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Psoriasis is a common and chronic, recurrent inflammatory skin condition characterized by itchy, dry, scaly plaques. Symptoms can range in severity from mild to disabling, interfering with one’s quality of life.

Psoriasis is considered by many natural health experts to be an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune cells attack normal skin cells. The cells that are targeted grow below the skin, and normally rise to the skin’s surface over the duration of a month. In psoriasis, the growth rate of new cells is much faster, resulting in dead skin cells building up on the surface of the skin, leaving behind a raised, red plaque covered with scales.

Although the exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, the condition likely includes a combination of genetics, environment, and lifestyle. Some of the factors that appear to trigger symptoms of psoriasis include:

‣ An inflammatory diet
‣ Poor digestion and an inability to break down proteins
‣ Poor liver function
‣ Lack of sunlight
‣ Heavy alcohol consumption
‣ Certain prescription medications such as beta-blockers and anti-malarial drugs
‣ Emotional stress and physical trauma to the skin

Since psoriasis is considered an autoimmune condition, treatment should be centred on healing the body from the inside out thereby addressing the root cause of the problem rather than only focusing on the symptoms.

The following supplements and herbs can be used as part of a natural treatment plan for psoriasis.

Oral Remedies

Consider supplementing with a combination of the following:

‣ Vitamins A and D, and Zinc to support healthy skin and immune system function.

‣ Omega-3 Fatty Acids including high potency EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) fish oil, and GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) rich Evening Primrose Oil and Borage Oil to lower inflammation and support skin health.

‣ Milk Thistle and Dandelion root to support liver detoxification.

‣ Hydrochloric Acid with Pepsin to support protein digestion.

‣ Digestive Enzymes to support digestion and overall nutrient absorption.

‣ Probiotics to provide beneficial bacteria to the gut and support digestion.

‣ Curcumin, an active ingredient found in turmeric that is well researched in lowering inflammation throughout the body.

Topical Solutions

The following topical preparations can provide relief for psoriasis without the ill side-effects of conventional cortisone creams. Look for creams or ointments that contain one or more of the following ingredients.

‣ Capsaicin the active ingredient found in chili peppers, may help to relieve pain, inflammation, redness and scaling associated with psoriasis.

‣ Oregon Grape Root Extract has powerful antimicrobial properties and research has shown that a homeopathic preparation containing 10% of this ingredient was effective in treating mild to moderate psoriasis.

‣ Tea Tree Oil is considered a natural antiseptic and antimicrobial. Some people find using shampoo with tea tree oil helps relieve psoriasis on the scalp. You can also find tea tree oil as an ingredient in many soaps, creams, and ointments which some people may find helpful for relieving symptoms, although there are no scientific studies to prove the effectiveness of tea tree oil on psoriasis.

‣ Apple Cider Vinegar can possibly reduce the itchy-ness associated with psoriasis. For an inexpensive home remedy try adding one cup of apple cider vinegar to a warm bath and soaking in it for 20-30 minutes, or apply directly to the scalp or skin several times per week. Dilute with water in a 1:1 preparation if you experience any uncomfortable burning or tingling. Don’t use on open wounds.

‣ Aloe Vera can reduce redness and scaling associated with psoriasis. Look for products containing at least 0.5% aloe.

A healthy diet rich in vegetables and fruit, water, soluble fibres, fatty fish, fermented foods, and high quality grass-fed animal products is also imperative for healing from the inside out.

Limit foods you may be sensitive to such as dairy and gluten, and avoid refined sugar and flour products, hydrogenated oils and fats, conventional and processed meats, and over consumption of alcohol.

Also, make a habit of including daily stress-reducing techniques into your regimen such as getting outside in nature, deep breathing, meditation, gentle movement, and regular exercise.

Elaine Brisebois
About the Author

Elaine is a Certified Nutritionist and Women’s Health Coach. She works with clients across the globe to help them improve their health and relationship with food. Elaine believes in a real food approach to health that is rooted in optimizing digestion and includes ongoing and intelligent cleansing. You can download her FREE Hip, Healthy & Holistic Makeover Guide to learn 5 simple things you can do every day to lose weight, increase energy, kick cravings, and feel beautiful inside & out.