If you, or someone you know, has been diagnosed with Vitiligo, you will understand that it can be a difficult and embarrassing disease to live with. My goal for this article is to give you a brief introductory glance at the various natural vitiligo treatment options that are available to you. We’ll be going over these holistic treatments in detail in upcoming future posts. If Vitiligo is a relatively new concept to you, here is a short explanation:
Vitiligo is a skin disease which causes parts of the skin to lose their natural color. You may have seen this in the form of white patches on the face; the parts most commonly affected include the hands, feet, face, arms, and lips. Where does Vitiligo come from? One theory is that the immune system unexpectedly begins attacking various areas of the body. Another theory is that melanocytes, which are responsible for creating pigment in the skin, begin attacking themselves. Although doctors still dispute the definite cause of Vitiligo, many medical professionals believe it’s root lie in some form of auto-immune disease. About one in every 200 people in the US and Europe develop Vitiligo, and approximately 20 percent of patients develop auto-immune thyroid disease. There are two main types of Vitiligo: general and segmental.
Conventional Vitiligo Treatments
Perhaps you, like many others, have tried the conventional medical therapies to no avail. These therapies can include topical corticosteroid therapy, topical immunomodulators, depigmentation (or skin bleaching), UVA and UVB light exposure therapy, as well as various surgical methods such as skin grafting. Many of the available methods concentrate on the pigmentation aspect of the disease; this is a problem, because the root cause, as mentioned previously, starts from within the body. The loss of pigmentation is simply a side-effect. Many western medications available also come with a host of potential side-effects, unbeneficial to patients. This can leave Vitiligo patients feeling like there are no other options for treating their disease, when in reality, there are many; you just have to test what works for you through trial and error. (After all this is what doctors do too, you’re simply paying them to “practice” on you.)
The Power of Food
The first Vitiligo natural treatment option we’ll talk about is diet change. The foods we eat is the fuel for our bodies and I’m a huge believer that food can be our medicine. By avoiding packed/canned products, oily and fatty foods as well as soft drinks and junk food in general, you may be surprised to see an improvement in your Vitiligo symptoms and overall health. Incorporating foods such as legumes, leafy greens, plant-based proteins and healthy fats into your diet will also produce many benefits and are shown to be effective in the treatment of the white patches on your skin. Be sure to subscribe to our email list because we’ll be taking a closer look specifically at the Vitiligo Diet and how to use the Total Elimination Diet protocol to help you pinpoint your trigger foods.
The second natural cure for Vitiligo, which can of course be used in conjunction with diet change, are homemade agents applied as a pack or paste directly to the de-pigmented areas. Some well-known potent and effective ingredients include:
-Red clay, in conjunction with ginger juice.
-Cold-Pressed Virgin Coconut oil
-Radish seeds mixed with apple cider vinegar.
These agents typically require some time to produce results, but the upside is they are much gentler on the body and have virtually no negative side-effects, unlike conventional medical treatments.
Topical Home Remedies for Vitiligo
Tinctures and natural medicines, taken orally, are another alternative treatment option. Many have the added benefit of simultaneously improving immune function. Some known ingredients are as follows:
-Wild Duckweed, taken daily as a tincture before meals.
-Babchi seeds, in conjunction with fresh ginger juice.
-Pomegranate leaf powder taken with water.
-The almighty Gingko Biloba, which is not only an immune booster but also works wonderfully to re-pigment skin.
As with the above mentioned home remedies for Vitiligo, these tinctures and medications have virtually no harmful side-effects and because there are so many options, if one doesn’t produce your desired effect, continue trying new ones to see which method works best for you. *If you are on medications or have severe health problems, consult a Certified Holistic Healthcare Practitioner before orally ingesting any of the herbal remedies mentioned here.
A Sunnier Disposition
A fourth natural treatment method is morning sunlight exposure. This method is long-term for a patient with vitiligo, as exposure to the sun must be gradually built up over time. 7:30-10:30 is the best time of day to catch sunlight for people with vitiligo since the UVB rays are gentler at this time. Some research suggests that using certain vitamins, such as B12, in correlation with the sun therapy can have even greater benefits for patients. Sunlight therapy also naturally builds up the Vitamin D levels in a person, which is thought to be lower in patients with auto-immune disorders.
The key to using sunlight as a therapy is to go about it carefully and with the protection of organic sunscreen. UV light can be too harsh and damaging to the skin if consumed in excess, this is why conventional tanning beds are typically not recommended.
Lastly, we will touch on homeopathic treatments. Some commonly used substances include:
-Arsenicum Sulfratum, which promotes the re-pigmentation of pale or white patches of skin caused by Vitiligo, can be used to treat several other skin conditions, such as pyoderma.
-Syphilinum, which has positive effects on the gastric system, urinary system, mind, skin, nerves and more.
-Kali Carbonicum, which improves functions in the digestive system, lungs, heart, kidney liver, and reproductive system.
-Hydrocotoyle Asiatica, which is a main ingredient in several Vitiligo treatments, promotes the pigmentation process.
We’ll be discussing these supplements more in detail in another post.
As with any health regime, sleep, exercise, and stress reduction are all important components. Without adequate rest, the body (including the skin) can´t restore itself. Daily exercise helps improve circulation, boosts the immune system, and reduces stress. Without adequate daily exercise, stress can build up and have several negative effects on the body.
So, as you can see, there are many options aside from the standard pharmaceutical/western medicine approach. If you’re starting to feel hopeless in your journey to recovery, first look to your diet and give some of these natural treatments a try. You may not only see an improvement in the Vitiligo symptoms, but you’ll also feel a boost to your overall health. Many of the vitiligo patients I’ve spoken with have found good results by doing the Vitiligo Diet with a buddy (whether or not they also suffer from vitiligo), plus the remedies mentioned in this post. Click Here to Find Your “Vitiligo Trigger Foods” and Start Reversing Vitiligo
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