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Turmeric, a natural remedy for psoriasis?

Posted Jan 22 2009 4:47pm
Psoriasis is a skin disease that has been considered virtually incurable by orthodox methods. Various external preparations such as coal tar, zinc pastes, vitamin D creams, ultra violet light and steroids are used with little real lasting success. So anecdotal reports of a natural health remedy such as turmeric offering relief from the unsightly and often irritating scaly red patches are very welcome. Turmeric has a strong anti-inflammatory action and as inflammation is thought to be at the root of psoriasis it can be very effective.

Benefits of turmeric

Turmeric, a spice that is used to make curry dishes, has a long history of medical use in India and China to aid digestion and liver function. Naturopaths and other practitioners of natural health believe the malfunction of the liver is one reason for psoriasis so perhaps that is why turmeric is effective.

Leaky gut and liver overload.

They believe that a number of factors contribute to psoriasis. The most common factors seem to be an increase in the permeability of the wall of the small intestine known as "leaky gut". Toxins then enter the blood and lymph circulation which overload the detox capacity of the liver and triggers the inflammation that result in the scaly, red patches on the skin.

The thinning of the gut wall can be due to a number of things including constipation, food allergy or intolerance, candida overgrowth, faulty utilization of fats, excessive alcohol intake, spinal misalignments, and the effects of immunization and stress.

Limits of research

Western researchers have focused on curcumin, a component of turmeric, and a recent small study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that in spite of scientific evidence of curcumins inti-inflammatory effects only 2 out of 12 patients had an excellent which the scientists reported could be due to placebo effect or natural remission.

The trouble with these studies is that they only look at the effect of one component of turmeric whereas it may be the combined effect of all the components of the herb. Larger studies are obviously needed. And it is usually necessary to approach the condition from more than one angle.

Diet is of prime importance

Therapies that have been successful remove factors that cause leaky gut and provide a diet that is alkaline forming and soothing to the delicate lining. Chiropractor John Pagano who successfully treated psoriasis sufferers for over 40 years said that he never helped any patient who did not adhere to the diet. He maintained that diet and adequate bowel movements generally alleviated the condition.

So by all means try turmeric for your psoriasis but pay attention to the other contributory factors as well.

Here are some tips to reduce your psoriasis:

  • Avoid processed meats, red meat except lamb, junk food, fried food, too many sweets, hydrogenated fats, saturated fats, heated fats or oils, carbonated drinks, alcohol and smoking.
  • Get tested for food intolerance or sensitivity and avoid reactive foods.
  • Avoid nightshade foods - tomatoes, white potatoes, eggplant (aubergine), peppers and paprika.
  • Eat an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. A 7 day vegetable juice fast can be an effective cleanser.
  • Include whole grains, nuts, fish, poultry, a small amount of low fat dairy.
  • Get checked for candida overgrowth and treat if present and consider bowel cleansing or colonic hydrotherapy.
  • Do all you can to reduce stress.
  • Try standardized turmeric in capsule form without fillers. The recommended dose for psoriasis is 1.5 grams (1,500mg) in divided doses eg 500mg three times a day.

Look for improvement in your psoriasis in a month although a healthy diet has to be adhered to for life for lasting results. Turmeric for psoriasis is safe for most individuals but some people report nausea, indigestion or worsening of gallbladder disease with high doses long term.

Learn about candida, leaky gut, bowel cleansing and detox in my new eBook The Definitive Detox Diet.
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