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Herbal Medicine Didn’t Work
I'm not quite
sure how to word this email so forgive me if it comes out garbled (I'm
dashing it off during my lunch break at work).
I've had the
dreaded P for 24 years now. It
started off on the scalp, progressing to the elbows where it stayed
contained for a number of years, not attacking my hands until about 10
Last year I
decided to have a go with Chinese herbal medicine (November 2002).
The doctor (who didn't speak English very well) prescribed 6 bags
of herbs a week. By Christmas
I started to get lesions where they had never been before — all over my
stomach (guttate), inside of elbows, wrists, groin, buttocks, back,
underarms, behind knees, inside of thighs, ears and on top of my hands.
The accompanying pain and discomfort has been pretty miserable.
Every time I
told the herbalist that the itching was getting worse he would tell me
"your blood stimulating." When
I told him the psoriasis was spreading alarmingly I was told "it
would spread even more if you stopped Chinese medicine."
Finally I'd had enough and changed herbalists to an English
speaking herbalist. He told me
that the itching should have ceased within weeks of taking Chinese herbs.
He also told me, as my bowels were stubborn, that could be making
things worse. I've suffered
chronic constipation for about 6 years now, and that's because 6 years ago
I joined AA because of my excessive and out of control drinking.
I think that must prove that alcohol is definitely a natural
ever had any success at all with Chinese medicine?
There isn't much on your site about P sufferers who have gone the
whole course of it. Most
people give up after a few weeks, and who can blame them, the taste of the
stuff is foul, but I'm pretty strong willed and determined.
I'm still taking the medicine and this time the itching has calmed
though, enough is enough and I've now decided to go and see a
dermatologist next week and God knows what he'll prescribe.
I've had every steroid ointment and cream known to mankind over the
years and they just don't work any more.
I've also had Dovonex which is a waste of time in my opinion.
There are quite a number of people I see who are on methotrexate.
My question is, does anyone know if methotrexate is prescribed for
P in the UK? I think the
majority of contributors to your web site are in the States aren't they
and usually what's available there isn't available in the UK?
By the way,
I've just joined the Curezone.com website and have been wandering around
the various forums and it would seem that a few people have had some
success with the Lemonade Fast Diet. I'm
not ready to try that one yet though as it looks pretty tough :-(
Response: Thanks for spending
your lunch hour with us, Trish. Your email was not at all garbled. I hope
my response won’t be. I’ll
move backwards through your letter.
Had never heard
of the “Lemonade Fast Diet.” For
other readers, if you’re interested in learning about this diet, which
is also called a “master cleanser” diet and appears similar to many
purgative diets promoted by naturopaths and chiropractic doctors, here is
a page from which to start at Curezone.com:
methotrexate, I do believe it has been long-prescribed for psoriasis in
the U.K. Your dermatologist
(whom you’ve seen by the time you read this) will have filled you in on
it and, perhaps, prescribed it for you.
For whatever it’s worth, in the U.S. many dermatologists are
hesitant to prescribe systemics like methotrexate unless a flaker’s P is
severe or they are having major emotional problems dealing with less
severe P. Before prescribing
it, your derm will probably have your blood tested to determine if your
liver functions are normal. He
will also want to be assured that you will not use alcohol while
undergoing methotrexate therapy.
Chinese herbal therapy, I don’t think I can point to a piece of
correspondence or hearsay from anyone who has “gone the whole course”
with this therapy and achieved clearance.
Several years ago, Dr. Koo, who practices conventional western
medicine at the University of
California at San Francisco's Psoriasis Treatment Center in San
Francisco, wrote about Chinese therapy in a National Psoriasis Foundation
newsletter (click here for more
correspondence about this). Koo
concluded after his study that it would probably be wise for westerners to
stick to western remedies. He
inferred that Chinese herbal treatments were so dependent on physiological
and cultural variables (like diet) unique to China it was unfair to assume
someone with significantly different physiology and diet would react
Best of luck, Trish. Do let us know what your derm prescribes and how you respond. -Ed