Let's talk about psoriasis. Psoriasis is an autoimmune "disease" that causes skin cells to build up and form scales and itchy, dry patches. Your body literally attacks itself and it all begins with your gut health and intestines. In Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga, did-ease is caused by an overload of the senses, an over-indulgence, an over-stimulation, the too much all at once- without the balanced energies to heal. Eczema and psoriasis are very similar, but for now, we will focus on psoriasis. It is not a skin issue, but a problem with leaky gut and stagnation of the liver.
Try googling psoriasis and you will be sent to websites selling you medication. Medication only treats the symptoms and will give you a host of new ones, for which you will be told to take more medication! When you see doctors or a dermatologist, it is merely treated as a skin condition, which it is not. It is a lifestyle condition. Nutrition plays a massive role in forming skin. Your skin is a mirror image of your intestinal health. The ecosystem inside of you manifests itself on your skin, and it is not something you can cure by putting topical steroids on your body. Your doctor will not even ask you about what you are eating or the chemicals you are around.
You do not have to use steroid creams. Avoid them at all costs. Even though they may work for a short time, you rapidly develop a tolerance to them and will wreak havoc on your lymph, immune, and endocrine (hormone) systems.
Psoriasis is curable with self-dedication, implementation, and awareness of just a few self-care practices including daily self-massage with Katie's Goddess Line Whipped Shea Crème.
Nutrition and Lifestyle
When you are consuming foods that lead to inflammation, psoriasis is probably not the only red flag your body has sent you. You may also feel lethargic, depressed, and have other issues in addition to psoriasis. Nutrition is the first place to start. Leaky gut is where the lining of your intestine develops small holes where food leaks out into your body. Your body can heal itself, but it takes time and dedication. L-Glutamine, an amino acid, strengthens the gut lining, feeds gut cells, 10 grams 1x a day to start. Try it in the powder form as it is easier to take. After you have been taking it 1x a day for two days, increase to 2x a day for two days, and then take 3x a day for healing leaky gut. You want to slowly get use to taking it. Take it on an empty stomach.
In order to heal leaky gut, remove all foods that lead to inflammation. Eliminate sugar and processed food from your lifestyle. You are what you eat. Whatever you eat, will manifest in the appearance on your skin. If you have an imbalance in your gut flora, your skin will reflect that. Think of yourself like a house plant.
If you don't water your houseplant or if the soil is not filled with nutrients, your plant will die. We need to think of ourselves in the same way. In order to clear up your psoriasis, you need to totally revamp your lifestyle. Avoid processed meat, processed foods, sugars, alcohol, deli meat, chicken nuggets, hydrogenated oils, candied, and grains. Many people who have cured psoriasis naturally stay away from all sugars, grains, alcohol/wine/beer, fruits, dairy, store bought "whole wheat bread," and all processed foods.
These foods literally kill any good bacteria and life that is in your gut. By changing your food choices, your gut repopulates. With your nutrition reboot, your gut will became healthier. Ninety percent of sugar consumption is linked to cancer. Cancer literally feeds off sugar. There are anti-cancer nutrition plans that cure cancer by removing all sugar, so the same theory applies here. You are in control of your systemic and interconnected wellness.
Especially if you have had antibiotics in the past two years, you need to clean and rejuvenate your gut. Without a healthy intestinal track, your body can not be strong and healthy. This is recommended to eat only organic, grass-fed meat, organic veggies, and healthy fats for a minimum of 12 weeks (nothing processed, no daily, and no sugar). In this process, you remove your old gut biome, redesign your gut lining, and remove residual gut yeast. If you have a really damaged intestinal track and were eating really junky food, you may need to do this for longer in order to see a huge improvement and have totally clear skin.
If you notice a shift, and you start to eat junk again, you'll have flare ups, but you'll also be more aware of your trigger foods and toxins. Listen to your body. After 6 weeks, slowly start to add organic fresh fruit back in. This is not prepackaged fruit cuts or canned fruit. Try organic raspberries or a fruit low on the glycemic index. Soluble fiber is so important, so think about fiber content when choosing fruit as well. Fiber prepares your gut to absorb the probiotics. If you notice that this addition is okay, and doesn't make you itchy, then keep it. If you feel like your body gets dry, skin flakey, listen to yourself. If you see or feel a negative skin change, then stay away from it. Your gut and therefore skin will not improve unless you change what you are consuming.
After the ten week mark, add in one serving of organic brown rice a day. Take it slow. Stay away from anything made with white flour. See how the brown rice does and how it reacts to your body. If that seems to digest well, then add organic wheat berries or organic sprouted bread. Know that many people can have issues with the Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) wheat, so start with organic. If organic wheat causes a flare up of psoriasis, then you may have an allergy to wheat in general and the gluten within the wheat. In that case, stick with gluten free whole grains including teff, brown rice, buckwheat, oats, and quinoa (no processed products). Start with grains in small amounts and those naturally high in fiber, with a minimum of 3 grams per serving. All of this is about rebooting your immune system slowly to build awareness of how foods impact your skin.
Go for the Real Foods (And yes, it is hard, but worth the effort):
Fresh organic and grass-fed meat- Beef, chicken, beef, fish (in a 4 oz serving)
Veggies of any and all kind- Avocado, asparagus... you name it. Fresh or Frozen.
Soluble fiber (all naturally)- Broccoli, brussel sprouts, berries, chia seeds, flax seeds
Pro-Biotic rich foods- Fermented vegetables, kefir, goat milk kefir and yogurt- if it is okay with your body
Omega 3's- Animals-Based are the best and most absorbable. The animal's body has already complied into the complete chain, making it more easily absorbable and usable than a plant based form such as ground flax or walnuts. Wild-Caught Salmon (Avoid Farm Raised), Wild- Mackerel, Wild Sardines, Wild Tuna, Wild Herring
Bone Broth- It is high in collagen, which heals leaky gut and heals the skin. If you are making your own, buy grass-fed and organic beef or chicken bones, specifically knuckles, knees, and other joints that have a ton of collagen around them.
Top Foods for Skin Health
The most important and most vital nutrients required for formulate, glowing, radiant, and overall healthy skin:
- Dark Green Leafy Vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli, chard)
- Antioxidant Rich Food (goji berries, wild, organic blueberries)
- Healthy Fats (coconut oil, olive oil, sunflower seeds)
- Fermented Foods (kefir, sauerkraut)
- Carotenoids (carrots, sweet potatoes)
How to Incorporate Leafy Greens Into Your Life:
1) I love using green and red chard (organic, of course, because leafy greens are on the dirty dozen) in my evening stir fry. I sauté some fresh ginger, broccoli, carrots, red cabbage, and two-three huge handfuls of chard! Ad some organic extra-virgin coconut oil, a tablespoon of peanut butter, or some pesto.
2) Blend in NutriBullet or another high speed blender specifically designed for green smoothies: 1/2 mango, 2 cups spinach (organic), 1/2 cucumber (organic), 1/2 granny smith apple (organic), 1/3 cups cilantro, and some water - add 1/2 an avocado for creaminess! Your body can also absorb the calcium from dark leafy greens better than dairy. The calcium in greens is so much more bio-available because the greens also have magnesium, Vitamin K, and other anti-oxidants that can't be supplemented into dairy. Plus, if you do dairy, go grass-fed, organic, local, and raw. Calcium, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, and Vitamin A play a huge role in form cathelicidin, which serves a critical role in defending your immune system against any and all invasive bacteria infections.
3) Delicious and simple salads. Get a huge bowl, dump in some organic romaine or spinach leaves. Then some red and yellow peppers, cucumber slices, olives, celery, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, and anything else you desire!
All of these foods will heal your skin from the inside out, because that is how health works. Your leafy greens are also high in Vitamin A, which is so vital for curing psoriasis. The inside of your intestines, your gut biome allows for healthy organs, and therefore a healthy skin layer. Building healthy relationships is about having and constantly practicing sustainability in the relationship with have with yourself. At the same time, you also need to feed your skin from the outside. Think about the products you are using on your skin. If you would not eat it, do not put it on your skin. You skin eats and circulates everything into your blood stream that you apply.
Your Skin Eats Everything Applied
Again, always keep in mind that you should only put things on your skin that you can eat such as:
Organic Shea Butter- Buy Now Katie's Goddess Line
Virgin Coconut Oil- Buy Now Katie's Goddess Line
Aloe Vera Juice
Vitamin D and Sunlight Are Beneficial
Exposure to direct sunlight with out sunscreen is especially beneficial for psoriasis. As a child, I remember hearing stories about people who would vacation by the Dead Sea or go to sunrooms to get away and heal their skin. Spending 20-40 minutes outside in the sun helps your skin get Vitamin D3, which is a huge factor in healing skin issues such as psoriasis. It is also important to make sure your shadow is shorter than your height. If your shadow is taller than you, you're not absorbing vitamin D.
Fun Facts About Skin:
It is brand new every 28 days. Your skin regenerates itself. Skin is the largest organ in the body. The average person's skin covers an area of 2 square meters. Skin accounts for about 15% of your body weight. The average adult has approximately 21 square feet of skin, which weighs 9 lbs and contains more than 11 miles of blood vessels. The nerve endings respond to vibration, pressure, texture, and touch. “The skin's surface is home to surprisingly diverse communities of bacteria, collectively known as the skin microbiota The harmless bacteria that thrive on the skin can help immune cells fight disease-causing microbes.” -David Bank, MD, director at the Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery in Mt. Kisco, New York.
What Leads to Common Skin Issues?
So many of the medications prescribed alter the healthy, balanced ecosystem of microflora on your skin. It is not merely prescribed medications, but also anything that disrupts your skin's ecosystem. For instance, if you use something that is alcoholic and anti-bacterial, your skin naturally moves bacteria to that place to repopulate to keep your skin healthy and immune system strong. You have a ton of living creatures on your skin that you have na intimate relationship with, that keeps your immune system healthy. Skip over the Purell, because it actually disrupts your micro biome, causing a weakened immune system. The multitude of bacteria on your skin prevents staph. Why is staph so prevalent in hospitals? Because the bacteria, that is so beneficial to your skin, is removed in with all the harsh anti-bacteria soaps and cleansers, that your skin is left vulnerable, stripped of it's protective and good bacteria, and with weakened immune system.
Indigenous skin microorganisms join forces and create a symbiotic relationship with your body to combat pathogens. These good bacteria are an arsenal of support keeping your immune system strong, so you want to keep them on your skin! The overuse of both topical and oral antibiotics disrupt the symbiotic, healthy, and protective good bacteria on your skin leaving the skin susceptible to pathogens. The micro biome of bacteria on your skin is basically a shield of wellness.
Stop hating on the "germs," and instead look at enhancing your immune system, your body's innate defense mechanism.
Toss Those Toxins!
On the topic of skin and psoriasis, the first step will be to throw out all household chemicals. Yes, toss that toxic nonsense. And, no you won't ever need it again. All of the following severely disrupt to your microflora, lead to the inability to have strong immune system responses, and a healthy internal and external network of reserves to maintain and keep you truly healthy.
Toxic, processed food
All Toxic Household Cleaners
All Toxic Personal care and Cosmetic products
What To Do When You Are Sick
When you are stick, go to a naturopath, certified Ayurveda specialist, corrective chiropractor, or another holistic medical specialist that understands the systemic workings within you. My friend, Alyssa, is a naturopath in Groton, Connecticut. When she was studying in Arizona to be a naturopath, she specifically picked to study under the wisest and oldest doctors. She said, a naturopath, who was in practice for over 50 years, only had to refer out for antibiotics three times. He cured everything else by restoring health naturally. When I think about my life, I am 25 years old, and have had antibiotics about 10-12 times already. I haven't had any for a few years now that I've begun to educate myself on them and I haven't been sick in that span of time either. Funny how that works!
Anything You Put Onto Your Skin Gets Into Your Body
Most personal hygiene and cosmetic products are filled with the following toxins, so be sure to always look at the label before you put something on your skin.
Triclosan- in anti-bacterial soap and toothpaste! (That I why there is a poison control warning on toothpaste)
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
Under chemical, physical, or emotional stress, your body releases the hormone, cortisol, a natural anti-inflammatory. However, under constant release, cortisol inhibits the growth of healthy skin, interferes with skin regeneration and health, increases protein breakdown, decreases protein synthesis, shrinks lymphocyte numbers, and leads to organ issues. Every skin issue leads back to a immune system response to stress. Tylenol is the leading cause of liver disease. Chronic use of Tylenol negatively effects the liver, and the liver is a key in creating healthy skin. The small and large intestines, for instance, and a lack of healthy gut biome lead to major skin issues. So eat organic!
Supplements for Psoriasis
All natural supplements can be very beneficial for restoring skin health.
Refrigerated Pro-Biotic- If you are not eating fresh, organic fruits and veggies, you also need a Pre-Biotic. It heals the gut lining, which is how nutrients are absorbed, and therefore skin is made. Increase you gut bacteria with a really high quality probiotic. You may need to spend $50-60 for a month supply. Go to you natural food store and ask for a refrigerated probiotic.
Vitamin E capsules in liquid/gel form.
4000-5000 mg of Vitamin D3 a day- Buy a high-quality supplement in liquid or gel form. The gel form is more absorbable. Everyone with psoriasis is deficient in Vitamin D. Avoid taking D2, which is a cheap form of Vitamin D often used to supplement milks, that can not be absorbed.
100mcg vitamin K2 per day with Vitamin D3
1000 mg Vitamin C a day- Great for the immune system.
Turmeric- Reduces inflammation, but it is only absorbed with a fat. When looing for a supplement, look for a capsule rather than a solid pill with food dyes and other fillers. Take your supplement with a small amount of fat.
1000 mg a day of Omega 3's Fish Oil. It is important that your supplement contains EPA and DHA and is high quality. You will need to go to a natural food store and look on the back. You also want to make sure the fish from which the oils are coming from have been wild caught. Nordic Natural's is a brand I like. You will need to take 4 capsules of these per day to received the 1000 mg. Omega 3's have also been show to significantly alleviate depression when taken daily for 12 weeks.
L- Glutamine- 10 grams 1x a day to start. Take it in the powder form as it is easier to take, rather than pills. After you have been taking it 1x a day for two days, increase to 2x a day for two days, and then take 3x a day for healing leaky gut and curing psoriasis. Slowly get use to taking it. Take it on an empty stomach.
Fifteen minutes before eating a meal that is high in your grass-fed, organic meat protein, have 1 tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar (from the mother) in a glass of water. This helps your digestive system break down the meat protein.
Digestive Enzymes- Right before eating your first bite of food, take an digestive enzyme, which can really help with digestion of food, processing of nutrients, and creation of healthy skin.
For more info:
Dr. John Bergman is a great true health advocate when it comes to systemic "diseases" and holistic living. Here's a link to one of his videos.