Silica is an essential mineral, long used to improve degenerative diseases and connective tissue disorders. This mineral is required for the proper formation of collagen for bones and connective tissue as well as healthy skin, hair and nails. Silica also helps stimulate the immune system and inhibits the aging process in tissues.
At the Helsinki Research Centre in Finland, researchers conducted a randomized, double-blind study using patients with chronic and severe psoriasis. Patients were given either 30 ml of a silica gel orally or a placebo daily for three months. In addition, at least one skin lesion was treated topically with the gel. Those in the silica treatment group showed visible signs of improvement of all symptoms. There were also improvements to nails in five of 10 patients, and pain reduction in almost half of subjects with psoriasis-related arthritis. There were no changes reported in the placebo group.
In another study on the skin benefits of silica, the Acne Support Group conducted a study of the effects of a silica gel product on moderate to severe acne. Subjects applied the silica gel (either with or without other doctor-prescribed oral medications) and then completed a questionnaire on skin quality before and after treatment the six-week treatment. Overall, 86% of the subjects reported improved skin conditions, particularly in acne on the chin. In some cases, acne in certain facial locations disappeared completely.
Food sources of silica include bell peppers, soybeans, whole grains and brown rice. It is also available from health food stores in capsule form, usually from horsetail herb, or in a liquid gel.
Sources: J Int Med Res 1997 Jul-Aug; 25(4):206-9; Adv Ther 2001 Mar-Apr;18(2):93-9; Prescription for Nutritional Healing by J Balch, Avery:1999