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September 17, 2021

6 Spices for Psoriasis

BLACK CUMIN SEEDS (NIGELLA SATIVA)

Black cumin seeds are produced by a flowering plant called Nigella sativa. Originally identified in the Middle East, these seeds have a long history of use for medicinal purposes in the Middle East and Asia, particularly Egypt and India.

Black cumin seed oil has been shown to improve digestion and protect the body against various foreign matters like fungi and viruses. It is well known that Psoriasis is closely related to leaky gut syndrome which means the intestinal lining of your digestive tract is hyper-permeable allowing undigested food and pathogens like fungi and viruses to enter your bloodstream.   Your immune system protests these foreign invaders and triggers an autoimmune reaction causing inflammation and rapid growth of skin cells.   Black Cumin Seed helps to eliminate these pathogens from your body, helping to calm the immune system and relieving the symptoms of psoriasis.

A research study conducted at the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College; India tested 144 strains of bacteria- most of them were resistant to various antibiotics. Out of these 144 strains, 97 were inhibited by black cumin seed oil.

Research has also shown that black cumin seed oil contains powerful antioxidant properties which can help to regenerate body cells and tissues, boost immunity and purify blood.

HOW TO TAKE BLACK CUMIN SEEDS

There are two ways to use black cumin seeds for Psoriasis healing:

Take black cumin seed oil capsules

Use Nigella Sativa Oil orally as drops

Apply black cumin seed oil topically on psoriasis lesions

For more information about Nigella Sativa Oil click HERE

 

CURCUMIN (AND TURMERIC)

Turmeric is a fresh ingredient that resembles Ginger and the substance that gives Turmeric its deep yellow colour is called Curcumin and it is curcumin that is responsible for the healing properties in Turmeric.

Curcumin has been proven to reduce histamine levels (responsible for inflammation) and block a molecule called NF-kB which ‘turns on’ the inflammation response in cells.

It has also been found to protect the liver from toxin damage and, as we all know, the liver is essential for cleansing the blood of impurities which helps to reduce psoriasis symptoms.

Other ways that Curcumin helps with psoriasis:

It protects the skin by speeding up wound healing and regenerating the skin.
Provides relieve from itchy skin
It reduces skin infections
It contains antioxidant properties that reduce inflammation

HOW TO TAKE CURCUMIN

As only 3% of turmeric powder, by weight, is curcumin, it is hard to reach the ideal amount of around 4000mg per day.  Therefore, it’s easier to buy curcumin capsules and take them daily.

You can use a topical application by creating a paste with turmeric, milk, and oil but it will stain your skin yellow, and you will need to learn how to remove this from your skin (coconut oil is one of the best ways) or there are curcumin oils and creams available.

 

Cinnamon (Ceylon vs Cassia)

Cinnamon is a spice made from the bark of cinnamon (Cinnamomum) trees. It has been described as having “mystic powers” by one scientist who reviewed its benefits for his research paper and is widely used for flavouring dishes and as a natural source of antioxidants.  Cinnamon also contains oils which offer anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antibacterial benefits.

One of the oils in cinnamon, known as eugenol, has been shown to block the functioning of inflammatory cytokine NF-kappaB. The activation of NF-kappaB is linked to many inflammatory diseases including psoriasis.

Eugenol has also been proven to inhibit enzymes such as 5-lipoxygenase which causes inflammatory disorders like psoriasis.  This oil is found in larger quantities in Cloves (see below).

Cinnamon contains hydroxycinnamaldehyde which can reduce the inflammation caused by psoriasis, however it also contains Coumarin which has been shown to be harmful to the liver when consumed in large quantities.

Ceylon cinnamon provides more health-promoting antioxidants than Cassia Cinnamon even though Cassia is the one most commonly used in foods and found on grocery store shelves.     Cassia is safe to eat in small to moderate amounts but too much of the compound Coumarin can be harmful.
Cassia Cinnamon contains 1% Coumarin while Ceylon Cinnamon contains only 0.004% – in other words, 250 times less.

HOW TO TAKE CINNAMON

For the purposes of helping with the symptoms of psoriasis, we would advise using Ceylon Cinnamon instead of Cassia Cinnamon, however if you put any cinnamon in a coffee filter and pour a cup of boiling water over it, the resulting flavoured water will provide the active compounds but not the coumarin.    This is one way to get the benefits without the worry.

Ceylon Cinnamon can be taken in the same way as Cassia Cinnamon – in food and cakes or as an infusion with sticks or as a capsule.

For more information about Ceylon Cinnamon and its healing properties click HERE

Quick Tip:

Take a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar with a dash of cinnamon and honey three times a day.

 

GINGER

Ginger is one of the most well-known spices for both food and medicine.    Remedies made from ginger root have been used for centuries to alleviate digestive problems and have been proved in more recent years to help with conditions linked to chronic inflammation.    As psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition, ginger is one of the foods worth looking into.  Ginger contains an antioxidant called Gingerol and this component is the main reason why the spice reduces inflammation in our bodies.

The same can be said for psoriatic arthritis as a study published in the journal Medical Hypotheses, showed that 75% of patients with arthritis experienced pain relief and reduced swelling after treatment with powdered ginger root.  The researchers concluded that this anti-arthritic effect might be linked to its ability to inhibit pro-inflammatory compounds called Prostaglandins and Leukotrienes.

The analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of ginger are effective in reducing the pain and swelling and adding ginger oil to your bath can help relieve muscle and joint ache.

HOW TO TAKE GINGER

There are many ginger capsules or ginger root oils available for taking as a herbal supplement.  However, do not exceed 4 grams of ginger a day as you may get a few unwanted side effects beyond that amount.   Pregnant and lactating women should avoid ginger.

The exact amount to take is not known but incorporating ginger into your daily diet with smoothies, marinades or stir fry is an easy way to take a good amount of it every day.  Using fresh ginger is always recommended

The Arthritis Foundation suggests drinking it in tea form but recommends no more than four cups per day.  With its antiseptic properties, ginger could also get rid of annoying dandruff flakes.

Rubbing a small slice of fresh ginger on skin, up to three times a day can help to accelerate skin cell regeneration, tighten the skin surface, and brighten the skin

 

GARLIC

Garlic is a vegetable although it is widely used as a spice.  It belongs to the onion family, alongside leeks, chives and spring onions.

Garlic contains antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiseptic properties derived from an amino acid called alliin. When the garlic clove is crushed or chopped, an enzyme, alliinase, is released. Alliin and alliinase interact to form Allicin.

Allicin helps to kill bacteria, reduce swelling and inflammation, and improve blood circulation. These effects combined allow the skin to receive more nutrients

The benefits of garlic for psoriasis patients are also linked to its ability to inhibit the activity of lipoxygenase, this is an enzyme caused by arachidonic acid which is present in high levels in people with psoriasis

In addition, raw garlic is a good source of vitamin C.  Raw garlic contains more than five times the amount of vitamin C found in carrots and, when it is crushed, garlic produces zinc and selenium as well as plenty of allicin.   All these nutrients have strong antioxidant activity.

HOW TO TAKE GARLIC

It is always best to let crushed or chopped garlic sit for about 10 minutes before eating it or cooking with it as this boosts the antioxidant and anti-psoriasis effects.     This delay maximises the allicin content.

Garlic is available as a supplement in capsule and oil form.

It is important that you know that eating garlic can sometimes causes side effects.  It is possible to have an allergy to garlic and anyone with a stomach ulcer or are on antiplatelet medication shouldn’t use it.  Pregnant and lactating women should also consult their doctor before using garlic as a psoriasis treatment.

 

CLOVES

Cloves are a spice made from the flower buds of an evergreen tree called, appropriately enough, the clove tree.   They are among the most potent of common herbs and spices and can help to ease pain and inflammation.

Many different chemicals have been identified in clove oil, but a compound called eugenol is one of the most potent.   It is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory and is one of the most potent antioxidants around.

HOW TO TAKE CLOVES

Add two to four whole cloves to a soup or stew for both health and flavour.

Use several whole cloves to infuse hot drinks but remember to take them out before drinking.

For smoothies, blend in two whole cloves to boost anti-inflammatory effects

Topical

There are a couple of ways to apply clove oil to your skin if you want to use it for pain relief, wound healing, or to ease itching:

Massage oils. Dilute clove oil in a carrier oil such as jojoba, coconut, or olive oil. The NAHA suggests using 15 drops of clove oil per ounce of carrier oil to create a 2.5 percent solution.

Creams, scrubs, or lotions. Dilute clove oil in an unscented product, such as a lotion or facial cream. The NAHA recommends a 1 to 2.5 percent dilution for normal skin and a 0.5 to 1 percent dilution for sensitive skin.