The Skin as a Detoxifying Organ
Look closely at this man’s skin. On the right is a picture of the same man, only after an assassination attempt with poison. His skin eruption helped to save his life as his skin sequestered the poison away from his vital organs and continued to detoxify it by elevating detoxifying enzymes which are normally contained in the liver.
We really are wonderfully made.
This vivid illustration demonstrates the uniquely valuable role of herbal medicine in skin disease.
Terminology which has completely left orthodox medicine but remains integral to traditional herbal medicine are words such as alterative and depurative. These words describe the action of herbs on the body and refer to their ability to improve the detoxification process and aid elimination of metabolic waste products. They were traditionally referred to as blood purifiers and are mostly used for chronic skin and musculoskeletal disorders.
I regularly see their power and effectiveness in practice, often with results which can be felt in days.
Common depurative/alterative herbs which will be growing very close to where you sit right now are clivers (the herb that sticks to jumpers!), nettles, burdock and many more. An experienced herbalist will know how and when to use these herbs.
As part of my science degree training, I spent time in the dermatology unit of Whipps Cross hospital, London. It was a very useful experience. Skin disease treatment was mainly limited to steroids, antibiotics and Ultraviolet light treatment. It certainly has a place in acute conditions but as this story illustrates with crystal clarity, skin health is not only skin deep.