This is one of my favourite natural remedies for eczema in children, used hand in hand with apple cider vinegar baths. Ginger is a gift bestowed upon us by Mother Nature, which can actually relief the eczema itching of my daughter, M. So for a stretch of a few months in 2017, she soaked daily in ginger bath, which worked its magic on her as a herbal treatment for eczema.
Healing Effects of Ginger
Ginger is rich in trace minerals, amino acids, and enzymes. It is an antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic spice. It also helps to boost our immune system, and is able to calm our nerves and muscles after a stressful day at work, or in school, or simply living and breathing eczema. Many people (including me now) also believe in the detoxing property of ginger, in that it is able to flush out the toxins in our body.
Besides using it in the bath for eczema, ginger tea (just boil fresh ginger slices in water, add honey to taste, and drink up) is also our frequent answer when the children get the persistent cough. It could possibly have to do with relaxing the muscles in the airways, and if it works (it works for most coughs, not all, we just have to try our luck), it always surprises us with how instant the effects are, which also means the child is able to get a few hours of restful sleep.
Our Experience with Ginger Baths – a herbal treatment for eczema
M was in the midst of topical steroids withdrawal (tsw) in 2017. I took her off steroids in August 2016, when she was 1 year 8 months old. Now looking back, her withdrawal symptoms were obvious, but I wasn’t aware tsw was what she was going through at that time. I also hadn’t learnt about ginger being such an amazing herbal treatment for eczema.
For the following months, her itch was intense, she would scratch until her skin broke and got all bloodied, risking infection. She screamed in pain everyday. She could not function at all, she could not play nor enjoy the moment, her moments were consumed by the ever -intense itch and pain.
By divine grace a friend shared how ginger baths have helped her daughter’s eczema immensely. I gave it a try, and never looked back.
The effects were definitely not immediate. M would scream in the bath. But then she would scream even when just showering in water, with her thin, fragile and broken skin. After the baths, I would notice a calmness in her skin, and it felt cool to the touch. This would last her a couple of hours into the night.
We pressed on with this regime and held onto faith that things would improve. Days went into weeks, weeks went into months. Two months into starting this ginger bath regime, I realised one day that she was not screaming in the bath anymore. In fact, she was starting to enjoy bath time, like any regular kid! During those months, her skin had healed by leaps and bounds, it had become much stronger, and her tsw was brought to a whole new level of healing, by the humble yet powerful ginger.
How to Use Ginger in a Bath
- Use a chunk of fresh ginger about 3 cm thick (this was what I used for my daughter’s small bath, so you may want to adjust this amount accordingly if you’re using a regular bath), cut it into slices.
- Put the ginger in a small pot with about 1.5 cups of water, and bring it to boil.
- Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
- Mix it in your bath water. Take care to test the temperature of the bath water before you step in. Or you may want to let the ginger water cool down before transferring it into the bath water.
Sometimes when we travel and do not have a bath tub, I simply dab the cooled ginger water (or mix it with cold water to bring down the temperature faster) on my daughter right after her shower. Then towel-dry without rinsing off (this is entirely up to you, you may choose to rinse it off).
As you can see, there is no hard and fast rule. Do what you are comfortable with, given the resources you have on hand. If it hurts your skin, dilute the ginger water some more. I found that when it hurt M’s skin, it was because her skin was thin and fragile, so no matter what I put on it, even plain water, she would scream in pain. So the point was to get it over and done with FAST, rather than worrying that ginger water was not suitable for her as it was hurting her so much. The experience really made me understand the meaning of ‘tough love’!
It’s Great in Your Food Too!
Ginger has found its way into our daily cooking. It is in almost all the soups that we make. It gets rid of the fishy smell when we use fish bones in the soup. It is a great tonic for the whole family, especially for the nervous system and the muscles, and to warm the blood. The children have gotten used to the spiciness in the soups that we make, and are (almost) without complaints now.
I intend to take it one more step: to include ginger in our smoothies and juices. The only problem is, raw ginger will take the spiciness index to a much more intense level, and I can already hear all the whines and cries of objections in my head, so… we will save that for the right season, when it comes along.
Nature Does Heal
Yes, it does, as can be seen from this herbal treatment for eczema – the humble ginger bath. Nature is here to provide us with a bountiful life. Surround yourself with all the pure goodness that nature has to offer, and you will heal over time, from inside out. Have faith, and let’s heal together.