30 days of wellness; week 3 – #WellnessWednesday – Eat for your moods
5 unpleasant facts about Psoriasis you didn’t know
1 . Psoriasis Through the Ages
Did you know that people with psoriasis were once considered outcasts because of their skin issues? Yup, it’s true. And would you believe that urine was used as a treatment in ancient times? That’s true, too. Here, take a look back at the history of this skin condition.
2. Psoriasis Sufferers Were Shunned From Society in Biblical Times
Some experts say psoriasis may have been one of the skin conditions called “tzaarath” in the Old Testament. Tzaarath, a punishment for sin, reflected a common belief of the time that people with psoriasis had brought it upon themselves. And thanks to popular misconceptions back in the day — including that it was contagious — many with psoriasis were ostracized from society. Some were even burned at the stake. (Aren’t you happy you weren’t alive then?!)
3. The Word Psoriasis Used to Mean Something Else
In 200 B.C., the Greek physician Galen coined the term psoriasis, derived from the Greek word “psora” (to itch). But the condition he was talking about — scaly skin on the eyelids and scrotum — was what we now call seborrheic dermatitis. We didn’t get the first accurate definition of psoriasis as it’s known today until much later — the 1800s, in fact — when Robert Willan, the English physician considered the founder of modern dermatology, described it as circular or oval skin lesions topped with dry scales and surrounded by a red border.
4. Urine Was One of the First Treatment Options
There are plenty of psoriasis remedies you can try to calm your irritation, like tea tree oil, tumeric, or fish oil. But one of the first known therapies happens to be the weirdest. Documented in the ancient text known as the Papyrus Ebers, one of the earliest treatment options involved a bizarre concoction of onions, sea salt, and urine.
5. So Was Pine Tar
You’ve no doubt seen pine tar in the news such as when Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda used it to get a better grip on his baseball — and was subsequently suspended for 10 games (although players are allowed to use pine tar on their bats). But did you know that pine tar — a sticky substance produced from pine wood — was found to soothe psoriasis symptoms? Hippocrates, the founder of modern medicine, used it to treat psoriasis in the 5th century B.C. You can still find soaps containing pine tar to treat skin irritation to this day.
Good morning. We spent a couple of hours making breakfast pizzas in the rain last weekend up in the Catskills, sliding pies into an outdoor oven humming with the heat of dry hardwood coals and eating them standing up in the kitchen nearby, in advance of a long drift on the Delaware River looking for trout. It struck me then and now as one of the highest, best uses of our time on the planet: to cook with friends, outside, before spending time outside, observing always the exigencies of the elements: fire, air, earth and water. (Aristotle added ether, or quintessence. We added guanciale.)
Maybe you could do some of that this weekend, out in a park or the yard, before a walk or a bike ride or a fishing trip or a visit to some place where you may see some birds or insects. Even if you just grab a sandwich from the bodega before a long walk in the Village with your baes, time spent outside in the presence of food and friendship is a balm, and we should take advantage of it.
This could be the weekend for grilled paella. John Willoughby has a great recipe for a grilled paella made with seafood; another for grilled paella made with chicken and rabbit. I square the circle, with a recipe for grilled paella with shrimp, chicken and clams.
You could make our recipe for Eli Zabar’s egg salad sandwiches. Or Martha Rose Shulman’s recipe for grilled leeks with romesco sauce. Maybe just bake Christine Muhlke’s whole-wheat bread and take it somewhere with some good cold cuts, salted butter and a tub of roasted peppers.
And, of course, today is Mother’s Day. (Check out the art historian Jean Sorabella of the Metropolitan Museum of Art talking about motherhood and art.) You could join the hordes taking Mom out to brunch, but we’re hoping you don’t. We have a fine collection of Mother’s Day recipes you could make at home instead — never, ever, underestimate the power of a good breakfast in bed, served to a mother who’s usually up before everyone else.
Many more recipes to cook this weekend are available on Cooking. Save the ones you’re interested in to your recipe box. Rate them when you’re done cooking, and leave notes on them for yourself or for others if you’ve got information to share. You know the drill. Have a great weekend.