Recently, I have received an email enquiring if carrot juice can treat vitiligo. Well, I have always advocated a holistic (natural) healing approach to promote skin re-pigmentation that includes a plant based diet comprising of fresh vegetables as major ingredient. The best way to consume vegetables is drinking freshly prepared vegetable juice. Freshly prepared vegetables juices provide hard to ignore multiple benefits:
- It makes your body alkaline
- provides all the vital nutrients in easy-to-digest form so that your body can absorb them readily
- promotes body detox by flushing kidneys and stimulating bowel movements
- Improves liver functioning by stimulating bile flow and eliminating liver congestion
- Accelerates circulation of lymphocytes and bloodstream
- Reduces inflammation
Ingredients of vegetable juice can be:
- Carrot, beetroot, cucumber, bottle gourd, kale, cabbage, broccoli stems, celery, cilantro, spinach and other green leafy vegetables. Avoid tomatoes.
- You may add 1 or 2 apples in your juice for variety. There is no harm in that.
- Add a small, grated piece of fresh ginger in juice. It has powerful anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and liver-detoxifying properties.
- Adding a teaspoon of pure, organic turmeric powder will further increase the therapeutic properties of your juice due to its immunomodulating and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Add small amount of Himalayan pink salt for taste.
In short, Carrots when used in your vegetable juice recipe is a great way to help restore the skin pigment. But, it’s not a cure alone. Drinking a lot of carrot juice desperately will not help at all. In fact, the natural sugar content in carrots may congest your liver and hike the blood sugar levels if consumed in excess. Ideal vegetable juice recipe would include a variety of vegetables and fruits.
Drinking carrot juice regularly can protect against sun burn
The UV light from Sun can stimulate skin re-pigmentation naturally. The melanocytes produce skin pigment (melanin) when exposed to sunlight. But, this phenomenon is not so easy to implement because:
- The vitiligo affected area can become too sensitive and intolerable to sun and cause burning sensation when exposed to sunlight.
- Being an uncontrolled process, it may cause sun burn, skin redness, swelling and itching if over exposed.
What’s the solution?
Don’t get too aggressive and enjoy sunlight exposure in installments- few minutes at a time.
How can Carrot juice help with that?
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene (a type of pigment), which have a protective action against sun damage. Other vegetables rich in beta carotene are kale, spinach, broccoli and squash. The antioxidant properties of beta-carotene neutralize the free radicals to protect your skin against sun burn, ageing and related symptoms. (1, 2)
Hence, drink a glass of vegetable juice, containing carrots, kale, spinach and beetroots everyday to give natural protection to your skin from the sun damage.
You may try rubbing carrot juice on your skin before sun exposure and check if it gives extra protection. I am not sure about it though.
Note:- Consuming a lot of beta-carotene rich carrot juice and applying carrot juice directly on the skin regularly can alter skin color to turn it yellowish. (3)
What is Holistic (natural) healing of Vitiligo
Vitiligo refers to loss of skin pigment due to autoimmune response. The faulty, confused immune system attacks the pigment producing skin cells (melanocytes) to cause skin de-pigmentation in the form of white skin patches.
The exact cause for this autoimmune response is unknown. However, the list of most common causes includes:
- Poor gut health (lack of healthy gut microbes, low stomach acid, chronic constipation, indigestion)
- Chronic stress and anxiety
- Hereditary (faulty genes)
- Poor liver health
- Severe nutritional deficiencies
- Excessive use of steroids, antibiotics, vaccinations and certain medications
- Skin injuries
- Infections such as strep throat
- Poor diet and sedentary lifestyle
Vitiligo is linked to poor immune system and more than 70% of the immune system resides in the gut. (4) Hence, holistic healing of vitiligo aims to restore the gut health with the help of healthy diet, positive lifestyle, anti-inflammatory herbs, dietary supplements and off course, stress management techniques.
- Healthy, nutritious plant based diet consisting of vegetables (50%), fruits (15-20%), whole grains and legumes (15-20%), and animal proteins such as dairy and meat (remaining 10-15%). Avoid junk foods and packaged foods rich in refined sugar, salt and saturated fats. Your diet should be easy to digest without putting extra burden on the already compromised gut.
- Replacing vegetable oils with healthy fats such as coconut oil and olive oil.
- Cut down on alcohol and tobacco consumption
- Intake of dietary supplements such as Vitamin D, B12, Zinc, selenium and copper.
- High quality probiotics supplement to infuse health gut microbes
- DHA (an essential omega 3 fatty acid) is also crucial. It is found in good quality fish and fish oil.
- Controlled exposure to Sunlight, avoiding sun damage. It will help with skin re-pigmentation.
- Enough sleep for 8 to 10 hours
- Yoga, pranayam, meditation, jogging, running and other stress management techniques.
- Smooth, regular bowel movements
- Anti-inflammatory and blood purifying herbs such as neem, turmeric, milk thistle and garlic
All these practices will help control further spreading of vitiligo and stimulate the melanocytes to regenerate skin pigment. However, it is a gradual process and results can’t be expected overnight.
You have got anything to say or ask? Please email me at [email protected]