Psoriasis is one of the most intractable conditions to treat for both conventional and alternative medicine. However, recent research indicates that Pycnogenol® a standardized extract from French maritime pine tree bark, significantly improved some of the discomforting symptoms of of this condition including redness, flaking, and thickness of the total surface area of the affected skin patches. Standard treatment protocols involve anti-inflammatory medications and sometimes drugs such as methotrexate or immune-suppressing agents, particularly in psoriatic arthritis, a condition where psoriasis and arthritis, particularly of the fingers, toes and lower spine, seem to run together..
While the present study focussed on the pine bark extracts, grape seed extracts contain essentially the same factors, known as PCO’s, a particular phytochemical from a family of compounds known as flavonoids. Supplementation doses of 100 to 300 mg daily can be helpful for a wide variety of condition, with research showing benefits for:
- Atherosclerosis, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes
- Attention Deficit Disorder
- Male Infertility
- Menopausal symptoms
- Periodontal disease
- Varicose veins, venous insufficiency and capillary fragility
- Visual function, retinopathy and macular degeneration
The Psoriasis study involved seventy-three individuals with moderate to severe psoriasis. The study lasted twelve weeks and the dosage of pine bark extract was fifty milligrams three times daily.
Seventy-three patients (age range 30-45) with moderate/severe plaque psoriasis were included in a 12-week study. Patients either received “standard drug management” alone or with Pycnogenol® at a dosage of 150 mg/day (50 mg three times daily).
Over 12 weeks, the addition of Pycnogenol® was shown to decrease the area of skin affected, reduce the intensity of the affected areas and reduce the reliance on medication.
Fish oil has also been shown to be quite valuable for psoriasis. For vegetarians, this can be replaced by algae based EPA and DHA rich oils. I strongly recommend supplementation by vegetarians of these modern algae based oils, as EPA and DHA are extremely deficient in vegetarians and this deficiency is associated with a very wide range of health issues.
Other recommendation for Psoriasis are:
- A great concentrated green powder, such as Univera’s Metagreens.
- Herbs for Liver health. A great product is Liver Support by AOR (See products section)
Belcaro G, Luzzi R, Hu S, et al. Improvement in signs and symptoms in psoriasis patients with Pycnogenol® supplementation. Panminerva Med. 2014;56(1):41-8.
Thanks to Dr. Michael Murray.