The use of medicinal herbs and herbal remedies for treating psoriasis and other skin diseases, such as eczema, have become more and more popular in the recent years and when the conventional medical treatments fail or do not work many people look for alternative therapies such as herbal medicine.
Herbs for psoriasis which enhance the performance of the body’s immune system and the liver can have beneficial results.
They can help to provide relaxation and to clear the blood of impurities by supporting the liver, adrenal glands, the intestine, and the lymphatic system.
Before taking medicinal herbs for psoriasis, it is always advisable to consult a professional healthcare provider.
Some herbs can trigger side effects, and they may also interfere with the action of prescription drugs.
Medicinal Herbs for Psoriasis Treatment and Relief
Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium) is cited as an effective herbal treatment for psoriasis vulgaris in traditional herbal texts.
Skin ointments made with Oregon grape bark are available in Europe as a treatment for psoriasis and test results on Oregon grape bark extract which has the active ingredients berberine, berbamine and oxyacanthine have demonstrated antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects as well as antiproliferative properties in the treatment of psoriasis (1).
The milk thistle herb (Silybum marianum) is mostly used for controlling the rash of psoriasis.
This herb is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as having the capability to slow down the unbalanced proliferation of the skin cells progressively.
Milk thistle is thought to be an excellent herb for psoriasis because it has shown the ability to hinder the human T-cell activation that happens while encountering psoriasis but it has not been clinically tested on patients (2).
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
The herb contains the phytochemical curcumin which has been shown to have a positive effect on TNF cytokine expression which plays an important part in the formation and continuation of psoriasis lesions.
Many people suffering from psoriasis have reported that using turmeric as relief has been useful. 1.5 to 3.0 grams of the herb daily has been considered safe (3).
Another herbal remedy for psoriasis is oregano (Origanum vulgare).
This is because it contains not only antibacterial properties but antifungal properties as well which can be helpful with infections that are induced by psoriasis (4).
Cayenne (Capsicum annuum) contains capsaicin which has been demonstrated to reduce itching and pain in psoriasis suffers.
It appears to work by depleting neurotransmitters in the sensory nerves. A clinical study performed by the American Academy of Dermatology found that capsaicin, topically applied, was an effective remedy for pruritic psoriasis (5).
Aloe (Aloe vera) is an herbal remedy frequently used to treat minor injuries and irritations of the skin.
Results of a clinical trial using animal models published 2012 showed that application of aloe vera to the area of skin affected by psoriasis reduced lesions but additional studies are needed to confirm if the plan¨s uses as a psoriasis treatment are effective in humans (6).
Of thirty patients in the study, twenty-five showed considerable improvement. No side effects were reported.
Arnica (Arnica montana) is thought to increase the flow of blood in the capillaries under the skin, and it is considered helpful in healing wounds and reduce inflammation which could make this herb useful for the treatment of psoriasis (7).
The common oat Avena sativa has been used for a long time as a remedy for various skin ailment. Its medicinal application is mostly based on traditional uses and no scientific evidence to support the use of the herb for psoriasis.
Still, it is believed that applying oats in paste form on the affected areas or adding oats to bath water relieves itchy skin and reduces redness (9).
Neem (Azadirachta indica) is effective in the treatment of diseases caused by fungus, viruses, and bacteria and it has been used as an herbal remedy for all kinds of skin problems.
It has been shown to enhance the production of T-cells which fight infections. It is also high in fatty acids which make it helpful for the treatment of many chronic diseases which affect the skin and hair.
Other Herbs used for Psoriasis Treatment
- Sarsaparilla – (Aralia nudicaulis)
- Cat’s Claw – (Uncaria tomentosa)
- Coleus Forskohlii – (Plectranthus barbatus)
- Tea Tree Oil – (Melaleuca alternifolia)
- Burdock Root – (Arctium lappa)
- Juniper – (Juniperus communis)
- Red Clover – (Trifolium pratense)
- Pau d’Arco – (Tabebuia impetiginosa)
- Chickweed – (Stellaria media)
- Picrorhiza kurroa – (Picrorhiza kurroa)
- Black Walnut – (Juglans nigra)
- Dandelion – (Taraxacum officinale)
- Yellow Dock – (Rumex crispus)
- Flaxseed – (Linum usitatissimum)
- Calendula – (Calendula officinalis)
- Self Heal – (Prunella vulgaris)
- Bergamot – (Citrus bergamia)
- Common Figwort – (Scrophularia nodosa)
- Common Plantain – (Plantago major)
- Avocado – (Persea americana)
- Fumitory – (Fumaria officinalis)