Essential Oils and Psoriasis

12:30 PM Posted by jo

What is it?

Psoriasis is a hyper -proliferative skin disorder. It is the rapid growth of skin cells that is causing the lesions associated with psoriasis. Skin cells grow about 4 times faster than normal and this cause the formation of silvery layers. The reddish lesions covered with silver-white scales are found on areas such as  the scalp, ears, knees, chest and lower back and elbows.

Psoriasis is stubborn and often difficult to deal with and it requires a lot of patience and long-term treatment. It is important to stick to the program. General health is not usually affected but the psychological stress needs to be taken into consideration.

According to Battaglia, it is difficult to determine the causes but the general thought is that it is caused by metabolic disturbances since it affects the whole body. Battaglia says, according to Pizzorno some indications are:
  • Some lesions may be caused by deficiency in essential fatty acids.
  • Incomplete protein digestion or poor intestinal absorption of protein breakdown products.
  • Several gut-derived toxins are implicated in the development of psoriasis.
  • Can be triggered by nervous tension and stress, cuts, infections, illness, viral and bacterial infections, sunburn or drugs such as lithium, chloroquine and beta blockers.

What to do
Before we get to what specific essential oils to use it is important to also consider the following:
  • Identify and address food allergies.
  • Use alteratives to promote detoxification.
  • Avoid stressful situations, fatigue, environmental changes (exposure to cold), trauma to the skin.
  • Manage inflammatory response by the use of anti-inflammatory remedies.
  • Use anti-inflammatory and antipruritic essential oils.

Aromatherapy plays a very important role in reducing stress. Battaglia suggests that lavender, sandalwood and bergamot are the most suitable of the oils to use. He says that they can be used as an inhalation, in a bath, or used in a 0.5-1% massage blend. For the massage blend he recommends to use Evening Primrose oil as a carrier.

Wheat germ oil can also be applied to patches on the face,  and Battaglia says you can mix 2 drops of tea tree oils to every 10 ml of wheat germ and apply morning and evening.

Anti-inflammatory oils such as yarrow, helichrysum or German Chamomile should also be considered. 

Battaglia says  if the liver is overloaded by excess toxins in the blood then its detoxification ability is reduced,  and it means the psoriasis will worsen. According to Battaglia, carrot seed and helichrysum have historically been used to correct abnormal liver function.

Oils for psoriasis recommended by Battaglia:

Essential oils:
Bergamot, cajuput, carrot seed, German Chamomile, helichrysum, juniper, lavender, sandalwood.

Other oils:
Infused calendula oil


Johanna is an aromatherapist and she is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives. 
Follow Johanna on twitter and facebook for more health tips and information.

Salvatore Battaglia (1995). The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion Pty Ltd

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