Natural Remedies and Soap Alternatives for Psoriasis.
Natural remedies are dietary supplements that are not drugs. Are less irritating things than soap to clean your skin in the shower. Basically, things have to be more beneficial than a basic moisturizer for me to care. Anything better than shea & aloe topically makes my good list.
Natural Remedy Supplements
There are a whole list of spices and supplements that are supposedly anti-inflammatory or help lower blood sugar. The only ones I have found that have a noticeable positive effect are:
- Tumeric (curcumin, turmerones) - anti-inflammatory
- Ginger (gingerols, shogaols, and sesquiterpenes) - anti-inflammatory
- Garlic (organosulfers) - insulin sensitivity, anti-diabetic
- Vinegar (acetic acid)- insulin sensitivity, anti-diabetic
These could be taken as supplements. But below are a couple of example spice recipes, because they are delicious. These are best taken with fats and soluble fiber in a meal. Tumeric and ginger are the same family, and garlic is a cousin. Garlic and vinegar stabilize glucose metabolism and counteract small amounts of carbs in a meal.
Everything else I tried had minimal effect. The best way to lessen inflammation is to avoid inflammatory foods: carbs (especially fructose/sugar); omega-6 (most vegetable oils, besides olive and flax, especially if they are fried/oxidized), sensitivities (common ones are wheat/gluten, nightshades especially potatoes also eggplant/tomatoes/peppers, citrus especially oranges, milk solids especially whey), and chemicals. Psoriasis can turn minor dietary/immune inflammation into major skin or joint inflammation.
Moisturizing Oils and Essential Oils
I have entire pages on lotion recipes, oils, and essential oils, so I'm not going to go into much detail here. Essential oils must be very diluted in a regular oil, less than 5% usually, avoid face and eyes, terpenes can have toxic effects. Here are some good oils to note.
- Aloe butter - good anti-inflammatory oil, vitamins, fresh clean smell and not too shiny and greasy
- Shea butter - good anti-inflammatory oil and moisturizer, earthy nutty smell, greasy and effective, not on scalp saturated
- Jojoba oil/butter - good moisturizer, lubricant, closest to skin oil, seedy smell and a bit shiny, not on scalp saturated
- Avocado oil - good moisturizer, vitamins, neutral smell, absorbs fast not too shiny
- Sunflower oil - good vitamin E sun oil, shiny
- Coconut oil - good sun oil, lubricant, smells tropical, shiny, not on scalp saturated
- Cocoa butter - good moisturizer, chocolatey smell, a bit shiny and waxy, not on scalp saturated
- Mint family essential oils (specifically: peppermint, rosemary, thyme, lavender, basil, oregano, spearmint, wintergreen mint) - Anti-fungal, antibacterial, healing, anti-itch, anti-pain and tingling effects. Herbal and minty smells.
- Normal eucalyptus oil (eucalyptus globulus) - Penetrant, anti-fungal, antibacterial, anti-flake. Penetrating fresh smell.
- Citrus essential oils (orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, tangerine, bergamot, etc.) Anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, healing. Citrusy smells. Not with sunlight, phototoxic!
- Antiseptic mouthwash (like Listerine, doesn't matter which flavor) - Listerine style mouthwash is water, ethanol, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, wintergreen mint oil, and thyme oil. It's drinking alcohol, mint family, and eucalyptus. Works as a sanitizing soap alternative. Especially effective as an anti-dandruff moisturizer.
- Vapor rub (like Vick's) - Vick's Vapor Rub style ointment is a greasy essential oil treatment. It has rosemary, eucalyptus, peppermint, thyme, nutmeg, cedarleaf, and turpentine. It has a strong medicinal vaporous smell. Inhaled it's a cough suppressant. Used topically on psoriasis flakes, it is a pain killer and particularly effective at clearing and preventing flakes, especially as an overnight spot treatment.
Soap dries out your skin, and can really irritate psoriasis. Here are some ways to remove flakes, clean, and sanitize you psoriasis areas without soap and irritation.
- Cooking oils (peanut oil, canola oil, olive oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil, flax oil, etc. all different and all good) - Rub into flakes with finger tips to remove them, applying an hour prior then re-applying to rub flakes off works well. Use whichever oil is least irritating that week, the least irritating oil changes as your cellular fat structure changes.
- Zinc Pyrithione dandruff shampoo (like Head & Shoulders) - removes flakes, mildly irritating and drying.
- Soap-free moisturizing body wash (like Dove) - cleans like soap, mildly irritating.
- Vinegar (diluted 50% with water, apple cider or plain old vinegar works) - sterilizes, removes flakes, somewhat irritating.
- Sensitive antiseptic cleanser (like Hibiclens) - serious anti-fungal anti-bacterial, somewhat irritating.
- Antiseptic mouthwash (like Listerine, doesn't matter which flavor) - sterilizes, removes flakes, can irritate skin.
- Other dandruff shampoos (salicylic acid, ketoconazole, selenium sulfide, coal tar, etc.) - removes flakes, can irritate skin.
- Normal shampoo & Antiseptic mouthwash (like Listerine, doesn't matter which flavor) - Drying your scalp out with shampoo is actually a good thing if you follow it up with an unsaturated fat based moisturizer. Malassezia the dandruff fungus eat skin oil and saturated fat. After shampooing, squeeze water out of hair with hands, soak apply small to medium amount listerine into scalp and hair, let sit 5-10 minutes until it tingles, then dry with a towel. This removes flakes and skin oils, and replaces them with anti-fungal unsaturated fats that moisturize and control dandruff. Listerine is water, ethanol, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, wintergreen mint oil, and thyme oil. This is the only effective psoriasis/dandruff solution I have found.
- Zinc Pyrithione dandruff shampoo (like Head & Shoulders) - Removes flakes, mildly irritating and drying.
- Other dandruff shampoos (salicylic acid, ketoconazole, selenium sulfide, coal tar, etc.) - Removes flakes, can irritate skin.
Stuff that Doesn't Really Work
Supplements & Topicals
Basically, things have to be more beneficial than a basic moisturizer for me to care. Anything better than shea & aloe topically makes my good list.
- Tea tree oil (topically) - most essential oils are antiseptic, may be useful in lotion mix, but nothing special in healing psoriasis.
- Neem oil (topically) - most essential oils are antiseptic, may be useful in lotion mix, but nothing special in healing psoriasis.
- Beta glucans (supplement & topically) - I have tried mushroom and yeast beta glucans, topicals and pills. Not cheap, no noticeable effect.
- Black Pepper (supplement) - no noticeable effect.
- Hot peppers (supplement & topically) - no positive or negative effect in diet, common food allergy, may work as pain killer or irritant topically.
- Grapefruit seed oil (supplement) - no noticeable effect.
- Grape seed oil (supplement) - no noticeable effect.
- Resveratrol (supplement) - no noticeable effect.
- Wheat grass oil (supplement) - no noticeable effect.
- Cocoa nibs (supplement) - no noticeable effect.
- Blueberry (supplement) - inflammatory, except fructose is bad.
- Green Tea (supplement) - no noticeable effect.
Fructose carbs and sugar
Fructose is notorious for fatty liver and body fat. If you want vitamin benefits from fructose fruits, eat small amounts post cardio when liver glycogen is low. Apples, strawberries and other berries are among the lowest fructose sweet fruits.
- Sugar, plus glucose
- Fructose corn syrup
- Sweet fruits
Glucose carbs, malts, starches, and sugar alcohols
Glucose carbs are irritating. They spike blood sugar and insulin. If you want vitamin benefits from glucose carb foods eat them: 1. immediately before or during cardio when they'll be used, 2. post weight training to restore muscle glycogen, or 3. with things that lower the glycemic index like soluble fibre, fats, vinegar, garlic, and anti-diabetics. Carrots, macadamia nuts and flax seeds are some healthier lower carb ones.
- Nuts - plus, other than macadamia nuts all nuts are loaded with omega-6 which is inflammatory
- Seeds - plus, other than flax and chia all seeds are loaded with omega-6 which is inflammatory
- Sugar, plus fructose
- Bananas, plus fructose
- Baked goods
- Sweet Potatoes
- Corn meal