I’ve been eating a Paleo diet for the last 6 weeks in an attempt to control my psoriasis. I know mine isn’t severe, but the patches on my legs make it impossible for me to wear dresses or skirts, so my business wardrobe is halved right now 😦 and I have a patch on my foot which is visible when I wear certain trousers. I also have no fingernails on several fingers due to the psoriasis, which fortunately I’m able to cover with false nails.
I was prescribed methotrexate last year to control the psoriatic arthritis in my finger joints, associated with the psoriatic fingernails, and it did the trick, but after a couple of months I decided the risks outweighed the benefits of chemotherapy and topical corticosteroids. Since then I’ve found that taking fish oil supplements keeps the inflammation at bay, as does limiting the amount of sugar, including fruit.
So I’d been reading up on the relationship between diet and auto-immune diseases, and thought I’d go one step further than just gluten free. I have to say, I find the diet easy to follow, I don’t eat any grains, including sweetcorn, dairy (although have ‘cheated’ twice with cheese), sugar or sweeteners (although occasionally use honey/agave syrup in recipes) and obviously no processed foods. I’m also limiting nightshades, as I’m convinced that my over use of aubergines earlier this year triggered psoriatic arthritis again, but fortunately I got it under control without medication. I do still eat tomatoes, because I love them, but never more than 1 per day.
So, after 4 weeks of eating strictly paleo and limiting nightshades, my psoriasis had reduced by about 40%, which as pretty good, I’d also lost about 3kgs in weight, and didn’t feet deprived at all. I feel generally healthier and less tired. I’ve made some really interesting dishes so will post some recipes.
Just over a week ago I read an article about the benefits of black seed oil (Nigella Sativa, also called black cumin oil) for psoriasis, and as it’s abundant here in the Middle East, thought I’d give it a try. I’ve been taking one teaspoon twice a day for 9 days now and I’m amazed at the difference in such a short space of time. The worst plaque on my leg, which measures approx 7cmc x 3cms is now 80% healed! it’s more like a graze than a scab, and all the plaques on my torso have gone, just a faint pink mark where they used to be. I still have about a dozen small plaques on my legs, but they are much better than before and healing rather than erupting. It’s such a shame I didn’t take before and after photos.
I’ve also been experimenting with black seed oil as a topical. I’ve been using homemade body butter as a general moisturiser for months, but have been applying black seed oil for the last 9 days to the biggest plaque (mentioned above) plus the one on my foot and another one on my leg. 2 of these have healed quickly, the third one, no more so than the others on my legs – whilst the plaques on my torso, where I hadn’t used the oil, have gone completely – which would suggest to me that it’s as a dietary supplement that the oil is of most benefit. I’m also very aware that psoriasis can come and go over the space of a few weeks for no apparent reason, so will monitor the progress and update again in a few weeks.