Ask The Herb Lady

With Cathy Schram

What is There For Holiday Stress & Winter Dry skin?

Q: My skin gets so dry during the winter months. What can I do to help prevent the itching and scaling?

A: Cold air outside and dry warm air inside usually does make our skin dry. Using a humidifier helps a lot, but there are several things you can do to keep your skin hydrated. Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) such as fish oil and flax oil are good examples. Another great choice is Hyaluronic Acid. It acts as an internal moisturizer and lubricant. It rejuvenates skin and smooths premature lines and wrinkles. As an added benefit, it lubricates and cushions joints. Our bodies naturally produce hyaluronic acid, however, as we age, we produce less of it. Visible signs are dull, dry and wrinkled skin. These are a couple of ways to nourish your skin from the inside, now for the outside. Never use lotions that contain parabens or petroleum products. Look for lotions that contain naturals oils such as; jojoba, coconut, sesame, olive, wheat germ or sweet almond. You want your skin to drink up the oils, not just sit on top of the skin making it appear softer and more moisturized.

Q: The holidays are coming and I can already feel my stress levels going up. I really don’t want to take any type of pills but would like something to help calm me. Any suggestions?

A: Welcome to the holidays. A lot people are feeling exactly like you. Lavender essential oil is a good choice for promoting calmness. You can diffuse it in a room, add it to a bath, mix with your favorite lotion or even put it directly on your skin as a cologne. Putting it on neat may make you too relaxed and you may want to fall asleep, so experiment with it first. Rescue Remedy is probably one of my favorites for stress. It is a blend of flower essences that can restore peace of mind and emotional balance. It is believed that if your emotional balance is correct, your body’s natural ability to throw off illness can be strengthened. Rescue Remedy can be taken any time you feel stressed or anxious, including if you have an argument, accident, before public speaking, taking an exam, loss of a loved one, fear of something or even a visit to the dentist or doctor. This also includes holiday shopping and relatives. This works strictly on an emotional level and is considered safe for everyone, even our pets. There are no side effects and will not interfere with any other form of treatment or medication.

This herb information is for health education purposes only. It is not intended to replace the services of licensed health practitioners. Consult with a physician for any condition that requires professional care.

Do you have questions about herbs or vitamins? Send them to Cathy Schram, CNHP and Certified Herbalist. Write to: Herbs & More, 16021 Manchester Rd., Ellisville, MO 63011. www.morethanherbsonline.com