Melbourne Doula

Welcome to 'Melbourne Doula', the place where I share what birth work is teaching is me, and what I am learning from the wonderful families who have invited me to share this most special season of their lives. Here you will find information about me and the doula services I provide, birth stories from remarkable women and their loved ones, as well as all kinds of resources to enrich your own journey of discovery. And welcome also to BLISSFUL HERBS, the home of beautiful herbal teas and bath herbs to support wellness through every season of life.

PUPPP-ease herbs


PUPPP, or Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy, is another term for horrible itchy hell endured in pregnancy for inexplicable random reason. So not fair!

It can also be called PEOP - Polymorphic Eruption of Pregnancy 

The good news is that it is not dangerous; the bad news is that pretty much only giving birth will make it go away altogether.

(If you do have this kind of rash and itching, it's important to see your health care professional for liver function tests to rule out Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) which also involves rash and itching and can be more serious.)

*However* there are some tried and tested remedies that have helped women move from "Kill Me Now" status to "I Got SOME Sleep OK Just Don't Flare Up Again" status.

In herbal medicine, it is understood the depurative herbs, that promote elimination processes of the liver, kidney and lymph and cleansing of toxins from the blood, have a part to play in resolving skin conditions such as acne, eczema and pruritis.

Herbs with anti-inflammatory & anti-histamine action, used topically and taken internally, may also offer a measure of relief, acting in a similar way to steroidal medications.

Blissful Herbs offers a herbal bath mix to act topically and a delicious and nutritious herbal tea to act internally, to help manage the uncomfortable itching and rash of PUPPP.

The PUPPP-ease herbal tea contains:

Burdock – A liver depurative to promote elimination of toxins. Cleansing of the liver is understood to reduce itching and improve skin issues in the naturopathic approach.

Chamomile - this calming herb has anti-inflammatory & healing properties. (NB: Chamomile is a member of the ragweed family, and triggers allergic reactions in some people.)

Cleavers – a richly nutritious depurative for the kidneys and lymph.

Dandelion – a liver depurative to support liver function and cleanse the blood, which can moderate itching.

Gotu Kola – with anti-inflammatory properties, this herb is useful for reducing itching and is also a calming nervine for the nervous system.

Nettle – a blood cleanser that helps resolve skin conditions such as ace, eczema and pruritis; also has anti-inflammatory properties.

There's also a little bit of Hibiscus rosella and Rosehip to add a delicious taste as well as extra anti-oxidants and Vitamin C.

The PUPPP bath herbs contain:

Calendula – this vulnerary (healing) herb also has anti-inflammatory properties that soothes and heals rashes and irritated skin.

Chamomile - this calming herb has anti-inflammatory & healing properties. (NB: Chamomile is a member of the ragweed family, and triggers allergic reactions in some people.)

Chickweed – soothing emollient and vulnerary properties, to ease rash and itching and promote healing.

Oat straw – used topically, this herbs reduces itching and eases skin condition like eczema and pruritis.

Peppermint – when used topically,  has anti-pruritic properties to ease itching.

Witchhazel – anti-inflammatory and astringent, effective for dermatitis, pruritus and other skin conditions. Also helpful for haemorrhoids.

Gotu Kola – with anti-inflammatory properties, this herb is useful topically for psoriasis, dermatitis and itching.

Blue Mallow – these pretty purple flowers soothe and heal irritated, itchy skin.

You can add these herbs to a warm bath, or you can place soft muslin cloths in the herbal liquid, then lay the wet cloth on the affected skin.

Drawstring muslin bag, in which to place the bath herbs = $1.50

I had a birth client with PUPPP who found the Soothing Salve was very helpful. She would have a bath in the herbs, then slather on the Soothing Salve and that way she could sleep at night. The Soothing Salve contains oils of Hemp, Coconut, Calendula and Rosehip and seems to subdue the itching and rash and moisturise the irritated skin.

 More suggestions for coping with PUPPP:

- To take internally:

* Add flaxseed to the diet. Evening Primrose Oil, also rich in essential fatty acids, may also be helpful. Also Cod Liver oil - since pregnancy rash seems to be associated with a lack of essential fatty acids in the diet.
* Eat bitter greens that promote liver function, such as Dandelion greens.
* Pro-biotics, fermented foods such as kimchi, apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha; and pre-biotic foods such as apples, garlic, onions, asparagus, artichoke, cabbage, bananas, legumes and root vegetables - these all support the integrity of the lining of the gut (so you absorb nutrients properly) and modify the flora in your gut - which reduces inflammatory processes in your body.
* A homeopathic liver tonic; also homeopathic Apis mellifica.
* Echinacea, good for the immune system, also moderates inflammation and therefore itching, and has been helpful in some cases.

 - To use topically:
* Make a bath of oatmeal such as rolled oats or steel-cut oats. Place in an old sock or panty-hose and add to your warm bath. You can also add peppermint essential oil and sodium bicarb to the bath water.
*  Oil of St John's Wort 
* Tiger Balm
* Aloe Vera gel 
* reduce stress - extra stress does weaken the liver, so liver tonics and better nutrition along with stress management and more support might make a difference (good for you anyway, so worth a try eh?)
* Acupuncture

More PUPPP survival resources:

PUPPP wesbite

PUPPP facebook group

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