While surfing the net for information on essential oils, I came across a forum which had a post regarding Psoriasis and the use of essential oils. It said: “Avoid oils which promote cell regeneration as the psoriasis symptoms are caused by excessive cell growth. Lavender essential oil, and shea butter are just two of the oils to avoid”.
I have no idea whether this person was a trained Aromatherapist or not and as I wasn’t a member of the forum, I was unable to get involved in the discussion and ask more information about what they had said. I went and had a look in my books for other oils which are cell regenerators and came up with a long list but some of these oils were also listed as being beneficial for Psoriasis. This confused me somewhat.
MedicineNet.com describes Psoriasis as “a noncontagious common skin condition that causes rapid skin cell reproduction resulting in red, dry patches of thickened skin. The dry flakes and skin scales are thought to result from the rapid buildup of skin cells. Psoriasis commonly affects the skin of the elbows, knees, and scalp.”
On the WebMD website it says that a variety of factors can cause an episode of psoriasis “ranging from emotional stress and trauma to dry skin and streptococcal infection.” They also report that “80% of people having flare-ups report a recent emotional trauma, such as a new job or the death of a loved one. Many doctors believe such external stressors serve as triggers for an inherited defect in immune function.”
I contacted the Psoriasis Association to see if they could assist me on which products I should and shouldn’t use with psoriasis. I know Shea butter isn’t an essential oil but was interested that it has cell regenerating properties. The Psoriasis Association commented that “many people with psoriasis do use it [Shea butter] due to its intense moisturising properties.” They couldn’t comment on individual essential oils as they said “unfortunately there has been very little research into the use of essential oils and psoriasis.”
I contacted the Aromatherapy Council to see if they could help me further. They suggested that I “should not look at the condition in isolation but look at the whole picture and blend oils to suit the individual at the time of treatment.” As a holistic therapist, this is something that I do naturally. Although lavender and other essential oils maybe cell regenerators (cytophylactic) they will only stimulate the growth of healthy cells so are therefore ok to use.
Essential Oils which can help Psoriasis include bergamot, clary sage, thyme, tea tree, cajuput, niaouli, lavender, chamomile, geranium, juniper, melissa, sandalwood, frankincense, benzoin, myrrh, and rose.
Carrier Oils which can help Psoriasis include avocado, carrot seed, jojoba, sesame, and wheatgerm.