Monday, June 9, 2008

Psoriasis Suggestions

Recently received a copy of "Aromadermatology" by Janetta Bensouilah and Phillipa Buck. It is NOT an easy read; definitely not designed for the casual home reader.

It does have an interesting section on the cause, and suggested aromatherapy treatments for Psoriasis. The authors stress the emotional effects of this disfiguring skin disease, and attempt to address them, as well as the physical manifestations.

Among suggested essential oils are:
  • Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
  • Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
  • Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)
  • Cistus (Cistus ladaniferus)
  • Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
  • Helichrysum italicuum
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
  • Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
  • Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)
  • Rose Absolute (Rosa centifolia)
  • Sandalwood (Santalum album)
Not mentioned in the book, probably because it is a relatively new product, and because I doubt there has been any research done, is Pomegranate Seed CO2 extract. We have several nurses who are using the Pomegranate CO2 on clients with psoriasis, and achieving amazing results, so this should definitely be added to the list.
The carrier oils recommended are Jojoba, Calaphyllum inophyllum (Tamanu or Foraha) and Calendula Infused Oil. Also mentioned are any of the GLA rich oils, specifically Borage Seed or Evening Primrose, as well as Avocado Oil.
They also suggest the use of hydrosols, either sprays or in cool compresses, for relief from itching, with Yarrow, Witch Hazel and Lavender being mentioned as of particular value. (I would want to try Calendula or Helichrysum, which the authors may not be familiar with.)
Research is sited showing that an aloe vera based cream was vastly more effective than a placebo in resolving plaques, so using Aloe Vera Gel as part of the base or carrier is definitely recommended.
Now we have seen other carrier oils recommended in treating psoriasis; they are listed in our "Psoriasis Sampler Set."
The authors also address the itching that often accompanies psoriasis. Their recommendations, as well as using the oils, aloe, hydrosols, etc. include:
  • Keep the skin cool. (Hydrosol spritzes could help with this.)
  • Baths or showers should be cool or lukewarm, never hot.
  • Limit the use of soaps and cleansers as much as possible.
  • Keep the skin moisturized; dry skin tends to itch more.
  • Always moisturize following bathing
  • Wear light clothing - cotton and silk- for coolness. Avoid scratchy wool and synthetic fibers.
Hope some of this is helpful!

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