Pharmacological Benefits of Herbal Formulations in the Management of Psoriasis vulgaris
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease, with an important impact on the patient's quality of life. Its incidence and prevalence are continuously increasing. The complex ethiopathology of this disorder is only partially known; there is a clear genetic predisposition, which associates a number of environmental triggering factors such as an unbalanced diet and lifestyle. The conventional therapeutic options are not always satisfactory in terms of efficiency and safety, therefore, complementary and alternative medicine approaches are frequently chosen by patients, mostly as self-medication. This review, based on recent literature flow data, outlines the pharmacological benefits of herbal formulations with antipsoriatic activity. It also reveals the molecules esponsible for their effects, as well as their interference with the metabolic and immunopathogenic mechanisms of this disease. An important number of plants have been proved to act as antipsoriatic agents, many botanical-based preparations containing key-phytochemical molecules (belonging mainly to phenolics, triterpenoids and phytosterols or unsaturated fatty acids, as mentioned in specific phyto-pharmaceutical databases). Specific mechanisms of action, which can explain their activity (such as lipoxygenase inhibition, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti prostaglandin), were recently described. Only some of these formulations have been actively tested in vitro or in vivo. Most publications in the field agree on the need for more in vitro and in vivo studies, especially clinical assessment on patients with Psoriasis vulgaris. These would provide more accurate data on the efficacy and safety of such herbal formulations for this disease.
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