My 2009:

Strong, Intuitive, Engaged, Gutsy, Loving...

Thursday, May 29

Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain... and excema?!

Another Raw Food Awakening!

I believe I've finally gotten to the bottom of my life long struggle with excema. Wheat. I came to this conclusion quite accidentally after being high raw and specifically avoiding wheat this wheat in hopes of allaying some elimination issues.

Yesterday a lovely vendor brought in a box of cookies for the office. I have a very hard time resisting free, soft, oatmeal raisin cookies. I think I had 4? Maybe 5. This morning, sure enough, the excema is baaaaaacccccccckkkkkkkkkk. (I only have it on my hands... go figure?)

This is now the second time that I've had it flare up since beginning my raw food diet. (I used to live with it constantly, but since Dec 6th, 2006, I've been primarily only eating raw fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, and had noticed that it had gone away completely at one point.) The first flare up occured after Joey and I went to our Pre-deployment Couple's Retreat in March. I decided not to worry too much about what I ate while on 'vacation' and paid for it with hands that were blistery, scaly, yuck. So back on raw I went.

I did a bit of research for this blog-post, and this is what I found...

  • Atopic eczema is thought to be a hereditary condition. It is proposed that people with atopic eczema are sensitive to allergens in the environment which are harmless to others. Unfortunately when it is hereditary there is little you can do to avoid it. It is especially common in infants and children. In atopic dermatitis there is an excessive reaction by the immune system producing inflamed, irritated and sore skin. Associated atopic conditions include asthma and hayfever. The key to lessoning this type of eczema is to build up your immune system. (I.E. GO RAW!)

  • Contact dermatitis occurs when substances that irritate the skin chemically come in contact with the skin. By learning which substances cause the irritation, this form of eczema can be controlled.

Internal factors

Heredity - A family history of eczema, asthma or hay fever (the strongest predictor) - if both parents have eczema, there is an 80 per cent chance that their children will too.

  • Food - Dairy/milk and wheat products,acidic fruits, eggs, nuts, seafood, chemical food additives, preservatives and colorings.

  • Stress - Emotional stress is a well-known trigger of eczema flare-ups. Learning to reduce stress can significantly help the problem.

External factors

  • Irritants - tobacco smoke, chemicals, paints, bleach, weather (hot and humid or cold and dry conditions) and air conditioning or overheating. Scratchy clothes (like wool) can also irritate the skin. Its best to wear clothes made of soft fabrics like cotton. It is also recommended to wash all new clothing before wearing them.

  • Allergens - dust mites, feathers, molds, grasses, plant pollens, foods, pet hair, soaps, shampoos and washing powders, and certain cosmetics. Ingredients such as alcohol, astringents, and fragrances may trigger or worsen eczema.

Whoa! That explains a bunch! I guess my excema is hereditary, knowing that Dad has really challenging hayfever.

Then we have the list of food triggers. On raw, the only things that I don't naturally avoid are the nuts and acidic fruits. I'll have to look more into that. I have been noticing increased itching after eating peanuts lately! But the other nuts seem ok, so far. I wonder which fruits are considered acidic? Let's go find out...


  • Blueberries
  • Canned or Glazed Fruits

  • Cranberries

  • Currants
  • Plums

  • **Prunes** leave an alkaline ash but have an acidifying effect on the body.

Hmmm. These fruits are not part of my daily staples, so I am good to go here.

I'm sure the emotional stress didn't help bring on the first outbreak, that pre-mob retreat was VERY emotional. I'm so thankful for it though! This time, I believe it's just that I haven't been as careful with my diet.

I have been using natural cleaning products for many years now to help lessen the external irritant aspect of excema. I have been using products from Melaleuca and Young Living. I feel good about not spraying chemicals all over my house for my kids to breath. I think they smell much better as well! :D

I believe that my excema will go away completely. I have a very hard time just accepting that it's hereditary- deal with it. Until it does, I will keep experimenting. Let me know what you find, as well!

~Joanna RawTn ~xoxo

Information about excema quoted from

Information about acidic fruits quoted from


LittleGirl l BIG VOICE said...

Dude, I hadn't really noticed but I haven't had any exema since I went raw either! And I've had some pretty stress filled bouts. I normally would have been scratching my wrists like crazy. Guess that solves that! Thanks for the revelation darling!!!

RawBin said...

Wheat. It does a body in!
Wheat was one of the first foods I eliminated from my diet, because of internal distress, starting my journey into the Raw World. It's always a relief to at least be able to put 2 and 2 together. "Okay, I'll stay away from that one."
A wheat allergy excuse also helps with people who don't accept your answer of "No thanks, it's not raw." When you say, "No thanks, I have a wheat intolerance", people don't pressure you"

Simply-Sonja said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simply-Sonja said...

What a timely article! I cant believe it really. While I have knowlege of excema, causes, etc...
I am currently in middle of my own personal further study about it. **Interesting that there is a definite food connection...
God gave us the food, not the processors. Have you tried the Ezek 4:9 bread? (made just like the Bible instructs)

Kristi said...

Eeeek! I have excema. I'll have to give this stuff a try. BooHoo, I love fresh baked bread...cookies...lemon bars...cake...bawl:(


sproutingalive said...

You are so awesome, Joanna!! How cool to be learning about your body and what does/doesn't work to keep you healthy. So many people are out of touch with their bodies, they would never realize that there were triggers to things like their excema!

I feel so much better without wheat, too. It made me feel out of it, or something.

Congrats on knowing how to cure yourself of excema!!!

You RAWk, Joanna!

Lots of love to you,

Wendi Dee

Wendi Dee said...


*Covers Joanna with hugs and kisses!*

Thanks for making it easier for me to post comments!!


Lore said...

WOW! I am suffering from hayfever (hereditary too), we are vegans so dairy is out of the question but I am still suffering from them. Raw diet? I am kind of scared of it...for not knowing what to cook, mainly. I will check on the websites you recommend in your blog and if you can share some of your recipes even better. We love smoothies, some are green, some a concoction of many things...our daily one is carrot, apple, grapes, celery, orange, spinach, banana and strawberry yum, kids love it, hubby too! Oh I am adding some vit C and kelp to the smoothies to give it a boost and help the immune system to fight the allergies, so far it is getting better but I would like to get rid of them completely!!!