Foods That Contain Psoralen
Scroll down this page to view a list of foods that are rich in psoralen, a compound that has been used in the treatment of psoriasis, vitiligo and eczema. Psoralens are naturally occurring substances that belong to a group of compounds known as furocoumarins. Figs are on top of the list of foods that contain psoralen, but also some vegetables such as celery, celeriac, carrots, parsnips and root parsley are good natural sources of psoralen. Also certain spices and herbs – including anise, cumin, caraway, chervil, coriander, fennel, dill and mustard – make it to the list of foods rich in psoralen.
Before using foods that contain psoralen as a natural treatment for psoriasis, eczema or vitiligo, you should talk to your doctor. When activated by sunlight or another source of ultraviolet light, psoralens may have phototoxic, mutagenic and photo-carcinogenic effects. Consequently, foods rich in psoralen may cause dermatitis, sunburn and age spots (also known as liver spots) when your skin is exposed to sunlight. A high intake of psoralen combined with exposure to ultraviolet light has also been associated with an increased risk of skin cancer. Despite these potential safety concerns, the FDA has approved PUVA (i.e. Psoralen plus UltraViolet A) as a treatment for severe cutaneous psoriasis.
If you are trying to avoid eating foods that contain psoralen due to their ability to react with sunlight, keep in mind that also touching these foods may cause unwanted reactions in sensitive individuals. Handling foods that are rich in psoralens will cause these substances to collect on your skin, and when exposed to ultraviolet rays, they may cause severe sunburn, age spots and other damage to the skin. Using gloves when handling psoralen containing foods can help reduce your risk of adverse reactions.
List: Foods Rich in Psoralen