People's Pharmacy: Psoriasis responded to turmeric

The People's Pharmacy

Six months ago, my doctor diagnosed me with psoriasis and prescribed creams and lotions. I searched the Internet and found that some people use the spice turmeric to treat this skin problem. After one day taking turmeric, I quit the topicals, because my itching had stopped. Soon my psoriasis disappeared from my scalp, and my body has started to clear. Why don't doctors tell us about this remedy instead of just prescribing topical drugs?

Doctors like evidence. While there are many testimonials on the benefits of the yellow spice turmeric or its active ingredient curcumin, placebo-controlled trials are inconclusive (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, April 2008).

Taking turmeric is not always safe. Some people develop an allergic reaction, and patients on Coumadin should avoid turmeric because of a possible interaction.

After reading about beet juice for hypertension, I purchased fermented beet juice from my health food store. I mixed it with equal parts of apple juice and drank it twice a day. The result was immediate and unbelievable!

Although I have not gone off my blood pressure meds at this point, the reading is low (110/67). After realizing how powerful beet juice is, I decided to cut back to 2 ounces mixed with 2 ounces of apple juice. The results are the same, and I couldn't be happier.

The most recent research shows that a cup of beet juice lowers blood pressure significantly in men (Hypertension, August 2010). Women do not respond as strongly.

Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist, and Teresa Graedon is an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition.

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