Diet plays a very important role in natural (holistic) healing of psoriasis. Impaired liver, poor digestive system, food sensitivity, genetic problems, high consumption of alcohol and tobacco and high level of stress- all this can increase the level of toxins in your body. Due to the inability of your weakened liver to remove these toxins, your skin would eliminate these toxins from your body in the form of psoriasis patches.
A restricted psoriasis diet which is easy to digest, helps in body detoxification and boost your body immunity is highly recommendable. It would include a lot of raw fruits, green vegetables and whole grain foods. And you would need to avoid certain foods- animal fats like dairy, eggs and red meat; allergy causing foods like wheat gluten and nightshades; highly processed junk foods rich in sugar, salt and saturated fats (pizza, burger, hot dog, bakery, fried foods and all foods made up from refined white flour); tea, coffee and other sweetened carbonated drinks. Of course, you would need to limit your consumption of alcohol and tobacco (smoking) also.
Due to such a restriction on drinks like- tea, coffee, cold drinks, milk- a lot of would inquire for a natural drink which is tasty, appetizing and doesn’t have any harmful effect on psoriasis. There are herbal teas like yellow saffron tea, slippery elm, green tea, lemon-ginger tea. All these teas are easily available and they have a healing effect on psoriasis.
Apart from these herbal teas, there is a natural drink which you can consume in liberal quantities without any worry. This natural drink is easily available in the market and you can make it yourself at your home also. It is a well recognized remedy for various gut related issues like acidity, gas, bloating, constipation and indigestion. I am talking about buttermilk.
In Ayurveda, buttermilk is advised to treat various diseases associated with inflammation and digestive disorders like psoriasis, arthritis and piles.
What is Buttermilk
Buttermilk is basically the residual liquid left after butter is churned out of cream. It has a sour taste and people drink it either plain or with some spices like crushed curry leaves, cumin powder, coriander leaves along with salt.
The process of commercial production of buttermilk is a little different. It is prepared by adding probiotic bacteria like Lactobacillus bulgaricus to low fat milk. These bacteria help in fermentation of milk and make it sour. Then water is added to this milk and blended to get buttermilk. Well, it is a commercial production process and if you want to make fresh buttermilk at home, it is very simple. Just take one part curd and add 3 parts of water in it and blend this mixture well with a blender. It is always good to drink plain buttermilk without any sugar or salt. If you feel uncomfortable, then add a little salt with other spices like curry leaves, coriander leaves, cumin powder etc. Please avoid adding sugar in it. We all know the harmful effects of refined white sugar.
Read more: White sugar is bad for Psoriasis
Benefits of buttermilk for psoriasis becomes more obvious when we add gut friendly herbs like coriander leaves, curry leaves, mint leaves, cumin powder in it.
These days, fresh buttermilk of any trusted dairy brand is easily available in the market. However, most of the commercially available buttermilk brands use pasteurized milk. Pasteurization involves boiling the milk at high temperature which strips off the inherent probiotics, digestives enzymes and many nutrients to virtually leave the milk “dead.” Also, pasteurization increases the acidic pH of the milk. Hence, it is always better to prepare your own buttermilk from low-fat, non pasteurized milk. Alternatively, you can use raw milk supplied by a local dairy farm. Whatever is easily available and suits your budget. The bottom line is- the raw material (milk) should be as pure as possible without any processing (pasteurization) and contaminants.
Milk vs Buttermilk
In general, milk and other dairy products are not allowed in a psoriasis diet. The reason being- milk contains lactose sugar and high amount of proteins (casein and whey). Due to compromised gut health, lactose and casein can prove troublesome. If your gut doesn’t have enough lactase enzymes to break down lactose, then you are suffering from lactose intolerance. It can cause gastric troubles like gas, bloating and diarrhea.
Casein poses more complex troubles. Casein is the second most common food allergen only after wheat gluten. Just like gluten, casein is also a protein which is hard to digest. More than 50% of the people with gluten sensitivity also suffer from casein intolerance. The undigested casein protein can make its way into the bloodstream through damaged gut linings and trigger an autoimmune response to make your psoriasis worse. Hence, to be on the safer side, it is suggested to avoid milk and other dairy products till your symptoms improve.
But in case of buttermilk, things are different. There is no lactose sugar in buttermilk. The probiotic bacteria in buttermilk convert lactose sugar into lactic acid. as it is a residual product out of milk- the amount of protein is almost one-third than milk. Also, Moreover, it is enriched with healthy gut bacteria (probiotics) which combats the growth of
Also, as it is a residual product out of milk- the amount of protein is almost one-third than milk which are processed fairly well with the help of probiotics supplied by the buttermilk itself. Moreover, it is enriched with healthy gut bacteria (probiotics) which combats the growth of
Buttermilk is enriched with healthy gut bacteria (probiotics) which combats the growth of disease causing microbes in your gut (fungi, viruses, yeast) to avoid infection and at the same time, these probiotics aid in proper digestion and absorption of food nutrients.
Hence, buttermilk is completely safe for you even if your digestive system is sensitive towards dairy products.
Nutritional content of buttermilk
Buttermilk is a rich source of various minerals, electrolytes and B complex vitamins.
One glass of buttermilk (250 ml) would provide you
|Nutrient||% of Daily requirement|
Buttermilk is an excellent source of calcium. Hence, if you are worried that restriction on milk can make you deficient in calcium, then buttermilk is a perfect drink for you.
Benefits of buttermilk for Psoriasis
Buttermilk is a natural drink which have probiotic bacteria and other healthy micro organisms. Also, it is very low in fats and calories and easy to digest. It has a cooling effect on your body and reduce the irritation in your intestinal linings.
Various benefits of drinking buttermilk for psoriasis are:
- Buttermilk is a universal remedy for acidity and heartburn. Acidity (acid reflux) and heartburn are caused due to upward flow of stomach acids from stomach towards the throat. When this upward stomach acid touch the inner linings of food pipe, you feel a burning sensation. Buttermilk neutralizes excessive stomach acid. Also, the lactic acid in buttermilk helps in controlling the formation of excessive stomach acids.
Read more: Relation between acidity and Psoriasis
- Buttermilk contains probiotic bacteria and micro-organisms which aid in digestion. These healthy bacteria and microbes help in maintaining a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut. They prevent over population of unhealthy bacteria and hence, help in eliminating the problem of Candida (yeast infection) also. A healthy gut balance boosts your body immunity also. Also, when you add spices like ginger, cumin powder, pepper, coriander leaves in your glass of buttermilk- it further enhances your digestion because all these spices are excellent for digestion.
- Buttermilk is more than 90% water. It has a cooling effect on your body. It helps in pacifying the excessive heat in your body and increase the water element in your body. Release of excessive heat from your body would ease your digestive system and calm down your immune system. Increase in water element in your body would help in moisturizing your skin from inside. All these effects would definitely have a healing effect on your psoriasis.
- When you have a meal filled with a lot of oils and fat, these oils and fats coats the inner lining of your food pipe. Drinking a glass of buttermilk would help in washing down the oils and fats and hence, helps in body detoxification. Similarly, after a heavy meal, drinking buttermilk would ensure that you don’t feel gas or bloating.
- Buttermilk contains salt (added salt), electrolytes and water. It fights dehydration and prevent the problem of dry skin. Also, it has a cooling effect on your body. Hence, beat the heat of summer with buttermilk instead of those unhealthy carbonated cold drinks.
- Buttermilk is very low in calories and carbohydrates. But, it is enriched in various minerals, electrolytes and vitamins. It would provide you necessary nutrients without piling up the calories in your body. Drinking buttermilk instead of carbonated cold drinks, milk and other calorie enriched drinks would help in weight loss. And, we all know that weight loss would always help in relieving psoriasis symptoms also.
External application of buttermilk
Apart from drinking, buttermilk can be applied externally on your skin to treat various skin conditions including psoriasis. Being a coolant, buttermilk can be applied on the skin to treat sunburn.
In case of scalp psoriasis, rinsing the scalp with buttermilk can relieve the inflammation. Similarly, you can soak a cloth with buttermilk and put that cloth on various parts of your body covered with psoriasis flakes to relieve the symptoms. But, if your psoriasis affected skin is having cracks, then buttermilk can enter your skin through these cracks and aggravate the problem. Hence, please apply buttermilk on a small portion first and check the effect before applying it all over the body.
Read more: Shampoo and hair mask for Scalp Psoriasis