Psoriasis is a disease of chronic nature that lasts for a number of years susceptible to relapses and remissions. The word is a Greek derivative meaning ‘to itch’. Phytotherapy is the process of studying plants for use as medicinal cure. The word phytotherapy is often interchanged with the word ‘herbalism’. Because of the term interchange the therapy has been coined to mean alternative medicine.
Psoriasis Phytotherapy is the procedure of treating the psoriasis disease with the use of plants or plant extracts. Use of plants as treatment in Psoriasis Phytotherapy offered certain distinct advantages namely:
1. High and strong biological activity
2. Low toxicity
3. Good and well tolerated by the body
4. Absence or minimal presence of side effects
5. Capable of longer application
Psoriasis Phytotherapy would take a course treatment period from one to three months depending on the tolerance and effect on individual patients. Treatment with Psoriasis Phytotherapy had been observed to be more effective during autumn and spring periods.
The following are the plants in common use in Psoriasis Phytotherapy:
2. Birch fungus
3. Aralia (spikenard)
4. Maral root (rhaponticum)
8. Wood pitch (wood resin)
11. Pine oil
12. Sea buckthorn
14. Calendula (pot marigold)
Approaches to treatment using Psoriasis Phytotherapy takes several forms, namely:
1. Consuming of broths, powders and teas from medicinal plants
2. Eating and ingestion of herbs and plants ( radish, celery, cabbage etc.)
3. Topical application of herbal extracts and liquids like the root of a willow directly on the skin affected with the disease
A phyto-therapist should know that in treating patients with the disease, using plants and herbs are dependent on some or several factors such as:
1. At what stage is the psoriasis at when the course treatment begun
2. Duration of the procedure
3. Presence of other diseases that are associated with psoriasis capable of causing complications
A phyto-therapist is an individual who has had extensive knowledge as well as training in plants’ medicinal effects applied to certain distinct diseases.
The following are some of the ointments that were derived from the plant extracts for topical application for psoriasis patients
1. Calendula ointment
2. Rice embryo ointment
3. Juniper ointment
4. Pine tree ointment
5. Celandine ointment
6. Burdock ointment
7. Carrot ointment
8. Camomile ointment
Gaining best results in the topical application of the ointments is best achieved if the ointment is applied on moist skin preferably after taking a bath or shower. The use of a dermatological compress is likewise a preferred method.
In treating the disease and in the absence of plant extracts and ointments, alternative resort can likewise be directed towards herbal supplements.
Here are some supplements that have been in wide use in treating psoriasis:
2. Red clover
3. Milk thistle
5. Yellow dock
6. Mountain grape
Caution should be made in the taking of supplements as it may cause drug interaction with drugs that are already prescribed.
As with any therapy resorted to, a positive mental attitude is a necessary ingredient in getting well from psoriasis treatment using phytotherapy. Mental health should always be the priority by phyto-therapist in treating the disease. Case studies have shown that worrying and stress are major factors that aggravate the onset of psoriasis. The stress and worrying is often brought about by resentment due to:
2. Limited mobility
3. Unsightly appearance of the effects and scars of the lesions
Avoidance of situations leading to lack of self-esteem must be looked into by family members of a patient undergoing psoriasis therapy.