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Supplements and Foods That Heal Rosacea

Updated on August 3, 2016
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Vespa's recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" and "Taste of Home." She belongs to Cook's Recipe Testers for "Cook's Illustrated."


Alkalize Your System

My father-in-law, who suffers from gout (another inflammatory condition), swears by alkaline water. Popular opinion is definitely divided on this issue. It has been called "snake oil on tap". Theoretically, alkaline water should help control inflammation, which in turn would put rosacea in remission. See if it works for you before investing in a water alkalization machine. Try buying a few gallons at a local store. Take a balanced approach. Don´t drink highly alkalized water for extended periods of time. Cutting down on sugar and processed foods should alkalize your system on its own.

I alkalize my system with magnesium chloride. In many ways, magnesium has been my miracle supplement. Taken internally it relieves constipation, calms frazzled nerves and ensures better quality sleep. As you remember, stress is a rosacea trigger. Most importantly, magnesium keeps my rosacea at bay even when I veer temporarily from my healthier diet.

Why is magnesium so effective in controlling rosacea? Along with an alkalizing diet, magnesium helps balance the pH of the human body. I started with a dose of 2 grams once daily and then increased this dose to 2 grams twice daily. If you find the magnesium is causing diarrhea or loose bowels, you can always return to the once daily dose. Another option is to buy or make your own magnesium oil, which is a 50/50 ratio of water and magnesium chloride. Spray it on your skin after a shower. Be careful of spraying it on your sensitive facial skin, though.

I saw improvements within a week, but I recommend trying it for a full month to see if you can also benefit from this powerful supplement.

Sodium bicarbonate, or ordinary baking soda, is a powerful antidote for acid indigestion and acid reflux. Try taking a teaspoonful of baking soda mixed in water both morning and evening to keep acid reflux and rosacea at bay.

Fermented Foods

The rosacea paradox is that while fermented foods can trigger rosacea (because of the histamine response), they are also the long term solution. Remember the Italian study mentioned above? The control group that was given probiotic supplements experienced significantly greater improvement than those patients who used topical treatments only.

Although you can supplement with probiotic supplements, fermented foods made at home are much more potent sources of beneficial bacteria. Try adding high-quality fermented foods to your diet such as sauerkraut, kombucha, homemade yogurt or kefir. Try fermenting your own vegetables. Fermenting is easy and fermented vegetables contain many strains of beneficial bacteria, unlike commercial varieties of yogurt and sauerkraut. Learn to make homemade yogurt by clicking here: How to Make Yogurt at Home.

Sauerkraut is easy to make at home. Shred a head of green or purple cabbage and pack it into a sterile glass container. Add three tablespoons of kosher salt and begin mashing the cabbage with your hands or a mallet, until the juices flow and the cabbage is covered in liquid. If you find the cabbage is too dry, boil a brine solution, cool and add to the cabbage. Fill a clean ziplock bag with clean water and squeeze it into the mouth of the jar, making sure it pushes down on the cabbage to keep it submerged in the brine solution. Leave the sauerkraut undisturbed for 90 days. Long-fermented sauerkraut is mostly devoid of histamine content. It will heal your stomach lining as you continue with your healthier diet.

Natural apple cider vinegar is another fermented food. You can make it at home or buy a good quality raw apple cider vinegar like Bragg. Try a tablespoonful in a glass of water 3 times a day 20 minutes before meals. Not only will it help reduce acid reflux but it may help control rosacea symptoms.

Other Supplements & Why They Work

  • Probiotics: Try probiotics with different strains of beneficial bacteria. The benefit to the digestive system is obvious. One theory states that a good probiotic helps ensure that tbacteria responsible for rosacea are kept in check. Take probiotics 3 times a day, half an hour before or after meals.
  • Cat´s claw heals the gut and prevents food sensitivities. Take 3 times daily.
  • Betain HCI is a good choice for those who suffer from low stomach acid. Supports healthy digestion.
  • Zinc: Important for healthy skin. Take 25 mg twice daily with a meal.
  • Pau d'Arco treats bacterial and fungal infections in the body. Some claim it "cured" their rosacea.
  • Milk thistle helps clear a congested liver. Especially recommended for perimenopausal women with rosacea.
  • Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial that can be used externally and internally for rosacea.
  • Chamomile tea is another calming herb that can be used externally and internally. Try cool compresses of chamomile tea on red, irritated skin.
  • Licorice has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce redness and swelling of the skin.
  • Ginger also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Ginger tea calms the stomach.
  • Bone broth is very healing to the stomach lining. Results will be seen after months of taking bone broth daily, so be patient.
  • Coconut oil: Introducing healthy fats reduces systemic inflammation. Coconut oil's antibacterial properties can help keep harmful gut bacteria in check.
  • L-Proline & L-Lysine strengthen blood vessels and help repair broken capillaries.
  • Horse chestnut & grape seed extract: Powerful antioxidants that promote elastic blood vessels, prevents leaking and bursting.

Do extra research on supplements you´re interested in trying. Consult a physician before taking supplements, especially if you are pregnant or nursing. Be patient and consistent with the supplements you choose to take.

Be sure to drink plenty of water daily. If you are a perimenopausal woman, learn how to manage your changing hormone levels. Everyone needs to manage stress, but stress management is especially important for rosacea patients.

Click here to read more about rosacea:

If you have used any of these supplements for rosacea, please mention your results in the comments section.

In Summary

  • Alkalize your system!
  • Add probiotics and fermented foods to your diet.
  • Choose supplements that strengthen the vascular system, calm inflammation, kill harmful bacteria and improve digestion.
  • Drink plenty of water and learn to better manage stress.

Have you tried any of the following supplements for rosacea?

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