink a tea of this combination plus chamomile as an activator a few times a day.
    • Burdock is a blood purifier and cleanser that helps neutralizing and eliminating toxins in our system. It is best to take it for at least 3 months to normalize our system.
    • Dandelion is also a blood purifier and a builder, it is high in vitamins and minerals. It is also a liver cleanser.

    Fruits and Vegetable Juices

    • 2 or 3 glasses of raw fruit and vegetable juices a day will make a difference in texture and the condition of our skin. They help the healing process. The goodness in juices are delivered to every cell of our body within 20 minutes of consumption. Juices are excellent detoxifiers which cleanse and nourish the damaged skin.

    5. Raw Food

    • Eat more than 50% of your foods raw, like sprouts, salads, seaweed, vegetables and fruit. It will help tremendously on our skin. It is because raw foods need only less than 36 hours to digest whereas cooked foods can take anywhere between 45 and 100 hours to digest. It means if we only eat cooked food, our body has to spend most of its energy to digest dead food. We will have more energy to fight eczema If we consume more raw foods.
    • Also, raw foods contain the much needed vitamins, enzymes and minerals a problematic skin needs. A body that is unhealthy need to replace near 500 billion cells each day, therefore, we need to eat food with quality like raw organic vegetables to meet the demand. And these foods will help our cells take up oxygen, which our body needs very much.
    • Lastly, raw organic veggies contain a lot of phytochemicals, which will help us fight off deceases and keep us in good health.

    6. Quinoa

    • It is very similar to oats, can use to make porridge. It supports the kidneys and is full of essential amino acids and calcium.

    7. Parsley

    • It helps the skin’s defensive mechanism and helps getting rid of bad bacteria, thus cleanse the blood and all body fluids. It is a good source of beta carotene, vitamin B12, chlorophyll, calcium and vitamin C. It supports both digestion, liver and kidneys, which affects our skin. Eat often will help moisture and nourish our body and skin.

    8. Essential Fatty Acids
    They moisture our skin from the inside and help fasten the healing process of damaged skin. They can also assist in regulating hormone fluctuations. These fatty acids are vital as the body cannot produce them. If our body is running low on essential fatty acids, our skin and hair are the first to show. It will take us 6 months to get the levels back to normal. Therefore, stick with the diet! Also, essential fatty acids should be COLD PRESSED only and should not be cooked, since its goodness and nutrition will be killed by excess heat!

    • Flax seeds lubricate the colon, nourish the spleen, pancreas and immune system, which are all very important to our body for it to heal itself. It contains the all important omega-3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids in perfect balance. They also help our body to strengthen membrane, which will speed up the healing process and the rate of creating new cell tissue.
    • Extra virgin olive oil, avocados, other nuts and seeds are other good sources of these EFA.

    9. Other Beneficial Dietary Supplements

    • Evening Primrose Oil promotes lubrication of the skin.
    • Aloe Vera is a great healer and strengthener, powerful at repairing damaged tissue and reducing inflammation.
    • Vitamin B-12 is needed for healthy skin and proper circulation.
    • Kelp is necessary for healing tissues, it builds cell membrane.
    • Vitamin C promotes wounds healing. It is also a powerful antioxidant. Food source: many fresh fruits and vegetables. It is destroyed by heat.
    • Vitamin E contributes to tissue repair and healing, needed for circulation. It relieves itching and dryness. Food source: coconut oil, butter, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, dark green leafy vegetables, organ meat, etc.
    • Zinc aids healing and enhances immune function. It helps maintain proper levels of vitamin E in the blood. Food source: eggs, green leafy vegetables, oysters, red meat, fish, nuts, seeds and ginger.
    • Borage Oil helps to retain moisture in skin.
    • Shark Cartilage reduces skin inflammation.
    • Chamomile can be used internally or topically to soothe the skin and reduce inflammation. It also improves blood circulation.
    • Grapeseed Extract reduces inflammation and removes toxins from the body.
    • Oregon Grape Root detoxifies the body and reduces inflammation.

    10. Relax and Be Thankful
    As we know eczema can be related to stress, it is important to relax and enjoy your life. Be thankful for all the goodness that God has blessed us!

     

    We will talk about the EXTERNAL aspect later.

     

    ON A SIDE NOTE:
    This may seem too overwhelming for you. However, you don’t need to take them all to get well. Do pay attention to several points, and be consistent. Stick to your diet and you will notice changes:

        1. Stop putting toxins into your body.
        2. Eliminate toxins from your body. (Green drinks, probiotics, blood purifier, regular EXERCISE, etc)
            3. Eat nutrients that nourish your skin.

    Having eczema is like taking a discipline course. We have to be disciplined in order to get well! There were several weekends that I couldn’t resist the temptation of cake, muffins, chocolate and cookies during potlucks, snacks after services, and on mother’s day and my own birthday…I love these things too much since I was a little girl! And yes, there go outbreaks, the cracks and wounds took at least 4 days to heal. I finally realized that it just doesn’t worth it! Therefore, do pray for strength to resist these temptations! After all, the above suggestions don’t just benefit the skin. We can live a more healthy and energetic life in return!

     

    UPDATE : May 22, 2017

    9 yrs went by after writing this post and I still have not post Part II regarding the external aspect!!  This is what had happened.  The year after writing this post, my sixth daughter was born, and for over a year she had suffered severe eczema.  Those times were trying.  This post talks about her healing process, and how to treat eczema externally is also mentioned.
    Our Precious Melody, and her Eczema

    Also, I had found out the cause of my eczema and had deal with it.  I am grateful to say that I have no more itchy nights.  My skin are clear and well.   At times, I do still have tiny blisters on my thumb if I happen to wet my fingers too often.  However, that only happen once every few months.  I was actually fighting candida yeast overgrowth, thus for the skin to get well, my system needed to be cleansed very thoroughly.   Would it be the root cause of your eczema as well?  Here is a post about it.
    Candida, Diet & Natural Treatments

    Viviana’s Scar

    ScarI ended up applying a few fresh poultice to her wound daily for over a week, since that can prevent her from touching and scratching the wound. I didn’t want her to pull off the scab herself. The wound healed very fast this way too. Now, there’s no scab anymore. However, as you can see, the colour is still red, and the skin is not smooth yet. Therefore, I need to massage her wound several times a day with Aloe Vera. There was a weekend that I was too busy to massage her wound and the skin raised a bit, so I immediately massaged it more frequently and it went down again.

    Other things that might work are vitamin E, castor oil, olive oil and coconut oil. Taking vitamin E or aloe vera internally will help too.

    Also, my brother-in-law pointed out that UV light will permanently hyperpigment the scar, so it is best to avoid sunlight by covering it.

    Bleeding – Viviana bumped her head!

    Viviana bumped into the corner of our wooden piano bench this morning. A lot of blood burst out from her forehead and flew through her face to her clothes and pants. It looked horrible. I put a piece of bounty on her wound and applied pressure on it. After awhile, the blood stopped flowing as much. Then I sprinkled pinch of cayenne pepper on the wound to help stopping the bleeding (for serious case, may need to drink the cayenne pepper with warm water as well), and put a piece of fresh sliced open aloe vera on top, and applied pressure again.

    This time, I applied pressure for at least 15 minutes, until most of the pain was gone. This pressure can prevent swelling as keeping the leaking fluid from pooling in the tissue space. If the injured area is too sensitive to be touched, we can actually do it without touching, just hold the hand 1-2 “ above the wound and do the light and rapid stroking. The magnetic fields from our body can help moving the leaked fluid and protein out of the injured tissues even without actual touching.

    bleeding 1bleeding2After applying the pressure, I made a poultice of plantain leaf, comfrey leaf, yarrow and slippery elm, mixed with a bit water, aloe vera juice and olive oil. I secured it on her forehead with a bandage. These herbs are good for infections of any kind, and they are natural pain relievers. They also pull slivers, rocks, etc from wounds, and help heal wounds quickly. I will change a new poultice after a few hours. After another few hours, I will just apply my homemade salve on the wound. It is a salve with comfrey, plantain, chickweed, etc, which all contain contact healing properties and relieve pain.