The skin is the largest organ of the body. Not only does it protect us from external pathogens and environmental stressors but it also reveals a part of our inner selves to the outside world. When embarrassed our faces turn crimson from blushing or red with anger. I once knew of a poor woman in a job interview who was so stressed she broke out into hives!
This reveals that psoriasis is not only physical in nature but also very much emotional and spiritual. If you just treat the skin condition you will only be putting a band-aid on the symptom but still not address the entire cause.
I believe that psoriasis is a threefold problem that of diet, stress, and mental state or spirituality if you will. Psoriasis comes from within and shows itself on the outer shell of our beings. Noted herbalist Amanda McQuade Crawford both writes and speaks of this and I am in total agreement with her. So how do we deal with psoriasis in a holistic fashion?
How? Do not be afraid to GET TO KNOW YOURSELF. Touch into your emotions and feelings. Snoop around your psyche and identify and deal with emotional issues. This is not an easy task when living an everyday life filled with constant pressures. Nudge yourself little by little towards the goal of balancing yourself emotionally and spiritually. You may find this alone to be a great help in your path towards health.
Look for signs. Does your psoriasis flare up when you eat certain foods? Does it manifest in times of stress? Is it aggravated by alcohol intake, allergies, or smoking? Again, get to know yourself physically as well. So what can be done on a medicinal/physical level?
You should start by cleansing yourself. One of the best ways to do this is by assisting your liver in the process of detoxification. Drugs, infections, environmental and food chemicals as well as many other stressors that produce toxins, constantly bombard our bodies. This barrage of dietary, chemical, and other toxins can help cause physical ailments including psoriasis. The liver is our first and strongest defense at eliminating harmful toxins. The main way the liver does this “is to eliminate them via the urine or the bile after processing” (Kerry Bone). Considering all the toxins the liver must eliminate it could certainly use a boost!
The following herbs greatly assist in liver protection and restoration:
*Milk Thistle (take a cap or 2 at night before bed)
*Rosemary and Sage tea
*Several grams of Turmeric mixed in with your favorite juice daily
*Tincture of Dandelion
All of these herbs can greatly assist the liver in what Kerry Bone calls Phase I and Phase II biotransformation. What it comes down to is keeping the liver in good shape to do its job.
*Reduce or eliminate dairy products and processed foods
*Eliminate Red meat
*Limit consumptions of other meats (the protein from meat is considered to result in toxic byproducts)
*Increase both vegetable and fruit intake
*Moderate alcohol intake
*Quit smoking (I had to put this somewhere)
Botanical protocols that directly affect Psoriasis:
Amanda McQuade Crawford states that poor protein metabolism or incomplete digestion produce polyamines which are increased in psoriasis. She suggests Vitamin A and Oregon Grape Root to help decrease this formation as well as using Omega 3 fatty acids to aid in the skin inflammatory process.
I recommend a tea made of Red Clover, Licorice, and Burdock, which can be used both internally and externally. Drink 3 cups a day. You can add it to a warm bath and soak in it. Immerse a hand towel in the tea and apply it to affected areas of the body. It may also be used as a scalp rinse and is highly effective.
External applications of lotions of Calendula and Echinacea and other herbs can also be effective.
Note: Licorice should not be taken internally for prolonged periods of time by persons with high blood pressure.
Tonifiers of the Nervous System:
Tincture of Skullcap
Extract of Fresh Milky Oats
*Kava (in moderation)
The above protocol is but one of numerous holistic approaches you can take. Remember to say a prayer sometime or meditate. Maybe hug a loved one or go out of your way to think about those good things that you have or should strive to achieve spiritually.and may good health be with you!
One more note: Check out David Winston’s herbal web site. He produces some of the highest quality botanical products. Also, do not be afraid to ask questions of your local health food storeowner and always be willing to discuss alternative protocols with your physician before embarking on the journey.