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How to Soothe Psoriasis with Cilantro

Munching on cilantro leaves is a simple home remedy that may help soothe psoriasis and clear the plaques; one may need to consume a few bunches.

Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition in which skin cells turn over far more quickly than usual. The plaques that form in places like elbows and knees can be red and unsightly and may be covered with silvery “scales” that are the dead skin cells. They are unsightly and frequently uncomfortable, as they can itch. Severe psoriasis may be associated with debilitating arthritis, but for many people with a mild case, the question is how to soothe psoriasis patches on the skin.

Will Unusual Remedy Keep Working?

Q. I have a bad case of psoriasis all over my legs, plus a little on my scalp and buttocks. When I read about cilantro for psoriasis on your website, I started eating lots of it.

At this point, I’ve seen great improvement. I would say that I’m 70 percent healed. If it keeps on working, I am willing to eat cilantro until my skin is really clear. I was feeling very depressed because the medicines weren’t working.

A. Several years ago, we heard from a reader about this remedy for psoriasis.

Here’s his method:

“I have been using this as needed for more than ten years. When I first notice small red patches, usually on my legs, I get two bunches of cilantro leaves and eat them over the next three days or so. The red spots go away.”

Unfortunately, we could find no clinical trials of cilantro against psoriasis back then. We still can’t, although it does seem to reduce inflammation (Inflammopharmacology, Aug. 2022).

There are people who can’t stand the taste of cilantro, but for those who tolerate or even like it, this remedy might be worth trying.

Cilantro Leaves to Soothe Psoriasis:

This may be the article that led our reader to try cilantro:

Q. I read a newspaper column that mentioned cilantro herb in the diet could be helpful for psoriasis. I tried this, adding fresh cilantro to my diet.

It is a very versatile herb and I was delighted to experience dramatic improvement in my psoriasis symptoms. BRAVO to you and the reader who originally gave the recommendation!

Properties of Cilantro:

A. We have not found any scientific studies of eating cilantro leaves (Coriandrum sativum) to control the redness and itching due to psoriasis. This green herb, also known as coriander, is reported to have significant antibacterial activity (Food Chemistry, March 15, 2009). It also has antioxidant properties and appears to protect the liver from injury and inflammation (Food & Chemical Toxicology, April 2009).

In addition, cilantro appears to have beneficial effects on muscle tissue (Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, online Oct. 9, 2015). It is not clear whether any of these biochemical properties would contribute to its ability to soothe psoriasis plaques.

Cilantro is a popular component of many cuisines, from southeast Asia and China to Latin America and the Mediterranean. Not everyone likes the taste of cilantro, however. For some people, the leaves taste like soap. They may wish to look for dietary supplements with cilantro in health food stores, although dried herb in capsules may not be as helpful as fresh leaves.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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