Natural Remedies for Psoriasis

Anti-inflammatories to heal your skin

Use these natural remedies for psoriasis to combat chronic inflammation that causes tissue damage, redness and pain.


Natural COX-2 inhibitors to
combat inflammation

These powerful herbal anti-inflammatories have properties that make them COX-2 inhibitors without the dangerous side effects of prescription medication.

COX-2 is an enzyme in your body that makes inflammation worse. Pharmaceutical COX-2 inhibitors have side effects that include ulcers, stomach pain, dizziness and headaches, as well as liver, kidney and heart failure.


1. Natural Remedies for Psoriasis -
Turmeric

Turmeric is an ancient spice well-known for its anti-inflammatory qualities. Take it in capsules or use it in cooking – or both! It contains Curcumin which inhibits COX-2 and fights inflammation.

Turmeric is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties. © Karen Alison

Dr. David Servan-Schreiber says that you must add ground pepper when you cook with turmeric, so your body will absorb the beneficial properties. For best effects, he also recommends mixing it with some olive oil.

Turmeric is great with eggs or salmon – excellent sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids – so you get double benefits.

Since turmeric is often used for arthritis, it may be especially helpful if you suffer from psoriatic arthritis. The recommended dosage is 100-300 mg with 95% curcuminoids, 3 times a day at mealtime.

2. Natural Remedies for Psoriasis -
Holy Basil and Oregano

I’ve listed Holy Basil and Oregano together because they both contain a substance called “rosmarinic acid” (also found in the herb, rosemary) that is a powerful COX-2 inhibitor and anti-inflammatory. It makes them ideal natural remedies for psoriasis.

Holy Basil has the advantage of helping to reduce cortisol, which calms your stress – which is great news because stress leads to inflammation. The recommended dose is 400-800 mg, once or twice a day.

Oregano is used in Chinese medicine to treat inflammations of the skin. It also helps with arthritis and anxiety – so it will help to reduce pain and stress. The dose is usually three times a day, and you can either take 200-500 mg of powdered leaf extract, or oregano oil – about 10 drops.

FYI, oil of oregano is strong stuff. Even though some people I know take it straight, I find it extremely pungent (like, ouch!) So, if you're like me, you might want to mix your dose into some juice or water - or even put it on your salad.


3. Natural Remedies for Psoriasis -
Ginger

Ginger's anti-inflammatory properties include inhibiting COX-2. © Karen Alison

A relative of turmeric, ginger has been popular for centuries for its anti-inflammatory properties - that include inhibiting COX-2.

For a concentrated effect, take 250 mg up to four times a day.

If you’re a person who likes to drink tea, coffee or soda all day, make a big pot or thermos of fresh ginger tea and drink that instead. You'll feel calmer and you'll get more of the anti-inflammatory benefits of ginger.

I love this tea mixed with mineral drops for added flavour and nutrition, and some stevia rebaudiana, which gives you sweetness without the insulin resistance, inflammation and other health problems sugar causes. Stevia rebaudiana does not have the bitter aftertaste that people complain about with some forms of stevia.

These four herbs will work best if you are also eating anti-inflammatory foods (listed at the end of this article.) Use caution if you have ulcers. If you’re taking medication, always check with your doctor or pharmacist about interactions and contraindications.

More natural anti-inflammatories

4. Natural Remedies for Psoriasis -
Enzymes

Good quality digestive enzymes are very useful as natural remedies for psoriasis because they act as anti-inflammatories.

But, to get those benefits, you MUST take them between meals so they work systemically. If you take them at meal time, they digest your food and don’t give you the anti-inflammatory benefits (or very little of them.)

I’ve had the best results with enzymes as anti-inflammatories by taking 3 or 4 capsules or caplets three or four times a day, at least 2 hours before or after a meal.

The enzymes I’ve found most effective are broad spectrum, so they contain bile and several different types of enzymes that break down protein, fat and carbs. You typically won’t get the same benefits from a simple papaya enzymes, delicious as they are.

5. Natural Remedies for Psoriasis -
Omega 3 fatty acids – Fish and fish oil

Omega 3 fatty acids – or essential fatty acids – are incredibly important to good skin. To be effective, the ideal ratio of omega 3's to omega 6’s is 1:1 – or as close to that as possible.

But, because of the explosion of heavily processed and junk foods in the 20th century, we are eating WAY too much omega 6. Functional medicine expert, Chris Kresser, says that people now eat about 10 - 25% more omega 6’s than omega 3’s! He believes this dietary change is responsible “for the epidemic of modern disease,” more than any other food factor.

So, what does this have to do with psoriasis?

Well, omega 6’s trigger inflammation and omega 3’s don’t. In fact, Dr. Andrew Weil says that omega 3 fatty acids reduce the inflammatory response.

But it gets worse! Eating too much omega 6 is also linked to autoimmune conditions. (Remember when I said that psoriasis is an inflammatory and autoimmune health problem?)

Also, when you eat high levels of omega 6, they actually block the omega 3’s you do eat!

Okay, so an excess of omega 6 is bad.

Here’s the solution. It’s fairly simple:

  1. Reduce the amount of omega 6 you eat.
  2. Increase your omega 3’s.


Omega 3 fatty acids are incredibly important to good skin. © Karen Alison

How do you do that?

  • Cut out vegetable oils, seed oils and hydrogenated oils. They are your worst nightmare. Most of them are high in omega 6 and have NO omega 3’s.
  • Most processed foods and junk foods – chips, fries, pastries – are cooked in vegetable oil (I think of it as toxic sludge)  saturating you with inflammatory omega 6’s. So cut way back on processed foods and these unhealthy oils if you want better skin.
  • Instead, make olive oil your oil of choice. If you're not allergic to dairy, eat butter or ghee. Coconut oil has many benefits although omega fatty acids are not one of them. But it won't block your omega 3's.
  • Yes, flax seeds and chia seeds are the exception among seeds because they contain high levels of omega 3’s. However they contain ALA – omega 3 alpha-linoleic acid – and it’s difficult for your body to convert that to DHA (most important) and EPA, which are crucial for omega 3 absorption.
  • Eat fish and take fish oil. Your body needs DHA and EPA – found in seafood and fish oil – to absorb enough omega 3 fatty acids. Choose small ocean fish like sardines, herring, anchovies, along with some salmon. If you’ve cut back on your omega 6’s, you’ll only need to eat fish and fish oil 2-3 times a week.
  • The fish oil I like best is Blue Ice Fermented cod liver oil because it’s carefully processed to preserve the nutrients while eliminating toxins. If you don’t care for the taste, buy it in caps and take with meals. Other good fish oils are by Carlson and Nutra Sea.


More natural remedies for psoriasis…
Anti-inflammatory foods and habits

Certain foods and lifestyle habits can cause inflammation and burn through the nutrients your body should be using to heal your skin.

Here are some anti-inflammatory tips. Each one is a mini-psoriasis remedy that adds power to your self-healing program.

1. Eat REAL food

  • proteins including lean meat, poultry, small ocean fish and free range eggs
  • colourful organically-grown vegetables and fruit
  • nuts and seeds (unless you have nut allergies)
  • non-gluten grains such as amaranth, buckwheat (a cousin of rhubarb, not wheat, despite the name), wild rice, gluten-free oats, millet 
  • healthy oils such as olive, flax (do not use for cooking), coconut - do NOT eat processed vegetable or seed oils, which are highly inflammatory

2. Foods that cause inflammation are…

  • Refined carbohydrates – anything made from white flour, white sugar or white potatoes
  • Gluten grains such as wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut and some oats
  • Fried and deep-fried foods – once the oil smokes, it’s toxic, and it’s especially toxic if it’s vegetable or seed oil. Apparently you can fry safely in butter or coconut oil but don’t overheat.
  • Nightshades are known to worsen inflammation and cause nutritional deficiencies (which will NOT help your skin heal.) They include tomatoes, white potatoes, peppers, eggplant and tobacco.

3. Anti-inflammatory habits…

  • Exercise – walk, dance, swim, ride your bike, or put a mini trampoline in front of the TV and bounce while watching.
  • Relieve stress with EFT Tapping, yoga, meditation, and being out in nature
  • Sleep – EFT Tapping helps when you have trouble sleeping. Deep sleep is when HGH – human growth hormone – is produced. Dr. James LaValle says HGH is crucial for healing and tissue repair.
  • Quit smoking – Smoking increases inflammation. If you’ve had trouble quitting, try EFT Tapping. It is used very successfully to reduce addictions and the underlying anxiety that often fuels them.
  • Take vitamin D and get some sun.


So there are your natural remedies for psoriasis to reduce inflammation. There are two more critical pieces to add to your self-healing program...

Next…

Detoxifiers for liver, kidneys, digestive system, and lymph because if they don't function well, your body pushes the toxins out through your skin!

How to boost gut flora and heal leaky gut to combat auto-immune skin and arthritic reactions.

These are natural remedies for psoriasis you must use if you want to give yourself the best chance of clearing up your health problem.

Previous...

What causes psoriasis? How to choose natural cures so you can design your own self-healing program for your skin.


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