I have had many letters and e-mails about this condition. Lichen planus is a skin disorder which takes the form of flat-topped eruptions. The surface may reveal a network of grey lines known as “Wickham’s striae”. It often appears in the mouth and under the tongue as a grayish patch which looks like scar tissue. It may, erupt on the scalp, which can lead to hair loss, and also on wrists, shins, the lower back and genitalia.
The exact cause is not known. Similar eruptions occur as a side effect of drugs, including antibiotics, diuretics, gold preparations used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, antimalarials and immunosuppressants, and also as an adverse reaction to amalgam fillings. Lichen planus is often linked to abnormal liver functions, especially after viral hepatitis C. Conventional medicine treats it with topical steroids, although most people heal without intervention eventually.
When I come across a condition with an unknown cause, I always recommend general treatment Something must be going wrong in the body for it to react like this. We want to promote wellbeing, which will arouse the body’s innate self-healing powers. If you can reduce the overall biochemical and toxic load, the body can prioritise real problems like this. But it may take time.
I recommend the following:
- Avoid yeast products (most breads, Marmite, pizza, soy sauce, miso, prepared foods, gravy and stock cubes) as they cause gut fermentation, which produces toxic alcohol and weakens the liver.
- Avoid alcohol and vinegar: as well as containing yeast, they affect the liver, the body’s main biochemical factory and the neutralizer of toxins from the gut.
- Avoid citrus fruits: they cause excess stomach acid, triggering digestive problems. Citrus also neutralize bile in the small intestine, causing further digestive problems.
- Fast for 24 hours twice a month to give the digestive system, and particularly the liver, a rest. Over the 24 hours, drink only two litres of still, pure water, three to four glasses of non-citrus fruit and vegetable juices (try juicing organic carrots, celery, mint leaves and ginger), and vegetable broth (simmer cabbage, broccoli, carrots, celery and ginger in water and drink three to four cups).
- Also drink three cups of Fasting Tea.
- Drink a glass of freshly juices carrot and apple juice daily for two months, the enzymes and vitamins help the body.
- Avoid taking the contraceptive pill and HRT, which put a strain on the liver.
- Massage the neck and shoulders with Lifestyle Oil. If you can get someone else to help, ask them to focus on the sides of the neck, shoulders and back of the skull. Some area will be sore, but after a few days’ massage, the soreness will ease. Massage will help you to de-stress and improve blood flow to the brain – the main controller of wellbeing. Do this twice a week for ten minutes for three months.
- Practise therapeutic yoga: particularly helpful poses are the cobra, semi bridge, swing, head roll and spinal twist. Do the corpse pose at the end to relax. Join a local class, if you can. These postures are explained fully in Therapeutic Yoga, the book I co-wrote with Jiwan Brar.
- Soak a third of a teaspoonful of kadu powder and a third of a teaspoonful of kariatu powder in a cup of hot water every night, then drink in the morning on an empty stomach. Continue for two months. This bitter tea helps detoxify the body.
- To Support the liver, take BioLiv: one twice a day for three months.
- To boost your energy levels, take the Ayurvedic supplement Bioprash: one tablespoonful with honey daily for three months.
- Apply Kolonji Oil to the eruptions twice a week at bedtime, using a cotton bud to apply under the tongue.
- I have also heard of good results being achieved with liquid Biocidin Forte, a grapefruit seed extract :one drop in water daily. With that, try taking Spectrozyme. A broad spectrum digestive enzyme: one with food, three times daily, for o