A nurse at Addenbrookes Hospital called urgently, “I have serious eczema, and it’s getting worse. I’ve been hospitalized before because it burns like fire all over my body. My body is burning. I have to check myself in or come to see you. Can you help me?” When an image of Chickweed herb came immediately to mind, I said, “Yes. Come now. I will be ready for you.”
I asked my daughters to tear an old sheet into long two and three-inch-wide strips while I went into nearby meadows and gathered handfuls of Chickweed to gently infuse in my large herbal pot. When Celeste arrived, one look at the tears flowing down her burning face sent me into action. I took her into the bathroom, gave her a cotton wrap, turned on a moderate water temperature, and directed, “Change into this and fill the tub about half full.”
When I returned with the herbal infusion pot, I emptied all the Chickweed plant material and infusion into the tub. As Celeste climbed into and submerged into the healing bath she immediately commented, “Oh, this feels good.” After she had soaked a few minutes, she commented with surprise, “It’s calming down. I’m not burning as much. Who would have thought? A humble weed? Unbelievable. I’m a nurse and I know nothing!”
A natural beauty, Celeste’s energetic countenance was lit by sapphire eyes and crowned by unruly auburn curls. A Yorkshire accent added luster to her dynamic declarations that carried the weight of elemental reaction. Chickweed was the alkaline antidote to temporarily soothe the flames.
The improvement continued. Celeste soaked. I came and went to keep the bathwater temperature at an optimum cooling comfort level to balance the hot day and her extreme body heat. Each hour I topped up the bath with another pot of Chickweed. Celeste sipped on a continual supply of Chickweed tea enhanced by drops of the Bach Flower Rescue Remedy as she soaked.
When the doorbell rang and her boyfriend asked how she was doing, thankfully I could report, “She’s doing much better. The burning has calmed down. She’s soaked now for nearly three hours, I’ll ask her to get out and see how she feels. Please wait in the garden and I’ll let you know.”
I assisted Celeste out of the tub and asked her to walk around. Soon she smiled, “I’m good. I’m better. I’m not burning. Thank you. Thank you.” I
As Celeste waited, the heat slowly increased though it was not as extreme. Chickweed had calmed the crisis. Healing would need a longer time and adjustment of life habits.
“Before you return home, I’ll soak the wraps in the Chickweed, wring them out, and wrap you like a mummy so you can go home in reasonable comfort. I will give your friend enough Chickweed to soak the wraps as needed through the night. Come back tomorrow and we will go through the regular consultation process.”
I wrapped her with damp Chickweed strips, first the torso, then the limbs. Laughter followed, and from then on it was one fun remark after another. I provided a holiday kaftan to cover all the strip bandages. We decided not to wrap the face as we did not want to shock the neighbors.
Celeste departed looking like a slightly stiff mummy. She waved and smiled at me as they drove away, her eyes shining gratitude. A bag of Chickweed went with them, supplies for a night bath or to refresh the strips as needed. I suggested they look for places to collect fresh Chickweed to make sure they had enough for home support baths Celeste would need for a while.
The next day Celeste arrived carrying a bag of bandages. “We kept them on all night after a late bath, and today I feel almost normal. I can’t thank you enough and I’m excited to learn more.”
The herbal foot bath was ready and after putting her feet in the bowl to soak, I asked, “What do you think caused this extreme breakout?”
Surprised at the question, she paused for a moment before bursting out passionately, “It’s the hospital. I am mad every day. There is not enough staff. I am a nurse and it takes me almost all day, with the help of one other nurse, to turn often heavy and old patients or help them get out of bed so the bed and then back into bed later. No matter how much we talk to the management, we just end up exhausted every day. I feel like an orderly, not a nurse. I am angry all the time. I want to quit or go on strike but I care about the patients. I feel conflicted all the time, and helpless. What would happen if I left?”
“How long have you had eczema?”
“Since I was a child. I remember having asthma but when that cleared up, my skin got worse. It’s kind of confusing and hard to remember. I was so young.”
Do you remember if you took antibiotics or treatment of any kind for your asthma?” I questioned. I had come across several cases of repressed asthma that resulted in skin conditions, so this was always an important question.
“I think so. I’ll call up my mum and ask her.”
Reflexology massage followed the foot bath that prepared a relaxed ambiance for the iris analysis. Questions and answers, and discussions continued and I learned about Celeste’s life habits, challenges, family, work, relationships, dreams, and goals.
Celeste exclaimed, “I never knew anyone would give you this much time or help a person this much. If I didn’t want to escape nursing and caring for others, I would want to study with you.”
I asked her to continue the Chickweed program and return three days later. The first thing she said when I opened the door was, “I gave notice. I’m leaving the hospital. I did it! I am free.”
Celeste attended the clinic regularly over six months to continue her program. We shared dedicated sessions to explore her emotional family history and clear family and relationship difficulties, challenges, traumas, and negative patterns. Educational sessions focused on healing diets, self-care, basic beliefs, and life choices. It was Celeste’s time to accept mentoring to explore, heal, and transform many aspects of her life so that she could move forward in her life.
Inner and Outer Ecology Balance: The picture of cause and effect of the outer ecology affecting the inner ecology and vice versa emerged as we progressed. During this second three-hour session Celeste became aware of the choices, emotions, thoughts, and habits that contributed to her condition.
Homeopathy: The inner cause of skin conditions stems from a hereditary weakness, known in homeopathy as the ‘psora’ constitution. The weakness can remain dormant but when activated by accumulated causes of diet, stress, emotions, and trauma, a chronic crisis can occur.
Purification and Regeneration: An integrated gentle purification was required to offer nutritional balance, adjusted life habits, and new life skills. Celeste was totally on board with an estimated six-month program that would culminate in healing and a personal longevity lifestyle to prevent further crises.
Healing Diets: Over six months Celeste learned new food habits. She used seasonal greens and herbs for smoothies, autumn berries, winter greens, and seaweed. Summer grape juice cleanses were combined with enemas and castor oil packs to create systemic functional elimination progress.
Lifestyle Healing: Although I met her from time to time at the Cambridge markets over the years, Celeste never returned to nursing. Her self-healing inspired travel, marriage, family, and artistic endeavors that celebrated her creative transformation.
My work with Celeste provided the opportunity to integrate my own self-healing experiences into a system of evolution based on purification, regeneration, and transformational principles in alignment with the basic wisdom laws of life.
View: Alkaline Chart: Herbs of Grace – Becoming Independently Healthy by Farida Sharan
Natural Medicine Analysis Explorations With Reflexology: Celeste’s ankle swelling, sensitive areas in the spleen, kidneys, lungs, and liver. I showed her the areas and methods of touch for her to work on her own feet. Self Reflexology is an essential home care skill to gain maintenance strength over weaknesses.
Iridology Lymphatic Sensitive and Lymphatic Holding Constitution: The iris areas next to the white sclera showed peripheral congestion in the skin and lymphatic zones. The digestive system in the iris showed a bright white acidic stomach ring that radiated white throughout the iris and the beginnings of circulatory hardening. Lacuna and white inflammatory areas in the kidney, liver, spleen, and lymphatic rosary ring confirmed acidity and hyperactivity in her inner ecology. The stress of her work in the outer ecology hospital nursing aggravated emotions, stresses, and exhaustion that precipitated her eczema acute crises.
Abdominal Palpation: Sensitivity with moderate pain levels on Celeste’s diaphragm, and in the colon and small intestine areas. The outer abdomen was soft and as soon as any pressure was added, the hand met tension and congestion resistance.
Diet Changes: Alkaline to Acidic: Superfoods: Chlorella and spirulina; coconut water; wheatgrass and green juices; sea vegetables kelp and dulse, artichokes, arugula, asparagus, tofu, Fruits: lemons, grapefruits, watermelon, ripe bananas, melons, figs, apricots, coconuts, Vegetables: Sprouts, sweet potato, squash, yams, watercress, Swiss chard, kale, collard greens, cucumber, avocado, cucumber, beetroot, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, endive, olives, onions, parsley, peas, peppers, pumpkin, zucchini, Alkaline Grains: Barley, quinoa, oat bran, buckwheat, spelt, millet, kasha, amaranth, brown rice. Nuts and seeds: Almonds and almond milk, flax seeds, chia seeds, sesame, sunflower,
Alkaline Herbs: Coriander, basil, thyme, parsley, mint cinnamon, cumin, curry powder, ginger, garlic, mustard, chives, chili pepper, chamomile, dandelion, mint, and fennel are mildly acidic. Green tea is alkaline.
Herbal Program: Inner ecology balancing personal formula included herbs for digestive, lymphatic, and circulatory body systems, kidneys, liver with additional alkalinizing herbal nutrients. A detox tea formula with herbs blended for all the eliminative channels and a Bach Flower Remedy were included.
Home Treatments: Castor Oil Pack. Ginger poultice. Self Reflexology. Chickweed baths.
Chickweed (Stellaria Media) Uses: Internally: Infusion for constipation, stomach and bowel problems, blood disorders, asthma, lung diseases, obesity, vitamin C deficiency, scurvy, psoriasis, eczema, rabies, itching, and muscle and joint pain. Effective for iron-deficiency anemia because of its high iron content.
Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamins A, D, B complex, C, rutin (a bioflavinoid), calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, sodium, copper, iron, and silica. Soak inflamed wound or skin irritation once or twice a day in a strong infusion of fresh chickweed to soothe inflammation.
Chickweed Salve: Eases eczema or psoriasis itching; assists in healing hemorrhoids, minor cuts, diaper rashes, skin eruptions, itchy insect bites or dry, inflamed skin rashes; is helpful for bronchitis, rheumatic pains, arthritis, and period pain; soothes bug bites, burns, cuts, and itching with its cooling and drying effect on the skin.
Poultice: Apply the whole Chickweed plant directly to itchy, hot, or irritated skin to reduce inflammation. Traditional Japanese treat bruises and aching bones by steeping the stems in hot water before external application, and they enjoy eating seasonal Chickweed in salads.
Soil: Chickweed (Stellaria media or Cerastium spp.) and chicory (Chicorium sp.) like rich soil—high in nitrogen—and grows well in compacted alkaline soil.
Lifestyle Balance: 80 percent alkaline-forming foods and 20 percent acid-forming foods.
pH Scale: The pH scale of 7.0 or above represents a healthy body with equilibrium maintenance at a pH of 7.365, slightly alkaline. Honey or lemons become alkaline when consumed. Maple syrup is slightly below 7, so slightly acidic. Water is neutral at 7.