Herbs for External Use in the Treatment of Psoriasis
Aloe vera: Apply in gel form. Reduces inflammation.
Cayenne (capsaicin) cream: Relieves pain when applied repeatedly. There may be a period of unpleasant burning following the first several applications; this usually subsides. Do not apply to broken skin.
Chamomile: Apply as a cream. Soothing and anti-inflammatory. People with allergy to ragweed should avoid chamomile.
Lavender: Mix equal parts essential oil with olive oil and apply liberally, or add two ounces of lavender herb to one quart water, allow to stand overnight, and bathe affected areas. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
Mix equal parts of essential oils of lavender, bergamot, St. Johnâ€™s wort, and comfrey oil. Apply liberally. Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing.
Licorice root: Apply as a cream or extract. Soothing; may potentiate effects of topical corticosteroids.
Yarrow: Add two ounces of the herb to one quart boiling water, simmer 10 â€“ 15 minutes, and add to bath water. Astringent and soothing.
Oatmeal: Place two handfuls in a cheesecloth bag, place in bathwater. Relieves itching.
Almond oil: Apply cream after using other herbs. Soothing and pleasantly aromatic.
Herbs to Take Internally for Psoriasis
Berberine (barberry, Oregon grape, goldenseal): Use capsules, teas, or tinctures. Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and reputedly prevents toxin formation in the bowel.
Dong quai: Capsules taken at the beginning of an outbreak will reduce inflammation.
Milk thistle: Taken as a tea, tincture, or capsules. Anti-inflammatory; supports liver metabolism.
Psoralea, bishopâ€™s weed, or Angelica: Taken as capsules, tincture, or tea. Contain psoralens; when combined with UV light, inhibits skin cell division. (Will sensitize the skin to UV light and increase the likelihood of sunburn).
Purslane: Eat fresh or lightly steamed. Contains high quantities of vitamins A, C and E, as well as selenium and alpha-linolenic acid, all of which support skin health.