Chinese Herbal Medicine for Psoriasis Treatment in Ireland
In Ireland, psoriasis occurs in 1 – 3% of the population. In most cases it runs in families.
At the Fitzwilliam Health Clinic we offer a programme of Chinese herbal medicine, natural skin care creams made from herbs and oils plus dietary recommendations that help reduce the psoriasis lesions.
Although the cause of psoriasis is not understood, we do know that certain triggers cause an immune system response which increases the production of TH1 cytokines. It is the increase in cytokine levels that results in the skin becoming red and the increased production of skin causing the familiar silvery scales we associate with a flare up.
Common Psoriasis Triggers:
- Damage to the skin such as scratches or areas of the body that are under pressure from belts or bras, for example.
- Skin trauma such as cold weather or sunburn
- Viral or bacterial infections such as sore throats / coughs/colds/ stomach bugs.
- Stress is a big factor in psoriasis and it can occur as a result of any kind of mental, emotional or physical situation.
At the Fitzwilliam Health Skin Clinic, Amanda Hughes has seen how inflammation in the body affects psoriasis. Inflammation can result from an underlying unresolved infection, allergies, stress and very frequently from the types of food we eat.
Dietary inflammation is more associated with acidic based foods rather than alkaline foods. It can result from eating too much processed foods, excess sugars, meat , dairy, maize, alcohol, coffee or eating the same type of foods too frequently. Smoking is also a factor. It is important to eat lots of vegetables every day, 50% of your dinner plate should be vegetables.
Juices: Try to vary your diet by drinking vegetable juices every day – good vegetables are broccoli, kale, avocado, carrots, beetroots. Adding lemon juice can hide the taste. Try to have a pint a day and work towards eating fresh some vegetables every day.
Start with a small amount of fruit and vegetable and aim to be eating a full portion in a year.
Smoothies: these are a good way to increase your fruit intake, you could make them with organic yoghourt, avocados, a spoon of ground seed mix , a dessertspoon of melted coconut oil and any fruit you like. Try to avoid bananas – they are difficult to digest and citrus fruits can be a trigger.. You could add tahini to either the juice or the smoothies it gives a nice nutty flavour.
Wherever possible eat organic foods, although this can be expensive a good tip is to try to buy organic if the food product is small as they present a greater surface area for sprays and insecticides for example peas, strawberries , blueberries are small in size in comparison to potatoes.
Allergies can also contribute to inflammation in the body. People can have low grade allergies that don’t really produce intense feelings of discomfort , you may be aware that you aren’t feeling on top of the world but you are able to manage and get on with life., these types of allergy are often difficult to identify. I think that chemical overload can be an exacerbating factor in low grade allergies, we live in a chemically overloaded environment but you can help to cut down on the extent of chemicals in your life by using naturally produced cleaning agents around your house. Ecover is an example of an eco-friendly label producing household and laundry products, you can also make your own lemon juice, vinegar, bicarbonate of soda are really useful around the house. Check that your personal care products are organic , and you can make up your own fragrance with essential oils, use coconut oil (organic ) to moisturise, rose water is a great skin cleanser, ground almonds or oatmeal can be used with water or olive oil as an exfoliator!
The Stress Factor
Mental and emotional stress are both inflammatory. To help with mental and emotional stress frequent regular physical exercise is recommended . Thirty minutes of exercise , five days a week would be a good start,. Perhaps you could try skipping because you can do this at home, going for a walk in nature with friends is really relaxing. Meditation is a great life skill to learn, there are a number of free meditation apps available.
Psoriasis has been successfully treated with chinese herbs for several centuries, reducing inflammation is an important part of chinese medicine. At the Fitzwilliam Health Skin clinic , Amanda has found success in treating the various forms of psoriasis by making up individual herbal formulas for each patient and combining these with bespoke skin creams which have been infused with chinese herbs.
If you would like to know more about the natural skin care treatments available for treating psoriasis at the Fitzwilliam Health Skin Clinic, please contact Amanda Hughes at 01 6618949 or see the website: http://www.fitzwilliamhealth.ie
Please do not embark on any new medicinal, exercise or food programme without first consulting your health practitioner. This article is not designed to replace any information given to you by your healthcare practitioner.