Mother Earth Living

Q and A: Home Remedies for Psoriasis

Even if your case of psoriasis has a genetic origin, you may be able to mitigate your irritation with herbs such as yellow dock, stinging nettle and burdock root.
By Chanchal Cabrera and D. Paul Barney
May/June 1997
Add to My MSN


Content Tools

Related Content

Handling Nettle Without the Sting

Whether you want it for tea or some other project, handling stinging nettle during harvesting does n...

Mom and Son in a 650-Square-Foot Homesteader's Cabin: The Perfect Amount of Space

Victoria Gazeley considers her revitalized 650-square-foot homesteader’s cabin, located on 7 acres o...

Contact Dermatitis Causes In The Garden

If you have sensitive skin, be careful when you cut back your angelica; it may result in contact der...

Natural Home Remedies for Psoriasis

Find relief from the discomfort of psoriasis with these herbs, lifestyle tips and general home remed...

In every issue of Herbs for Health, professionals from a variety of health-care fields answer your questions about using medicinal herbs. Herbalist Chanchal Cabrera and medical doctor D. Paul Barney responded for this issue

Q&A


I am fifty-three and have severe psoriasis, which first ­started about five years ago. I was first treated with topical creams and then with baths and UBV treatments. After three months, I was all cleared. Unfortunately, it’s back, and worse than ever. My dermatologist won’t let me take any more UBV treatments because of the risk of skin cancer, and I don’t want to start using the topical ointments and creams anymore because of the side effects. Is there an answer for me using natural herbs?
C. R.
Depew, New York
 

Psoriasis, a flaky, itchy skin condition, is due to various causes. If it is genetic (often associated with a ­family history of rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease), no herb or any other treatment is going to make a lasting improvement. Other cases of psoriasis are due to food allergies, especially to dairy and wheat, and most cases are aggra­vated by stress.

Even if yours is the ge­netic type, it is still worth addressing possible food allergies. I suggest undergoing proper allergy testing with an alternative medical practitioner using Vega or some other diagnostic method. Do not use the skin-prick testing as it is only about 40 percent accurate for food allergies. Simply avoiding wheat, dairy products, refined sugars, and coffee may make a great deal of difference.

It is often useful to undergo a good cleansing and detoxification program when beginning treatment for psoriasis. This is best done under the supervision of a qualified herbalist, and you should be prepared for a slight worsening of the symptoms as stored toxins get moved out of the body.

Herbs used to treat psoriasis include: blue flag (Iris versicolor), burdock (Arctium lappa), yellow dock (Rumex spp.), and celandine (Chelidonium majus) for liver support; stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) and red clover (Trifolium pratense) to cleanse and detoxify blood; cleavers (Galium aparine) for lymphatic support; and the topical use of gotu kola (Centella asiatica) and marigold (Calendula officinalis) to heal the skin.
—Chanchal Cabrera

As you know, psoriasis is a chronic problem that can be very difficult to treat. Some feel that psoriasis may have its basis in abnormal immune system function; therefore, taking the herb astragalus may be helpful.

Other herbs that can make a difference are milk thistle (Silybum marianum), Jamaica sarsaparilla, and gotu kola. These are often combined with burdock root and yellow dock, horsetail, bladderwrack, and kelp. A preparation of pyrithione zinc can be used topically. Oils of borage seed (Borago officinalis) and flax (Linum spp.) and vitamin E may also be useful.
—D. Paul Barney


Chanchal Cabrera, an herbalist and clinical aromatherapist, has been a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists since 1987. She is associate editor of Medical Herbalism newsletter and is a member of the advisory board in botanical medicine for Bastyr University in Seattle.

D. Paul Barney is a family practice and emergency-room physician in Layton, Utah. He also is an adjunct professor at Weber State University and author of Clinical Applications of Herbal Medicine (Woodland Publishing, 1996).

The information offered in “Q & A” is not intended to be a substitute for advice from your health-care provider. 


Previous | 1 | 2 | Next






Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.