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You may know that beneficial flora in the gut empower the immune system throughout the body.
Good gut bacteria actually talk to your body’s immune cells. A large mass of lymphoid tissue sits just beneath the intestinal tract. Gut bacteria can reduce inflammation. This is why including cultured foods in your daily diet is often helpful in alleviating inflammatory conditions associated with food sensitivities and a permeable intestinal lining. Sometimes inflammation beginning in the gut manifests in seemingly unrelated places, such as in the skin.
Many people have found that a diet rich in friendly bacteria improves chronic skin conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis.
And research supports anecdotal findings. (1) (2) A great deal of scientific interest has been generated around the bacteria found on the interior and exterior of our bodies. It turns out that bacteria can be either symbiotic to our systems or pathogenic.
For example, a diet that consists largely of processed foods and excessive sugar creates an environment that supports pathogenic microorganisms. Likewise, the more cultured foods, green leafy vegetables, seaweeds, and fermented microalgae that you ingest, the more likely it is that your body is home to beneficial microflora that enhance immune activity, the proper functioning of your digestive system, mental clarity, and physical energy.
A great deal of energy and money is spent on over-the-counter and pharmaceutical preparations to help heal red, inflamed skin conditions like acne and eczema.
Oftentimes, medical health care professionals prescribe antibiotics, corticosteroid creams, or other topical applications that use hormones to provide immediate relief to the skin. None of these treatments are effective long-term, and their benefits are short-lived. In fact, steroid creams can deeply affect the adrenal stress response. Estrogen enhanced skin creams can cause a toxic build-up of estrogen in the body, which can impair thyroid function.
Yes, you can finally have healthy skin free from inflammatory conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis! By using a homemade facial made with fermented coconut meat, you can restore health to your skin with a boost of good bacteria.
Repopulating the gut with good bacteria is the first step toward healing inflammatory skin conditions.
This means eating fermented foods. Fermented foods are teeming with good bacteria and include traditional favorites like kimchee, sauerkraut, yogurt, and kefir. At Body Ecology, we suggest fermenting coconut water, rather than milk, as it is least associated with inflammatory food sensitivities.
Recently, several topical skin care products that contain beneficial microflora have been introduced to the market.
These skin care products are a step up from those that contain hormones. Beneficial bacteria are as good in your body as they are on your body. While maintaining a balanced inner ecosystem is essential to healing a chronic skin disorder like acne, eczema, or psoriasis, applying soaps and facial masks that are enriched with select good bacteria can be another effective tool that immediately cools down an inflammatory response in the skin and relieves itching and burning sensations.
Yogurt is a popular home remedy that uses probiotics to improve the complexion. Yogurt contains lactic acid, which is gently exfoliating. The good bacteria in yogurt help to combat pathogenic bacteria that may be at the root or at least exacerbating areas of redness and swelling. (3)
If you ferment young Thai coconuts at home, try mixing the fermented coconut meat with a teaspoon of lemon or lime juice in place of yogurt.
The oil found in coconut has been used therapeutically on the skin in several indigenous cultures. For good reason. The body’s natural oil contains medium chain triglycerides (MTCs), similar to those found in coconut oil. Lipophilic (fat loving) bacteria live on the surface of our skin. These bacteria consume the glycerol portion of the oil on our skin, leaving the fatty acids.
In this process, they convert the MTCs in the sebum into potent antimicrobial MTCs that kill pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Medium chain fatty acids are acidic and help to establish the body’s protective layer. (4)
Try This Great Facial:
You can ferment young coconut meat by blending it in a high-powered blender with 4-6 ounces of fermented coconut water and allowing it to sit sealed in an airtight jar for 24 hours. You will know when the meat has fermented as it will expand and air bubbles will appear. For this reason, be sure to leave plenty of space in the jar before you seal it! Add a teaspoon of lemon or lime juice.
Remember, the antimicrobial power of MTCs is released by digestive enzymes in the gut or by skin bacteria.
You can ferment coconut water at home with the Body Ecology Kefir Starter pack. Drinking the fermented liquid provides your internal environment with good bacteria that have been shown to improve the condition of the skin. Body Ecology’s Probiotic Beverages are a great way to get the good microflora you need.
What To Remember Most About This Article:
If you suffer from an inflammatory skin condition like acne, eczema, or psoriasis, your diet may be to blame. By repopulating your gut with good bacteria, you can begin the process of healing inflammatory disorders in your skin.
On top of that, using topical products that contain friendly bacteria will benefit the surface of your skin just as effectively. A balanced inner ecosystem is a vital component to healthy skin, but using products that contain good bacteria can also relieve inflammation in the skin to soothe the complexion!
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- Bowe, Whitney and Alan Logan. Acne vulgaris, probiotics and the gut-brain-skin axis - back to the future? Gut pathogens. Volume 3, Number 1, 1. doi: 10.1186/1757-4749-3-1
- Krutmann, Jean. Pre- and Probiotcs for Human Skin. Journal of Dermatological Science. Vol. 54: 5. 1 – 5. doi: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2009.01.002
- Fife, Bruce. Coconut Cures. Colorado Springs: Piccadilly Books, 2005.