Psoriasis – A brief Herbal Perspective


Psoriasis is a common skin disease, the cause of which still remains unknown. The severity of the condition can vary greatly, from one or two small lesions to the whole body being affected. Because the cause of Psoriasis is unknown, it is important to understand the process of what happens to the skin in this condition. The skin cells undergo much faster maturation than usual which leads to a large cell build up, forming the typical lesions. Some believe the cause for this is nutritional, others that stress and psychological factors play a role, and it is sometimes described as an autoimmune disease. Therefore the therapeutic approach is very individual and it is difficult to give general advice.

However, there are a few things that apply to everyone. The herb group considered most relevant in the treatment of Psoriasis are Alteratives. These are herbs which help eliminate toxins from the body, mostly via the liver. This is important because a build up of toxins often leads to skin eruptions; therefore these herbs are also relevant for the treatment of eczema and acne. An infusion of Alteratives for Psoriasis could be: Burdock, Cleavers and Nettle. Take 1-2 teaspoons of the mixture per cup, fill the cup with boiling water and steep for 5-10 minutes, drink 3-4 cups per day.

Topical herbal applications include Marigold cream or Chickweed cream, both of which aid the skin healing process.

There are many other herbs which can be used to treat this condition, however, not everyone responds in the same way to the same herbs. Therefore an individual treatment plan considering your general health, life style and other factors is vital.

Herbal treatment of this condition would always include a broader context of treatment where diet and lifestyle are also taken into consideration. Generally, safe exposure to sunlight is beneficial for many people with psoriasis, as well as using dead sea salt in the bath. It is also important to build up a good immune system with a balanced diet and possibly a high potency multi-vitamin supplement and an Omega 3 supplement such as Flaxseed Oil.

By Marion Colledge, Medical Herbalist MNIMH (BSc Hons)

The Little Escape offer free fifteen minute consultations for all therapies, book on-line or call in to find out more about Herbal Medicine.


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