Psoriasis is a skin disorder that occurs when skin cells replicate too quickly. The skin produces new cells at several times the normal rate but continues to eliminate old cells at its usual pace. These cells get crammed under the surface and create patches of swollen, red skin covered with whitish or silvery scales. It can appear anywhere on the body but usually appears on the scalp, knees, backs of wrists, buttocks and elbows. It is cyclical and comes and goes without leaving scars. Affected areas may remain thick and dry.
What are the Psoriasis/Eczema Symptoms?
- Red, inflamed patches of skin covered with whitish or silvery scales
- Dull, distorted nails
- Thick, dry skin in times of remission
What are the Causes?
- Genetics- it often runs in families and may be fungal in origin
- Digestive tract is often culprit, particularly incomplete protein digestion- this creates toxins called polyamines, which add to creation of excess skin cells
- Candida overgrowth and not enough friendly flora in intestines
- Hormonal imbalance
- Poor liver or thyroid function (see hypothyroidism)
- Stress (easiest to treat)
Psoriasis and eczema are caused by an overabundance of toxins in the body. Your skin is trying to rid the body of these toxins through the sweat glands, resulting in exterior lesions. If the normal channels of elimination are open and working properly, and further toxins are prevented from entering the system in the first place, your lesions can gradually disappear. You do not have to necessarily live with psoriasis or eczema.1 You can get rid of it and enjoy clear skin and abundant health.
Often these kinds of skin disorders are caused by leaky gut syndrome, whereby the intestinal walls become semi-permeable and proteins and toxins escape into the bloodstream, causing inflammation. Overgrowth of Candida Albicans can actually colonize in your intestines and poke holes in your gut walls, creaking leaky gut. So it is here we are going to concentrate. From the inside out.
You will be on this program a minimum of three months, but will likely see results sooner. Remember, if you stay with this and let your gut heal completely, you can eventually loosen up a little. Don’t give up prematurely though! Once you’re clear, you can experiment and see what foods bother you. If you get a recurrence, go back to your program and you can control the outcome.
Address liver function by eating cleansing vegetables and fruits like carrots, beets, apples and celery. Increase fiber intake by including raw organic fruits and vegetables (orange, yellow, green) or beans at every meal. Cold water fish like salmon are high in essential fatty acids- many psoriasis sufferers are deficient in omega 3s. Take 1-2 Tbsps flaxseed or chia seeds daily. Organic pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, a mineral in which many psoriasis sufferers are deficient. Alcohol and caffeine are highly inflammatory in some individuals, so reduce or eliminate your intake of both. Red meat and cow’s milk contain arachidonic acid, which aggravates inflammation. Cow’s milk, gluten, sugar and citrus fruits are common trigger foods for those with psoriasis. Avoid fatty, fried and junk foods and products high in refined sugar.
First order of business: DETOX
Find a workout that you like, 3-4 days per week, 30-60 minutes per session. Rebounding (15-20 minutes) is a great way to exercise and release toxins. Bikrahm Yoga is another. Plan on working up a sweat and keep pushing those toxins out! Try to avoid workouts that could aggravate your lesions, like some contact sports.
Remove All Aggravating Foods
Nightshades: white potatoes, bell peppers and all other peppers, eggplant, paprika, nicotine, hot spices
Most Dairy- tiny bit of goat cheese ok
Most coffee- tiny bit of espresso ok. DO NOT ADD ANY DAIRY OR SUGAR. Plain only!
Cured meats, including bacon
Meat derived from cows (too hard to digest while on program)
Refined sugar and flour
Recommended Meal Plan
Paleo-Style (visit paleoedge.com for guidelines) with lamb and game meats as only red meats. Fish and fowl OK. Avoid cow products for now.
Vegetables: try to keep 4:1 ration of four above-ground vegetables to one root vegetable (root veggies are higher in sugars and starches).
Chicken or bone broth- keep on hand for first few months.
Fruits: preferably lower glycemic, but most are OK. If you have Candida don’t go too crazy, but fruits are great internal cleansers.
JUICE DAILY A.M. before breakfast: watercress, carrot, dandelion, cucumber, romaine lettuce, celery, beets, parsley
Recommended Supplementation for Psoriasis
Contains caprylic acid, pau d-arco, grapefruit seed extract and tea tree oil. When candida is well established, it can be difficult without the assistance of anti-fungals. It can take 3-4 months to get results, so patience is key.
Cod liver oil contains vitamin A, D and omega-3 fatty acids. In a double blind study, researchers examined the effects of people with psoriasis supplementing 10 grams of fish oil for eight weeks versus another group taking a placebo. The fish oil group had a significant lessening of itching, redness and scaling.
Vitamin D is the main active ingredient in two prescription medications – Vectical and Dovonex – which are applied to the skin for psoriasis showing a vitamin D connection. The literature suggests a correlation between low levels of serum vitamin D in this patient population associated with increased severity of disease involvement. In addition, oral vitamin D improves psoriatic arthropathy. A pilot study found that all psoriasis patients improved with higher dose vitamin D therapy.
3. Black Cumin Seed Oil (Topical)
Black cumin seed oil enhances the body’s ability to deal with abnormal cell proliferation, has anti-fungal activity, and has anti-psoriatic activity with researchers stating that “histological (cellular level) effects of Nigella sativa has anti-psoriatic activity and concluded that the external application is beneficial in the management of psoriasis.”
Many psoriasis sufferers are deficient in this mineral. A patient with postural psoriasis responded dramatically to 50mg of oral zinc and antibiotic cream. “On the fifth day of Zinc therapy, new pustulation stopped and old lesions started healing. Marked improvement of lesions was noticed after 10 days and there was complete clearance of lesions in another 15 days.”
5. Wild Chaga
A study in 1973 published in the Russian journal Vestnik Dermatologii i Veneroglogii included 50 patients looked at the effect of a Chaga extract on psoriasis on 50 patients with the outcome being almost 100% successful.4
Dr. John’s Healing Psoriasis Cookbook…Plus! By Dr. John O.A. Pagano, Chiropractic Physician
1. James F. Balch, MD and Mark Stengler, ND Bottom Line’s Prescription for Natural Cures
2. Balch, Phyllis A. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 5th edition.
3. Bittiner, S.B., W.F. G. Tucker, I. Cartwright, and S.S. Bleehen. 1988. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of fish oil in psoriasis. Lancet i: 378-80)
4. Treatment of psoriasis with Chaga fungus preparations – Vestnik Dermatologii i Venerologii, 1973, May; 47(5):pp. 79-83 – USSR.