Psoriasis can be dramatically improved and even cured with herbal medicine and functional nutrition.
Physicians and patients alike generally regard psoriasis as a skin disease. However, clinical and experimental research suggest it psoriasis is a result of liver malfunction and bowel dysbiosis.
This 2018 report (above) published in Clinics in Dermatology reviewed research indicating that psoriasis patients typically have several common functional digestive system disorders, including:
Based on research and his own clinical experience, the author of the paper, Dr. Ely, developed a treatment plan for psoriasis, as shown in this flow chart from the paper:
Diet for psoriasis and general long-term health should consist of whole grains, cooked vegetables, fruits, and smaller amounts of low-fat animal products.
Kanda et al have reviewed research on diet for psoriasis and found that the evidence indicates that psoriasis patients will benefit from a primarily plant-based diet.
A diet for psoriasis should limit saturated fat intake because considerable evidence indicates that saturated fats (primarily provided by fatty cuts of red meat and high-fat dairy products) promote skin inflammation. This is accomplished by limiting intake of beef, lamb, pork, and high-fat dairy products. Fish, eggs, low- or non-fat yogurt, soy products and other plant proteins should be substituted for high-fat animal products in diet for psoriasis.
The diet for psoriasis should include minimally processed soy products, such as soy beverage, tofu, texturized soy protein, and such, because soy provides genistein, which calms skin inflammation.
The diet for psoriasis should have adequate n-3 fatty acids from fish, flax, soybeans, and walnuts.
Gut flora imbalances caused by poor food choices promote psoriasis. Fruits and vegetables provide dietary fiber and pre-biotics which improve intestinal condition.
Selenium deficiency contributes to psoriasis. Whole wheat is an excellent source of selenium.
Diet for psoriasis should provide sufficient vitamin B-12 from low-fat animal products, and sufficient vitamin D from either sun exposure, fatty fish, or sun exposure.
Chinese medicine has for hundreds of years used bile acids to treat liver disorders.
Bile acid therapy is a cornerstone of Dr. Ely's psoriasis treatment protocol, based on research proving its effectiveness.
Bile acids clear the intestine of bacterial endotoxin so that the endotoxin can't get into the blood and skin. Here are some photos of patients under Dr. Ely's care before and after taking 500 mg ox bile extract with meals for a month:
It is important to reduce total and saturated fat intake (by eating lean meats and reduced fat dairy products) because experiments show that a high fat, high saturated fat diet promotes inflammation that occurs in psoriasis skin.
In this article Dr. Ely mentions having had success with the Allergy Research 500 mg ox bile supplement. I have used this myself and confirmed his report that the only side effect is diarrhea, which will pass as you adapt.
To improve endogenous bile formation and flow, I also take cholegogue and liver supporting herbs. I prefer artichoke extract and oregon grape root.
Artichoke extract was part of the program that helped me achieve the improvement in the psoriasis lesions in my ears, depicted in the photo above.
Milk thistle extract rich in silymarin (to left) supports liver regeneration. You can take milk thistle (150 mg per meal).
Dr. Ely also has his patients take S. boulardii (to left) because it can kill H. pylori and B. hominis bacteria that can cause itching. I recommend the NOW or Jarrow brands.
Curcumin suppresses phosphoryl kinase expression in psoriatic skin. The Meriva™ brand (to left) is best because most easily absorbed. Avoid any products containing black pepper extract because this increases intestinal permeability and endotoxin absorption, which you need to prevent. Dose is one capsule per meal.
Dr. Ely has his patients take 500 mg of quercetin (to left) with each meal because it blocks endotoxin absorption.
I personally prefer to consume orange juice, grapes, or grape juice with my meals instead. Research shows that the bioflavonoids provided by these fruits block endotoxin absorption.1, 2, 3, 4 Orange juice richly provides the citrus bioflavonoid hesperidin, which inhibits the skin cell proliferation of psoriasis.5 In addition these fruits provide valuable nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, and not least fructose, which helps to excrete excess phosphorus,6 which is over-concentrated in psoriasis skin.7, 8
I also recommend using vitamins D and K2 for psoriasis. Research shows that psoriasis patients typically have insufficient levels of vitamin D and raising skin vitamin D levels can markedly reduce the severity of psoriasis. Vitamins D and K2 work synergistically to regulate calcium metabolism, specifically intracellular calcium levels. Psoriasis patients suffer from calcium deficiency and intracellular calcium deficiency causes skin to malfunction as found in psoriasis.
I use the NOW brand vitamin D, 2000 IU capsules. I suggest you get your vitamin D level tested by Grassroots Health and follow their protocol to get your vitamin D level up to at least 60 ng. A level of 70-100 ng may be necessary for best results. I take a minimum of 4000 IU daily.
Vitamins D and K2 work synergistically to regulate calcium metabolism so I recommend taking 100 mcg of vitamin K2 daily. I use the NOW brand vitamin K2.
In summary, the natural psoriasis treatment plan is:
1. A plant-based, low fat (maximum 30% fat) diet.
2. Ox bile, 500 mg per meal.
3. Artichoke extract, 450 mg per meal.
4. Milk thistle extract (silymarin), 150 mg per meal.
5. S. boulardii, 1 capsule 1-2 times daily.
6. Meriva™ curcumin, 500 mg at each meal.
7. Orange juice, grapes, grape juice, or quercetin 500 mg at each meal.
8. Vitamin D intake of at least 4000 IU per day or sufficient to raise blood D levels to at least 60 ng.
9. Vitamin K2, 100 mcg daily.
1. Deopurkar R, Ghanim H, Friedman J, et al. Differential effects of cream, glucose, and orange juice on inflammation, endotoxin, and the expression of Toll-like receptor-4 and suppressor of cytokine signaling-3. Diabetes Care. 2010;33(5):991–997. doi:10.2337/dc09-1630. <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2858203/>
2. Ghanim H, Sia CL, Upadhyay M, et al. Orange juice neutralizes the proinflammatory effect of a high-fat, high-carbohydrate meal and prevents endotoxin increase and Toll-like receptor expression [published correction appears in Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Mar;93(3):674. Upadhyay, Mannish [corrected to Upadhyay, Manish]]. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;91(4):940–949. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2009.28584 <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2844681/>
3. Ghanim H, Sia CL, Korzeniewski K, et al. A resveratrol and polyphenol preparation suppresses oxidative and inflammatory stress response to a high-fat, high-carbohydrate meal. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011;96(5):1409–1414. doi:10.1210/jc.2010-1812. <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3085195/>
4. Oliveira ALB, Monteiro VVS, Navegantes-Lima KC, et al. Resveratrol Role in Autoimmune Disease-A Mini-Review. Nutrients. 2017;9(12):1306. Published 2017 Dec 1. doi:10.3390/nu9121306. <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5748756/>
5. Li X, Xie X, Zhang L, et al. Hesperidin inhibits keratinocyte proliferation and imiquimod-induced psoriasis-like dermatitis via the IRS-1/ERK1/2 pathway. Life Sci 2019 Feb 15;219:311-321. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2019.01.019.
6. Milne DB, Nielsen FH. The interaction between dietary fructose and magnesium adversely affects macromineral homeostasis in men. J Am Coll Nutr. 2000 Feb;19(1):31-7. PubMed PMID: 10682873. <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10682873>
7. Burkhart, C., & Burnham, J.. Elevated phosphorus in psoriatic skin determined by energy dispersive x‐ray micro‐analysis. Journal of Cutaneous Pathology 1983;10(3):171-77.
8. Hajini, G., Hussain, S., & Shah, S. Sodium, potassium and phosphorus content of normal and psoriatic skin. British Journal of Dermatology 1976;95(6):674-5.
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