Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease that can affect both males and females at any age. It is characterized by raised patches of itchy or burning scales on the skin.
Although genetics play a role in whether a person develops psoriasis, there are certain things that may trigger a flare-up. These includes stress, skin injury, infection, certain foods, and cold weather.
While some of these are not always within our control, we can take steps to reduce stress. Research shows that people who spend at least 10 minutes outdoors, three days a week, have less cortisol (a stress hormone) in their bodies. Sitting or walking around your yard, a public park, or other outdoor area are all helpful. In order for your time outdoors to be truly beneficial, avoid checking emails, making phone calls, having conversations, reading social media (or even a book) during this time. Just pick an outdoor place you enjoy and quietly relax in nature.
Foods that have been shown to trigger psoriasis include added sugars, red meat, alcohol, and saturated fatty acids. “Added sugars” are those sugars added to drinks and foods – it doesn’t include fresh fruits. Common sources of saturated fatty acids include beef, pork, chicken (especially the skin), butter, cheese, ice cream, coconut and palm oil, and fried foods.
Foods that contain vitamin D, vitamin B12, omega 3-fatty acids, fiber, selenium, probiotics, and soy have been all shown to reduce psoriasis flare-ups. This can all be met by eating a modern-adapted traditional Hawaiian diet that includes a variety of fruits and both starchy and non-starchy vegetables, poi, limu, fish, and tofu.
If you are on medications and not experiencing much relief – or want to try more natural treatments, there are a few alternatives.
ʻOlena (turmeric) has shown enormous potential in controlling psoriasis. It can be added to foods or made into a paste and applied directly on the affected parts of your skin. Combine one part ʻolena powder to two parts water in a pot. Simmer until a paste is formed and cool before applying. Store the leftover paste in the refrigerator.
Banana peels contain a variety of antioxidants that are also useful. Rub the inner banana peel on the affected area for 10 minutes or longer several times a day. Another method is to dice and blend ripe banana peels and simmer with water to create a skin paste. Adding one to two teaspoons of activated charcoal powder (found in vitamin shops and pharmacies) will make it even more powerful. Choose activated coconut charcoal powder if available, as it is more effective than other types.
Noni may also be helpful, due to its ability to treat a variety of skin conditions, reduce inflammation, and boost the immune system. Either apply some overripe noni fruit to the affected area or drink two ounces of noni juice, twice daily. Do not drink noni juice if you have kidney disease. If possible, use organically grown noni and other plants in your medicinal preparations for best results.