Psoriasis Smells! Use Aromatherapy and Essential Oils To Make It Better

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The human nose is an amazing instrument. Every single day we use it to inhale and exhale an average of 23,000 times. Every breath pulls fragrant molecules out of the air, carries them into our nostrils and delivers their messages to our olfactory systems.

Every cycle causes a chain-reaction of events. It begins with an object releasing odor molecules into the air that eventually get swept into the nose, where they float down onto the olfactory nerves and send out their smelly messages to the limbic system of the brain, where our memories and emotions reside.

That is why, whenever you smell the warm aroma of a golden, freshly baked loaf of bread, you might remember that small bakery you used to run to everyday as a child, or reminisce about your grandma’s home-made baguette.

Apart from that, the limbic system also includes a complex structure known as the hypothalamus, which is a control area that regulates our internal state. This is where the sweet smell of aromatherapy drifts into the picture, as it is this process that provides the therapeutic foundation for using different fragrances to treat psoriasis.

Which Essential Oils are the Best for Psoriasis?

The following essential oils are all great for psoriasis as they help to oxygenate, rejuvenate, nourish and heal damaged skin!

1. Tea Tree Oil, also known as melaleuca oil, is renowned for its special remedial properties and has been used by Australian Aborigines for hundreds of years. Apart from chewing on its leaves, the aborigines used it for treating many skin-ailments, such as burns, cuts, and psoriasis! This essential oil is steam-distilled from a tree native to Australia, and acts as an antiseptic, a mild anaesthetic and a disinfectant, thanks to a compound called ‘terpinen-4-ol’. It is so useful that tea-tree oil became standard issue for Australian soldiers during World War 2! It is also great for treating scalp-psoriasis, and can be mixed directly into the shampoo before every wash.

2. Lavender Oil is a firm favourite for many – it smells just like that perfume your terrifying elderly aunt uses, and it’s great for psoriasis! It is a species of mint that grows in the Mediterranean, and bears very recognisable purple flowers. The plant has anti-inflammatory compounds called linalool and linalyl aldehyde, and also acts as an antiseptic agent. In addition, the University of Maryland Medical Centre has published studies that have demonstrated the benefits of using lavender oil in controlling pain and limiting scaly skin patches.

3. Roman Chamomile oil (Anthemis Nobilis) and German Chamomile oil (Matricaria Chamomilla) are two other great essential oils for the skin. The word Chamomile means “earth apple”, presumably after its apple-like aroma, and is usually light-blue in colour. Chamomile oil is great for psoriasis for two main reasons – it has vasoconstrictor properties that helps to reduce the redness of skin, and it has lipophilic compounds that strengthen the skin by decreasing capillary fragility.

4. Sandalwood oil is extracted from the up-to-60-years-old inner heartwood of the evergreen Sandal Trees. It is often found in perfumes alongside patchouli, and gives many eau de parfum’s their exotic ‘woody’ smell. However, apart from just smelling good, this essential oil is also great for treating psoriasis. The highest quality sandalwood oils are pale yellow to pale gold in colour, and contain a high percentage of santalol – around 90%. It is useful in relieving the dehydrated and inflamed skin that is characteristic of psoriasis.

5. Rose Oil is an excellent oil for skin care as it promotes cellular regeneration and is great for hydrating the skin. It takes several thousand fresh rose petals to make one drop of rose oil, and it has been used by such historical figures as Cleopatra and Marie Antoinette. This oil is great for helping to soften any rough or hardened patches of psoriasis. You can even add a few drops to a 50p dollop of moisturising cream to treat your skin right before you go to bed!

6. Apricot Kernel Oil is another great choice for psoriasis. It is quite light in colour and has a pleasant nutty odour. This finely textured oil acts as a great exfoliator, helping to smooth and moisturize the skin. Apart from such skin softening properties, it is also high in vitamin A and E content, and has many essential fatty acids that make it good for treating prematurely aged and irritated skin. As it is so good at maintaining skin elasticity, it is routinely used to calm the inflammation of eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis.

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