|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
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
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 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
P.O. Box 1215
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632