In approximately 114 readings, Edgar Cayce described a pathophysiological condition involving a thinning of the walls of the small intestine.  This condition has come to be known as "leaky gut syndrome" or excessive "intestinal permeability."  With the walls of the small intestine compromised, toxins that would normally be eliminated through colon are absorbed through the gut wall and picked by the circulatory system (especially the lymphatic circulation) to be distributed throughout the body.  If the toxins cannot be eliminated through the other channels of elimination (such as urination or respiration), the skin becomes the last outlet of elimination (perspiration).  Thus, skin disorders (such as psoriasis) may result from excessive intestinal permeability and poor eliminations.

    Several factors can contribute to excessive intestinal permeability.  Pressures on nerve centers (especially in the mid thoracic region) which innervate the intestines was cited in numerous readings.  Cayce observed that depleted nerve energy to the intestines weakened the lining of the gut allowing toxins to leak through.  Hyperacidity in the bowel was also mentioned as a contributing cause of excessive intestinal permeability.

    The link between psoriasis and intestinal permeability has been discussed in the medical literature as documented below.



    The basic Cayce diet is based primarily on fresh fruits and vegetables.  Certain foods (which tend to increase intestinal toxicity) must be eliminated from the diet.  Taboo items include red meat, fried foods, carbonated and alcoholic beverages, and dairy products that are not low fat.  Dr. John Pagano has also identified the nightshade group of vegetables  (tomatoes, tobacco, eggplant, peppers, white potatoes, and paprika) as particularly harmful for persons with psoriasis.


    Certain herbal teas were frequently recommended by Edgar Cayce in cases involving "leaky gut."
The most frequently suggested herbal teas suggested are: American Yellow Saffron (not Spanish)
and Slippery Elm Bark Powder.  At times, Chamomile, Mullein and/or Watermelon Seed Tea may be used as a substitute for the American Yellow Saffron.  The purpose of these teas is to heal the porous thin intestinal walls, as well as flush out the liver and kidneys of toxic elements.

    Small doses of olive oil taken during the day were also frequently recommended for excessive intestinal permeability.  A typical dosage was for a quarter to half a teaspoonful every three or four hours during the waking period for three or four days and then rest for three for four days before repeating the cycle.


    One of the primary causes of thinned intestinal walls identified by Edgar Cayce is problems with the spine.  Pressures on certain spinal nerves (particularly the mid dorsal area) can compromise the nerve energy to the intestinal tract.  Osteopathic or chiropractic treatment can help correct the misalignment of spinal vertebrae and improve nerve functioning.


    Hydrotherapy includes drinking six to eight glasses of pure water daily.  Enemas or preferably, colonic irrigations may be helpful in eliminating toxins from the bowel which may be contributing to excessive permeability and systemic toxicity.


    Options for further assessment include:

  • Intestinal Permeability Test
    • Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratory
    • 63 Zillicoa Street
    • Asheville, NC
    • (704) 253-0621

Skin blemishes  3112-1, 3032-1, 2884-3, 982-1, 641-5, 475-1, 289-2
Swollen or painful joints (arthritis or rheumatism) 5681, 4989-1, 1620-3, 908-1
Indigestion or stomach or intestinal gas 5681-1, 4433-1, 3866-1, 982-1, 349-16
Tender spots or painful areas over the body 1620-3, 982-1,  644-1
Nasal congestion (catarrh) or sinus problems 5434-1, 3866-1, 3794-1, 622-1, 289-2
Headache 4433-1, 4387-1, 3776-4, 641-7
Depression 4433-1, 3794-1, 982-1 
Constipation 4387-1, 1620-3, 982-1, 622-1, 566-2, 349-16, 294-21



    Edgar Cayce is not alone in recognizing that toxins leaking from the intestines are involved in
psoriasis.  Several researchers have written on this subject in the medical journals.  Here is a brief summary of that literature.

    Humbert, et al. (1991), notes, "A  possible relationship between intestinal structure and function in
the pathogenesis of psoriasis has recently brought about considerable interest."  They studied the
intestines of 15 psoriatic patients and 15 healthy subjects and concluded, "The difference  in
intestinal permeability between psoriatic patients and controls could be due to alterations in the
small intestinal epithelium of psoriatics." (p. 324)

    Person and Bernhard (1986) note that the "pustular  dermatitis  associated with small bowel
bypass surgery and the cutaneous  manifestations of inflammatory bowel disease are well known
and  generally  assumed  to  be due to the absorption of microbial antigens from  the  bowel."  They
hypothesize that the association of intestinal and dermatological pathology "may be the result of
minor perturbations of mucosal permeability  or  the  failure  of  locally  produced  dimeric serum
IgA to inactivate bacterial or dietary antigens.  Such disparate entities as Reiter's  syndrome,
psoriasis, pyoderma gangrenosum, and ankylosing spondylitis, as well as the pustular
eruptions of Behcet's syndrome, pustular psoriasis, and lithium therapy, may share this
common pathogenesis." (p. 559)  This particular research approach is an excellent example of
comorbidity and nonspecificity. In other words, the same cause may produce a variety of symptoms
and syndromes.

    Yates, Watkinson, and Kelman (1982) also note comorbidity and nonspecificity in an article
titled, "Further  Evidence  for  an Association Between Psoriasis, Crohn's Disease, and Ulcerative
Colitis."  To test the hypothesis that these three illnesses are related, they studied 204 patients with
inflammatory bowel disease (116 with Crohn's disease and 88 with ulcerative colitis) and 204 age-
and sex-matched controls.  Although their research did not directly address the question of intestinal
permeability, they did conclude: "The prevalance of psoriasis in Crohn's disease (11.2%) and in
ulcerative colitis (5.7%) was significantly greater than in the control group (1.5%). The prevalence of
psoriasis in first-degree relatives of patients with inflammatory bowel disease was also increased.  It
is suggested that there is a relationship between psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis, sacroiliitis,
peripheral arthropathy and inflammatory bowel disease, which may be explained by common genetic
factors." (p. 323)


Barry, R. M., Salmon, P. R. & Read, A. E.   (1971).  Small Bowel Mucosal Changes in Psoriasis.
Gut, 12(6), p. 495.

Barry, R. E., Salmon, P. R., Read, A. E. & Warin, R. P.  (1971).  Mucosal Architecture of the
Small Bowel in Cases of Psoriasis.  Gut, 12(11), pp. 873-877.

Bedi, T. R., Bhutani, L. K., Kandhari, K. C. & Tandon, B. N.  (1974).  Small Bowel in Skin
Diseases.  Indian Journal of  Medical Research,  62(1), pp. 142-149.

de Vos, R. J., de Boer, W. A. &  Haas,  F. D.  (1995).  Is There a Relationship Between Psoriasis
and Coeliac Disease?  Journal of Internal Medicine, 237(1), p. 118.

Fry, L.  (1970).  The Gut and the Skin.  Postgraduate Medical Journal, 46(541), pp. 664-670.

Humbert, P., Bidet, A., Treffel, P., Drobacheff, C. & Agache, P.  (1991).  Intestinal Permeability in
Patients with Psoriasis.   Journal of Dermatological Science, 2(4),
pp. 324-326.

Madanagopalan, N., Shantha, M., Rao, U. P. & Thambiah, A. S.  (1973).  Peroral  Jejunal
Mucosal Biopsy in Dermatological and Some Non-diarrhoeal Diseases.  Australian Journal of
Dermatology, 14(1), pp. 47-52.

Marks, J. & Shuster,  S.  (1971).  Intestinal Malabsorption and the Skin.  Gut, 12(11),
pp. 938-947.

Marks, J. & Shuster, S.  (1971).  Psoriatic Enteropathy.  Archives of Dermatology, 103(6),
pp. 676-678.

Moll, J. M., Haslock, I., Macrae, I. F. & Wright, V.  (1974).  Associations Between   Ankylosing
Spondylitis,  Psoriatic Arthritis, Reiter's Disease, the Intestinal Arthropathies, and Behcet's
syndrome.  Medicine, 53(5), pp. 343-364.

O'Laughlin, J. C. & Di Giovanni, A. M.  (1979).  Psoriatic Enteropathy: Report of Case and Review
of Literature.   Journal of the American Osteopathic Association,  79(2), pp. 107-111.

Person, J. R. & Bernhard, J. D.  (1986).  Autointoxication Revisited.  Journal of the Americal
Academy of Dermatology, 15(3), pp. 559-563.

Salmon, P. R., Read, A. E. & Warin, R.  (1969).  Radiocarbon  Estimation  of  Lactose Absorption:
A Survey of 104 Patients with Skin Disease.  Gut, 10(12), p. 1052.

Shuster, S.  (1968).  Dermatogenic Enteropathy.  New York State Journal of Medicine, 68(24), pp.

Summerly, R. & Giles, C.  (1971).  Question of Psoriatic Enteropathy.  Archives of Dermatology,
103(6), pp. 678-679.

Yates, V. M., Watkinson, G. & Kelman, A.  (1982).  Further  Evidence  for  an Association
Between Psoriasis, Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.  British Journal of Dermatology, 106(3),
pp. 323-330.

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