The Benefits, Guidelines, and Limits of Using Essential Oils for Psoriasis
Aromatherapy can be a great way to relax and recharge, but advocates insist mood enhancement and anxiety relief are just the tip of the iceberg.
Drawing from traditional plant-based medicine, aromatherapy principles, and personal experience, practitioners match specific essential oils to specific ailments — everything from insomnia to immune deficiency — to avoid pharmaceuticals.
While mainstream medicine has not embraced its claims or practices, there is some evidence to suggest using essential oils therapeutically could be helpful for some conditions, including skin conditions. Despite the lack of scientific support, you may want to explore certain tinctures to help manage your condition and nurture your skin.
Most Promising Essential Oils for Psoriasis
The essential oils used most often for psoriasis have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and soothing properties to tackle the uncomfortable skin irritation and inflammation. They can also be instrumental in your fight against stress, which tops the list of psoriasis triggers.
This widely used oil pops up in all sorts of beauty products, skin care products, and holistic concoctions, since it can clarify the skin so well. The oil is said to have antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, which may help to ward to psoriasis complications, like skin infections.
Tea tree oil’s anti-inflammatory properties make it a popular treatment for athlete’s foot, acne, and nail fungus, as well as psoriasis.
Though it’s typically used to energize the mind and calm digestion, peppermint oil has lesser-known qualities that can be especially useful for psoriasis sufferers. The menthol in the plant helps to relieve itch and irritation around psoriasis patches.
In fact, it’s also known to tame irritation around bug bites and blisters. Peppermint oil is potent, so don’t put the pure product right on the affected area of skin — you’ll need a carrier oil or water to thin it out first.
The gentle fragrance of lavender is a treat for the nose, but it can have immediate physical effects, too. From headaches and muscle pain to stubborn infections, lavender is a bit of a wonder herb.
The antibacterial properties team up with the relaxing compounds to fight the symptoms as well as the emotional source of psoriasis flare-ups. Lavender is also very versatile, so you can enjoy it in a number of ways.
Pine Bark Extract
One 2014 study reported that a specific type of pine bark extract, taken from the French maritime pine, can help make your other psoriasis treatments work better. It may also be able to reduce the number of treatments you need to manage your symptoms, which might be owed to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Keep in mind that the research is limited, and curative consequences aren’t guaranteed.
Essential oils have a variety of medicating compounds, but you might also recruit some everyday oils into your psoriasis care for more gentle relief.
Olive oil and coconut oil for psoriasis treatment are particularly useful as moisturizers for flaky, dehydrated skin and scalps. The best part is you can use them liberally either externally or internally, and they’re very affordable. Either would make a good carrier oil for your essential oil applications.
Next page: how to use essential oils on your skin.