Saturday, July 08, 2006

Psoriasis Alternative Treatment: Slippery Elm

So, I've been doing quite a bit of online research lately into alternative treatments for psoriasis. I've come across some pretty wild and wacky stuff, but there was one treatment that seemed worth a shot - powdered slippery elm bark.

Basically, the theory as I understand it goes like this . . . Those who suffer from psoriasis are having their immune system triggered by something. No one is really sure. However, many people with psoriasis have also found that they have a condition known as "leaky gut." This is when the stomach lining is weak and allows stuff from the stomach to pass into the blood stream instead of being digested and passed through the intestines and out of the body. Some people believe that the 'toxins' in the blood stream are what cause the immune reaction. Slippery Elm, when mixed with water and drank helps to line the stomach, preventing the 'toxins' from entering the blood stream and thus easing/reducing psoriasis.

Now, today I'm feeling too lazy to put in links, but you can read more by googling. Or, if you want a more specific place to check The National Psoriasis Foundation website has a few topics about it on their message boards.

So, I started checking my local Alive store for powdered slippery elm bark. Last week, they finally had some in stock. So, I've been starting my experiments. Now, I don't expect to see results for a while. And actually, I just came down with a cold, which will probably have a worsening effect on my psoriasis that will cancel out anything the slippery elm does for the first bit. But, here's what I've found so far.

Stuff to know about slippery elm:

  • It's a mucilaginous substance - basically, when mixed with a liquid, it takes on the consistency of slime. There are other, more colourful ways to describe it, but I'll let you use your own imagination for those.
  • Ok, I guess that was the only important fact to know, but I wanted at least one more point here.

Day 1: I tried to brew it like a tea. Scoop of powder + hot water and stir.

Problems - this stuff REALLY DOESN'T DISSOLVE WELL! It looks like a super fine powder, but as soon as you add water, it starts to clump up. Had to sip big slippery chunks past my lips = very unpleasant. However, unlike some of the other things I've tried (fish/flax oil) there is no strong taste!

Day 2: I brewed it like tea but used a little hand blender to help mix. Smoother consistency this way.

Problems - it's still too hot to drink quickly so you sip it. However, sipping it makes you suck the stuff between your lips, and the texture is still bothersome.

Day 3: Mixed with grapefruit juice and used a little hand blender to help mix.

Problems - ok, despite a lot of mixing with the blender, most of it was left in a big glob at the bottom of the glass. However, because it was cold, I could totally just gulp it down. I think I may have to try blending with hot water first, and then adding cold water/juice to cool it down enough to gulp. Then I should have no problems with it!

The bonus with this stuff is that it also lessens my sore throat symptoms! Yippee! I hate sore throats!

1 comment:

Dynamitedianne said...

you are a brave woman! keep it up!