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Back to Camp and an Herbal Remedy
from Roger D.

Hi Ed, I haven't written since last fall, mostly because nothing much has been happening "down my way." I've been following the site closely and found a lot of interesting reading over the past few months. Dedo's comment on "spring and sunshine" hit home, as you can imagine it would. My wife and I will be taking our first trip to camp in late April and we can't wait.

My own P has been rougher than normal this winter. I usually have little problem in the cold weather months, but this year seems different, so I really need the sun exposure more than usual. I sure would like to see a few more of us P types show up at camp this summer. The sun and relaxation does wonders for both body and soul. [Roger's camp is a nudist camp, see references in Ed's Response, below. -Ed]

I received the following in an e-mail from my sister. Have you ever heard of this combination, or of the theory concerning an unclean liver? It was certainly new to me:

Believe it or not, skin disorders such as these come from an unclean liver (from toxins). Start with:

Burdock root - 2 to 3 a day
Milk Thistle - 2 to 3 a day
Primrose - 2 to 3 a day
Vitamin D - 1 a day

After a month or so increase your dosage to:

Burdock root - 3 pills 3 times a day
Milk Thistle - 3 pills 3 times a day
Primrose - 2 to 3 daily
Vitamin D - 2 a day

It may take about 3 months to begin to see results. One thing about herbal remedies: they won't hurt you, even if they don't help you. But I figure: Why not try it? You never know what might work.

Look forward to hearing from you, Ed, and I won't forget your picture postcard from camp this year. -Roger D.

*****

Previous Correspondence from Roger D:

T-shirts for Coping 
Nudist Flaker 
More from Nudist Flaker 
Banker Poses No Challenge to Our Nudist Friend 

Ed’s Response: Why is it when the weather warms up I always think of you ... whether you write or not?

Thanks for sending along the herbal recipe. There is a rather large school of flakers who equate dirty livers (toxic livers, whatever) and flaking. However, a search for "herbs" here at FlakeHQ yields little. A search for "psoriasis and herbs" under skin-diseases at The Skin Page yielded 251 discussion board postings on the subject. Further, a search for "psoriasis and herbs and liver" returned 41 hits including this excerpt from Ed Anderson’s reply to one post mentioning Milk thistle:

Many people are getting some help using various herbs, such as mahonia aquifolium (oregon grape) and others that contain berberine. Milk thistle (silymarin) has been recommended for a healthy liver. There's a recent Medline report that silicic acid (silica), probably in the form of springtime horsetail (equisetum), was effective in a small double blind trial at reducing psoriasis, "clearing" nail P, and reducing PA joint pain by half. It might be worth a try. -Ed Anderson

A lot of the references to psoriasis and herbs I encountered here and via The Skin Page related herbal therapy and Chinese medicine, often in conjunction with acupuncture or acupressure. I had my brush with that back in the mid-nineties.

I’m on record* as a believer in the effective treatment of P via diet and dietary supplements, but not exactly in the manner most proponents prescribe. I think that, given a plan, enough time, persistence, and access to potable stuff, you could probably change just about any physiological function including bad ones like flaking. (Perhaps you couldn’t regenerate amputated limbs or repair broken nerve pathways.) This thought of mine emerges from my even more fundamental belief that we are what we eat. My problem with most of the radical diets and the heavy dietary supplements routines — and I would consider the herb recipe you have forwarded "moderately heavy" — is that they may not be natural at all and they may not be harmless, either. I find it impossible to accept that something powerful enough to stop my flaking couldn’t also be powerful enough to do something else that might be bad. (I also believe in yin/yang, actions/reactions and karma.) With regard to "natural," since when does the fact that something can be extracted from nature without human processing make it beneficial and/or harmless?

(Taking a moment off for deep breathing....)

Okay. Not to rant. All the stuff on the shelves in the dietary supplement and health food stores is probably pretty harmless is modest doses, but six, seven, eight, nine pills a day? I wonder, is it "natural" for me to have so much of whatever in my system? And, do we know as much about what two-tons a day of Milk thistle will do to a person as we do about what 20 milligrams of Methotrexate a week will do?

Some of us remember the media brouhaha in the sixties/seventies over researchers unrealistically megadosing lab animals with substances like saccharine. Figuratively speaking, hapless rodents were consuming the equivalent of two-tons of Milk thistle and when it killed them the masters concluded "Milk thistle is toxic." Somebody else wanted to know if it was toxic at a few grams a day and we were informed that would take too long to find out. When objections were raised the counter scare was, Would you rather we don’t do the ‘accelerated affects experiment’ and let you become the lab rat? Here, take this stuff and come back in twenty years if (as George Carlin put it) your left leg grows longer than your right one.

This is an exaggerated pointer to the difficulties of knowing about dietary remedies. You drill down that far into our fundamental metabolic processes and true knowledge may take generations to corroborate. Personally, I think nutritionists and dietitians are missing the boat if they don’t pursue a double major in anthropology. Chemistry and biology are part of the story, but if you really want to know what the effects are of chewing live dung beetles instead of DoubleMint gum, go find a culture that’s been doing it for many generations.

And talking about anthropology, Roger D., as you mentioned at the beginning of your email, now is the time of year when you re-engage in that ageless culture of hibition. Someone needed to invent that word which means, of course, the opposite of inhibition. And, as usual, I await the postcard. Have fun! -Ed

* Are We What We Eat?

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