Herbs for Skin Disease
Herbs have been used in clinical medicine for thousands of years. A large portion of world especially in developing countries depends on traditional system of medicine for a variety of diseases. Plants used in folk medicine have been accepted as the main source of drug discovery and development. Plant based therapeutic preparations are cyclically returning to complement dermatologic therapy. They serve as therapeutic alternatives, safer choices, or in some cases as the only treatment. Folk medicine tradition provides different indicators for use then the medical disease model. As plant based medicines become incorporated into conventional medicine they cease to be alternative treatment.
As the world wakes up to the freshness of nature and natural products, herbs take on a leading role. Simple everyday foods and herbs have moved out of the kitchen to be an effective, inexpensive and safe part of health care.
The world health organization (WHO) has estimated that 80% of the world’s population relies mainly on natural medicines. Even in industrialized countries, up to 40% of all pharmaceuticals are derived from natural sources.
Finding healing powers in plants is an ancient idea.
People on all continents have long applied poultices and imbibed hundreds of infusions, of indigenous plants, dating back to history.
Many herbs have demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity in skin diseases. Among these are:
Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Willow bark (Salix alba)
Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Oak bark (Quercus alba)
Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
Other anti-inflammatory herbs:
Mallow (Malva sylvestris)
As our familiarity with herbs increases and we employ our known scientific methodology to study them physiologically, our ability to treat skin diseases satisfactorily, with fewer side effects will be enhanced. Many more herbs are being studied for therapeutic as well as preventative roles in traditional medicine, thus narrowing a gap that has been present for many years.