Psoriasis is a Greek word meaning ‘to itch’ and sure enough, anyone who’s got it can tell how red eruptions appear on the skin and begin to itch. However, psoriasis varies in intensity. It can be so mild you wouldn’t even know you have it. At most you’d have a few random spots.
But in chronic cases, it can take the form of massive outbreak that can cover your entire body entailing hospitalization. But it’s a common enough occurrence, as it afflicts about a hundred and twenty five million people the world over, five million in US alone!
What causes psoriasis?
Its cause is not exactly known, but it tends to run in families. This is borne out by the fact that if both parents are affected, the child is almost sixty percent likely to develop this ailment. Little wonder this persistent and chronic skin disease is mostly genetically inherited. However, it’s not infectious and cannot spread from person to person.
There can, however, be other causes too. Certain people are susceptible to environmental triggers that can cause psoriasis, like throat infections; cuts, bruises or burns; some medicines; stress or psychological trauma; smoking; and high alcohol intake.
There are several natural cures and home remedies for psoriasis available. Let’s take a look at them:
a. Dietary supplements:
Although there’s no specific diet for people with psoriasis, certain foods do aggravate or improve the skin condition. Some dietary supplements, like burdock, milk thistle, yellow dock, red clover, mountain grape and sarsaparilla taken in proper amounts, is known to improve the skin condition. However, it’s wise to inform the physician before taking any such supplements.
b. Soaking the sun and the sea:
People who get regular doses of sunlight do improve their skin condition. And if it’s combined with bathing in the sea, it’s an excellent short-term remedy for psoriasis. The combination of sunlight and saline water proves quite effective. One of the best locations for this is the Dead Sea in Israel.
c. Meditation and relaxation:
It is a scientifically proved that stress may trigger or aggravate psoriasis in some. So, the lesser the stress, the quicker will be the recovery. To this end, various relaxation methods, like meditation, hypnosis, meditation-based relaxation tapes, and the like are found to be effective. Certain yoga exercises too can relieve stress. All these techniques, however, seem to work best when used in combination with other treatments.
d. Herbal therapies:
There are some time tested herbal products used in treating various skin conditions, including psoriasis. These products include aloe vera, neem oil, emu oil, jojoba, witch hazel, tea tree oil, mahonia aquifolium, capsaicin, evening primrose oil and others. Capsaicum, a natural ingredient in hot peppers, relieves scaling, redness and itching. Even oat derivatives soothe the skin.
This ancient Indian healing method encourages harmony and balance in one’s life through diet, herbs, lifestyle and meditation. For psoriasis, a specific treatment regimen could involve application of certain oils; fasting and cleansing; reduction of stress; and regular physical exercise.
f.Traditional Chinese medicine:
This system uses herbs in unique formulations. Many herbal preparations, both oral and topical, are available for treating psoriasis. Some make the skin more sensitive to ultraviolet light therapy.
This ancient Chinese technique, involving piercing the skin therapeutically with needles, is an effective treatment for psoriasis. The best part is acupuncture has no known side effects.
Certain homeopathic preparations are effective in treating psoriasis. Kalawalla, one such preparation, provides a safe and natural treatment.
Before you try out any of these natural cures, the golden rule is always to take your physician’s advice. But that is not to say that natural cures are ineffective or harmful. When they prove effective they cure completely, be it psoriasis or any other ailment.