So I sifted through my herbal handbooks and double checked the recent research. I desperately wanted to find something easy that is super-effective in a psoriasis cream, but the truth is psoriasis is a stubborn skin condition that needs top-notch herbs if you are to see relief. Enter oregon grape. It's a little more exotic than a lot of herbs I recommend on the blog, but www.iherb.com will ship the dried root to your door, and I highly recommend it; there's really nothing better. The studies show that a 10% cream is effective at reducing the cellular overgrowth, as well as decreasing annoying symptoms, so that's exactly what we're going to make!
The tincture is essential. Make a big batch and store it in a glass jar in the fridge. You can either just stir this through a good quality basic body cream like Sukin (10-20ml tincture for every 100g cream) or you can get fancy and make the cream as detailed below.
What you'll need:
For the tincture:
50g dried oregon grape root
For the cream:
20ml tincture (above)
60ml sweet almond oil
90ml purified water
1 tb emulsifying wax (check in a good health food store!)
5-10 drops of your favourite essential oil (lavender or marigold/calendula are good)
How to make it:
Blitz the oregon grape in a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle until a fine powder. Place in a glass jar and add the vodka. Pop the lid on, shake well, and leave somewhere dark to infuse for two weeks. Remove and strain off the liquid. There, you have your tincture! Stir through your unfragranced base cream or follow the steps below to make from scratch.
Put together a water bath by placing a glass bowl over a saucepan with some water in it. Place the bath on the stove, then place the wax and the oil in the bowl and allow to melt, stirring occasionally. In a separate saucepan, add the water and tincture. Stir, then heat until they are roughly the same heat at the oil/wax mix (a cooking thermometer is handy here). Slowly pour the water/tincture mix in to the bowl, stirring continuously. Don't rush this step, as it could separate. Once all stirred through, pour in to your storage jar, add your essential oil, and leave to cool. Keep stirring occasionally as it cools to the maintain the emulsion.
Once set, pop a lid on it and store it in the fridge. Apply three times daily.