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Chinese Medicine for Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a complex skin condition that affects over 125 million people worldwide. Along with characteristic itching and lesions, this condition can also cause long-term scarring, stress, anxiety, and joint pain.

To help manage symptoms and improve skin health, many of those people look to Chinese medicine for psoriasis treatment.

Chinese medicine offers a more natural approach than Western medicine treatments like steroids or oral anti-inflammatory medications. Here, we’ll share more about how Chinese medicine can help you overcome psoriasis symptoms and improve your overall health. 

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a frustrating condition that causes inflammation and raised plaques (or scales) on the skin. Psoriasis plaques tend to develop on the elbows, knees, and scalp most commonly. The severity is measured by pasi scores to determine how thick and inflamed the psoriasis area is. They may itch, burn, and sting.  .

At its root, plaque psoriasis is an immune condition. An overactive immune system increases systemic inflammation and speeds up skin cell growth. While normal skin cells grow and shed in a month’s time, psoriatic skin cells go through this cycle in only 3 or 4 days. Instead of falling off, they pile up on the surface of the skin, causing the characteristic plaques.

Aside from irritated skin, psoriasis causes inflammatory issues in other parts of the body, too. In fact, one-third of people with psoriasis also have psoriatic arthritis, a condition that causes swelling, stiffness, and pain in the joints. 

There is no cure, but there are many different ways to treat psoriasis to reduce symptoms. Western medicine offers topical ointments, oral supplements, phototherapy. Chinese medicine, too, has much to offer to reduce psoriatic plaques and skin lesions. Let’s find out how! 

Does Chinese Medicine Work for Psoriasis?

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been treating skin diseases like psoriasis for thousands of years. Now, modern research (including double-blind clinical trials) confirms that Chinese herbs, acupuncture, and other TCM therapies are effective in managing psoriasis and improving the quality of life for those affected. 

Here’s how: 

Chinese medicine reduces inflammation.

Inflammation is often at the root of disease. When it comes to psoriasis, inflammation is not just at the root of the itching and pain, but a main contributing factor to the immune response that causes the excessive build-up of psoriatic plaques.

Thankfully, Chinese herbal medicine is a powerful natural way to reduce inflammation and promote healthier cell turnover. Many herbs used in formulas for skin conditions are cooling and balancing (including herbs like Isatis and indigo naturalis). They also repair the damage done by chronic inflammatory processes.

Chinese medicine helps manage autoimmune diseases.

Psoriasis is not a condition limited to the skin. It is a complex condition that is directly linked to an overactive autoimmune response.

Autoimmune conditions can be tricky to manage, but clinical studies show that Chinese medicine has much to offer. Because Chinese medicine works with the body to restore balance, we can keep the immune system in check without suppressing it entirely.

Chinese medicine supports the whole body.

Psoriasis is a systemic issue that requires a whole-body approach. Chinese herbal medicine helps to bring all the organ systems in balance and treat the root causes of psoriatic inflammation, psoriatic arthritis, and other symptoms that come along with the classic skin lesions.

Scalp Psoriasis and Chinese Medicine

Scalp psoriasis occurs when plaques form on the scalp and around the ears. Usually, people with scalp psoriasis also have psoriatic arthritis.

 Chinese medicine can help reduce scalp itching and keep arthritic pain and inflammation under control. Herbal topicals, shampoos, and soaks can enhance the effects of oral supplements. 

Chinese Medicine for Psoriasis Treatment 

Chinese medicine offers many options to help reduce the growth of psoriatic plaques. Depending on your presentation and other accompanying symptoms, here are some ways TCM can help:

Chinese Herbs for Psoriasis 

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Stop Itching

The Great Wind Keeper formula helps to reduce itching symptoms and support the immune system. It is a widely used formula for any type of skin or immune condition. Because psoriasis is so closely tied to immune dysfunction, this formula is a great start for many people.

Inflammation Fighter:

Ban Lan Gen Tablets (use topically). If most of your symptoms are related to skin inflammation and you are relatively healthy outside of your psoriasis diagnosis, Ban Lan Gen tablets can help. These pills are highly anti-inflammatory. They include the famous Isatis root extract which is cold and antimicrobial.

To use for psoriasis, crush the tablets and mix with water or neem oil and apply to lesions as a paste.

Skin and Joint Support:

 Red Vessel Teapills
are particularly helpful if you suffer from blood stasis syndrome causing psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. This formula helps relieve pain and enhance circulation through the joints. It also reduces blood stagnation that causes thick, purplish, and painful psoriasis patches.

Chinese Herbal Tea for Psoriasis

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Clear & Smooth Skin Tea

This tea is an all-around great choice for skin health. It improves circulation, calms the skin, and encourages healthy skin cell turnover.

Daily Immunity Tea

Drink this tea daily to support healthy immune function and balance.

Triple Joint Relief Tea

Pair your Chinese herbal formula with this joint pain relief tea to help reduce the inflammation and pain associated with psoriatic arthritis.

Side Effects of Chinese Medicine for Psoriasis 

Thankfully, there are few negative side effects when taking Chinese medicine for psoriasis. In some cases, you may experience a minor change in digestion, like looser stools than normal. Nausea and increased urination is also possible. 

In most instances, these minor changes only last a few days. If you experience any allergic reactions or side effects that last longer than two days, stop taking the supplements and speak to your doctor or herbalist.

Calm Psoriasis Symtpoms with Chinese Herbal Medicine 

Psoriasis can be a tricky condition to manage, but it is possible with the help of Chinese medicine. From topical solutions to daily supplements and teas, Best Chinese Medicine has what you need to manage psoriasis symptoms naturally.  Shop our full collection of skin health formulas here!

Do you suffer from psoriasis? Let us know what your biggest challenges or questions are in the comments below! 

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About the Author

Kaitlan Downes, MSAOM, L.AC

Kaitlan Downes, MSAOM, L.AC

Kate Downes is a Chinese medicine practitioner with a passion for herbal medicine. In fact, it was her love for plant and earth medicine that first drew her to study Chinese medicine.

Kate has a MSAOM (Master of Science, Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine) certification and practiced acupuncture in Indianapolis, IN for five years before packing her bags to roam the world. In order to stay in touch with the wellness community and continue to help others thrive with herbal medicine, she transformed her work from face-to-face patient care to spreading wellness through words. Her life as a remote herbalist and writer has allowed her to work with a variety of wellness brands, health pioneers, and her wonderful clients. She has a special interest in working with women’s health.

Kate thoroughly enjoys writing educational and useful pieces for Best Chinese Medicine. Her goal is to help the public gain a better understanding of the wonders of Chinese herbal medicine so they can be empowered in their own quest for natural, vibrant health.

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