While nothing can actually ‘cure’ psoriasis, many people find that mild to moderate symptoms can be managed with natural treatments. In this blog, we investigate how turmeric can be used to alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis.
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a non contagious, long-lasting autoimmune disorder which causes the bodily process of replacing skin cells to speed up. In non-sufferers, this takes between three to four weeks, but for people with psoriasis it takes only a few days. The result is a build up of cells which can cause flushed patches, often appearing as red on Caucasian skin, and darker on darker skin tones. The patches can also be covered in scales and be very itchy.
Widely understood to be a genetic disorder, psoriasis affects around 2-3% of the population and can affect men and women equally. Changes in the skin begin when T-cells in the body become overactive and mount an inflammatory response. Psoriasis is therefore a chronic inflammatory condition.
While there is no known cure for psoriasis, there are natural treatments available to help sufferers manage their condition over the long term; one of which is turmeric.
The benefits of turmeric
Originating in India and Southeast Asia, turmeric is a plant that belongs to the ginger family and has traditionally been used in cooking and for medicinal purposes. The active compound in turmeric is cucurmin, believed to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Because of this, it is thought to be helpful for people suffering from chronic inflammatory disorders. Whilst scientific research has not yet definitively established a direct link between the use of turmeric and the management of psoriasis; various pieces of research indicate that it might have positive benefits for sufferers.
How can I use turmeric to manage the symptoms of psoriasis?
Take turmeric orally:
- Make a turmeric tea by boiling up ground or fresh turmeric root in water and adding honey or lemon to taste. Turmeric lattes are delicious too.
- Add turmeric to cooking. It is a warming, aromatic spice that works well in curry dishes and sauces. Black pepper is thought to activate the curcumin, so add a twist or two.
- Take curcumin supplements. You should be able to find these at any high street health food store, but make sure that you consult your GP first.
Or apply it topically:
- Make a paste to apply directly to your skin from one part turmeric and two parts water. Boil, then cool before applying to skin. Be aware that turmeric can stain, however, and be quite difficult to get out.
It is important to note that turmeric can interact with other medications. It can also pose health risks such as to people who are pregnant, those with gallbladder or bleeding diseases or about to undergo surgery. Always consult your GP before beginning to take turmeric in any form.
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