Psoriasis is caused by an overactive immune system that triggers inflammation and excessive production of skin cells, which accumulate in thickened, itchy patches. Many conventional psoriasis treatments exist, including tar shampoos, topical steroids, immunosuppressive drugs, and injected biologic medications. But there are also some natural treatments for psoriasis that I recommend you try first.
Olives contain a number of water-soluble constituents, including a polyphenol called hydroxytyrosol. This compound, which is one of the most potent known antioxidants, turns out to be a boon for people with psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
Hydroxytyrosol’s ability to provide psoriasis relief was discovered by accident when researchers were examining the effects of olive polyphenols on blood fats and inflammatory markers linked to heart health. A handful of the study subjects happened to have psoriasis, and after taking the olive extract (Olivenol) for a couple of months, their skin unexpectedly improved—in some cases, dramatically. One 71-year-old gentleman, who had such severe psoriasis that he was taking heavy-duty drugs, experienced complete resolution of 80 percent of his psoriatic lesions!
Another natural treatment for psoriasis comes from whey, a dairy byproduct used primarily as a protein supplement. We’ve known for years that whey contains a number of growth factors and other bioactive proteins that modulate immune function. One of these proteins, XP-828L, has been studied for its effects on psoriasis. When 84 patients with mild-to-moderate disease took 5–10 grams of a whey protein supplement (BioDERM) daily, more than one-fifth of them had improvements after eight weeks, and nearly a third had significant improvements after 16 weeks.