What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an immune stimulated condition where skin cells develop rapidly and is highly inflammatory. Normally, skin cells are replaced after 21-28 days, however in psoriatic individuals this can be as quickly as 4-7 days. The build up of skin cells create raised sections of skin called plaques, that can occur on any body part and appear flaky, scaly and red on fair skin, or as dark patches on darker skin tones, with intense itching.
Beyond the skin, psoriasis is associated with a systemic inflammatory state that has been linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes and Cardiovascular diseases. Although a relationship between obesity and psoriasis has been established, the mechanistic link between these conditions is unclear, yet the conditions bear excessive Inflammation as a commonality.
What is Oregon Grape & how does it treat eczema & psoriasis?
Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium or Berberis aquifolium) is a bushy perennial plant and the root-like stem (rhizome) is often used in alternative medicines. Also known as Oregon Grape Holly, Mountain Grape, Uva de Oregon and Creeping Barberry, Oregon Grape grows in the mountainous regions of the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S.A. This evergreen shrub, is rich in the bioactive; berberine, which is thought to exert anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. There have been several studies showing the beneficial effect of this compound in patients with psoriasis. 200 patients with mild to moderate psoriasis were treated at six sites in the U.S.A and Canada with a topical administration of Oregon Grape or placebo. There was a significant decrease in the PASI score among the Oregon Grape treated patients when compared with placebo at tweleve weeks. A similar study on eighty-two patients with moderate to severe psoriasis saw improved self-assessed ratings score after a four week topical administration of Mahonia aquifolium extract.