The movement for natural solutions to combat health issues has gained tremendous momentum over recent years. With so many complimentary treatments available it is difficult to know where to start. A review of the most well studied options for psoriasis was recently published. Here are some of the most interesting findings:
Curcurmin, which can be found in the spice turmeric, has been used in traditional eastern medicine for centuries. It has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant and anticancer properties. Curcumins reduce levels of both IL-17 and TNFα, which are inflammatory cytokines that many expensive biologic treatments target. Topical preparations have shown some benefit but burning and dryness have been reported. However, multiple studies support the effectiveness of oral turmeric supplementation in the treatment of psoriasis. More studies need to be performed to confirm the right dose and improve the bioavailability of these supplements.
Indigo naturalis (IN) has been used in Chinese medicine and has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antimicrobial, antipyretic, and antitumor effects. Multiple blinded studies confirm topical IN as an effective treatment for psoriasis. Traditional IN ointment leaves dark blue pigmentation on the skin with use. Researchers are working on developing a method to remove the blue color and keep the active ingredient indirubin.
While fish oil supplementation is the most common form of complimentary treatment studied for psoriasis, randomized trials have shown little evidence to support its effectiveness.
Although less robust evidence was reviewed, weight reduction, meditation and acupuncture showed some improvement in patients as complimentary psoriasis treatments.
Oral turmeric supplementation starting at 1-2 grams per day can be added to most traditional topical and systemic psoriasis treatments. Talk with your Dermatologist if you are interested in adding turmeric to your psoriasis treatment plan.
Weight loss, stress reduction including meditation, and acupuncture have all been studied and displayed varying levels of success in treating psoriasis. Taking good care of your body both inside and out should be an important component of treating any inflammatory skin disease.
* The original article can be found in the Journal of the American Medical Association Dermatology. Complementary and Alternative Medicine Therapies for Psoriasis: A Systematic Review.