In psoriasis, skin cells multiply too rapidly, resulting in unsightly, itchy rashes. Complicating matters is the fact that psoriasis is still poorly understood, has no certain cause, and is considered by conventional medicine to be incurable.
Incurable, maybe, but not untreatable.
Here's a treatment that's been successful for thousands of psoriasis patients - an extract of mahonia aquifolium (also known as the Oregon grape). In 1995, researchers in 89 dermatology practices throughout Germany put mahonia aquifolium to the test, using 433 patients who suffered from chronic psoriasis. Over the course of 12 weeks, the dermatologists reported that symptoms improved or completely disappeared in 81 percent of the patients.
Further biochemical research has isolated several active alkaloids from the bark of the Oregon grape that appear to be responsible for the beneficial functions that help fight psoriasis, including: inhibition of abnormal proliferation of skin cells, reduction of inflammation and histamine release, and strong antibacterial and antifungal properties.
There are a number of products based on mahonia aquifolium, marketed under the brand name of M-Folia. These products include ointment and cream preparations, shampoo, sunscreen, and bath oil, which can provide relief from eczema as well as psoriasis.
For more information, HSI members can view the article titled "Incurable No Longer" in the December 1999 Members Alert, available on our web site at hsibaltimore.com. M-folia can be easily ordered through sources on the Internet, but talk to your doctor before using M-folia.
Non-drug treatment for psoriasis is a common topic in the HSI Healthier Talk community forums. Here are a few suggestions posted by HSI members:
A member named George has a case of psoriasis that was treated unexpectedly. He began taking two grams per day of inositol (niacin) to address a cognitive condition. But to his surprise, "My psoriasis has reduced to something barely noticeable - even through the cold winter with the dry heat and little sunshine."
Mary: "A friend of mine noticed a big difference, when she was going to the beach daily. Something about the sea water helped her a lot. It was almost cleared up, until she had to stop going to the beach. Just a thought, wouldn't that be a great prescription, daily dose of beach time."
Rick: "The real cure is free - Just takes your time and effort! Sunlight is the ultimate healer!"
Bob: "Vitamin D I think is a big factor. Dr. Douglass has been talking about lack of Vit. D and sun, and psoriasis was one thing he mentioned."
Kathy: "The following herbs are specific for psoriasis: Nettle Leaves, Silymarin and sarsaparilla." Terry: "Many sources will tell you that the Essential Fatty Acids in fish oil and flax seed oil will help psoriasis. It has helped mine a lot."
Tressa: "I read in Adelle Davis that lecithin could cure it. Started eating lecithin, several tablespoons a day, and it disappeared."