You don’t have to suffer from psoriasis; you can look beyond the skin and follow these ten steps to overcoming psoriasis naturally.
Psoriasis is a common skin ailment that most commonly appears as its “plaque form” which is when the skin is raised, inflamed and covered by a silvery white scale – usually appearing in patches. However, it can show up anywhere on the body.
Though unattractive looking, psoriasis is not contagious. More than anything it may just be an inconvenient part of life; however, if the underlying causes are not looked at, the matter can become more serious. This requires looking beyond the skin; after all, beauty is not skin deep; it is much deeper! If we get stuck just at the surface, we may create further problems down the road.
For example, psoriasis may develop into psoriatic arthritis, a condition illustrated by inflammation and swelling in the joints. This persistent disease affects roughly 7.5 million people in the United States – and so it appears that what seems to be just a skin condition is can be a lot more serious than previously thought (if ignored).
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Digestive disease
The point here is that like most other skin conditions, psoriasis is more than a cosmetic issue. This is one of the reasons that common treatments, such as over-the-counter and prescription drugs do not work to heal psoriasis. These solutions often just aim to slow skin-cell reproduction and reduce scaling; however, these solutions are partial and do not reach the deep cause.
Inflammation & Psoriasis
At the root, psoriasis is connected to systemic inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s response to stress: physical, mental and emotional, nutrition, environmental, and all forms of stress due to lifestyle choices. While inflammation is a natural mechanism for our bodies to handle stress, when chronic, it may cause chronic disease such as arthritis and cancer and even psoriasis. At the root of any disease, we will find inflammation of some sort.
One of the main underlying causes of inflammation (that often goes unnoticed) is low-grade bacterial, yeast, or fungal infection. These infections can occur in the blood, tissues and cells. While there are many other causes of inflammation, this is a prevalent cause of inflammation-induced psoriasis.
Therefore, anti-inflammatory drugs are sometimes used in the treatment of psoriasis. Aspirin and ibuprofen are commonly taken by people with psoriasis but like any drug, they merely mask the symptoms.
To really help the body heal, it must be treated as a whole by addressing our internal health to reduce inflammation, conquer infections, and heal the body from the inside out.
Here is a simple step-by-step approach to improving your psoriasis:
To heal any disease – psoriasis included – we must alkalize the blood. Skin problems are usually a sign that the blood is imbalanced. The blood needs to range between 7.35 and 7.45 to be optimally healthy. Most skin conditions are a sign of overly acidic blood. To help the body achieve balance we can eat a plant-based diet, breathe more deeply, sleep better, and get adequate sunshine.
In addition to consuming a healthy, plant-based diet, we can take it a step further by consuming more foods and herbs that are anti-fungal and probiotic rich. Doing so will help us conquer yeast infections, which have a major connection to psoriasis. An anti-fungal diet would exclude sugar primarily, even fruit sugar and include plenty of probiotic foods, anti-fungal foods like coconut products, herbs like pau d’arco, sea weeds, ginger, olive oil, and citrus fruits.
Probiotics are one of the best ways to introduce healthy bacteria and yeast into your digestive tract where they can help you build your immune system so that your body can overcome the yeast infection. They also help you digest food, get rid of toxins, and fight inflammation that leads to psoriasis. Additionally, you can also apply probiotic liquids topically to rebalance the bacteria and ph. of the skin. Simply soak an organic cotton ball with your choice of probiotic liquid (coconut kefir or apple cider vinegar both work great!) and apply to the skin.
Even conventional methods for treating psoriasis understand the healing powers of sunlight. Regular exposure to sunlight decreases inflammation and aids the body in production of vitamin D, which is an essential nutrient for healthy skin.
Organic, healthy fats and oils – especially those rich in Omega 3 fatty acids like fish oil and hemp seed oil are particularly healing for the skin. Sources like organic, grass-fed ghee, which contain ample amounts of Vitamin A have exhibited abilities to improve psoriasis. Make it a point to consume some sort of healthy fat or oil with every meal. The best sources would include wild-caught fish like salmon and mackerel, krill oil, fermented cod liver oil, raw butter, ghee, egg yolks, red palm oil and stone-ground olive oil. These are great sources of healthy fats that contain, essential fat-soluble vitamins A, D, K, and E, all necessary for healthy skin.
Cleanse Your Liver & Your Colon
A clean body is a healthy body. Cleansing and proper detoxification is a must for healthy skin. If we skip this step, we won’t absorb any of the best nutrition. As we learned earlier, psoriasis is often just a signal that the barrier systems in the body are overburdened. Therefore, helping these two important organs to detoxify the one of the most imperative steps in overcoming psoriasis. A toxic bowel and congested liver are major root causes of this skin condition. In fact, according to traditional Chinese medicine, our skin is just a reflection of the condition of these two organs. The liver rules your skin, eyes, and joints in Chinese medicine. To help these organs, it would be wise to remove or greatly cut back on consumption of alcohol, both medicinal and recreational drugs, processed food, and sugar. This is the first step. From there you can help these organs with eating a diet rich in vegetables, taking cleansing herbs like dandelion and eating probiotic rich foods.
As most know by now, stress is at the root of most health issues. High amounts of stress over long periods of time increase the level of cortisol in the body. This means an increase in inflammation, which can intensify psoriasis as well as cause many other problems. Obviously we can’t fix the issue of stress in a bullet point and we all know that we would be better off not stressing, and we all know that not stressing is easier said than done. So how can we actually fix this issue? I won’t tell you to simply practice positive thoughts; instead, I say confront the underlying issue. Stress is simply force, counter force – it occurs when we are being forced or we are forcing ourselves. If there is stress in your life, find out where the source of force is coming from and confront it. Are you forcing yourself to do something you truly do not want to do? Is someone else forcing you? Find out what’s beneath that, what is driving you to force things? Here’s a tip, force is a confession of lack of control. Force doesn’t get the job done, lightness of touch does. Find a better way to get control, maybe it’s learning some new skills, getting help on a project or work, or simply learning to say no to things that do not serve you well. Doing so will result in a peace of mind and give the body a chance to heal.
Proper sleep is essential to keeping a low-stress lifestyle. I can’t think of anything as healing as good sleep, maybe aside from a really good laugh! Deep REM sleep puts our body into a deep state of homeostasis, which activates self-healing enzymes. Good sleep means low markers of inflammation and ultimate regeneration for our bodies each night. Take a few simple steps to improve your sleep such as; shutting off electronics by 6 or 7 pm, spend an hour to unwind before bed, do not eat past 6 p.m. and create a comfortable sleeping environment. In no time, as your sleep quality improves, you should start to notice improvements in your health and skin.
Practitioners have used this Ayruvedic herb for centuries to alleviate skin infections. It’s a powerful anti-fungal and anti-bacterial plant that has been proven effective for treating disorders like psoriasis and more. Amongst the many herbal remedies to treat skin conditions, Neem is one that works. You can take in the form of capsules, extracts, or topically in the form of Neem infused oils.
While the foundation of skin health is found within the body, it’s important to also treat our skin itself with care. The skin is an organ, in fact, the largest organ! As you become more observant of what you put inside your body, it’s also good to become more watchful about what you use on your body. Most commercial soaps are laden with chemicals and cause bacterial and ph. imbalances. Instead, reach for organic food base products or food itself to care for your skin. The general rule is, if you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin – considering your skin absorbs or “eats” whatever is applied to it. Stick with apple cider vinegar and lemon juice for cleansing. Olive oil and coconut oil make great moisturizers and Aloe is a wonderful skin-regenerating herb. There are many DIY recipes for natural, organic skin care, which also happen to be more effective, healthier and you’ll save a pretty penny while you’re at it!