Psoriasis can be a serious, uncomfortable and disfiguring condition, where the skin erupts in red raw, scaling, itchy lesions. When treated with allopathic medicine alone, powerful medications are often used that can suppress the symptoms but do not deal with the root cause of the problem – and the drugs can cause horrendous side effects. Creams and topical chemical based preparations can also be used – often to minimal effect.
As with many skin conditions psoriasis is often genetically inherited. There are many different ways to help reduce the likelihood of a flare up – once the symptoms have been reduced – both of which are usually possible with a combination of different forms of holistic natural medicine. In my experience, the most successful options usually include aromatherapy, naturopathy/nutritional medicine, food allergy testing (using kinesiology – to identify foods that are worsening the condition) and traditional Chinese medicine in severe cases.
One of the most comprehensive dietary/lifestyle approaches, that has been achieving staggering results with Psoriasis, has been developed by US Chiropractor Dr John Pagano DC . (See “Alternative Cures” by Bill Gottlieb published by Rodale :ISBN: 1-57954 – 058 – 9). He maintains that the skin inflammation is caused by the body’s desperate attempt to detoxify itself of excess saturated fats, yeasts, acids and bacteria – which are all so prevalent in the Western diet.
When dealing with psoriasis my first basic check list includes the following:
- Use gentle, chemical free washing powder and fabric conditioner– free of harsh chemical perfumes which can further irritate sensitive skins (example: Ecover).
- Avoid harsh chemical laden creams, lotions and especially avoid Sodium Lauryl Sulphate foaming agents in bath and shower gels, shampoos and conditioners. These can inflame sensitive skins.
- Use natural based deodorants rather than antiperspirants – which block the sweat glands.
- Drink at least 1.5 litres of filtered/mineral water daily – dehydration can worsen any skin condition.
- Include high levels of Essential Fatty Acids in your diet – which are found in oily fish, avocado, raw virgin cold pressed olive oil (and other vegetable oils), nuts and seeds especially Linseed (try Linwood’s ground flax seeds to ensure that you access the EFAs inside the seeds).
- Avoid food from the “Nightshade” family – courgette, white potatoes (sweet potatoes are fine), peppers and paprika, but most importantly tomatoes – all are inflammatory to those suffering from this condition. Tobacco is also from the same family.
- Increase your intake of roughage and fresh vegetables – especially leafy green varieties, which can help by increasing various nutrients and lowering high acidity – helping balance pH levels and assuring regularity of bowel movements/detoxification.
- Many naturopaths believe psoriasis outbreaks are triggered by the “leaky gut syndrome” and that it is principally a disease of the intestinal tract. They state that avoiding highly refined foods, excess sugar, caffeine and especially saturated and trans fats can be helpful – as can lowering dairy and wheat products. Applied kinesiology will help to determine if this is required for each person as issues that cause skin inflammatory reactions can vary from person to person.
- A very regular exercise programme is recommended – to help the body to eliminate toxins, improve oxygenation and blood filtration through the kidneys and liver.
- Supplements: These will vary according to lifestyle and diet issues, but classic supplements for psoriasis can include: Slippery Elm Intensive (BioCare) – to help line the intestinal tract before eating to promote healing, Essential Fatty Acids, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin C with bio-flavonoids, Multi–vitamin with bilberry & lutein, High dose Pro-biotics, Lecithin.
Aromatherapy can also be useful in a variety of ways:
- By using rich, nourishing base oils to help feed dry skin, lubricate, condition and help prevent dehydration.
- By using essential oils to help prevent infection if skin is cracking during a flare up.
- By using essential oils to help ease inflammation and heat.
Aromatherapy recipes for psoriasis:
Alkalising hydro-therapy bath:
For the burning and itching of a flare up (and if the skin is not cracked) try this alkalising bath. Regular hydrotherapy baths may make the skin condition a little worse before it begins to improve – but this can be a good indication that the detoxification process is being stimulated.
Place 1 cup cornflour, 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup oats in a pop sock and tie securely. Run a warm (not hot) bath and add your pop sock and 1 cup of apple cider vinegar to the water – squeezing the sock well! Use this bath 5 times a week to help soothe and heal.
Once or twice weekly try this bath blend to help moisturise and soothe the skin. The salt and oils will also help to prevent infection if the skin is cracked. Mix 1/2 cup Dead Sea Salt, 1 cup oats, 1 teaspoon Jojoba Oil, 1 teaspoon Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil, 2 drops German Chamomile, 4 Bergamot and 4 Lavender. Place in a pop sock and tie securely. Add to the bath once the water has run and squeeze regularly to help dissolve the salts and release the oat milk.
Moisturising Aloe Gel/Cream:
Use after a bath or shower on lesions – or areas where lesions can appear – always do a skin patch test first to help ensure suitability. Take 100ml Aloe Vera & Seaweed Gel OR Moisturising Cream Base and add 10ml Vitamin E Oil, 10ml Jojoba Oil, 10ml Avocado Oil, 3 drops German Chamomile, 4 Tea Tree, 4 Patchouli, 10 Bergamot and 10 Lavender. Stir well and keep in an airtight jar.
If you would like any further advice please do not hesitate to contact us directly.
Disclaimer: The information provided on the Base Formula blog is for personal information and interest only. It is not intended to offer professional medical advice or treatment for any condition. We recommend that you consult your GP or nurse if you have any health concerns whatsoever. Our advice has been provided on the basis that there are no known contra-indications to treatment. If you have any health problems or are taking any medication you should seek advice from your healthcare provider prior to using aromatherapy. We would also advise that you make an appointment with a local aromatherapist who will be able to take a full case history and offer you tailored treatment advice. Please note that Base Formula accepts no liability for misuse of essential oils or other products or for any reliance on the information provided within.
Please visit our website for more details on using essential oils safely and effectively.