teapot with two small cups

Q. Your readers did it again! I’ve been drinking oolong tea for over a month now, and the patches of psoriasis have disappeared along with the flaking. I still have a couple of areas that need some ointment now and then but overall I can wear shorts now without being embarrassed about my skin. (My skinny legs are another matter.) Thanks.

A. A study more than a decade ago in Japan found that oolong tea was effective in easing treatment-resistant eczema (Archives of Dermatology, Jan. 2001), but we have found no studies of oolong tea for psoriasis. The subjects in the eczema study drank a liter a day, or approximately four cups.

Oolong tea is intermediate between green and black tea in the amount of fermentation/oxidation the leaves undergo. It is also intermediate in caffeine content. Some people find that they need to acquire a taste for oolong tea, while others take to it immediately.

Several visitors to our website have reported that drinking oolong tea eased their psoriasis. Others have noted that turmeric or cilantro also can be helpful. You’ll find a number of natural approaches to psoriasis in The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies, from National Geographic.

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  1. Jenna

    I’ve been drinking loose leaf GABA Oolong tea for a month and I’ve seen a big difference in my P, it almost immediately takes down the inflammation. I also drank regular Oolong tea first didn’t see much of a change but the GABA I see my inflammation within a day. Get a good well know quality loose leaf GABA.

  2. MANGEN S.
    Kampala, Uganda

    I have been with psoriasis for over a decade. Tried all sorts of medications to no avail, and had to settle on a steroid (DERMOVATE) which has made my skin so thin besides bleaching it. Am so grateful for the People’s Pharmacy, am gonna look for these remedies though they may be rare in my country. Thank you People’s Pharmacy.

  3. Erin

    Sharon! Please don’t disappear like that! We need you! LOL. I’ve had psoriasis covering over 50% of my body for 20 years. I’m getting married next year and want to start NOW! What brand of Oolong tea worked for you? Please please share!

  4. JA

    Yes, which brand works?

  5. Barbara B.

    I, too, have had psoriasis that seems to be worse as time goes by. I’ve tried multiple medications, phototherapy, and various home remedies with little success. I’d like to know what brand of oolong tea works for this problem.

  6. Ann B

    I too would like to know the brand of oolong tea that works best for a lot of your readers. I have a friend that has had psoriasis for nearly all of his life and would like to help him. Do you use l tea bag per cup for hot tea and, if making a quart of tea for iced tea, would you use 4 bags?

  7. Natalie

    can you tell me which brand of oolong tea works the best and where I can buy it?

  8. Chantel

    I too would love to know the brand of oolong tea to get! Thanks!

  9. Kim

    Can you please tell me what brand of oolong tea you purchased and where you found it? I have a bad case of psoriasis and the medications prescribed are just too expensive. I will try anything at this point. Thanks so much!

  10. Branko J.

    As Sharon said there are different brands of oolong tea. I am wondering if Sharon or anybody else can tell me what is right one. After 25 years of suffering I still hope that natural remedy exist. Thank you so much and all blessings.

  11. Sharon B.

    I have had psoriasis for years and tried many ointments, creams and other medications without much success. I read about drinking oolong tea in your column in my local paper and since I drink tea year around (iced in the summer, hot in the winter), I thought I’d try it. My local grocery store didn’t have oolong tea so I went to a large Asian market that had a varied selection of different brands. After trying them, I discovered that they are NOT all the same and suspect that some teas labeled oolong are really some other kind of tea or at least an inferior variety. Some were weaker than others and had almost no taste at all. Those brands had no effect, so the psoriasis came back.
    I did finally identify a brand that clears it up, it is a stronger tea with a distinctive taste which I do enjoy. I drink 2 to 3 cups a day.
    I thought your readers might find this information useful.

  12. Chaindropz

    My wife’s eye doctor recommended Barleans filtered flax seed oil for dry eye. she takes one ounce twice a day for dry eye. She was also plagued with flaking to red oozing skin on her hand which was psoriasis. The flax seed oil made the psoriasis disappear. This is expensive and unpleasant. Good luck with the tea.

  13. S.

    I battled psoriasis on my scalp for over a year. When I read about oolong tea on this website, I bought Twinings oolong tea bags at the grocers. It seemed to begin soothing the itching & burning after a day or 2. By the end of 3 weeks all of the symptoms had disappeared. I can’t thank you & your readers enough!

  14. Jessie B

    Thank you so much for this information. After a long awaited trip to the allergist came up with zero information about my condition– hives, eczema, a combination of the 2, I have no idea– I started scouting around for info. I found this site chock full of helpful info, in general, and specifically about the meds the allergist wanted me to take.
    I started digging further to find any possible treatments I haven’t yet tried. I’m an herbalist and have used several different remedies, which help in the short term, but the issue keeps coming back. Now this– to hear that a staple tea in my home may provide relief? THANK YOU!!!
    Now I’m off to make a pot of Oolong. Thanks again!!

  15. MP

    Are we talking about orindary tea bag oolong tea found in super markets? It isn’t too difficult find which makes me wonder if this is a specialty tea. I have something called “age related eczema” that has short term response to the several cortisone based ointments that have been prescribed. My skin is already very thin and I am concerned (as well as puzzled) about having to use these products long term.
    How do you use cilentro?
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: It is ordinary oolong tea. Some supermarkets carry it, and others do not.
    As for the cilantro, here is a link: http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2013/02/18/accidental-discovery-eases-psoriasis/

  16. ARS

    I have previously had bouts with psoriasis and want to learn more. Thanks for this information of where to find the oolong tea.

  17. Anonymous

    I really want to know more as I have had some many months long break-outs with psoriasis.

  18. LFC

    I suffered for years with the most horrible eczema on my hands and scalp. It continued to spread to portions of my face. I was so embarrassed to shake hands or to cook without wearing gloves.
    My dermatologist continued prescribing the latest medications on the market to treat my symptoms. The last one cost $600 and insurance paid $400 leaving me with a $200 out of pocket expense. Like all the other meds it worked for a short time.
    The first time I read about oolong tea in your column I tried to purchase the tea in my local grocery. Another lady was also trying to find it to no avail. I looked in other grocery stores when I could remember and then forgot about it until another reader wrote in about their experience with oolong tea. This time I went to an Asian market and found the tea.
    After drinking 6-8 ounces of the tea daily for one week, the results were dramatic. My hands began to clear up! I no longer had open sores. To further prove that it was the oolong tea, I took a trip out of the country and did not have the tea with me or any way to obtain the tea. The eczema returned. When I returned home I began drinking the tea again and it has cleared up my hands completely.
    My hands look so good now compared to before that my manicurist has recommended oolong tea to all of her clients with eczema and she uses me as her example.
    I must admit I was a skeptic and the only reason I tried to find the tea in the first place was out of desperation. When the second reader confirmed the first article and when I had a $200 out of pocket expense for a prescription to treat my eczema I became more desperate and I am living proof that this simple inexpensive tea worked for me.
    Thank you so much! I won’t ever be without my oolong tea!

  19. M

    I might suggest to add Clintro to tea to further eliminate this issue.

  20. pamela t.

    Hi Joe and Terry,
    I am so interested in the health benefits of tea grown in Japan, but have a new concern after watching a video on YouTube. The post came from someone analyzing matcha tea for radioactive isotopes. The results are concerning, especially given the corresponding news that radiation leaks from earthquake-damage nuclear reactors are worse than previously thought. Can you recommend a safer source for oolong and green teas?
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: There is a lot of good tea grown in India or even China, including oolong and green varieties. There is a little bit of tea grown in the US, but mostly that is sold as black or flavored tea.
    An online site like Teavana or Republic of Tea should be able to tell you where the tea was grown. Matcha is probably out, as it is exclusively from Japan.

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