Home remedies for psoriasis, such as aloe vera compresses, calendula dressings and watercress juice, for example, help to combat skin peeling and psoriasis-related inflammation. These remedies have natural purifying, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and healing properties.
The use of home remedies for psoriasis does not replace the treatment prescribed by a dermatologist. The doctor will usually prescribe creams and ointments as needed to heal the skin, manage symptoms and prevent flare-ups or worsening.
Psoriasis is a skin disease that has no cure but is not contagious. It is associated with symptoms such as red plaques on the skin, peeling and dryness of the skin, itching and burning sensations and pain. This skin condition can affect various areas of the body. Learn more about what causes psoriasis and how it presents.
These home remedies can be effective in cases of mild to moderate psoriasis, and can be used as a complement to the treatment prescribed by your doctor:
1. Aloe vera compresses
Aloe vera is a plant that is widely used in natural medicine to treat various health problems, including skin disorders. The plant's gel can be used to relieve psoriasis symptoms like itching and redness. It can also promote skin healing and reduce the duration of psoriasis flare-ups.
Aloe vera is a plant very rich in substances with proven anti-inflammatory, healing and anti-itch properties. Learn more about the health benefits of aloe vera and how it can be used.
- 1 to 2 aloe leaves
- Clean gauze or cloth
Cut the leaf of the plant lengthwise and remove the gel inside with a spoon. Then apply the gel directly to the area with psoriasis, wrapping with a clean cloth or gauze. Secure with medical tape or bandages.
Leave the compress on for about 20 to 30 minutes a day, then rinse off with water. For best results, you should apply this compress up to 3 times a day for at least 4 weeks.
2. Chamomile infusion
Chamomile is another of the most widely used plants in natural medicine, It is commonly used to treat stomach problems and anxiety. However, the flowers of this plant have an important essential oil, known as camazulene, which can be used to reduce the inflammation of various skin problems like psoriasis.
When used to treat psoriasis, the camazulene appears to lead to the formation of another substance, leukotriene B4 (LTB4), which prevents plaques from developing and imrpoves psoriasis symptoms.
- 4 tablespoons of chamomile flowers, preferably fresh
- 500 ml of boiling water
Combine the water with the chamomile flowers and steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Then strain the mixture and wait for it to cool. Finally, pour the chamomile infusion over the psoriasis plaques and leave to air dry. This cleanse can be done after a bath, up to three times a day.
Another option, for more severe cases with intense symptoms, is to soak clean compresses in the infusion and apply them directly to the skin for 20 to 30 minutes, 3 or 4 times a day.
3. Calendula dressing
Although it is less well known, calendula is a flower that has excellent healing, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is often used in natural medicine to treat skin problems, including psoriasis, eczema and even leprosy.
- 3 to 4 flowers and calendula.
Mash the flowers using a mortar and pestle, and then place the mixture directly on the psoriasis plaques. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse the skin with water and leave to air dry.
Some people may be more sensitive to calendula essential oils, so if you experience any side effects, such as a burning sensation on the skin, remove the mixture from the skin immediately and rinse with running water. Do not apply the mixture to the skin again.
4. Watercress juice
Watercress juice is an excellent option for treating psoriasis due to its purifying effect, which helps to eliminate toxins from the body and reduce the frequency of psoriasis flares. To prepare the juice, simply mix 70g of watercress with 1 glass of water in a blender and drink it at least 3 times a day.
Eating watercress raw, in salads for example, is also a great way to treat psoriasis. Other recipes with watercress include:
- Braised watercress;
- Watercress salad with white cheese and tomatoes;
- Pumpkin soup with watercress;
- Butternut squash with watercress.
The use of blood-purifying foods, such as watercress, can be very effective in helping to treat psoriasis. It's also important to avoid fatty foods, meat, sausages, processed food and spicy foods, as they promote inflammation in the body. Read more about the psoriasis diet you can maintain to keep symptoms under control and to prevent flare-ups.
5. Natural cayenne pepper cream
This cream cannot be made at home but it is another natural and proven option for relieving the symptoms of psoriasis, especially itching and redness. This is because cayenne pepper contains a substance known as capsaicin, which appears to reduce the presence of "substance P" in psoriasis plaques, which is the main culprit behind the itching sensation.
Look for a cayenne pepper or capsaicin cream, at 0.025% or 0.075%, in health food stores and apply it to the skin, following the manufacturer's or doctor's instructions.
Other natural treatments
To complement the effects of home remedies, it is important to take certain precautions, such as:
- Increase your intake of foods that are rich in beta-carotenes, such as oranges, carrots and pumpkin.
- Increase your intake of foods that are rich in omega 3, such as tuna and salmon, due to their anti-inflammatory action.
- Take evening primrose oil supplements, as they contain gamma-linoleic acid which acts to reduce inflammation.
- Avoid consuming foods rich in caffeine, such as coffee, black tea and chocolate.
You should also avoid eating red meat and fried foods, which are high in fat and cholesterol and thus increase inflammation in the body and the risk of psoriasis symptoms appearing.