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Can Avoiding Nightshades Help a Herniated Disc or 'Hot' Sciatica?
Dr. John O. A. Pagano, Chiropractic Physician

This is an account of results obtained on two of my patients; one (a) suffering from herniation of the disc at the 5th lumbar, 1st sacral segment (low back) area and the other (b) in misery from a 'hot' sciatic condition who was also grossly overweight.
In August of 1999, two female patients, about the same age, came to me for treatment.  One lady, Mrs. E.W. from Brooklyn, suffered from severe psoriasis combined with a herniated lumbar disc (confirmed by MRI) - a double header.  The other patient, Mrs. V. M. from Dubai, suffered primarily from radiating pains from the low back into the entire right hip area, a typical sciatic syndrome although the pains did not radiate down any farther than the knee.  The pains centered through the low back area and circumvented the entire right hip area.  She was also overweight.
The lady from Brooklyn came to me for severe psoriasis.  It was after she came to me that I learned of her   problem with a disc herniation.  Ordinarily, I don't treat a person for a true herniated disc by manipulation for obvious reasons- such treatment may worsen the condition.  Only gentle downward pressure on the sacrum was done to try to relieve some symptoms, but my advice was that she eventually would have to consider surgical intervention.  She was practically unable to get up from a sitting position and had to lean forward when she attempted to walk- her pain was constant and excruciating.
The lady from Dubai was in similar straights but not diagnosed as a herniated disc.  I was able to be a little more aggressive with her treatment.  The sciatic pain she experienced was unrelenting.  Although treatment varied with the two of them, one factor was mutual- I put them both on a diet, one for psoriasis, the other to lose weight.  The diet calls for complete avoidance of the nightshades: tomatoes, tobacco, eggplant, white potatoes, peppers, and paprika.
To their amazement, the inflammation in the low back area of both women completely subsided!  They both were symptom-free after only three treatments.  Was it the manipulations that relieved them- or was it the abstaining from the harsh nightshades?  My guess is that the manipulations helped, yes, but avoiding the nightshades and their inflammatory systemic reaction was the real reason they were relieved.  This was evidenced by the fact that the lady from Dubai, who was raised on a diet of hot spices, inadvertently ate a meal with nightshades after her treatments and the symptoms returned within 24 hours.  She made certain to eliminate the nightshades and the symptoms quickly disappeared.  The lady from Brooklyn also experienced the same result.  Her psoriasis was greatly improving but, more dramatically, all inflammation of her low back was totally relieved.  From a woman who could hardly get up from a chair, she stood straight and was even able to lift luggage and boxes.  This surprised not   only her, but her husband as well.  A follow-up on both patients three months later confirmed that they were still at least 95% symptom-free of all low back pain as long as they stayed away from the nightshades.
Both ladies supplied an answer that is favorable with me.  They could not help but notice the pains, aches, and inflammatory reaction returned when they ate hot spices and/or the other nightshades.  They felt that by doing so, they caused irritation of the already compromised discs of the low back.  The membranes, soft tissue, nerve roots, and discs themselves reacted violently when they ingested nightshades, and were relieved when they were eliminated from the diet.
This certainly does suggest a consideration when dealing with a highly inflamed spinal new/disc  problem.  It may not work every time- but it certainly did in these cases.




Dr. Pagano has been in touch with this Foundation for many years.  Early on, he found that instructing his patients to avoid the nightshades often gave remarkable results.  He has sent us copies of his book which has been on the best seller list in it's category with both Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble books.
Dr. Pagano's book is titled Healing Psoriasis: The Natural Alternative
Approximately 300 pages. 1991, 2nd Printing.
It is available by visiting an online retailer or contacting him at the address below:

P.O. Box 1215
Englewood Cliffs, NJ  07632