For Frances Batten, 33, life ended when her mother passed away unexpectedly. Not only did she lose a parent, she suffered a terrible attack of a skin condition called rosacea. Left crying in front of her bedroom mirror every day and confining herself to her room, Batten was convinced her life was over. Finding that conventional medicines didn’t work, Batten tried alternative therapies. She began using a face cream made from capers in a desperate attempt to alleviate her condition. Almost miraculously, her rosacea cleared, prompting Batten to tell the DailyMail.co.uk, “aside from the appearance of my skin, it’s such a relief not to be in pain every day. I’m much less grumpy with the kids and feel happier and more able to cope…I’m no longer ashamed to show my face.”
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) describes the skin ailment as a redness that can slowly spread beyond the nose and cheeks to the forehead and chin. Most people who suffer from the condition report symptoms such as overall redness, flushing, swelling, and acne-like breakouts. Severe forms of the condition can cause the skin to thicken and maintain a bumpy texture. While not life-threatening, the psychological effects of the condition cannot be estimated. Left untreated, rosacea can get worse.
This is exactly what happened with Batten, who had battled with the condition for years. Batten began noticing small red patches on her skin around September of 2015. Her dermatologist told her that the sudden flare-up was likely caused by stress. After all, she had just changed jobs and was taking care of three very young children. She was placed on a series of antibiotics, which did improve her skin for a while. However, after her mother was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer and passed away four weeks after, Batten’s rosacea worsened. “After my mum’s [sic] death, which came as a real shock to all of us, I had a second flare up of rosacea that was about 80 percent worse than the first one,” she says in the same interview. “By this stage my nose was so swollen that I could see it in my vision…My rosacea was ruining my life. I spent hours every morning trying to cover it with make-up. I lost my confidence.”
The power of food: Healing ingredients found in your kitchen
If anything can be taken away from this story, it is that the answer to seemingly impossible health conditions can often be treated with basic items that can be found right in your kitchen. Most of us have heard of the classic superfoods such as garlic, berries, lemons; we stock up on these items when time (and budget) allow us to. However, many people forget the beautiful small superfood, capers.
Capers have a pleasant flavor and are mostly used in the preparation of Mediterranean dishes. They are a rich source of essential vitamins and nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin K, vitamin E, and niacin. There are studies that suggest that the nutritional benefits found in capers can cure infection and ease digestive disorders. It has been shown to improve the metabolic rate of people as well, keeping the digestive system healthy and functioning properly.
The advantages of this perennial plant are not limited to internal function. Capers can be used as a topical treatment to heal minor and moderate wounds. The antibacterial properties of capers can prevent infection. Some people even use crushed capers as a hair rinse, supposedly increasing blood flow to the scalp to prevent dandruff and eczema.
Whether taken as a garnish or applied directly to the skin, capers are definitely worth adding to your kitchen!