PSORIASIS AND NATURAL MEDICINE

In treating psoriasis, we need to look a bit deeper than the skin. Although the condition is on the skin and appears to be isolated from our other organs, the opposite is true.

psoriasis on elbow



Naturopathic Suggestions for Psoriasis

As mentioned earlier in the skin disorders section I mentioned the factors that are thought to be responsible for psoriasis. These included bowel toxicity, liver function, protein digestion and nutrition.

Let's firstly look at liver function.

Liver Function

The liver's function is in detoxification, that is, to rid the blood of toxins. So it makes sense that if the liver is not functioning correctly, then there will be more toxins in the body that need to be eliminated....YOU GUESSED IT...they may be eliminated through the skin.

Firstly I would suggest to have a Liver Detoxification Profile. This test, unless your GP practises complementary medicine, is not the usual blood test that you Doctor prescribes. You may need to visit your alternative health practitioner for one of these. The results of this test will determine whether we need to be treating the liver and because of the differing results you can get, it's very hard to mention here what we use for treatment. My suggestion therefore is to have a FLDP test and discuss it with your health practitioner, there are many effective options. If you have further questions you would like to ask me about psoriasis, click here.

Bowel Toxaemia

Chronic candida which is an overgrowth of the yeast Candida Albicans.

This overgrowth can create an immune response which through a series of cyclic reactions, causes an increase in the rate of skin production in people with psoriasis. You can be tested for candida but if you think you may have it already there are some simple things you can do.

- Take an Acidophilus Bifidus supplement, this replaces the good bacteria.

- Increase dietary fibre such as fruit and vegetables to get the bowel moving.



Incomplete Protein Digestion

If you have a poor digestive system then your gut permeability will be altered. Click here if you want to read about intestinal permeability. There is a test that can be performed to test gut permeability. If you think you may have altered gut permeability then there are some solutions.

- Supplement with pancreatic enzymes

- Supplement with an amino acid complex

- You may need supplementation with gastic acid such as hydrochloric acid. If you suffer belching, bloating, flatulence after meals, and itching around the anus, then you may have incomplete digestion.

- Make sure you chew your food well, before you swallow.

Nutritional Supplements

Golden Seal is a herb that can help in stomach problems such as digestion.

Cysteine is an amino acid which helps in digestion.

Zinc appears to be lower in psoriasis patients, so supplementation can often be helpful.

Vegetarian Diet has been shown to be helpful in that it reduces the amount of possibe toxins entering the gut.

EPA found in fish oils is also a useful supplement due to the anti-inflammatory effects it has.



Latest Clinical Trials

EPA and psoriasis

EPA has been shown to be effective only with DHA and only intravenously. EPA and DHA, both found in fish oil do NOT appear to be effective when taken orally.

Mayser P, Mrowietz U, Arenberger P, et al. Omega-3 fatty acid-based lipid infusion in patients with chronic plaque psoriasis: results of a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial. J Am Acad Dermatol 1998;38:539-47.




zinc and psoriasis ZINC has had disappointing results in treating psoriasis when used orally.

Burrows NP, Turnbull AJ, Punchard NA, et al. A trial of oral zinc supplementation in psoriasis. Cutis 1994;54:117-8.




bovine cartilage and psoriasis BOVINE CARTILAGE has had some good results when used topically and subcutaneously. Tests have shown that at first, the lesions may increase or appear worse, but after 3-6 weeks, the symptoms improve. Click here for more information on bovine cartilage and psoriasis.

Prudden JF, Balassa LL. The biological activity of bovine cartilage preparations. Clinical demonstration of their potent anti-inflammatory capacity with supplementary notes on certain relevant fundamental supportive studies. Semin Arthritis Rheum 1974;3:287-321.



aloe vera and psoriasis
Santaverde  Pure Aloe Vera Gel - Fragrance Free
ALOE VERA has had promising results when used topically. This is good news because you can either use a creme or grow the plant yourself. The cream (0.5%) has been shown improvement to psoriasis and plaques just after 4 weeks of treatment.

The aloe vera I suggest (to your right)is absolute top quality 100% aloe vera with no fragrance if you suffer from skin allergies. It also does not contain SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate) which is a known skin irritant. If you suffer from psoriasis then you need to avoid all topical irritants, therefore only use organic topical treatments. Click on the image to learn more.

Klein AD, Penneys NS. Aloe vera. J Am Acad Dermatol 1988;18:714-20.

There are some trials currently being done on a few other herbal remedies and supplements such Vitamin B12, shark cartilage, phellodendron, green tea and gotu kola, which are showing much promise.

Stay in touch to find out what has been classified as effective.

In Summary

As you can see, my suggestions are a bit different to what has been tested. Unfortunately for psoriasis sufferers, there is no money to be made from testing non-material things such as diet change and gut permeability. Therefore, there is no product to market at the end of the trial. You can either use my suggestions as a guide or use some of the tested and proven products, it's up to you...

Would you like to ask me a question about psoriasis?

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