Psoriasis Case Reports
February 3, 2000
Meridian Institute, 1853 Old Donation Parkway, Suite 1
Virginia Beach, VA 23454
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease, with a variety of symptoms, most commonly reddened skin patches and inflamed, swollen skin lesions covered with silver-white scales. It is very common (about 3 million Americans affected), but the cause is not known, and there is no generally recognized cure.
The Edgar Cayce readings say that, although it appears to be a skin disease, most cases of psoriasis are caused by toxins from the digestive system. There is a thinning of the walls of the small intestine, and this thinning allows toxins to leak from the intestinal tract into the circulation. These eventually find their way to the superficial circulation, and trigger an immune response in the skin.
In the past several years, medical research has provided some evidence supporting the Cayce perspective, but the only person to have systematically applied the Cayce recommendations for treatment is Dr. John Pagano, a New Jersey chiropractor who wrote the book Healing Psoriasis: The Natural Alternative. Dr. Pagano has many well-documented cases of complete healing of severe psoriasis.
Meridian Institute has conducted two projects confirming Pagano’s approach, and exploring the role of intestinal permeability or “leaky gut.” Four years ago, in our first major research project, we brought Dr. Pagano in as an advisor, and taught 10 people the elements of the Cayce therapeutic approach. Within six months, most had experienced some healing of their psoriasis, some with major clearing of the skin lesions.
In the cases reported here, we repeated and improved the psoriasis project, with five participants (a sixth began the study but dropped out). In May 1999, they attended an initial conference, in which they learned how to apply the Cayce treatments at home. At the conference they underwent an initial cleansing including fume baths, massages, and colonic irrigations. The home treatment approach included a diet consisting primarily of fresh fruits and vegetables, no fried food, and no red meat. The diet was supplemented with herbal preparations: saffron tea and slippery elm bark water. Their intestinal permeability was assessed using a simple test involving drinking a sugar solution (the lactulose/mannitol test). Two of the five people had abnormally high permeability. Psoriasis symptoms were also assessed using the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI), a scale administered by Dr. Eric Mein, and a self-report inventory of symptoms, the Psoriasis Severity Scale (PSS). Photographs of the affected areas were also taken.
After six months following the protocol, the participants returned to Virginia Beach for an assessment of their psoriasis symptoms. All had substantial improvement. In addition, the intestinal permeability of all five people had decreased.
The most difficult part for most participants was consistency in following the diet. When, for various reasons including travel, they slipped in their adherence to the diet, the psoriasis symptoms partially returned, confirming the importance of this aspect of the Cayce treatment approach. Below are individual reports of the five cases (and a note about the sixth person who dropped out).
Case 1 is a 40-year-old woman, a physician. Her psoriasis began in 1991. At the beginning of the project, she described her symptoms:
“My psoriasis affects my hands and feet. It causes mild to moderate itching and is worsened by washing my hands. I need to frequently wash my hands in my medical practice, so the psoriasis affects my comfort during the day. It is worsened when I am stressed, i.e., if I don’t get sufficient sleep. It is somewhat stressful to answer questions that my patients have about “what is wrong with my skin?” I feel it indicates that there is some imbalance in my body. I wish to have an overall healthier body.”
I addition to the psoriasis, she had also had some asthma and allergies (allergic rhinitis) in the past, but homeopathic medicine had led to a major improvement in those conditions and some improvement in her psoriasis.
At the 6-month follow-up, Case 1 reported that her psoriasis symptoms were “much improved,” and her symptoms other than psoriasis were “much improved.” She felt that her psoriasis degree of disability was “much less disabling,” and that her attitudes and emotions were “much improved.” In her written comments, she said “I had complete clearing of psoriasis on hands and elbows. I had 80% improvement of psoriasis on feet, then I had 3 weeks of antibiotics to prophylax from tick bite. After that my psoriasis on my feet mildly flared – to about 60% of improvement.”
In the before/after pictures, Case 1 had major improvement. Her most prominent symptom, the rough, red areas on her hands and elbows, were completely cleared. There was still some psoriasis on her foot. She also showed improvement on the two measures of psoriasis symptoms (Table 1). Her lactulose/mannitol ratio, which had been high at the beginning (.134) was normal after six months (.038).
Regarding compliance with the protocol, she followed the diet “most of the time,” and used the herbal teas “almost every day.” This is excellent compliance with the diet and the teas. She used castor oil packs “a few times since the conference,” had “one to three” colonics after the conference, and only received spinal adjustments at the conference. This is good compliance with the colonics, and poor compliance with the adjustments and castor oil packs.
In an interview at the 6-month follow-up, Case 1 said:
“It’s been very, very good for my health. In addition to my psoriasis much, much improving. My hands are clear. I used to have it on my hands, and on my elbows and on my feet. I used to be very, very itchy. I’m a physician, and when I used to wear gloves, or wash my hands a lot, the water used to bother me. The water doesn’t bother me at all anymore. The psoriasis cleared up on my hands within one month, and it has never resurfaced. The psoriasis cleared up on my elbows within about two months of starting the diet protocol. Also my feet are 60% better. And they were almost clear, 80% cleared up. Then about three months ago I had a tick bite and I took antibiotics for three weeks. I think it disturbed my digestion. After that, I have never gotten back to as clear as they had been at that time. But they’re still 60% better than they were when I started.
“The slippery elm bark helped a lot. If I missed the slippery elm bark one day, I notice that I start getting an itchy eczema on my fingers the next day. And I try not to visualize it as coming back. I just say, got to take that slippery elm bark immediately. And then it goes away the next day. And I get itchy, too, when I miss a day of slippery elm bark. For me that’s a very important thing.
“I think the whole idea of my self getting healthier. I really think that I’m getting more at the root of what’s going on, rather than just treating the psoriasis. I am glad that I had the psoriasis, because it has me eating better, paying attention to how I eat. Paying attention to healthier living styles. It’s something that I can easily monitor, because it’s on my skin. So I can say I’m doing something that’s healthy for myself. That’s why my skin is getting better. In the long term scheme of things, I’ve had an opportunity to improve my eating habits and my digestive system.
“On a spiritual level, just in the last five years, I’ve been very aware of meditating and prayer. This year – I can’t directly attribute it to the Cayce protocols, but it’s consistent with it – I’ve been really looking at forgiving people and taking my own personal inventory and doing positive affirmations. Which are definitely consistent with what he would say. Look at yourself, be kind to yourself, but also there are certain things you want to forgive and change – accept about yourself, and certain things you want to grow beyond. I’m on that path.”
Case 2 is a 68-year-old man, a consultant. His psoriasis began around 1985-1986. At the beginning of the project he described his symptoms:
“At times, I feel itchy, and my skin feels sensitive and painful (hot). I don’t think my psoriasis has affected my health.”
Photography showed large areas of reddened skin, with prominent white scaly areas.
At the 6-month follow-up, Case 2 reported that his psoriasis symptoms were “much improved,” and his symptoms other than psoriasis were “about the same.” (Note that he did not feel at the beginning that his psoriasis had any effect on his other health.) He felt that his psoriasis degree of disability was “much less disabling,” and that his attitudes and emotions were “improved.” In his written comments, he noted “My retirement has certainly lessened my stress level.”
The before/after pictures of Case 2 revealed substantial healing of his psoriasis. Most notable was the complete disappearance of the white scales on his back. There were still large areas of red, but no scales at all. He also showed improvement on the two measures of psoriasis symptoms (Table 1). His lactulose/mannitol ratio, which had been high at the beginning (.084) was normal after six months (.022).
Regarding compliance with the protocol, he followed the diet “almost every day,” and used the herbal teas “almost every day.” This is excellent compliance with the diet and the teas. He used castor oil packs “a few times since the conference,” had “one to three” colonics after the conference, and had “four or more” spinal adjustments. This is good compliance with the colonics, poor compliance with the castor oil packs, and excellent compliance with the adjustments.
In an interview at the 6-month follow-up, Case 2 said:
“I’m very excited with it. I had hoped to be completely cleared by six months, but it’s progressed far enough along there, that I think it’s just a little bit more time that will clear up everything.
“My skin has improved quite a bit. I’m very happy with that. [In the last six months] more than fifty percent I would say. Again, it’s not that everything has cleared up, but it’s the degree, I would say. There’s still some red spots, but it’s not as thick and itchy as it used to be. I’d say it’s improved in the sense that I don’t feel like I’m leaving little bits of skin all over the place anymore. The bed isn’t all full of white skin when I get up. It’s pretty clean. Percentage-wise, I’d say between 70 and 75% probably. Even though it’s still covering my body. I had hoped to have been completely cleared.”
Case 3 is a 47-year-old woman, a client data clerk. Her psoriasis began in August, 1997. She described her symptoms as “itching, ugly skin lesions.” She also had some general health problems, specifically hepatitis C. She noted that her diet was poor, that she was overweight, and craved and consumed a lot of sweets.
At the 6-month follow-up, Case 3 reported that her psoriasis symptoms were “much improved,” and her symptoms other than psoriasis were “much improved.” She felt that her psoriasis degree of disability was “much less disabling,” and that her attitudes and emotions were “much improved.” She did not provide written comments, but see interview comments below. Her improvement in general health is interesting, because of her hepatitis C, which was not specifically being treated in this project, but apparently benefited from the general cleansing regimen. The castor oil packs may have specifically affected the hepatitis.
In the before/after pictures, Case 3’s improvement was difficult to see. Her before pictures did not reveal much obvious psoriasis; her after pictures did not reveal any psoriasis at all. She showed substantial improvement on the two measures of psoriasis symptoms (Table 1). Her lactulose/mannitol ratio, which was in the normal range at the beginning (.034) was still normal but lower after six months (.019).
Regarding compliance with the protocol, she followed the diet “most of the time,” and used the herbal teas “most of the time.” This is very good compliance with the diet and the teas, particularly in the light of her comments regarding her diet at the beginning of the project. She used castor oil packs “almost every week,” had only the colonics at the conference, and only received spinal adjustments at the conference. This is excellent compliance with the castor oil packs, and poor compliance with the adjustments and colonics.
In an interview at the 6-month follow-up, Case 3 said:
“I’ve cleared up. I actually just have a couple places on my back, my lower back, which is nothing. And my head has not cleared. But other than that, I’ve cleared everywhere else. So I’m thrilled with that.”
Case 4 is a 44-year-old man, an elementary school teacher. His psoriasis began when he was 5 years old. He described his symptoms as:
“Dry, flaky skin. The past year my fingers have broken out severely with a lot of psoriasis.”
He also had some arthritis.
At the 6-month follow-up, Case 4 reported that his psoriasis symptoms were “improved,” and his symptoms other than psoriasis were “improved.” He felt that his psoriasis degree of disability was “less disabling,” and that his attitudes and emotions were “improved.” He had no written comments on his symptoms, but see interview comments below.
In the before/after pictures, it was difficult to see any change in Case 4 – his symptoms were barely visible in either the before pictures or the after pictures. He showed improvement on the two measures of psoriasis symptoms (Table 1). The PASI score was zero, indicating no psoriasis symptoms at the follow-up. His lactulose/mannitol ratio, which was in the normal range at the beginning (.047) was still normal, but lower, after six months (.024).
Regarding compliance with the protocol, he followed the diet “often,” and used the herbal teas “almost every day.” This is excellent compliance with the teas, but only fair compliance with the diet. He used castor oil packs “rarely or never,” had only the colonics at the conference, and only received spinal adjustments at the conference. This is poor compliance with the colonics, adjustments and castor oil packs. In his written comments, he noted “The diet is really hard to stay on. Maybe if sample menus could be developed for every day for a whole month, then maybe it might help to keep on the diet.”
In an interview at the 6-month follow-up, Case 2 said:
“I’d like to say that for the first three months of this program, I saw really good results with what was going on. The diet, I felt, had a lot to do with the clearing up of the psoriasis. For the first time in 40 years, my scalp had actually cleared up and stayed pretty clear for about a month or so. When I broke the diet, when I went on my cruise, that re-occurred again, but not as severely as it had before. About half the other lesions have just disappeared very, very quickly. The lesions on my fingers completely disappeared, which is really great, because it had been about two or three years that they’d been pretty bad.
“Other parts of the body that had been pretty stubborn, have faded out to the point of almost not being existent anymore. You could just barely see them.
“Again, when I broke the diet regimen when I went on the cruise, things began to happen again in reverse. So the psoriasis appearing in the different parts there.
“I didn’t really have a chance to go out and do other colonics.
“I felt a lot more energy, a lot brighter overall outlook because I was using a very natural approach, instead of all those steroids and other things that the traditional dermatologists tend to give us. I’m really happy with the results that I’ve seen. It would be great if I could stick to that diet just as much as I could and maybe see a true healing of this whole thing. I’ll try.”
Case 5 is a 59-year-old woman, a housewife. Her psoriasis began in 1953. Her psoriasis symptoms at the beginning were the most severe in the group. She described them:
“60% of my body is covered with psoriasis; intolerable itching.”
She also reported problems with arthritis and abdominal bloating, often during the nighttime.
At the 6-month follow-up, Case 5 reported that her psoriasis symptoms were “improved,” and her symptoms other than psoriasis were “about the same.” She felt that her psoriasis degree of disability was “about the same,” and that her attitudes and emotions were “about the same.” She provided no written comments, but see interview comments below.
In the before/after pictures, Case 5 had clearly visible improvement. Her most prominent symptom, the red areas covering much of her back, had diminished in size and redness. She also showed improvement on the two measures of psoriasis symptoms (Table 1). Her lactulose/mannitol ratio, was in the low end of the normal range at the beginning (.029), and remained low after six months (.026).
Regarding compliance with the protocol, she followed the diet “almost every day,” and used the herbal teas “almost every day.” This is excellent compliance with the diet and the teas. She used castor oil packs “almost every week,” had only the colonics at the conference, and only received spinal adjustments at the conference. This is excellent compliance with the castor oil packs, and poor compliance with the adjustments and colonics.
In an interview at the 6-month follow-up, Case 2 said:
“I don’t care about my psoriasis anymore. I’m sitting in a car, because we went 15,000 kilometers [from Canada]. In the restaurant, for lunch I ate fruit, whatever. For supper, we went again to the restaurant, I had a salad, then I had my meal. In between I was drinking saffron tea and water. I had a big improvement after four months. So I was OK, finally, four months. From this trip I came back to Montreal, I was OK for two weeks, and since two weeks it’s coming back, and I don’t know what’s happened. I really don’t know.”
There was one additional participant in the project, a middle-aged woman. She did not return for the six-month follow-up. She did, however, send in the follow-up evaluation form at about 8 months. She began by following the diet closely, but did not continue to follow any of the protocol items, and her psoriasis became worse. She is considered to be a drop-out from the study, but her result is interesting as an example of someone who ceased to follow the protocol and had no improvement. In her written comments she said:
“I was extremely rigid about staying on the diet for 2 months following the conference. There was no change in the psoriasis. I then went overseas for a month and went off the program. I believe that the reason that the psoriasis is worse is because I did not sun myself this summer as I normally do because I wanted the program to work by itself.”
This report highlights two important points about the psoriasis treatment protocol. First, confirming Pagano’s work, it may take several months before any improvement is noted. Second, this is a project in complementary medicine, and participants should not reduce their current treatments until they feel that substantial improvement is occurring.
Table 1. Individual values for bowel permeability, PASI scores, and PSS scores for study participants.
Lactulose/mannitol ratio PASI Scores (1)
PSS Scores (1)
* Outside normal range for lactulose/mannitol ratio of 0.01-0.06.
(1) For PASI and PSS, higher scores indicate more severe symptoms; all patients showed a decrease in scores.