What is the best natural treatment for psoriasis? This seems to be a question many are asking, especially with the onset of summer. No one wants to wear shorts and swim suits that show their red, itchy, scaly almost “lizard-like” skin. It’s ugly and quite embarrassing! There are all sorts of creams and lotions and potions out there, but most of them don’t really help.
Psoriasis is actually an outward expression of what’s going on inside the body. It is classified as an auto-immune disease so the health of the gut plays a major role in flare ups. There also seems to be a correlation to how well the liver is filtering toxins out of the body.
Here are a few herbs and natural treatments I have found to actually be helpful:
Cayenne, or chile pepper, has an active ingredient called capsaicin which is the active ingredient in many over the counter pain relief creams and gels. It is an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. Research at the University Medical Center Freilburg in Germany show that over the counter creams containing capsaicin might help to diminish the redness & scaling as well as the pain & inflammation that results from psoriasis. I prefer to take cayenne orally; ointments containing capsaicin sometimes cause a burning sensation.
Dead Sea Salt/Epsom Salt
Soaking in a warm (NEVER HOT) bath with dead sea salt or epsom salt added helps to lessen the scaliness and itching of psoriasis sufferers. Always use a really good moisturizer after soaking as salts tend to pull moisture from the skin. You can use something as simple as a little pure coconut oil, or you can add a drop of tea tree oil to get even more benefits.
Pliny the Elder, born in 23 AD in Como, Italy, prescribed milk thistle as a liver cleansing herb. The active ingredient in milk thistle that performs this function is silymarin. Silymarin, along with glutathiones, aids in the detoxification of the liver. Milk Thistle is not an herb that will give direct relief of symptoms. It is, however, an herb that addresses the root cause for psoriasis.
Oats have long been considered soothing and moisturizing to the skin. You can take an oat bath using a cup of ground oats in a warm bath. Alternately, you can mix a paste with some oats ground in a coffee grinder with a little bit of water. Leave on for 10 minutes or so, then rinse and moisturize.
An extract from the leaves of the Melaleuca tree, native to Australia, tea tree oil was first used by the Aborigines as a wound healer. Tea tree oil has antiseptic properties and can be applied directly to the skin. Test a small place first, as some people are allergic. As I stated in an earlier post, you can mix it with a little bit of oil when you moisturize as well. You can also add a drop or two to your shampoo each time you wash your hair if you have psoriatic lesions in the scalp. I would advise using an additional essential oil with a pleasant smell along with tea tree, as it has an odor that is offensive to some people.
Anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant, turmeric is one of the best herbs for use in autoimmune disease. It has been used for all types of skin conditions in India for quite some time. The active ingredient, curcumin, has the ability to alter gene expression related to the immune system response. Turmeric can be eaten in food and is used in many Indian dishes containing curry. You can also take it in capsule form. According to the FDA 1.5 to 3.o grams per day is safe, but you should consult with your health care professional about the appropriate dosage for you.
I hope that these few recommendations have given you a good idea of the best natural treatment for psoriasis and that you will possibly get some relief.
Please leave comments if you do try any of these suggestions and let me know your outcome, or if you have tried any of them in the past.