Why Turmeric And Ginger Are Good To Use With Psoriasis
Should you use turmeric and ginger for psoriasis? You may well be familiar with turmeric, the yellow spice commonly found in curry, or ginger, another spicy herb used in cooking and baking. I’ve been recommending the powdered root of both turmeric and ginger for psoriasis for many years.These spices can come either as powdered or in their fresh form, and definitely make sense if you have psoriasis, because of their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
I’ve read many studies and articles on turmeric especially, as well as having spoken to many psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis patients over the years who have told me that they have received benefit from especially from using turmeric in their diet. Should you give it a go? What have you got to lose by trying; these powdered spices are cheap, especially when purchased in bulk at your local Indian or Asian store.
One thing I must tell you, you will need to be patient when using the spices turmeric and ginger in your diet, because results just don’t happen overnight. Expect to use turmeric for at least 4 to 6 months on a daily basis before you really notice a difference. But in saying that, I’ve seen some patients get great results within a month of usage.
Cucurmin is the active ingredient found in turmeric root, and many studies have revealed that it is safe to take even in high dosages for prolonged periods of time. In some Asian countries, turmeric is used to treat all kinds of chronic conditions affecting the immune system, like skin cancers, scleroderma, various tumors affecting the skin, breast, colon and even the pancreas, but it is also used to treat psoriasis in India with good effect.
Cucurmin fights inflammation, protecting the cells of the body from oxidative stress caused by free radicals, and inflammation, mainly due to the inhibition of nuclear factor KB. Cucurmin is also remarkable not only in that is strongly reduces inflammation, but it has also been found to be proangiogenic, meaning it promotes the development and growth of new blood vessels. These actions mainly occur due to the fact that turmeric can be used for prolonged periods of time in high dosages without causing toxicity or side effects.
The National Institute of Health in Washington DC conducted studies into psoriasis and turmeric and found that Cucurmin could be successfully used in the treatment of healing psoriasis skin lesions and reducing any inflammation. A study found that cucurmin-rich gel was applied to psoriatic lesions, more plaque reduction was noticeable, and in some cases an 8-week treatment resolved some cases entirely. Even the National Psoriasis Foundation has stated that turmeric can help to minimize any skin-flare ups due to psoriasis.
A good tip I recently discovered is that for cucurmin to work properly in the body in needs to be taking in a little oil or fat because cucurmin is a fat-soluble phytonutrient.
How To Use Turmeric With Psoriasis
There are different ways to use turmeric, it can be taken internally as well as applied topically and my suggestions are to try both.
- Use 1 teaspoon per day in your drink, smoothie or mixed in with foods or snacks. Be sure to have some oil or fat, like coconut oil for example, as this will help to liberate cucurmin in your body more readily.
- In a dietary supplement form. Some psoriasis patients may want to take turmeric in as a capsule or tablet form rather than as the powdered spice on a daily basis. Turmeric stains clothing and utensils readily and you will need to be aware of this! My preference is for the raw powdered spice, because it is low-cost, and if used long enough and in sufficient dosage, then the results will be forthcoming.
- As a paste, turmeric can be applied externally to psoriatic lesions and areas of plaque. Make up a thick paste of turmeric and pure water in a glass bowl. It the mixture is too thin, just add a little more powder, if too thick, add a little more water. Apply the paste to the affected area and leave overnight for the best results. Cover with a gauze bandage to prevent the paste moving or staining any bedding or clothing. In the morning, remove the bandage and rinse gently with warm water.
- Don’t give up! I’ve had patients take turmeric powder for several months until they started noticing some improvements, and significant improvements after one year to the point where they hardly noticed any more psoriatic skin flare-ups! And when a flare did occur, it was quickly brought under control with an application of turmeric paste for three days in a row.
Curcumin is the most active ingredient found in turmeric, it affects the body’s immune system in different ways and has a most powerful ability to control several molecular pathways that have been linked with psoriasis. The incredible ability of curcumin to promote various pathways like gene transcription factors, inflammatory cytokine pathways and various growth factors means that it has been studied for the many potential benefits for skin conditions like psoriasis, skin cancers, dermatitis, acne, wound healing and even keloid scars.
You can take turmeric in a “non-standardized” dose as it is, the straight root ground-up, or you can take it as a standardized natural medicine. The normal adult dosage is between 300 to 700 mgs of a standardized curcumin product (capsule or tablet usually) three times daily with meals. I don’t think that there is a recommended dosage for children.
No Toxicity Reported With Turmeric
It is encouraging to note that unlike pharmaceutical drugs aimed at psoriasis, high doses of curcumin extracts have not demonstrated any toxicity, apart from nausea and very mild diarrhea. I have recommended turmeric for over twenty years and never heard of any adverse effects, and regularly hear good and even excellent feedback from patients.
Some research has shown that standardized curcumin extracts (oral cucuminoid C3 complex) may be of more therapeutic benefit than using just plain turmeric powder.
Turmeric Or Ginger for Psoriatic Arthritis?
What is the best to use with psoriasis, should you use turmeric or should you use ginger? If you have psoriatic arthritis, I’d like you to try powdered ginger, take one teaspoon a day mixed into a little water. Make up a paste first, and then add a little more water and then swallow, and have before meals once per day. I’ve found ginger to be of more benefit to the joints when it comes to reducing inflammation, and have received very good feedback from a few patients with psoriatic arthritis. Why don’t you try it, you have nothing to lose!
I have discovered through trial and error that ginger works better for the inflamed joints that those with psoriatic arthritis suffer from than turmeric does. About twenty years ago I used to work in a health-food shop when a lady with psoriatic arthritis came in and asked if we stocked a product called Zinax, apparently made by a company for arthritis. It turned out that a drug company had discovered that there was a good market for an encapsulated powdered ginger root product for arthritis. That product is still sold today by the same drug company, and carries a hefty price tag when compared with the powdered ginger root you can buy in bulk from your health food store!
Using Ginger Powder With Psoriatic Arthritis
- Try making a rather stiff paste that you apply to joints, wrap some cling-film plastic around the joint (no too tightly!) and then a little gauze bandage. Leave overnight, and gently wash the ginger powder away in the morning.
- You can get an even better effect by grating the fresh ginger root (no need to peel it) and packing this around the affected joint/s, wrap with cling film and leave overnight.
- Take one teaspoon of turmeric powder as instructed above each day when applying the ginger to the affected joint.
- Be patient! Results will come with the persistent use of ginger and turmeric.
I’ve heard many doctors tell me that patients need to be careful when taking turmeric or ginger long-term, especially if they are taking conventional medications. If in doubt, ask your naturopath or doctor who has experience in complementary (alternative) medicine. I’ve never seen any problems occur, even with patients who have been taking high blood-pressure medications, sleeping pills, antidepressants, etc.
I’m often perplexed why medical doctors worry about recommending patients to consume more natural foods, herbs and spices, believing they “interact” with the toxic drugs they themselves prescribe. Doesn’t it make more sense for a doctor to first recommend for example curcumin or ginger, rather then immediately place their patient on a drug targeting the symptoms of psoriasis? Of course it does, but their lack of training in this area can tend to make them down on things they are not up on.
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