Psoriasis – How to Heal, Naturally
Although psoriasis presents as a skin condition, it is actually an auto-immune disease. Psoriasis is caused by the white blood cells, known as T cells mistakenly attacking healthy skin cells. This then triggers other immune responses, and speeds up the growth of skin cells leaving the sufferer with patches of red inflamed skin, covered in silver scaly patches which can often crack and bleed, causing a lot of pain.
Many people with psoriasis find that prescribed medication, and over the counter creams have limited success with treating the symptoms, but often, alternative medicine can help.
Samantha Farmer, our Nutritional Therapist says:
“Psoriasis is linked to leaky gut, so I would recommend anyone who is suffering to remove irritant foods and reduce their stress levels (which disturbs digestion and antagonises Psoriasis). So the foods to watch out for are: gluten – it promotes Zonulin, a protein which modulates the tight junctions between the cells of the gut lining. When it is released the junctions open allowing undigested food, microbes and other foreign compounds to enter. This can result in a reaction such as psoriasis. A low sugar diet will benefit – the less friendly bacteria love sugar and create by-products that cause gut irritation. People may also want to avoid dairy, although fermented food may benefit some. Avoiding caffeine and trans fats can also be beneficial.”
Foods to include are oily fish – great to support cell structure, particularly the skin., fresh fruit and veg for the nutrients and fibre to support gut motility.
For some people, vitamin D or low levels has been associated with psoriasis – so get out in the sunshine whilst it is here and consider supplementation in winter months – with the correct advice of course.
Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture
“Chinese medicine is based on the belief that the body has energy known as Qi (chi) flowing through it. When qi does not flow, pain occurs. When qi flows, pain disappears. Pain is treated to enable the flow of qi. Psoriasis, as an autoimmune disease, affects the whole body, and Chinese medicine is a whole body treatment.”
Acupuncture can be used to help the flow of qi, and address any stress or other factors that may be contributing to Psoriasis. Acupuncture can be used alongside other treatments, so if you are using medication you could complement that with acupuncture sessions.
Chinese Herbal Medicine is a mixture of ground herbs, taken in water, that is prescribed uniquely for you. A fully trained herbalist will know if you can take certain herbs with certain medications, and some can even make topical lotions to apply directly to the skin.
With both of these therapies, the practitioner will take into account any other issues that you may have, either physically or emotionally, then they will tailor the treatment for you, personally.
Marie Krnakova is also an Aromatherapist, and recommends the following oils for Psoriasis:
Chamomile, Tea Tree, Rose, Lavender and Geranium.
Aromatherapy oils can be applied topically, but nearly all of them need to be blended with a carrier oil, so it is better to have someone blend them for you, or to buy a pre-blended oil. Alternatively, you can have an aromatherapy massage, where the oils are mixed and blended for you, and used to apply a soothing and relaxing massage. Not only is this good for your skin, but as Psoriasis can be exacerbated by stress, it will be a relaxing way to unwind and de-stress both the body and the mind.
You can also add aromatherapy oils to your bath water, or have them diffusing on an oil burner (please always seek advice first).
Psoriasis can be painful, embarrassing and debilitating, but it doesn’t have to be. Why not try changing your diet, or having one of the treatments mentioned above, and see if it makes a difference for you?
To find out more about how the Wellbeing Clinic can help you, contact us here.
With special thanks to Samantha Farmer, Marie Krnakova and Nicola Price.