In the form of salves, poultices, teas and tinctures, herbal remedies for psoriasis offer effective treatment methods without exposing yourself to harsh chemicals. An inflammatory disease that can lead to infections and even arthritis, it is characterized by dry, thick patches of skin and can occur anywhere on the body.
Psoriasis is classified as an autoimmune disorder, which tricks the body into attacking itself. A range of causes includes dermal injury, infection, imbalances of amino acids and hereditary predisposition. Regardless of the cause, the body overproduces new skin cells that trigger the symptoms of psoriasis. The five types of psoriasis and their accompanying characteristics include:
Erythrodermic - itching and redness
Inverse - red lesions occur in the folds of skin
Pustular - pustules erupt in patches of inflamed skin
Guttate - small itching red spots
Plague psoriasis - raised areas of inflamed and scaly skin
Many herbal remedies for psoriasis as well as other skin conditions include Aloe vera. A fountain of healing properties, this herb contains vitamins C and E for tissue repair and rejuvenation. Mixing the pulp or juice from the aloe plant with garlic oil and adding it to petroleum jelly will make a therapeutic salve for treating psoriasis. Garlic is a proven antibiotic and the aloe vera will soothe and repair the irritated tissues. Similar results may be obtained by mixing two-parts calendula oil to one-part oregano oil. Calendula is high in vitamin C content and oregano is a proven anti-inflammatory and antibiotic.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Burdock
Another of the effective herbal remedies for psoriasis is a mixture of burdock root and apple cider vinegar:
Chop the root into several small pieces
Place it in a jar of apple cider vinegar
Let steep for 6 to 8 weeks
Use as a wash 3 or 4 times per week to disinfect and eliminate the redness associated with psoriasis. The burdock root can also be boiled in water to make a tea that will balance your immune system and treat the disease from within. Similarly, drinking apple cider vinegar and honey will balance your body's pH level and regulate the immune system.
Oregon Grape Root
The leaves and bark of the Oregon grape root can be used to make a tea that will eliminate free radicals in the blood that lead to inflammation. Containing the anti-inflammatory and antibiotic alkaloid berberine, this herb can be applied to the skin as an ointment to fight infections associated with psoriasis.
Other Herbal Treatments
Medicinal plants used in several other herbal remedies for psoriasis include:
Tea tree oil
- An antibacterial capable of permeating deep into tissues; this herb also has anti-inflammatory properties and is used in commercial preparations for psoriasis. Tea tree should never be taken internally.
- This herb makes an excellent tea and has anti-inflammatory properties when used internally or externally. Add lavender and lemon to form a wash for the affected areas.
- Medical studies have shown that capsaicin, the principle medicinal ingredient in red pepper, reduces itching and the severity of outbreaks.
- Containing vitamins A and E, emu oil will relieve the itching and swelling of psoriasis as well as moisturize and repair damaged tissues.
In addition to these herbal remedies for psoriasis, nutritional considerations can help reduce the severity of the disease. Drinking green tea and eating citrus fruit will help regulate the autoimmune system. Eating more fiber and reducing red meat consumption will lower oxidative processes in your body and encourage your immune system to function normally.