Wow, it has been 11 years since being diagnosed with Hidradenitis Suppurativa. This has been one helluva ride, might I add. Medical research is improving and I’m grateful for that. Living with HS in 2010 was humiliating. Doctors had no clue what to do with me or my care. I’ve been told all sorts of things:
“You have herpes”
“You have poor hygiene”
“You have an infection that must be treated with a high dosage of antibiotics consistently for 3-6 mos. Oh and by the way your lips may turn blue"
Can you imagine the stress that I was under? I have taken medications that actually disrupted my body’s chemistry more than it helped with my boils. Today I still struggle from time to time in the management of my HS but it is typically when my diet consists of lots of processed foods, dairy, or extreme stress in my life. Over the years I have tried a multitude of products, foods, herbs, and lifestyle changes to become better acquainted with my body and its health. Living with HS has been both humbling, lonely and embarrassing. I want to share more of my tips and tricks to achieve comfort while in an active flare. As a stage three HS patient, my flares rarely exit active stage. But when they do, I'm a happy woman!
My best friend has become LAVENDER, in any form. This wonderful flower is like a beacon of hope for me in supporting the function of my immune system. Lavender has astringent properties that fight acne. In my experience, I have found that some acne related products do show improvement with the abscesses occurred as an HS patient. My suggestion is to read labels and try to stay as close to nature as possible when experimenting.
Let's begin with lavender essential oil. My most trusted brand is the Now Foods brand. I apply it topically using a carrier oil. (I rotate coconut oil and castor oil.) Lavender essential oil is amazing for HS patients because it penetrates the skin, clears pores and leaves moisture in the tracts. This is very beneficial because the more severe your HS becomes, you may develop tracts and tunnels throughout your body. Lavender, in its essential oil form is soothing from the pain, itching and irritation. My skin recovers pretty well using this; it begins to feel and look better. It works best for me to just pour my lavender oil (1 oz bottle) into my carrier oil of choice (4 oz bottle) and designate it specifically for my HS recovery.
Lavender is also really good to drink as a tea. It helps to sooth internally and provide comfort to aid in relaxing, sleeping and stress management. It's truly beneficial when combined with yarrow, red clover and turmeric. I drink this tea in the morning and night; as I am beginning my fast at night and breaking the fast in the morning when I wake up. Yarrow is particularly beneficial in reducing inflammation; it’s effective in speeding healing, reducing the appearance of scars, and keeping the skin free from bacteria that can lead to breakouts. It also works to treat digestive issues which is another symptom of autoimmune diseases and leaky gut. Red clover has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. This plant has healed athlete's foot, burn, wounds, and ulcers effectively. (1) My HS tends to affect my hormones pretty significantly. Red clover is a great aid in working to balance my hormones and provide detoxification for my body as it is a diuretic. "Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties come from its ability to inhibit molecules that signal the immune system to cause and increase inflammation."(2) I purchase my herbs from a local grocery store here in the metro Detroit area, Zerbo's. However, my favorite source of pure herbs comes from a store in the DC area, Blue Nile Botanicals. They have a large product selection.
Baths are my favorite workout LOL! Lavender essential oil is a great addition to a bath consisting of epsom salt, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Simply add a few drops to your bath and prepare to call it in for the rest of your evening. HS is not the only thing that lavender helps with. It is also good for relieving headaches, peaceful sleep, anxiety relief, allergies/cold support, and menstrual cramps. Let's just say its the Fairy Godmother of plants. I simply adore lavender, whether I'm cooking, preparing drinks, cleaning the house, or managing my HS.
Random list of lavender hacks
Add 10 drops to a spray bottle (1 ounce preferred) Fill it with water and aloe leaf juice for an antimicrobial spray to aid in public. (I spray this mist on my face any and EVERY time someone coughs or sneezes near me.)
Add a few drops to Jamaican black castor oil for hair growth and to keep your scalp health intact.
Inhale lavender when you need an escape from your day. (Practice your breathing for 1-2 minutes. It makes a difference.)
To stop nose bleeds, add a drop of lavender to a handkerchief, wrap it around an ice cube and place this directly under the nose bleed.
To ease headaches, apply drops to a carrier oil and massage into your temples.
What are some ways that you use lavender in your life? I'd love to hear from you. Let's connect and share stories! As always, I'm honored that you decided to read my blog and wish you lots of love, peace and healing.
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