Treating Snow White: A Naturopaths' Tips For Healthy Skin


Snow White thrust a thin, pale arm towards me and turned it back and forth. 

Her arm was humming with redness, alive with bumps and so raw in places where her thin, whittled fingernails had scratched, her movements made her arm look like a small rotisserie. 

“I have no idea what this is!” she said, “and it’s the same on my feet.” 

Snow White wiggled her black felt slippers. 

Her lips were white as snow and her skin as red as blood.  Grey streaks shone through her coal black hair. Thinning eyebrows and floating dark circles framed her eyes. 

“Tell me what you eat in a typical week Snow White?” I said. 

Snow White cast thick lashes towards rosy cheeks for a moment.

“Well,” she said “it depends. Grumpy likes white bread, so on Mondays, I have toast for breakfast. Happy just loves sweet treats, so Tuesdays I might have a croissant,” she said. 

Snow Whites gaze drifted across the white clinic wall somewhere above my head. She began scratching her arm. 

“On Wednesdays, Doc makes some kind of pastry with the vegetables we grow in our garden, and on Thursdays Dopey cooks, so it’s usually mac and cheese,” she said. 

I scribbled a note on a blank piece of paper, and she continued. 

“Sneezy has a lot of allergies so on Fridays it’s only ever plain white rice, but I like to add in a little homemade tomato sauce when he isn’t looking. Saturdays are Sleepy’s day, but who knows what he cooks because it always comes out burnt,” she said. 

Show White sighed. 

“Bashful’s ventures on Sundays never go past meat and three veg, and one of those is always mashed potato,” she said.

“How would you rate your stress levels, Ms. White?” I said.

“Huh?” she said, focusing her brown eyes in my direction. 

“Living with seven men in a forest cabin would test me,” I said, “and you seem to have the patience of a Princess.” 

Snow Whites smile revealed two neat rows of lightly coffee stained teeth. 

“Well, I suppose I’m just waiting for a handsome Prince to sweep me off my feet!” she said, tinkling out a laugh.

Smiling at changing times, I focused on Snow Whites symptoms and explained the link between gut health and skin health. 

“Probiotics are essential for gut health,” I said “try adding some fermented foods to your diet – they’ll help Sneezy’s allergies too. Ferment some cabbage from your garden to make sourkraut. Also try adding in kefir, miso, and kombucha to your diet.”

Snow White brown eyes opened so wide she looked like Bambi. 

“Prebiotic foods feed the probiotics causing the good bacteria in the gut to thrive. Stretch Bashfuls three veg out with onions, garlic, asparagus and lots of leafy greens to feed the flora in the gut with fibre.” I said.

Seeking to treat the individual, I dismissed suggesting apples as a healthy source of pectin and fibre.

“If you can, swap red meat for oily fish such as salmon (organic is best), and add avocado and flaxseed oil to your diet for essential fatty acids. To take care of your liver cut down or remove alcohol and caffeine from your diet, and stay hydrated – drink eight glasses of water each day.”  I said. 

“I wonder what the dwarves are going to say about this?” Snow White said. 

“Perhaps they’ll enjoy the change,” I said.

“To help manage your stress levels, try walking in the woods on a clear day, or consider taking up yoga. It will have a positive effect on sleep which leads to increases in wound healing and skin cell renewal,” I said. 

“I do have some activewear I’ve been wanting to try out,” Snow White said. 

“Great,” I said, “I’ll make you a fresh pot of chamomile cream for topical application, and I’ll send you all this information in your Health Care Plan, as well as supplements I recommend you take.”

“Thank you so much!” Snow White said. She bounced out of her chair and shook my hand most carefully. “It’s been absolutely wonderful to meet you!” 

Just then three small birds flew through the small open window, into the office.

“Why, hello you three, right on time!” Snow White said. 

The birds tweeted a reply in the truest sense, and each picked up a third of Snow Whites billowing dress. 

“I shall book in to come to see you again in another two weeks,” she said.  

Snow White fluttered her fingertips, turned, and left my office. The door closed gently behind her.

I shook my head. These Disney characters had been coming by a lot lately. Cinderella had come in with complaints of hormonal acne last week. I couldn’t wait to see who walked through the door next.