Based on this suggestion, I ordered camelina oil from the good farmers in Saskatchewan and began taking it using the same dose (3T/day) that I had been taking of flaxseed oil for relief of psoriasis and lichen planus. Unfortunately, the slow but sure improvement I had been experiencing over the past year with flaxseed oil stopped immediately and after a week my skin and mouth began to deteriorate. After using about 1/4 of a bottle of the new oil I went back to flaxseed and am delighted to report that I am [again] having good results with it. Since both of my conditions wax and wane without any reason identified by medical science I cannot state that it was simply the flaxseed oil that has led to this success. Based on my experience, however, I intend to continue taking the oil regularly and I recommend that others with psoriasis or lichen planus try it. For me, two tablespoons a day were not enough, I needed three tablespoons of the oil to see a change. I don’t think it advisable to take capsules, you’d need to take too many to equal 3T of oil.[emphasis added]
Psoriasis is a skin disease that usually involves “thick, red skin with flaky, silver-white patches called scales”. Lichen planus is “an itchy rash on the skin or in the mouth”. To give some idea of how common they are, psoriasis has 36 million Google hits; lichen planus 1-2 million. (“Heart disease” has 64 million.)
Eveyln’s experience provides four pieces of evidence that suggest flaxseed oil (FSO) improved her psoriasis and lichen planus:
- When she started taking FSO at 3 T/day, they started improving. They did not improve with 2 T/day.
- Over the first year of FSO, she saw steady improvement in both in place of the usual up and down.
- When she replaced FSO with another oil, which she hoped would be better, the results were the opposite of what she wanted: The improvement stopped and the two conditions got worse.
- When she switched back to FSO, the improvement resumed.
I can think of no plausible alternative to the conclusion that FSO helped. There is plenty of other evidence that supports this conclusion: the evidence that omega-3 is anti-inflammatory, FSO is high in omega-3, most of us don’t get enough omega-3, and so on, including my own experience. You could write a book about the evidence that supports it. (Evelyn tried flaxseed oil because of reports on this blog that it improved/cured bad gums.)
In any case, the conclusion that FSO reduces psoriasis and lichen planus is new, in the sense that FSO (or another source of omega-3) is not a popular treatment for either condition. Here are about 16 treatments for psoriasis, including topical corticosteroids. None includes omega-3. Here are eight “lifestyle and home remedies” for psoriasis, including “take daily baths” (seriously, Mayo Clinic Staff?). None includes omega-3. After going through about forty-odd treatments, I found a reference to fish oil: “Other research has suggested that taking oral fish oil supplements containing 1.8 to 3.6 grams of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) a day may bring improvement.”
Same thing for lichen planus. FSO is not a popular treatment.
If you take flaxseed oil or other omega-3 source to treat psoriasis or lichen planus, I hope you will let me know what happens.