Growing up as a young black girl my idea of beauty revolved around long haired women with flawless skin! Little did I know that struggle to have that in my own life would be a long journey full of mistakes and trials galore.
Years of high stress, poor diet choices, and excessive medications for chronic allergies and sinus issues lead me to having massive gut problems and being diagnosed with Rosacea.
That was when my true quest for healing began and I learned about the benefits of MSM. This may not be the solution for everyone however the benefits are tremendous and worth a try!
What the heck is MSM?
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a naturally occurring compound which provides a natural source of sulfur. Sulfur plays a key role in daily cellular functions and is known to help reduce inflammation, help with gut lining, improve allergy relief, and help with joint pain, skin, and nail growth.
How does MSM work for Hair, Skin, Nails, and Allergies?
Hair and nails are made up of mostly keratin. According to this article “MSM may donate sulfur to keratin, which could help strengthen the bonds between keratin molecules in the hair and nails”.
For allergies MSM helps detox and eliminate free radicals as well as improve the cell permeability of the gut lining. MSM can also stabilize pH balance, preventing overproduction of stomach acids.
Skin and anti aging concerns are tremendous for many women and MSM enhances antioxidant usage by reducing free radicals which can accelerate the aging process. MSM also slows down the breakdown of collagen beneath the skin. Sounds like a win win right?
How did MSM change my life?
Honestly when I first started taking a recommended MSM and Wolfberry based capsule I didn’t see any changes (but I also wasn’t using it as directed). However after 4 months of consistently taking the capsules as designed, altering my eating habits, and taking a high quality probiotic not only did my nails grow like wildfire but my hair grew thicker and longer and my Rosacea fully cleared up!
Is MSM right for you?
MSM based supplementation can be phenomenal to add into your daily wellness routine and help with your hair, skin, nails, GI system, allergies and even joint health! It’s a great must have tool in your arsenal of holistic wellness tools that can provide you and your family amazing benefits including increased energy.
I love eating bone broth and soups during the winter months to help nourish my body but it’s not just a wintertime immune supporting option-it’s a great year round food choice for overall wellness support!
Used as a healing elixir, in soups, and even as a key component to gut healing in diets such as the GAPS diet the nutritional benefits from organic chicken or beef bones (and its gelatin and minerals dense properties) has been a staple in my home for a few years now.
What exactly is Bone Broth?
Bone broth is the liquid from slow simmered and brewed bones which in turn release nutrients from the bone marrow into the water. The nutrient dense broth creates a dish high in anti inflammatory and immune boosting properties.
Benefits of Bone Broth
2. Protects your joints: The collagen from bones slow simmered breaks down into a protein called gelatin, an amino acid that helps support joints. Bone broth is also an amazing source of chondroitin and glucosamine which have been shown to reduce joint pain.
3. Fights inflammation: Glycine and arginine which are amino acids found in bone broth have been shown to have high anti inflammatory effects². Chronic inflammation can lead to a number of diseases so consuming a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods is important to overall health and wellness.
Where to Get Bones
If you aren’t purchasing organic whole chicken, then ask your local grocer or butcher for grass fed bone in meat and you may just get some for free!
How Much to Drink
There are a variety of thoughts on this one however I have found having a cup of bone broth daily or a couple of times a week is quite beneficial.
The Bottom Line
Bone broth contains many nutrients which have great health benefits. Adding it to your families diet can be quite beneficial on many levels.
Have you tried it? Share your thoughts below.
Working with the pediatric population, I see a LOT of children and infants with skin problems such as Eczema. While I don’t have personal experience with this I do have personal experience with Rosacea and I thought I'd share a variety of natural options I found that have worked very well. As always, I encourage you to have an in depth conversation with your physician to discuss all options and methods to address your concerns.
WHY I’M NOT GOING TO TALK ABOUT CREAMS…….
As much as it would be amazing to say there was a magic cream to make eczema go away, I have to make it clear that the underlying problem is not being addressed with a topical cream. I know, this may be a heartbreaking thing to read but hear me out, a cream can stop the immediate discomfort but won’t get to the root cause. I think you’re ready to kick this in the butt so let’s get down to biz.
This is why I’m a HUGE component of dietary and natural options. Eczema is complex, however attacking it from all angles will leave you with long lasting results and happy soothed skin!
Where my Foodies At??
I know it seems weird to talk about food when you’re wanting to know how to heal a skin issue but diet is often a big underlying concern with those dealing with eczema.
You may or may not have heard that the gut is highly connected to our overall immune state and it is! Add on exposure to medications, antibiotics, and inflammatory foods and this can create chaos for your skin.
One of the best things to help heal the gut is bone broth. A major key component to the GAPS diet (also known as the “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” diet). For more info on the GAPS diet I highly suggest you grab this book and dive in! Bone broth is an amazing source of calcium and many other minerals, and it’s super easy to make. The overall health benefits are tremendous but other benefits include: digestive, joints, nervous system, and SKIN SUPPORT.
Remember I said it’s easy to make right? You can even make it in your Instant Pot!! (#winning). One fun trick I’ve found is to roast approximately 3 lbs bones • Carrots. • Celery • Onion • Garlic • Season with Salt and Pepper on a sheet pan for about 40 minutes in the oven before you cook it. If you use an Instant Pot you can top it with water and cook on manual for 2 hours. Are you more of a stock pot kinda person?....no problem, just slow simmer for about 8-10 hours and enjoy!
A somewhat controversial topic, the idea of probiotics being used to naturally support the gut and healing of atopic dermatitis is mixed. Many reviews claim there is not enough evidence however from personal experience there are tremendous benefits from using a high quality probiotic ¹ .
As our diets have moved heavily away from using fermentation processes that would help build a flourishing array of flora in the gut, supplementing with probiotics may be important more than we know. For many including myself, foods with probiotics in them was not effective (not to mentioned often filled with sugars). I’ve tried many varieties however the one I personally found most effective has 9 strains with 17 billion live active cultures and uses a delayed release capsule to ensure the cultures get straight to the intestines. Quality matters if we are going to support the GI system.
For those who do not find their condition gets worse in water, detox baths can be very healing to the body. While they help remove toxins from the body they can also make you tired so considering doing them before bed a couple times a week!
Bentonite Clay Bath
½ cup Bentonite clay
½ cup Epsom salts
Essential oils if desired
Take the epsom salts and mix a few drops if desired of essential oils and pour into the water. In a small glass jar mix the clay using a plastic spoon with a bit of water until the clumps are mostly dissolved. Add the clay mix to the bath and soak for at least 20 minutes.
COCONUT OIL/LAVENDER LOTION
If you do not have an allergy to coconut, applying a thin layer of coconut oil to the skin can be soothing and help stop the itch. I also find that good old lavender is not only great to calm and relax your mind but is also amazing to soothe the skin. If you find Coconut to be too drying you can always try another option as sometimes coconut oil has been known to strip the skin of moisture intensifying the itch for some.
There are many other tips and tricks to naturally address eczema and ditch the itch but you want to make sure you are focused on getting to the root of the cause. Consider seeking a consultation with an allergist and then create a good plan of attack to change your dietary and personal care products so that you can love the skin you’re in!